Tag Archives: barbecue

Start the summer with a bang

Mrs. Poolman and I had a very full Memorial Day weekend. We had two days of “entertaining” and then chilled out and had a down day to start the week.

Our weekend activities started with a visit by our nephew, Bobby, his girlfriend, Callie, and his daughter and her son, ages 10 and 8. They arrived fairly late Friday evening. Writer Princess came over to visit. They sat up late on the pool patio and caught up. I went to bed around midnight. I don’t know how late they kept at it.

On Saturday, Mrs. P and I decided to give the parents a break and took the kids for an outing. The local school system operates a mini-zoo, Oatland Island Wildlife Center, that is open to the public. Although I have lived in Savannah for nearly 19 years, and have driven by the place something like five thousand times (no exaggeration), I had never visited there before Saturday. Everyone had a good time.

Thekids and me at Oatland Island.

Later, we took the kids and their parents out to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Jalapenos.

We spent the rest of the day hanging by the pool and eating a great dinner of London Broil steaks.

I had to slip out for two hours to read at 5:30 Mass. I wasn’t originally scheduled to read this weekend, but I had traded things around before everything was finalized with the weekend company. I was stuck. By the time I got home, my nephew had the London broil steaks nearly cooked.

The festivities continued well into the evening. We had a lot of fun.

Nephew and gang left Sunday morning, just in time to give Mrs. P and me a couple of hours of recovery time before Writer Princess showed up with her group for dinner.  She and Son In Law had three out-of-town friends visiting for the weekend. That’s a lot of people in a one bedroom condo. They all came over for some pool time and pulled pork barbecue.

Come Monday, we were pooped. We went out to lunch for pair of fried shrimp baskets at our favorite seafood place and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging by the pool.

All in all, a good start to the summer season.

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Love that ‘beer butt chicken’

We had some folks over for a “float-in” Sunday afternoon. I cooked some “Beer Butt Chicken.” If you have never tried this, it is worth a shot.

1.) Mrs. P put together an herb rub which she applied to the birds the night before and sealed them in plastic bags in the refrigerator overnight.

2.) You take one can of beer for each bird, and after draining some of the beer (either in the sink or down your throat, as you will), you stick the can of beer into the large cavity of the chicken.

3.) We have some wire frames designed to hold the beer and the chicken, but supposedly you can use the drumsticks to form a tripod and keep the bird-beer combination vertical.

4.) I cooked it slowly on a covered gas grill. It took about an hour and a half, but it doesn’t require a lot of attention. As a matter of fact, I imagine the fewer times you open the grill, the better.

The end result was very tasty and very, very moist and tender chicken. Our company sure seemed to like it. If not, they sure faked it well.

Politics, Hotel Indigo, Superbowl and a great chili

It’s been a few days since I’ve had the chance to sit down and actually write something. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot to write about.

I took a trip to Atlanta last week with my boss and our business officer to schmooze with politicians. This is an annual Chamber of Commerce “kiss up to the state legislature” event. We drove up one morning and spent the day tracking down various state legislators, shaking many hands and asking them not to forget about us (or, even worse, cut us out of the budget.) The day ended with a big seafood-barbecue feast with multiple open bars. I stuck to Diet Coke though. I say enough stupid things when I’m sober, I don’t need my tongue loosened when someone may actually be listening.

We stayed at a Hotel Indigo in midtown Atlanta. I had not stayed there before, although it is part of the Holiday Inn family. I usually stay in HI’s because I’m a member of their points program. In any case, the Hotel Indigo was nice, if somewhat different from your standard business hotel. It’s a smaller, “European style” (not that I’ve actually stayed in a hotel in Europe) hotel. The rooms were smaller, but quite stylish.

From the hotel Web site, but a pretty accurate depiction of my room.

The bathroom was very small. I could have handled my “business” while shaving and brushing my teeth if I had wanted to do so. Altogether though, I liked it, and I’ll be back.

On Sunday morning, Mrs. P and I did something we almost never do; we went out for a nice Sunday brunch. We should really do this more often. On a Sunday morning or mid-day, we may go to our favorite Mexican restaurant or to a breakfast place, but almost never to someplace where, for instance, you might actually think about ordering a mimosa or a Bloody Mary. We went to our favorite seafood restaurant. I ordered the shrimp and grits and was disappointed. It was good for what it was, but it was very mild and creamy. I definitely prefer it with a little kick to it. (See the recipe in the Food tab above.) Next time, I’ll stick with my favorite, fried shrimp.

Over the rest of the weekend, we ran errands and continued the clean up and clean out process around the house. We finally got all the boxes and extra furniture out of our family room.

To celebrate, we had a few folks over to watch the Superbowl. It wasn’t a big event, just some of our close friends. However, everyone brought food and we had enough to feed a small African country.

Mrs. P made here white bean chili, which is fantastic.

White Bean Chili

I have trouble getting my imagination and taste buds around a chicken-based “chili.” However, if I think of it as just a spicy, chicken based bean soup, it’s easier to handle.  The recipe comes straight from a Southern Living Cookbook and I’ve added it to the “Food” tab at the top of the page. Give it a shot. You will not be disappointed. Be sure to make sure you include the shredded jalapeno-jack cheese when you serve it. That is an essential step that is not to be omitted.

The waning weekends of summer

We’ve had a nice weekend, even if the best of goals were not achieved.

I started out on Friday afternoon by accompanying one of our faculty scientists to a talk at a nearby retirement community. The talk went well, but only about 8 of the residents turned out. I need to talk with their activities organizer. If they want us to come back, we need a few more bodies to make it worth the effort. Our break-even target is an audience of at least 20.

Saturday was spent doing household chores and running errands. I did get excited about one purchase. (It doesn’t take much. As Mrs. Poolman says, I’m easily amused.) We have a Goodwill Store nearby.Chair It is in the same strip shopping center as the local Ace Hardware Store. Since I am in Ace at least once every weekend, I usually pop into Goodwill to see what they have. I have purchased books (50 cents for paperbacks), a golf club and putter ($5 each) and other miscellaneous stuff. Well I have been shopping around for a desk-chair to go in my “home office” (work in progress.) Even the less expensive ones of the style I want are $50-100 at Office Max or Staples. But “lo and behold”, there in Goodwill Saturday morning was an almost-new desk-chair for the exorbitant price of $19.99. Sold!

Goodwill rocks!!!

Saturday evening Mrs. Poolman and I went to a fundraiser event at Ft Jackson, a local historic site. One of Writer Princess’s best friend’s husband (who we know) is the site manager and organized the event. We went to show support. It was a nice time. Silent auction, music, beer, wine, barbecue and low country boil. Ft Jackson eventThe evening was capped with a cannon firing (I thought Mrs.Poolman was going to be knocked over by the shock wave.) and fireworks. I was outbid for a James MacPherson Civil War history book. I told the folks who put in the winning big that the book stunk and they wouldn’t like it. They didn’t listen and outbid me anyway. In any case, it was a good time had by all.

The fort overlooks the Savannah River and I did get a couple of shots of sunset. Nothing spectacular, but it was colorful.

Sunset blog

Back to work tomorrow.