Last week blogging buddy Larry of Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings and his family once again took an RV trip to our neck of the woods near Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, Georgia. For more about their trip and where they stayed, check Larry's post here. You may remember we, along with Meakin's brother Stuart and his wife Sandy, toured wineries in north Georgia last fall with Larry and his wife Beverly and SIL Pat, post here.
This year he brought along his three granddaughters and we thought it would be fun to get together again, but this time have an old-fashioned picnic-style lunch with BBQ ribs and burgers at Stuart's house. Of course no summer picnic is complete without watermelon and to make it even more fun, Meakin suggested a watermelon seed spitting contest for the girls.
This posts looks longer than normal, but never fear, it’s mostly pictures.
Neither of the three girls had ever participated in a seed spitting contest, so a little help and encouragement was needed from Grandmom Beverly. I wish I had a picture of Meakin showing them his seed spitting secrets. It was pricless, but he was the photographer…
They finally mastered the art themselves as you can see from the lead photo, and everyone had a good time.
I had raved about the fabulous sweet and spicy pineapple flavored BBQ pork ribs that Larry made for the annual blogger get-together earlier this year at his house on Tellico Lake on Memorial Day (post with recipe here) and he graciously offered to show us how to make them while he was here.
As he explained to Meakin and Stuart, first you have to remove the silver skin on the ribs. I would have thought that would have been difficult, but Larry made it look easy by just lifting the white skin and, using a butter knife for help, just raised it up with his fingers and discarded it.
Then using a dry rub, he massaged the rub in on both sides of the ribs.
The ribs were then smoked on Stuart’s smoker (notice the wine cork: it was run through the probe of the thermometer to keep it from touching the grill - another nice tip from Larry)
until they were ready for Larry to brush on his marinade made up of pineapple juice, a little more dry rub, balsamic vinegar, and minced garlic. You can find the recipe for the ribs and the marinade on Larry’s blog post here.
The ribs were cooked for a while longer and here’s the finished product. They are exactly how I like them – falling-off-the-bone tender with lots of flavor.
I made a succotash salad that’s been on my blog before (recipe here)
and some Southern pimento cheese sandwiches that got gobbled up before we could get a picture. I used my own pimento cheese recipe (here), but took my inspiration for making the sandwiches from Gena Knox in her charming cookbook Southern My Way.
I like Gena's book a lot, primarily because not everything is fried or smothered in butter. I am a 5th generation Southerner and not all Southerners cooked that way, and that would include my mother and grandmother. And furthermore, in many households, including mine, we had African-American help. In fact I was raised by a lady named Rhoda, who I wrote about one Mother's Day as my "other" mother, post here. I can guarantee you that no racial slurs were ever used or tolerated in my house and I don't even want to imagine how much trouble I would have been in had I used one. Don't believe everything you hear about Southerners. We are not all alike by any means. Whew, I just had to get that off of my chest.
|Photo from Southern My Way
I love the chopped parsley on the side of the sandwiches. James Beard first made chopped parsley on the side of finger sandwiches popular when he introduced the food world to his classic sliced onion sandwiches in 1974. It's simple to do - smear a tiny bit of mayonnaise on the side of the sandwich and dip it in finely chopped parsley.
Stuart grilled burgers and dressed them with his secret sauce and later Sandy made ice cream sundaes for the girls and then the picnic ended with the watermelon seed spitting contest. All in all it was a great day with family and good friends. I want to thank Larry for showing us some of his secrets of how to make great ribs. He is THE king of the grill in my book. Meakin, were you taking notes?
This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, and Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper.