September 2022 – a Mighty Fine Shindig!

Sep 25 2022
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September 2022 – PHEW! Well we had a wonderful reception out here the first weekend of September with nearly 100 of our friends and family joining us to celebrate our getting married in June. It was a BIG weekend, starting Friday with the last of our company not leaving until Sunday evening. Several of my moms cousins came, folks that spent a lot of time at this old farm during their child hoods. To say that there were a few tears shed over the barn is an understatement but it was so awesome to hear stories about this place and my grandparents from years back.

When Sunday evening rolled around and the majority of the place had been picked up and the last of our family left Lodi and I looked at each other and had no idea what to do with ourselves.

You don’t realize how much of yourself goes into planning an event until its over lol.

Thank goodness Monday was a holiday and gave us that extra day of recuperation and clean up time!

I spent the majority of the day Friday doing all of the cooking.

Saturday hit and all I had to do was plug in crock pots before everyone arrived. (Mom and I did all of the cooking – I handled the meat and she took on the salads. We enjoy it – but it is a lot of work! Check out the menu and how we did it at the end of this post.)

Lodi did such an incredible job whipping our yard into shape. He even swept out the whole barn in case anyone might want to look inside! We gave half of our pasture over to camping and parking, pulling dozens of fence posts and putting up temporary fencing for our horse.

Fortunately our old horse didn’t seem to mind TOO much during the party but by Sunday he had had enough of our shenanigans.

September 2022 - PHEW! Well we had a wonderful reception out here the first weekend of September with over 80 of our friends and family

September 2022 - PHEW! Well we had a wonderful reception out here the first weekend of September with over 80 of our friends and family

September 2022 - PHEW! Well we had a wonderful reception out here the first weekend of September with over 80 of our friends and family

September 2022 on Monday our next door neighbors decided to do some target shooting and that, apparently, was Garcia’s last straw.

He is a flighty, spooky, beautiful, idiot and went right through our temporary fence. That afternoon I saw him out by barn… with no fence near him lol.

It was always Gar’s safe place (up by the barn with nothing near him) its a typical need to be able to “run” in horses that, even at 30 years old, is not an ignorable instinct. The smaller the enclosure the more panicky and claustrophobic he’s always become.

We took the hint and got his pasture back to him ASAP.

He really handled the party well though but, to be fair, he also got a lot of treats out of the deal.

I’ve had Gar for 24 years now and plan on having a photo shoot very soon to recreate some pictures of him and me back when I was 11 and he was 6. He’s still in great shape and, clearly, still quite full of piss and vinegar.

(Garcia is a pureblooded Arabian so 30 isn’t quite as ancient as it would be in other breeds of horses but its still really old.)

For the party Lodi rented a bouncy castle which was absolutely the best idea of the day. It was like a 30 kid mosh pit! One of my little nephews came out of it with a torn shirt and a black eye and the biggest grin on his face I’ve ever seen.

Friends of ours brought their three farm dogs with them so Annie simply joined the pack.

We had three sets of cornhole boards (one of which I actually made a couple years ago) and we set up a badminton net.

Our new pea gravel lower deck was finally appreciated and used both Friday and Saturday night. The weather was perfect. Not too hot during the day yet cool enough we all wanted to cozy up to the fire by night fall.

It was a mighty fine shin dig and made my heart so happy!

September 2022

The next weekend Lodi took our side by side to his brother’s garage and installed a new snow plow on it for us this winter.

As for me, that next weekend, I simply puttered at home and it felt amazing just to have a couple quiet days.

This is the time of year I think we all start getting that autumn feeling. The desire to burrow, to prepare for winter, to have no plans. A getting tired of even our vegetable gardens (at least I am a little lol).

It is not winter we are looking forward to so much as just the slowing down of our lives… and winter forces that.

Our garden produced well this year. We have a ton of frozen produce to look forward to. I did not pickle this year because our cucumbers didn’t do well but our squash, peas, lettuce, carrots, kohlrabi and green beans did amazing.

September 2022, we have hay for the horse and pellets for our stove put up for the winter.

The air conditioner long came out of the window and into storage.

I am ready for our lives to get smaller again, to pull back into just our four walls.

I am ready to return my attention back into our home.

September 2022 - PHEW! Well we had a wonderful reception out here the first weekend of September with over 80 of our friends and family

September 2022 - PHEW! Well we had a wonderful reception out here the first weekend of September with over 80 of our friends and family

MENU:

I’ve had several folks ask what our menu was and how we fed 100 people without losing our minds lol.

