To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.
Hello everyone, this is Owen and this is my podcast for Friday 20th July, 2018. Did you all watch the World Cup? I mentioned last time that I find it quite hard to resist watching sports tournaments on television. Well, the World Cup was no different. I watched quite a bit of it despite the fact that I don't really enjoy watching football. I'm afraid I'm one of those people who find watching football a little bit boring. But watching the World Cup I found myself getting really angry and frustrated. All the theatrics  in football drive me crazy . Why can't they just get on with it? Just play by the rules and respect the referee. Why do they have to pretend that they're hurt all the time? As you can tell, just thinking about it drives me crazy. I'm always shocked at how annoyed I get. It's just a game after all. Or maybe that's the point: to some it's more than just a game.
But that's enough football for today. Coming up, I'll be talking about the joys of barbecuing and my memories of summers in Beijing.
I've been in the UK this past month. My new business project has kept me busy  but apart from that I've had lots of time on my hands . I haven't been travelling at all. It's quite nice to just be lazy sometimes, especially in the summer. And the weather here has been perfect for doing as little as possible. I've taken full advantage  by spending lots of time lying in the sun in the garden drinking chilled  white wine and playing boules with Gerry. I've also spent a lot of time barbecuing. Long summer nights and barbecuing just seem to go together, don't they? Who doesn't like a barbecue on a nice sunny day? I have happy memories of cooking sausages over a fire on summer days when I was very young. I guess that was the first cooking I ever did. There's something about cooking over a fire that's very special. My only problem now is that I'm a bit bored with all the usual things you put on a barbecue. There are only so many sausages and chicken wings you can eat and they don't present much of a challenge  to cook. So I've been experimenting with bigger cuts of meat. There's the classic beer can  chicken, of course, which is exactly what it sounds like. A whole chicken placed on top of an open can of beer. The can of beer holds the chicken upright  and keeps the meat moist . I've also tried a leg of lamb and a shoulder of pork and some other larger cuts. The bigger the piece of meat the longer it takes to cook, so the method of cooking is low and slow. You want a low temperature for a long time, which means you can't place the meat directly over the charcoal . You have the charcoal on one side and the meat on the other. I've been adding wood chips  to the charcoal to add some more smoky flavour to the meat. The results have been amazing. The leg of lamb was particularly good. I made a rub  with lots of herbs and spices to complement  the lamb but the main reason it was so good was the quality of the meat. Welsh lamb is some of the best lamb in the world and after four hours on the barbecue it's about as good a meal as you can wish for. Normally, I would roast a leg of lamb in the oven but on a hot summer day you can't beat the slow-cooked barbecued alternative.
After all the barbecuing and the hot weather I found myself reminiscing about Beijing. To reminisce is a beautiful word that means to think back and enjoy the memories of past experiences. Lying in the sun with a cool drink in your hand is a great time to reminisce, I find. The lamb and the heat reminded me of Beijing, so I've been reminiscing about my summers in Beijing. I spent many a summer evening in Beijing sitting outside with friends enjoying spicy barbecued lamb and cheap Chinese beer. The Chinese are absolutely crazy about  barbecue. There are different types of barbecuing traditions in China and not all of them are that well known. Everybody's heard of Peking duck, which is cooked in an oven over a wood fire, but there are other barbecuing traditions that you might not have come across  if you haven't visited China. In Beijing in the summer there used to be streets with rows and rows of barbecue places. They used basic charcoal barbecues and they put meat and vegetables on bamboo skewers  before placing them on the grill. The streets would fill up with smoke from all the burning charcoal. These places were so popular in Beijing that the city banned  street barbecues because they were contributing  to the poor air quality. Luckily, I was there during the good old days before the ban. Occasionally , when I went out with a group of friends we would order a whole leg of lamb. There were a few restaurants in the neighbourhood that offered barbecued legs of lamb. It wasn't at all like the leg of lamb that I just told you about though. In Beijing you would sit outside around a table that had a grill in the middle. The leg of lamb was on a skewer above the burning charcoal. Every now and again you had to turn the leg of lamb to make sure it was cooked from all sides. Everyone at the table was given a long sharp knife and you cut slices of meat off as it cooked. Those hot summer nights in Beijing were a real joy.
Well, that's about all from me this month. Apologies to all the vegetarians listening, there was rather a lot of talk about meat this time. Thank you for listening and for your comments. This is my last episode before the summer break. We're celebrating 10 years of PodClub this summer and we've prepared a few surprises. You'll be able to find everything along with all our other episodes on our website podclub.ch or by downloading our app. You can also find me on Instagram using the hashtags #PodClubOwen and #oweninchina. I'll be interviewing Gerry on his podcast at the end of August and then I'll be back on 14th September. I hope you all have a wonderful summer with lots of barbecuing. Take care, everyone. Bye!