Saturday, September 14, 2019

Midway Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Hoagies

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  We received no compensation for this post.

The Tennessee Valley Fair has been running in Knoxville.  As a kid, I loved the local fair with its bright lights, blaring sounds, and whirring "one loose bolt away from a catastrophe" rides.  Then there was the food - eating brilliant red candy apples, clouds of cotton candy, and fried funnel cakes until you might explode.  

One of my favorite memories of the fair is the smell of peppers, onions, and sausage wafting across the midway.  Here's how I make the best fair sausage hoagie at home on my Big Green Egg.  These are quick and they are also fantastic for gameday food.


Midway style sausage, peppers, and onions on a toasted hoagie.

So, this isn't as much a recipe, I mean, it's just sausage, peppers and onions, right?  But there are a few key steps in my process that make it better.

  1. Toasting the bun
  2. Using a griddle or cast-iron skillet 
  3. Seasoning the peppers and onions
  4. Splitting the sausage
  5. Using ultra-thin provolone on the veggies and meat

Big Green Egg using a Smokeware thermometer.
I like to run the grill about 400°f for sausage hoagies.

I toast the hoagie rolls cut side down without butter or anything.  I skip brushing them with butter or anything because there is enough rendered fat clinging to the sausage and veggies.  

Friday, September 6, 2019

Competition Style Ribs

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post.

I did a couple of racks of competition style ribs and then fed them to our neighbors at the pool a few weeks ago.  My competition rib process hasn't changed that much so I won't rehash it here.

Competition style pork spare ribs from a Kamado grill featuring Cheshire Heritage Pork ribs


Big Green Egg Modular Nest with two racks of spare ribs
I start with thick Cheshire Heritage Pork St Louis-style trimmed pork spare ribs.  They aren't cheap but I have had the best results with these.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Event Coverage: 2019 Big Kahuna Wings Festival a World Food Championships Qualifier

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post.

The 7th Annual Big Kahuna Wing Festival was this past weekend.  The crowds consumed some 20,000 pounds of delicious Springer Mountain Farms chicken wings during the festival and enjoyed a full schedule of entertainment activities.  

Big Kahuna Wing Festival in Knoxville, TN

Thirty-One teams competed for the "Big Kahuna" title, giving them bragging rights for the best wing in Knoxville.  But this is also a World Food Championships Qualifying Event, so the winner gets to go to Dallas later this year to compete for $100,000 at the World Food Championships sponsored by Walmart.  

Three members of our BBQ team are EAT Certified Food Judges and we were selected to judge this qualifying event.  Here is how to become a judge for the World Food Championships, if you're curious.  

Alexis and I have been judges for a few years and have judged both regional qualifiers and categories at the World Food Championships.

Mike McCloud of the World Food Championships giving judging instructions.
World Food Championships founder, Mike McCloud, gives the certified food judges assignments and special instructions for the event.

The judging format for this event was altered from the typical EAT methodology, with the approval and oversight of the WFC organization.  The judging utilized the EAT scoring system but instead of double-blind judging, this event had live on-site judging like Memphis in May.  The competitors got to present and explain their wings to us, and we got to ask questions.  As a judge, I found this experience to be much more fun and feel that I had a better understanding of the wing that I was judging.  That said, blind judging has its own set of benefits.

I was excited to be a part of this controlled experiment, and I'm glad that WFC has the confidence to explore alterations to the EAT methodology, such as on-site judging.  Who knows if this will lead anywhere, but WFC is all about innovation so you never know.  

Due to the altered format, we had a different scorecard than EAT Certified Food Judges typically use.
We were broken up into groups of 5 or 6 judges with a captain and assigned a section of teams that our group would be judging.  Then we were off to carefully evaluate the wings served to us.


Big Kahuna Wing Festival in Knoxville, TN
The location of the festival is the site of the 1982 World's Fair, thus the cryptically named World's Fair Park.  The Sunsphere, is a remnant of the World's Fair and is a Knoxville landmark.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger

[FTC Standard Disclosure] I received no direct compensation for this post; however, I have accepted two trips to the Certified Angus Beef® Brand Culinary Center this year.

