Mom and Dad showed up and I think they had a good time. Dad found a guy to to talk with and got to help move the keg so I think he was good. Mom spent a lot of time people watching and chatted up a few of the younger folks about books and stuff. A much younger crowd at the party than they normally interact with but they left about 10 pm. Nice thing about the party’s the neighbor throw is they are happy if you show up and leaving early is no big deal.
I got a lot of compliments on the beer and turkey at the party. Many folks commented that they never thought about BBQing a turkey. I have to say the Organic turkey did great with a dry rub and was not dry at all compared to an oven baked turkey. Normally I brine a turkey for a few days before I BBQ, but I used a dry rub and kept a pan full with apple cider under the turkey during cooking and it turned out very moist. This (12 pound) turkey was cooked at an average temp. of 250 degrees for 4 hours rather than 3 hours at around 325-350 degrees F. That might make a difference in how it turned out.
I had several folks ask where they could buy the beer I make and sadly I had to tell them that I can’t sell my beer to them. Regulations are very strict on any sale of alcohol products and just opening a small brewery in Idaho is very expensive just to comply and sell a legal beer. There are a couple of local brewers that might do a production run if they like your beer. I did get quite a few offers from people that said they would come to my place and work for beer! I even met one of the beer judges for the county fair, but I’m not sure if she like my simple recipes or if she was trying to stay impartial.
The heat wave started to break that evening but the mister and the “pool” were still very popular. My jug of cold water was well used and some folks even got a cup or coffee or two as hot as it was. My little garden wagon made transporting my stuff a breeze. Overall I think I provided good stuff for the party and it all came from my pantry or freezer. I think this the first time I didn’t have to go to the store for anything, so that was very neat not to mention cheap. I see a few places I could improve if feeding a large group of people in summer that could make cooking, serving and cleaning up a little easier. Like using flat breads instead of plates or adding bread bowls along with some cold soups and salads in summer. If you are prepping for TEOTWAWKI minimizing the trash you need to deal with will be very important. Just a couple of meals a week could really cut down on either the paper plates used or the amount of dishes you need to wash using your stored water.
I suppose it’s my Army training to always assess how things go and how I can improve. While you can try to anticipate and plan ahead there is nothing like doing a task and seeing how well you did in your planning. Hopefully you are now prepping as a way of life and everything can be used as a “training event” for yourself and your family. Even if there had been a rolling blackout before the party we could have still cooked the food, lit some candles to go along with the solar lighting and ran the generator to make sure food stayed cool. It would have taken a little more physical work but it would be doable. Good practice for feeding the extended family and or neighbors that will help provide the “grunt work” for staying alive.