Spring is upon us. The balmy weather just around the corner opens up the exciting great outdoors to all kinds of fun things. Strolling the beaches in the spring and summer is always pleasurable. This year B. J. and I hope to roam some new beaches both in the U. S. and abroad.
However, one of our favorite activities for the spring and summer is firing up the old grill, getting some good friends together for some great camaraderie and doing some grilling and BBQing.
Cooking out has been a favorite activity of our family for many years. I developed a love for cooking out when I was a youngster. Fish-frys and outdoor BBQs were the order of the day for our family.
When my sister Flo took a husband during WW2, he brought a whole new dimension of outdoor cooking to our family. Steaks, chicken, ribs, pork chops, wild game and a variety of other meats and veggies were on the grill at least once a week. Brother-in-law J. W. was a master at cooking on the grill. I took up some of my family habits and continued the tradition to this day.
One of my churches loved to cook out and when they discovered that their pastor was skilled in grilling, I fell into the position of senior pastor/head chef. We cooked fish, venison, chicken, and etc. I trained a cooking team that got community attention and we were occasionally asked to cook for events outside our own locale. We not only cooked up fundelicious food, we stirred up a lot of good companionship as well. On one occasion, our team grilled approximately 1000 chicken halves.
Upon our retirement, we moved to St. Simons Island, we wanted to put a little spark into our neck of the island so before we had hardly gotten settled into our cozy nook, we invited some friends and neighbors over for a chicken-que; they were elated.
B. J., my strong right arm, is always ready for a party. We got right to getting things ready. We invited around thirty-five people. We would discover that that was way too many for our dining room and we would have to set up tables under our carport.
On the day of the cookout, we got things ready. I had my grills ready. Showtime (eating time) was at 5:30pm. I put the chicken on the grills at 4:00pm. It wasn’t long before the savory aroma of the sizzling chicken was permeating the surrounding community.
Cardy and Dottie Edmundson, our almost-next-door neighbors, came early and while Dottie helped B. J. get things ready in the kitchen, Cardy gave me moral support with the cooking. The fragrance of the queing chicken was teasing sinuses all around the area.
Soon our party began to gather. There was happy fellowship amongst the company and appetites were being whetted. Bedeviling our tastes even more was dunking the chicken in JEB’s Old Fashioned Hickory Smoked BBQ Sauce. It was a fundelicious time that day at our house on St. Simons, Island.
This spring and summer, my and B. J.’s calendar is already filled with fun activities which, of course, includes some outdoor cooking. Along the way, we added a new attraction to our events—music and entertainment; our guests love it!
Although, we haven’t nailed down a particular date for our spring-fling, we have it strong on our minds. We have a list of musicians and entertainers who hopefully will be our entertainment. We hope we can persuade our grandson Dustin to come down from Dacula and bring his band.
One of our favorite “extras” on the grill along with the chicken is sausage links from the world famous Sausage Kitchen on Lake Blackshear near Cordele, Ga. We are headed there tomorrow (Thursday) with our cooler to fill it up with mouth-watering sausage. We will also pick up some fresh “peanut belt” peanuts to make some spring peanut brittle.
Yesssiree! Cookout time is almost here and B. J. and I are getting psyched up for some great food and fun-it’s a family tradition on our island.