I just ate the best burger last night - a pan-seared Certified Angus Beef® Brand burger on a toasted bun topped with sauteed onions, homemade pepper jack pimento cheese, and our home-cured bacon.

Bacon and Pimento Cheese Burger featuring Certified Angus Beef Brand Schweid and Sons
This burger was cheesy, smoky, gooey, and slightly spicy from the poblano and pepper jack cheese.  I would be thrilled to get this burger at a sports pub.

Dinner was a last-minute thought process last night.  Alexis was calling me from Food City and I just told her to buy "burger stuff."  I wasn't sure what kind of burger I was going to make, burgers just sounded like a good idea.

Schweid & Sons burger patties are ideal for quick dinner solutions.
My favorite way to make a burger is to start with a home ground brisket and sirloin flap blend, but I wasn't about to do all of that tonight.  For quick nights like this, we often go with Schweid and Son's.  The C.A.B. All American is made with Certified Angus Beef® Brand chuck with the One Percenter burgers are made with USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef® Brand beef.

When Alexis got home, she reminded me that we had a batch of Pepper Jack Pimento Cheese that we made earlier in the week.  Naturally, we decided to make pimento cheese burgers.

Digging in the freezer, Alexis found some home-cured Sorghum and Bourbon Bacon that we smoked a while back.  The burgers just got upgraded.

My set up for the cook was a large Big Green Egg filled with Tennessee hardwood lump charcoal lit in three places with a gas torch.  I ran it with direct heat in the 400°f range for the bacon and onions.  When I put the burgers on, I upped the temperature to 450°f.

I placed a small cast-iron skillet directly on the grill grates.  I added a bit of beef tallow and then a thinly sliced onion for sauteed onions.  I just tossed them every few minutes until they were golden brown.  Then I seasoned them with some of my finely ground beef rub, but you could just use salt and pepper.

Cooking bacon in cast iron skillet on a Big Green Egg
This Sorghum Bourbon Bacon is a recipe from my second book, The Offset Smoker Cookbook.  That's cooking in a Lodge 8SK, a fantastic skillet for the grill.  It is inexpensive, built like a tank and fits well inside an Egg or other 18" sized grill.  Just take care of it, and you'll have a grill skillet for life.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Product Review: Challenger Designs Torch 48 Grilling Cart

Earlier this year, Grillin' Garry hosted a raffle fund-raiser benefiting The Center for Violence-Free Relationships.  The project doubled the raised funds thanks to a matching contribution from Blue Cross Blue Shield of California.

Alexis bought an entry ticket and that's the last we thought of it.  We frequently enter various charity raffles but never win, we just consider it a donation.  So Alexis was shocked when she got a notification that she had won the grand prize - a Challenger Designs Torch 48 grilling cart.

Review of Challenger Designs Torch 48 grill cart

Challenger Design grilling carts are recognized as the Ferrari of grilling tables. I've wanted one ever since my sister bought hers several years ago, because of the well thought out design and meticulous construction. 

My sister's Challenger Designs Torch 48 with a large Big Green Egg and Mini-Max.
My sister's challenger cart is over 5 years old and has spent the entire time exposed to the humid elements in Florida, but it remains in fantastic condition.  Here we are using it to smoke green chile pork butt for the North East Florida Eggfest a few years ago.

Why are the Challenger Design carts so good?  For me, it comes down to quality, dry-storage, and durability.

  • Quality - The Challenger Designs Torch is designed and made with a focus on "good enough isn't good enough."  Everything fits together, snug and secure.  When you shut a cabinet door, you can hear the quality.  When you slide a drawer out, it feels smooth and steady.  Just looking at the sleek cabinet, the quality is evident.
  • Dry-Storage - The cabinets are weatherproof and keep out the dirt and moisture.  Now I can keep things like my Flame Boss, my Thermoworks electronics, and my heat gloves out by the grill all of the time.  No more having to run inside to grab gloves or a Thermapen at the last minute.
  • Durability -Let's face it, the Challenger Designs Torch isn't cheap.  It had better last so you can spread the cost out over many, many years.  They use non-corrosive, lightweight aluminum that won't warp, rot, or rust and back it with a limited lifetime warranty.  My sister's cart stays in a rather harsh environment, and it has stood the test of time.


