Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fancy Lemonade for the Backyard BBQ Party for the Neighborhood - 73 this year!

Well, good news for me, great news for the Cul de Sac... the now annual neighborhood BBQ party an dget together is now history.  Last year, over 50 people came... this year, There were a few stragglers that came by after I stopped counting at 73.  But 73 is a pretty good number.

But, the bad news, I was serving up pulled pork, dishing the side dishes, even wrote out a couple of recipes when asked, and just got too busy to take photos.  At one point I remember going into the house to hunt for my camera, couldn't immediately find it and decided hosting the party had to take priority over hosting the blog.

So in addition to a mild hangover, I now have to type this up, knowing that I let you all down.

But, I didn't let the Cul de Sac down... The gods and stars were shining on me, I selected the pig that lived a good and virtuous life, I learned from my past cook sessions, using my now famous Raspberry Chipotle Mop and finishing sauce to make a Carolina style Pulled Pork.

Spice Mixes I Love!I also used a rub of my own.

I used the formula for my "Big Easy in a Jar" Cajun Spice Mix, add Brown Sugar to the mix (2 parts "Big Easy in a Jar" to 1 part brown sugar).

I followed my three simple steps to a perfect BBQ, select the best meat (For pork shoulder, no large lumps of hard fat, nicely marbled fat, without large veins of fat running through, never frozen if possible), keep the meat moist (Mop every hour for the first 5 hours, every 3 hours after that), and the long and slow cook session.  Cooking at 225, it took 20 hours for the meat to get to the right temperature (195 degrees).

And it did not disappoint.  Compliments all around, techniques asked for and explained (although the time frame to get it right did seem to intimidate less enthusiastic cooks), but mostly, I was very pleased to serve up the absolute best pulled pork I have ever made.

The party started at 4 pm, plenty of food, plenty of fun.  We met new neighbors, renewed friendships we had missed while gone this year and was able to connect names and faces with the folks we wave to all year round without ever meeting.  The kids and the parents with kids stayed for a few hours, got a few games going ("Dads have to bat left handed whiffle ball" was very competitive, with the kids winning (but I think the dentist through the game in the 9th)).  By about 7, there were a dozen folks left sitting round the firepit.  A nice cool evening (in the 60's) was perfect for a night of laughs and stories.

Like I always say, the suburban Cul de Sac is the place to be, and my backyard is the place to be!

It was a huge success.  I highly recommend the party idea to everyone.  A little bit of work, but well worth it.

But, as a peace offering for not taking any photos, let me give you an incredibly simple recipe for what became a very popular drink yesterday.  So popular, one of the guys made a liquor run just to pick up a bottle of Alize Blue...

This has become my wife's favorite drink.  I posted this once as a guest post on OUR KRAZY KITCHEN, but it is worth the extra posting.

we wanted to have a theme drink to serve our friends while we bored them with our stories and photographs.

Like this one…

See that beautiful color of the ocean. This photo was taken in “the Baths” in Virgin Gorda, of the British Virgin Isles. I just fell in love with the colors of the Caribbean waters, and wanted to recreate this color in a drink.

So, I give you the “Colors of the Caribbean” Lemonade

Start with 1/2 a pitcher (about 5 cups) of your favorite Lemonade
Add 1 cup Blue Alize Liqueur (blue Alize is a French Cognac mixture with Passion Fruit, Cherries, Ginger and other exotic fruit juices).
Fill with ice
Garnish with Lemon Slices
Serve in tall Collins size glass, and garnish with Lemon Slices

Like I said, a huge hit at the party.  We went through two bottles of the blue Alize.  This is the recipe most asked for.  I have a feeling we will be seeing this around the neighborhood again.

Can a whole Cul de Sac have a signature drink???



  1. First of all, I want to see that you two look awesome! Island life definitely agrees with you!

    Second of all. you are hosting my next barbecue. Should I ever get a yard. And a grill. You don't actually have a choice. The pork looks fantastic. Totally droolworthy.

  2. David, I may just have to be cruising by your neighborhood for next year's soiree. Come for the lemonade ... stay for the meat! ;)

  3. I thought about you the next morning, wondering how your head was feeling. Glad it all came out so good. And hosting does come before pictures so next year you should recruit someone to be your photographer. If I'm serving more than 4 people, I never get pictures.

  4. I like Chris' idea - hire the photographer! Sounds like you had an awesome time.