Birthday BBQ D-minus 3: A meaty affair


Okay, three days until the big Birthday BBQ. That means more shopping and just a wee bit of cleaning. I’ll have progressively more to do each day this week, so, let’s not dawdle. Heading right into Birthday BBQ D-minus 3: A meaty affair.

Alrighty then. It’s meat day on my three (now four) day shopping prep. As regulars know by now, that means Penn Dutch.

It’s a bit of a drive. Publix was tempting me with spare ribs for $1.99/lb., but I also needed other meats and I prefer St. Louis cut ribs.

So, off to Penn Dutch. Of course, my small window of dryness began to dissipate just as I was pushing a cart inside. Would I manage to avoid the monsoon?

First stop, the deli. I actually have done such a good job of emptying the fridge and freezer that I don’t have anything to eat for lunch. So, a little sliced somethings will tide me over until I start cooking.

Next up, well, for some reason, Penn Dutch sells Borden’s Dutch Chocolate milk cheaper than anyone else. Don’t know why that is, but I’m weak enough to succumb to the siren call.

Finally, on to the meats. Coming up on the right: sausages. I pick up the “value pack”. Yeah, about eight pounds of half-mild/half-hot Italian sausages. Yum!

Swinging over to the left, the pork section. At the far end are the ribs. Of course, Penn Dutch is selling their spare ribs just a little cheaper than Publix ($1.79 vs. $1.99). I scoff at them.

Instead, I pick up 4 (count ’em, four) cryopacs of St. Louis cut ribs (at $2.99/lb. – I spare no expense for my guests). Each cryopac is close to three pounds of ribs. Yeah, I’ll do the math for you – 12 pounds of succulent St. Louis ribs. That’s a lot of dry rub!

Now, back over to the right. Hot dogs! All beef. Three pounds ought to do. Counting them, I come up with 23 dogs. Yeah, sounds about right.

Finally, down on the far end, the ground beef. I only really need about a pound for my chili, but they don’t have anything that small. So, it’s 1.37 pounds and the chili will just be a little thicker.

Raindrops keep falling on my head as I bring everything out to the car. Funny thing, the total as just a little above $60, so I didn’t even use up a full AT&T Visa card.

I have to wait in the car about five minutes on my driveway for a wave of heavy rain to pass. Then, I rush into the house, leaning to one side, as all the bags are in one hand while I unlock the door.

I’m just finishing putting it all away in the fridge (no freezer this close to BBQ) when I notice one of the rib cryopacs is leaking. Blood everywhere! Panic in the streets!

Well, okay, it was a little puddle in the fridge, but cleaned up easily. Then I just wrapped the ribs in plastic bags. I won’t start cooking them until Saturday, so I’ll have to watch for any more leakage.

Next on my daily to-do list is straightening and vacuuming. Sure, you might think I could (or should) wait until closer to the actual BBQ. But, you don’t realize how much time is consumed in food prep and cooking.

So, straightening is pretty easy. I’m a generally neat guy and there’s really nothing to “pick up”. One thing I do is disconnect the laptop from the big TV and store it in my office.

Past experience teaches me not to leave electronics available to smaller fingers. Especially not computers.

It’s not fear of the kids breaking them. Far from it. Many of them are more adept at the computers than I am. It’s exactly that which causes concern.

While they may be deft in their ability to navigate to sites online, they are not so cautious in what they click and/or download. My Dad’s often restored computer is testament to the value of the “no kids” rule.

There were some minor other duties, such as cleaning the foil serving pans and emptying the trash cans, but that’s de minimis.

Finally, I am done and able to slip in this quickly typed post about Birthday BBQ D-minus 3: A meaty affair. Now, I will set myself up a little deli lunch and review my more involved plans for tomorrow. They may or may not allow one more blog post this week.

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