I was THRILLED to add the Challenger Designs Torch 48 to my outdoor line-up.  To the left is a large BGE with a BGE Modular Nest.  Center is a large BGE in the new Challenger Designs cart and to the right is my BGE Mini-Max on a basic stainless cart from Sam's.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Event Notice: AmazingRibs announces Pitmaster Club Meat-Up In Memphis

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post.

If you follow my blog, you know that I love grilling meetups where grillings and BBQ enthusiasts from all over the country get together for a few days of amazing food, sharing techniques, and meeting new friends.  The number 1 BBQ website, AmazingRibs.com, is putting together a Meat-Up in Memphis, one of the BBQ capitals of the US.  Here is the press release for more info - 


AMAZINGRIBS.COM ANNOUNCES “PITMASTER CLUB MEAT-UP IN MEMPHIS”

– Inaugural Event Brings BBQ Lovers Together In The Capital City Of Pork BBQ For
Spectacular Food, Seminars, And Fellowship –

MEMPHIS, TN (AUGUST 21, 2019) – AmazingRibs.com, the world’s leading outdoor cooking
resource, today unveiled details for the AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Club Meat-Up In Memphis,
a first-of-its-kind BBQ weekend filled with spectacular food, seminars, and fellowship taking
place in Memphis from July 31 - August 2, 2020. The event is limited to 400 attendees, so early
registration is encouraged.

This is THE ONLY barbecue conference for consumers, bringing enthusiasts together in one of
the BBQ meccas to experience some great educational sessions, enjoy some amazing food
prepared by renowned BBQ competitors and restauranteurs, and socialize with fellow Pitmaster
Club members.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Grilled Steak and Shrimp

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I have taken the year off from sponsorships; however, I have accepted two educational trips to the Certified Angus Beef® Brand Culinary Center this year.

When you go to the store to pick something up for dinner, do you tend to:
  1. Go to buy a specific protein and have a recipe idea in mind, OR
  2. Go to see what protein looks so good that you can't pass it up and build the meal around that?
If we are just cooking for ourselves, we generally go with the latter.  Alexis and I went to Food City earlier this week and found a package of thin-sliced, USDA Prime, Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY strip steaks.  They also had 26/30 count shrimp for sale, so we decided to make a quick grilled steak and shrimp. 


Grilled NY Strip Steak with Shrimp featuring Certified Angus Beef Brand from Food City

These steaks were thin, weighing in at 6 ounces each.  That's what I call "breakfast steaks" because they are perfect for a quick sear in a skillet and serve along with some fried eggs.  Or in this case, a quick grill and served with buttery, garlicky shrimp.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Grilled Chicken Pita on the Big Green Egg

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post.

I have been on a Middle Eastern food kick lately so Alexis and I made these fantastic Chicken Pitas with Tzatziki last week.  I marinated the chicken with a spicy oregano vinaigrette and then grilled it to perfection - juicy and bursting with flavor.

Grilled Chicken Pitas with Tzatziki cooked on a Big Green Egg kamado grill

I blame my Middle Eastern cravings on Knoxville's own Yassin's Falafel House.  Yassin's has a message of inclusivity and tolerance and won Reader's Digest's Nicest Place in America last year.  They also happen to make insanely good falafel and one of the best gyros I have ever had.

Yassin's Falafel House in Knoxville has the best gyros and falafel.

We ate at the Yassin's in West Knoxville last week, and it was fabulous as always.  The next night, I was still craving Middle Eastern delights, so we whipped up these pitas.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Recipe Cook: Spiralized Vietnamese Cucumber Salad.....with Chicken!

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post.

Leave it to me to add meat to a vegetarian dish.

Like everyone, Alexis and I are trying to eat a little healthier as we get older.  Last night, we were going to make this Vietnamese Cucumber Noodle Salad from the May 2019 issue of Eating Well magazine.  It is spiralized cucumbers and carrots tossed in a version of nuoc cham and topped with cilantro and peanuts.  I just had to add some grilled chicken breast.  


I wanted to give the chicken a little Asian flair, but I didn't have time for a marinade, so I improvised.  I used Albukirky Green Chile Rub, which is Southwestern US, but with salt, pepper, chiles, and garlic, it isn't too big a stretch for Asian.  I took 1 tablespoon of the rub and added a 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of Olde Virden's Spicy Verde for heat.  I seasoned two butterflied chicken breasts with that, and the flavor was passable as Asian.

