The August Bank Holiday weekend traditionally sees Loughton and Epping Forest Radio Society out and about on a field day, and for the past few years LEFARS has accepted an invitation from Kelvedon Hatch ‘Secret Nuclear Bunker Contest Group’ to share the SNB location for a join event.
Highlight of the weekend is usually the barbecue on the Saturday evening which usually consists of Ron White G6LTT and his long suffering XYL White flipping Burgers and sausages, why I brew up a large vat of chilli!
This year was no exception, and learning from last years BBQ, more planning went into this years, and RSVP’s were sent out to all club members and prospective guests in order to plan numbers.
For just £5 a head you got a burger in a roll, a hotdog and a bowl of chilli. There were also copious amounts of Tea available for those that had not taken any alternative beverages!
I was busy the night before (turning in at 2am) cooking the chilli with my own secret formula. My plan was to cook a chilli that has loads of flavour but not too much heat.. I was also brought along a bottle of Chipotle BBQ sauce to add a bit more zing if required!
Everything was going to plan until it came to the rice.. I left the container with the rice on the side in the kitchen and it was too much of a drive ot go and get it. Fortunately a quick visit to a local supermarket in Ongar resolved the immediate rice issue, but unfortunately another cropped up back on the site. Due to starting to cook the rice later than expected, the poor camping stoves available could not provide enough heat to boil the rice! This year I used a much bigger pot which needed considerably more heat. Panic avoided by Chris Smart who had a Petrol Stove which with it’s 5Kw output burner had the rice boiling in a jiffy!
Feedback was all positive and with no-one receiving food poisoning or chilli after-effects the next morning, my title of ‘Chilli Dave’ is safe for another year.
It is well worth noting that some operating took place during the the weekend, with the Saturday being a little more laid back due to the effort required to setting up in the heat! Sunday was quite active with the stations able to take advantage of of the lift on the higher frequencies courtesy of Sporadic E. Even the UK was workable Inter-G on 20m!