Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Week in Review

Last week was the Texas Barbecue and it was a great success. We had lots of very fun people, beer, sangria, corn hole and food and music. Lee played her ipod with the Texas music all afternoon into the evening. Our guests are so nice. Everyone brought something to say thank you. We received wine, flowers, cookies, delicious candies and home made peach preserves. That's pretty awesome. Such wonderful people. They are the best. Plans are afoot for next year already! Lee's brother promises to appear from Texas so it will be ramped up a notch or four!

The food was really great according to the guests. I thought so too but I don't want to brag. My sister and brother in law came and they became kitchen maevens helping to carve slices of juicy smoked brisket. Sue helped put things out and generally organized the display of foods. I had adapted lots of recipes from the Homesick Texan blogsite and there wasn't a whole lot left of anything. I made a vegetarian entree that the carnivores consumed rapidly. I'll share the recipe later. One of the big hits was Lee's fabulous pinto's. I think some people looked at the big pot of beans with pieces of salt pork and wondered but they bravely had some and loved them. Lee picks through her beans then soaks them overnight and drains and rinses them in the morning. She covers the beans with water had 1/2 a large chopped onion, adds a chunk of salt pork cut into pieces, ketchup, a jalapeno and simmers them until they are tender. The beans retain their shape and are served drained with a slotted spoon. They were very popular. These are beans that are tender but not beans awash in bean gravy like you'll see in a Mexican restaurant. Miss Lee is very particular about the beans.

Corn hole was popular with the brand new Dallas Cowboys cornhole games. Our friend Mary of the MeMa's painted and decorated the set and it was lovely. Passionate corn hole players played with a variety of teams. Finally sister Sue and brother in law Tom took on grandma Nancy and grandson Alec Rogers. The Fords given 25 years of corn hole playing and recent practice for a week actually won! It was fun.

The youngest guest also came the farthest. Jamie Lian Alduino newly adopted Chinese daughter of my boss John and his wife Amy is just a year old. She got much attention and had a fun time. She even ate the food despite the fact I put some plain choices aside for her. Evidently she enjoys Texas mustard potato salad and Mexican fruit with lime. She is practicing standing. She did however have lots of arms to hold her and new friends to make.

The worst guest was my dear beagle boy Jack. At one point he buried his face in a bowl of seasoned oyster crackers and chomped away! Lee and I were reviewing the party later in the evening and she said "Jack was dreadful. Wasn't it nice?" She told me that he had sinned and after everyone seeing his trangression Sue offered the crackers to people who viewed the crime. I don't think there were takers. I didn't know if I thought he was being dreadful -just more being a beagle - which he happens to be. Lee explained when we first moved in Jack could not be trusted and was always into everything. Jack stories can go on for hours. He's aging and hasn't been really well until our alternative vet decided he needed to be on a new course of antibiotics. He's more perky and appears to have bounded back from the edge of death. In Lee's mind it was great to see Jack being Jack that is dreadful Jack. Future guests fear not. New crackers will be served and placed out of the beagle's reach at future events.

So it's a wrap for another year. It's all fond memories except for some pieces of Mexican chocolate cake Lee froze and half a brisket I tucked away for a time when we want to revisit Texas. It was great fun. The people who couldn't make it missed a very fun time. We're making plans for better and even more fun. Maybe we'll honor the German heritage in Texas and my own. We do order our meat from Kreuz after all and they do offer sausage which we served last year and it is also part of barbecue heritage. We'll see and hope to see y'all too. Next year Be There!

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