CONEY DOG / TACO BAR!

10 pounds of taco meat, 5 pounds of rotel queso (with 2 pounds of added ground sausage), 15 pounds of hot dogs and 5 pounds of Vienna sausages covered in BBQ sauce.

Combined with taco shells, nacho chips, lettuce for taco salads and hot dog buns plus all the fixings of chopped onions, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream etc.

I made all of it the night before, grilled all of the hot dogs and bagged it all up (the queso I put in a crock pot) and then refrigerated everything.

(Putting everything I could in gallon freezer bags saved refrigerator space but also meant any extra could just go straight in the freezer after the party.)

After that it was just a case of filling up and plugging in crock pots early the next day. To keep the hot dogs moist that included a can of light beer but any fizzy pop would work too!

September 2022 as the day went on it was just a case of keeping everything filled up.

Besides that I also made my mom’s “turkey supreme” recipe.

I made around 20 pounds of shredded turkey with a sauce of 2 pounds of Velveeta, 32 ounces of chicken broth and 4 sticks of butter. Yes it is as amazing and easy as it sounds lol though I get REAL tired of shredding turkey by the end of the recipe… I served that with regular hamburger buns.

Mom was a trooper for us besides making a huge fruit salad, a couple of dips for chips and her coleslaw pasta recipe (here’s the closest equivalent recipe I could find online for that), she also made a big assortment of cookies and bars which were the talk of the party.

Family brought cakes for us too!

All in I spent probably about 6 hours cooking the day before. One thing I did for us cooks was not have the party until 4pm the day of so we had plenty of time. I’m sure mom spent at least 6 hours preparing food as well!

The turkey is literally just throw it in the oven and forget it until its done. Ten pounds of hamburger for taco meat really doesn’t take that long and queso is just cut everything up and watch it melt. And, of course, the Vienna sausages just needed to be heated up the next day.

The hot dogs took a couple of hours to grill (there were upwards of 150 of them) but I couldn’t complain.

Force me to grill outside in perfect summer weather for a couple of hours on our deck?

DON’T THREATEN ME WITH A GOOD TIME!

I wasn’t able to find boneless turkey so I ended up cooking bone in turkey breasts. Yes, they have more flavor. Yes, I was very tired of d-boning turkey and shredding it at the end of the day…

September 2022 I saw an idea online of using cheap aluminum roaster pans for keeping things cold.

It worked perfectly!

We put the salads and sides in them first then just surrounded them with ice.

Besides that the roaster pans came in handy for me cooking as well.

One huge thing this menu does right: VERY MINIMUM DISHES!

At the end of my cooking day we did the few dishes I used and had nothing dirty when the party started.

And then, basically, all we had to wash was crock pots and a lot of spoons afterward

We ended up with no Vienna sausages, no queso and very little taco meat leftover.

The extra turkey and hot dogs went in the freezer as leftovers.

The hot dogs freeze surprisingly well and are a bite of summer Heaven here when its -20 degrees outside and we haven’t seen the sun for two weeks!

September 2022 - PHEW! Well we had a wonderful reception out here the first weekend of September with over 80 of our friends and family

Comments

  1. Linda McCoy
    September 25, 2022 at 11:30 am

    Sad to see the old barn. I remember when it was new. My brother Bobby and I got in so much trouble when we wrote our names on the nice new boards of the wall. Arvid was so angry! I’m sure he sanded them off immediately. I as your mom’s babysitter a few times. She and Sharon were little cuties!

    • September 26, 2022 at 9:57 am

      OMG That’s an awesome story! Its so sad to see the barn going down.

  2. Stephany
    September 25, 2022 at 11:06 pm

    So glad everything went so well on your special day! I’ve enjoyed your weekly posts for over a year now. Growing up on a farm in Minnesota and sweltering a good share of the time in Arizona now,(although I don’t know if I could survive a Minnesota winter anymore ๐Ÿ˜‚) you bring back many happy memories for me. So glad you found a great guy that deserves you. Wishing you both a long and happy life together!

    • September 26, 2022 at 9:58 am

      Thank you so much Stephany! I am NOT looking forward to winter here lol I know I would much rather swelter so, someday, we will be heading South too!

  3. Judy
    September 26, 2022 at 5:42 am

    So happy you had a wonderful time with family and friends .. but I get exhausted just reading about all you guys do .. such energy .. congrats !!!

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