Saturday, September 30, 2006

Celebrating the New Picnic Shelter

The church picnic shelter was dedicated at the annual homecoming service. It was extra special, since one of our "kids" who grew up in the church came back to preach. Danny did a great job, and it was really terrific to see a local back and sharing memories of the "good old days."

We, of course, had a huge pot luck dinner. Methodists are big on those. The tables were loaded with delicious dishes - some old favorites and a few new treats. It's always hard to decide what to dip up. It's all good, so it's impossible to go wrong.

This is my sister and her husband and little Hannah. The baby, Abigail, must be under the table or something. She's a real rounder, and I won't confess to who she must take after.

If you're looking for good pot luck dishes, then I put my best recipes up at Garden and Hearth. Check Southern Cooking for some of the delicious dishes that you see on the table. That's my dirty rice in the green pot.

Eagle Scout Shelter Finished and Dedicated

WOW! The shelter went up fast. We're all ready to cook out or have picnics now.

This was an Eagle Scout project that my son started with his grandfather (my dad) who died in a traffic accident over the summer. Locke Steele, a close friend of the family, stepped in to make sure this project was completed. He was there every inch of the way, and he spent a lot of time teaching local young men the basics of building. He was my Little Baseball coach when I was a kid. His contributions to the community could never be measured.

We're now looking at adding picnic tables and perhaps a grill. It will be really nice to have a shelter at the church. I really didn't know how my son was going to get such a big project done when my dad passed. I thank Locke as well as all the men and women in town who pitched in and helped out. I'd also like to thank my brother, Matthew, who drove in from Ohio twice to help and to do the landscaping. He brought some of the teen boys who work for him who were also super helpful.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Best Job in the World - Full Time Tailgater

I caught up with Joe yesterday by phone. He had to park the RV before he could chit-chat. He was just as funny as I expected. Anyone who can sell the idea of working professionally in parking lots eating barbecue has to have a good funny bone.

But, hey, it worked. I've gotta give him credit. Very few people get a job doing exactly what they enjoy most.

If you want to read about Joe Cahn and his life as the Commissioner of Tailgating, then see my article at Garden & Hearth.

Monday, September 18, 2006

HPBA Offers Great Tips for Tailgating

HPBA (Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association) has teamed up with the commissioner of Tailgating Joe Cahn to provde a host of information to make your tailgating experiences more fun.

The organization conducts surveys, and the 2006 tailgate poll ranked the "wonderful grill smells" as the biggest draw for tailgaters.

If you look to the bottom left of the HPBA web page and click, you'll find:

· Tailgate 101 – Rookie, Intermediate and Veteran Set-up must haves
· Tailgate and Grill-Great Tips – Straight from the Commish
· New Tailgate Poll Results – What Americans think and say about tailgating
· Grilling Clean-Up – Clean-Up as easy as 1,2,3
· Delicious Grilling Recipes – Tailgate-approved recipes

What are you waiting for? You know you want to tailgate like a pro.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lexington NC Barbecue Festival - October 21, 2006

If you're anywhere near Lexington, NC or if you can road trip it, then don't miss the Lexington Barbecue Festival. It's been featured as one of the 10 best BBQ festivals in the south.

This one is not a contest. It's a hometown day with lots of food, crafts, and games for the kids. Be sure to look for the sand pig sculptures. Those are always neat.

For insider information, see my article on the festival at Yes You Can Grill. One tip I'll toss out is to arrive early. This festival gets bigger every year, and the crowds are huge starting about lunch time.

The official page is also chock full of information on this great southern fun fest.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Budweiser Joins the Barbecue Sauce Bandwagon

Great barbeque cooks have been using all kinds of ingredients in marinades and sauces for years - including beer.

Now Budweiser has come out with a line of sauces for outdoor cooking. In addition to a traditional sauce and a beechwood smoked version, they also have a basting sauce with a mustard base and a sauce just for hot wings.

These sauces are sold in the online Budshop and will soon be available at grocery stores.

If you can't get your hands on a bottle of the sauces just yet, break out some Budweiser and try out my Beer Boiled Shrimp recipe.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

These Guys Build Fast - We'll be Eating Outdoors Soon

I couldn't believe how fast this project went up. Locke is one heck of a builder and coordinates all the help so well. We had a whole pack of guys out getting the roof on. They wrapped up around lunch time.

We hope to add picnic tables and maybe a grill soon.

The shelter is being dedicated at the end of the month. My dad who died in a truck accident this summer will be honored. He helped get the project started. Thankfully, Locke and a lot of young men in town pitched in and made sure that the shelter was built.

Boy Scout Eagle Project - Picnic Shelter

We love to grill out at our church, but there are days when it rains or when the sun is really intense.

Long ago, we did have a shelter. It was down in the woods and a pretty good hike. Over the years, the shelter fell down. Some of us got older too.

So, my son decided to make a picnic shelter for the church for his Eagle Scout project. Locke (who also happened to be my Little League Coach when I was a kid) is a builder, and he was kind enough to help, since I am not a builder.

Here is the shelter starting to go up.