My "weapon of choice" for this small cook was the Big Green Egg Mini-Max.  A small kamado (13-14") grill is perfect for small amounts like this, plus the grill heats up quickly and doesn't use much coal at all.  

My set up was a Kick Ash Basket full of Parker's Tennessee Hardwood Charcoal, a woo ring, and a stock BGE cast iron grate
 
I grilled the butterflied chicken breasts halves for about 6 minutes a side at 450°f until they registered 155°f on my Thermapen.  Butterflied thin like this, they will cook all the way through on the carryover cooking, so I pull them a bit early to keep them juicy.

So we made the salad as written and just topped it with this spicy grilled chicken.



I'm not a huge fan of cucumber, but this was surprisingly good.  I want to use the cucumber noodles and make some kind of gyro salad with some seasoned ground beef, shaved red onion, and tzatziki sauce.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Pepper Jack and Chili Juicy Lucy Burgers on the BGE Mini-Max

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post.  I took a year off of sponsorships this year, but I still like to disclose that I have a close relationship with the Certified Angus Beef® Brand.

Last night, thunderstorms and hail were moving through our area while I grilled these knock-out Juicy Lucy style burgers stuffed with chili and pepper jack cheese. 

Juicy Lucy Style Certified Angus Beef Brand Burger Stuffed with Chili and Pepper Jack Cheese

I haven't done Juicy Lucy-style burgers in a month of Sundays.  The craving just hit me when I was standing at Food City looking at a pretty Certified Angus Beef® Brand chuck roast that was just begging to be fresh ground for burgers.

I've probably tried a dozen burger presses and Juicy Lucy tools.  In general, I find that just making patties by hand is the easiest way to go.  Just make two 3-4 ounce patties, put your cheese between them, and seal the edges.  But last night, I broke out the ol' Burger Pocket Press that I got years ago just for grins and giggles.  It actually does a good job, I just hate cleaning 4 pieces, that's the only downside.  Well, that and the cost.  No way it should cost $40.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Beef Back Ribs with Chimichurri on the Big Green Egg

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I do not receive any compensation for this post; however, I will be paid for my book sales.

The gauchos of Argentina knew what they were doing when they paired grilled beef with chimichurri.  The pungent flavor combination makes my mouth water every time.

This past weekend I found a nice rack of beef back ribs and decided to make the Beef Back Ribs with Chimichurri from my new book, The Offset Smoker Cookbook (Ulysses Press).  The only difference was this time, I used a Big Green Egg instead of an offset smoker.  Everything in this book can be cooked just as easily on a kamado instead of an offset.  The full recipe details are in the book but you can probably figure everything out from the details given here.


Beef Back Ribs with Chimichurri from The Offset Smoker Cookbook
Picture from The Offset Smoker Cookbook.

Types of Beef Ribs

I need to do an entire post about different types of beef ribs, but for today's purpose, I'll generalize and say there are two types of beef ribs (there are more). 

  • Beef Short Ribs - Cut from the Plate or Chuck primals, beef short ribs eat like brisket - luscious and beefy.  We smoke them whole, but in the grocery store, you'll see them trimmed down to half-sized individual ribs or flanken-style (Korean).  They are big, take a long time to cook, and a single rib will feed 1 to 2 people.
  • Beef Back Ribs - These are the rib bones that you see on a bone-in prime rib.   Beef back ribs are the leftovers once the butcher breaks a whole ribeye down into a boneless roast or ribeye steaks.  Naturally, these eat more like ribeye steak.  They LOOK big when you buy them, but they will shrink down quite a bit.  Back ribs are scrappy little things but still delicious.  Count on 2 bones per person.  


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Spicy Potatoes Au Gratin on the Big Green Egg

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post.  A few of the links are Amazon Affiliate links, but I paid full price for the products mentioned.

I'm home alone this weekend and had a craving for potatoes au gratin last night, so I whipped this together for my dinner.  Sorry that some of the pictures are dark, it came off the grill right as the sun was almost set.

