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Adventures in BBQ'ing

It's funny how things start small... as in Hyser mentions Big Head Todd plays somewhere in Minneapolis on July 31st. This was early in the month so we decided we'd eventually stumble upon the details and make our way to see them.

Then Jason Berg is sent to Spain for 3 weeks - his return date is 7/30. I told him about Big Head Todd and he said he'd like to check it out. I figured I could grill up something before we all headed downtown.

Which led to inviting Kevin Farmer up from Dubuque. And somehow my "famous" ribs came up which led to an all out BBQ.

I don't mean to bore you, but I have to document this so that next time I decide to have a little BBQ, I will either enlist an army of help or think brats.

I've been craving chicken salad so that was a no-brainer. Also, I HAD to make a double batch so that there would be leftovers. Maybe next time I'll consider that it takes 3 hours to make a double batch since I don't have a bowl as big as the state of Texas in which to mix it in. Also, I'm a perfectionist so this means I find a way to make several smaller batches and then mix bits of each together so that they're consistent in taste and texture.

I recently got a knock-off recipe for KFC coleslaw so I gave that a shot. Forget about the fact that you have to chop a whole head of cabbage into pieces the size of RICE.

I worked an extremely early shift on Friday so I could rub the ribs down, make the spinach dip, chip dip and coleslaw. Ryan and I played 2 softball games, came home to clean up and met Kevin at Blondies in the BP. After the bar, we made a double-batch of Special K bars.

Saturday morning, I made the beer bread, started the grill smoking, put on the ribs, cut up the bars, chopped the veggies, de-silked the corn and started setting everything up for the guests. Ryan ran to the liquor store for beer and cub for the last minute items.

Chad and Wendy were the first to arrive, then Kevin, Berg and Jeff. The ribs were supposed to be done at 4 but I must not have had the heat high enough so I threw on more coals and kept them smoking. It's probably a good thing that they took longer - otherwise I'd have all of the appetizers leftover too!

The ribs still had a couple of hours left at 7pm so I started on the corn. I slathered on the special butter, wrapped them up and grilled them. We joked about this being a 6 course meal and the corn kept everyone happy for another couple of hours.

9pm comes around and the ribs are obviously done by now but they're not falling off the bone like they usually are. There's about an hour standing between us at this point. We decide to give them 30 more minutes and go back to the spinach dip and beer.

The ribs were gone within 5 minutes. I'm not kidding. They may not have been the usual falling-off-the-bone tender but they were the best tasting ribs I've ever made!

Everyone helped clean up and we (Hyser, Ryan, Farmer, Berg, Jeff, Steve and crap, I forgot his name) headed to The Drink.

We had a couple of drinks, then left the stand-still-smelly-drunk crowd for the Refuge. This would be where I became smelly drunk. But that's besides the point.

I'd like to say I escaped Saturday night injury free, but I can't tell a lie. I am so glad everyone was able to make it though and that they enjoyed the food and company. That's what it's all about! My only regret is not taking any pictures. Of the food, not the aftermath :)

Until the Vikings' first home game... oh how I can't wait! I so have my rib game on!

***Later...
How could I forget the irony of the fact that Big Head Todd was playing at Ribfest at the exact moment that our ribs came off the grill. And though the band was the instigator for the BBQ, we neither saw, heard nor walked by the festival at any point of the night.

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