Bring the Heat with a Winter Braai
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Lazy, sultry summer braais are all good and well. But have you ever had a cosy winter braai evening with a fire pit and a glass of glühwein?
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you have to move your entertaining indoors.
Here’s a handy How-To (and To-Do) – list to get your winter braai on!
Winter Braai – What?
A cosy winter evening braai with bushveld-camping vibes and delicious winter fare on the menu.
Winter Braai – Who?
This is probably not the time to invite your great-grandmother or your friends with their new-born baby. (Unless your ukhoko is as tough as it is to say no to a second roasted marshmallow). The whole idea of a winter braai is for it to be a bit like suburban camping. Think: happy little frosty adventure with a crackling campfire. Let your guests know it’s an outdoor event and suggest they dress accordingly.
Winter Braai – Where?
If your go-to braai in the summer is a gas braai or a kettle braai, go ahead and use it for the food preparation in winter. But think outside the box and create an impromptu fire pit for a campfire to add some magic (and much-needed heat) to the evening.
Fire up Your Winter Braai!
Fire pits need not be conspicuously constructed dug out pits lined with bricks. There are many options for elegant, quirky and equally effective fire pits.
Option 1: Low key:
Remove a 1m x 1m patch of grass from an area of lawn away from any overhanging branches or dried plant growth (you don’t want to set fire to your bone-dry winter garden!). Spread a couple of shovels full of sand in the hole, ring it with bricks or large stones and voila! You have a fire pit!
Option 2: More money, much less effort:
There are various designs of loose standing braziers available for sale. Our list of expert suppliers will be happy to provide you with the perfect option for your space and budget. Pick one, bring it home, light a fire. Easy-peasy!
Winter Braai – How?
Here you can make your own choices. The menu will depend on your likes and your guests’ preferences. Decide if it’s a middle eastern evening with grilled lamb toasted pita bread and dips. Or is it a traditional potjiekos evening?
There are just a few rules to remember:
- Skip the cold salads
- Pile on the carbs
- Swop iced drinks for mulled wine and spiced ciders
- DON’T FORGET THE S’MORES!
Winter Braai – What Next?
Once you’ve got the firepit and the menu sorted, it’s time to add the final touches to your winter braai.
Light the way
Ensure that you have adequate outdoor lighting. It gets darker so much earlier in winter and it’s no fun if your guests can’t see each other.
Be the snuggle you want to see in the world
Collect all the cosy throws and blankets from around your house. Repurpose your prettiest laundry basket, roll up the towels, and display them close to the fire pit. Now your guests will be snuggle-ready in style.
No such things as calories in winter
Set up a hot chocolate station and be as extra as you like with the add-ons. Tiny marshmallows, sprinkles, whipped cream and even some flavoured syrups will get your guests begging for more.
Carry your couches and armchairs outdoors and create a cosy outdoor living room around the fire pit! Alternatively, you can move some rugs and picnic blankets out with scatter cushions for a bohemian flair.
Don’t let the temperature keep you from enjoying every minute of our beautiful South African winters. Spending time with your loved ones cannot get any hotter than this!