 
Potatoes au Gratin cooked on a Big Green Egg Mini-Max kamado grill.

The first problem I ran into was that I had no milk or cream for the base.  But I did have some Mexican crema, so I mixed a cup and a half of that with a half cup of chicken stock and about a tablespoon of my NMT Beef Rub v.2.  Basically, I mixed it to taste.

OXO Good Grips Mandonline slicer
I brought out the mandoline, aka the "destroyer of fingers."  I sliced half of a Vidalia onion at 1/16th inch and Yukon gold potatoes to 1/8th inch.  

Monday, July 8, 2019

Ribeye Steak with Compound Butter

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this post.  But in full disclosure, although I took the year off from working directly with Certified Angus Beef® Brand, I have been sponsored by them in the past and plan to return to the program next year.

I stopped by Food City before Independence Day to pick up a chicken for a recipe I had in mind.  But I had to pick up a steak when I saw that they were having a big sale on Certified Angus Beef® Brand steaks.  I still got the chicken...I just got a steak, too.

Certified Angus Beef Ribeye Steaks at Food City
Food City had USDA Choice and Prime C.A.B. ribeyes on sale for a price I couldn't ignore.
Certified Angus Beef Ribeye Steaks from Food City in Knoxville
I hand-picked this beautiful USDA Prime, Certified Angus Beef® Brand ribeye steak.

A Bit about Steak Quality Terms
Are you confused by all of the Angus beef offerings these days?  In addition to USDA grades of Prime, Choice, and Select, at the meat counter you now see vague terms like premium, champion, and more.  Let's take a look at what it all means.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Book Launch Celebration

 My second book comes out later this month on July 22nd.  I'm excited to share that I will be having a Book Launch Celebration at East Tennessee's go-to retailer for BBQ and grilling gear and suppliers - Elder's Ace Hardware.  The event will take place on Big Green Egg Tuesday, July 23rd from 5 to 7pm.




Come out and join us.  Big Green Egg Tuesdays at Elder's Ace Hardware are always a good time.  We keep things informal but informative: sharing techniques, demonstrating recipes, and answering questions.  Think of it like hanging out on a friend's patio, grilling and shooting the breeze about BBQ.


The book is titled The Offset Smoker Cookbook published by Ulysses Press.  While it is geared towards the backyard-level offset smokers, the recipes can be cooked on just about any smoker.  Since the Book Launch Celebration coincides with Elder's Green Egg Tuesday, I will prove that point by cooking the recipes on Big Green Egg's.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Asian Pork Belly Cocktail Skewers

[FTC Disclosure] I received no compensation for this post.

Alexis and I made these fantastic little gems to take to a deck party at a friends house last weekend.  The Luxardo cherry, teriyaki grilled pineapple, and honey-sriracha glazed pork belly were a powerful combination, and they disappeared pretty quickly.

Cocktail skewers are fun ideas for party appetizers
Asian glazed pork belly with teriyaki grilled pineapple and sweet cherry.

Party food recipe or grilled appetizer
The cocktail skewers are a good idea for party appetizers.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Bourbon Butter Pork Chops with Cheesy Potatoes

[FTC Standard Disclosure] I have a business agreement with Oklahoma Joe's; however, it has nothing to do with this blog or my social media.  I received no compensation for this post.

A boatload of good grilling and BBQ books have come out in the past few years.  At the time things were busy, and I didn't get to spend the time cooking them.  Now I'm delving back into these books like these ridiculously good pork chops from the book Praise the Lard by Mike Mills and Amy Mills.


The original recipe was Bourbon-Buttered Reverse Sear Double-Cut Pork Chops.  I only had single-thick chops, so I made it work, I just had to adjust the length of the smoking portion of the cook.  We also made the Cheesy Potatoes recipe from the same book and fire-roasted summer squash. 


The Top Shelf Bourbon Butter melts over the smoky chops creating an intense buttery sauce.  
I made the sides in a large Big Green Egg and did the chops and bacon on the Oklahoma Joe's Bronco drum smoker.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Event: Certified Angus Beef BBQ Summit 2019

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I was fortunate to have my travel, food, and lodging for this trip paid for by Certified Angus Beef® Brand.

