Wow, what a whirlwind summer! I don’t know about you, but based on all the things I have scheduled in the next two months, I keep having to check the calendar to make sure it’s only July. 🙂
I’m guessing that your lists are just getting longer, too. It seems like we work harder and harder to make time for vacation, and in the meantime, the stress ratchets up. Whew!
Sometimes, dinner can be the perfect getaway without all the fuss.
When Chris and I were competing on the New England barbecue circuit, we gathered financial support by offering “Competition Practice” dinners to our friends, family and coworkers. We would cook a full complement of chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder, and brisket using all of the rubs, sauces, injections, and presentation for competition, and serve it for our guests, just like they were judges.
We even brought them grilled appetizers and desserts, and asked them to give us feedback about what they liked and what they didn’t–“real time” judging wasn’t something we generally had the option of.
Sometimes we packaged up the meats and brought it to sponsors’ homes (or in the case of the night before Tropical Storm Irene–a mid-construction house on top of a mountain–we’re still thankful we did not accept the invite to stay the night, because the road was gone the next day!).
Unlike a competition with judges and “one-bite wows” and a long drive home if the scores didn’t go our way, these dinners were a wonderful opportunity to connect with the people who loved our food and supported us. There was no pressure and a short time commitment; just an afternoon with friends and full bellies and lots of laughter. If something needed a little more sweet or a little less heat, they were there to tell us.
We loved these dinners. They loved these dinners. At the end of dinner, we all felt more full—not just our bellies, but our hearts. These dinners were special, and they led to a lot of trophies and happy memories.
We knew we wanted to recreate that experience for friends (old and new) at our farm.
And we are!
Take a breath and enjoy the summer, if just for one evening. That To Do list can wait!