May is National BBQ Month and Certified Angus Beef® Brand kicked things off by hosting their first BBQ Summit at their Culinary Center.  They brought in amazing pitmasters from legendary BBQ joints across the country to do some hands-on butchery lessons, discuss the science behind the sizzle, light the spark of new recipe concepts, and share their BBQ stories.

2019 BBQ Summit at Certified Angus Beef Brand

The BBQ talent that attended this event was so incredible that if I were to start dropping names, you'd have to put on steel-toed boots!  I was thrilled to be invited to tag along, and I wanted to share the fun and information with you.

Day 1 Travel and Reception Dinner

The first day was a travel day for everyone, but the chefs and crew at the Culinary Center put together one heck of a reception and dinner.

Airport routing is always interesting, I flew into Cleveland from Knoxville by way of NYC.

The Certified Angus Beef® Brand's Culinary Center is located in Wooster, Ohio, adjacent to their corporate headquarters.  It houses a gorgeous meeting room, offices, a newly expanded dining facility, a full-service bar, the Meat Lab, and two commercial kitchens - one front facing and a typical "back of the house" kitchen.

The reception started off with a vast charcuterie table featuring many of their house-made dried beef sausages.  I could have just eaten that and been fat and happy.  

2019 BBQ Summit at Certified Angus Beef Brand
Do you remember The Big Salad episode of Seinfeld?  Chef Brad Parker does! Here he is putting together a huge salad, Elaine would approve.  I'm not sure if that is a paella pan or a satellite dish stolen from a deep space observatory, that thing is gargantuan! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Giveaway: Operation BBQ - 200+ Smokin' Recipes from Competition Grand Champions - UPDATED

Operation BBQ Relief is one of the best organizations that you can support.  OBR was founded to feed survivors and first responders in the wake of the Joplin Tornado in 2011.  Since then, Operation BBQ Relief has gone on to have 57 deployments and provide over 2.9 million meals to those in need and first responders.  

The organization has released Operation BBQ - 200+ Smokin' Recipes from Competition Grand Champions as a fundraiser and this is a top-notch, rocking BBQ and grilling cookbook.


Let's face it, sometimes community fund-raiser cookbooks are a hodge-podge of hit and miss recipes.  They are often full of lack-luster recipes like Aunt Judy's jello mold or are unoriginal casserole recipes copied from the label on a can of condensed "cream of whatever" soup.

Not this one!  Every single recipe in Operation BBQ comes from a competition BBQ team that has at least one Grand Champion victory to their credit.  The recipes are kickin' and the photography by Ken Goodman is drool-inducing.  For example....

Jalapeno and Applewood Bacon Burgers with Smoked Vermont Cheddar and Crispy Vidalia Onions by Three Men and A Babyback BBQ Team (page 147).  Photo from the book.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Event Recap: 2019 Sunshine State Eggfest in Vero Beach, FL

The Nibble Me This Grilling & BBQ Team had a fun-filled time at the Sunshine State Eggfest hosted by Wassi's Meat Market this past weekend in Vero Beach.


An Eggfest is a food festival that features mouth-watering grilled delights cooked on Big Green Eggs by teams of "Eggheads" (BGE enthusiasts).  This year there were 41 grilling teams, 8 restaurant teams, and 10 vendor teams participating in the event that raises money for Candlelighters of Brevard.

So much fun, food, and fellowship go on at these events that it is impossible to capture it all in a post.  But here are some pictures from the weekend to give you an idea of what goes on at these food festivals.

For Alexis and me, it starts with loading up the truck with coolers, hotboxes, grilling tools, and whatever else we can fit in the Titan XD.   Our drive for this event was 13 hours thanks to traffic so we got to the AirBnB (actually VBRO?) after dark. 

I woke up the next morning and saw that Sean was fishing at dawn. I rolled over an got another hour or two of sleep, the fish could wait.  Photo credit: Rhonda Hollis

We were on the Indian River which brings back memories of driving to Cape Canaveral to watch Apollo and Shuttle launches.   Rhonda got this fantastic picture from the balcony.
Usually, we do most of the food prep on Thursday at Rhonda's home so we have Friday to goof off and finish up any details.  This year; however, work got in the way and we ended up prepping most everything on Friday.