My brother and I have our own language. No sometimes means “no,” and no sometimes means “yes.” “I love you’s” are frequent, but rarely stand-alone. They are normally with a threat, punch, or single finger wave. We take pride in coming up with the most horrific ways to threaten one another. The award for the best text message goes to Casey: “I am going to hollow out your skull and serve my Super Bowl Chili in it.” In practical application, I won long ago. His head did not withstand my pillowcase full of books. I won the pillow fight. It was one-and-done.
For all the “fighting” we did, we rarely fought. Casey’s one of my best friends. How cool is it to have a brother who takes you on road trips when you get your driver’s permit? Or a guy who convinces the waitress in Canada his 17-year-old sister is out celebrating her 19th birthday? One who’ll give you boy advice, tell you there’s too much makeup on your face, and let you wear his coat when you’re cold? (I will point out, he has a long standing rule about being cold. I am not allowed to complain – ever. I only get his coat when I haven’t been complaining, whining, or behaving in any way like a “punk.”)
Casey is passionate about three things: family, baseball, and BBQ. I have made it to a few of his BBQ’s. His Freedom BBQ last summer was absolutely amazing! The event I have not been to is his Super Bowl Sunday BBQ. Yes, I say event. I am not talking about a traditional Northwest BBQ where some coals are lit and meat’s thrown on. No, I mean BBQ. I mean a smoker. I mean low heat, wet wood, and lots of beer. Folks, this is what meat falling off the bone is all about. It’s shredded pork butt that melts in your mouth, and not because it’s been boiled to death. No, it’s packing all the delicious smoky flavor of a wood fed fire.
There’s going to be a lot to eat at Casey’s on Sunday. I’m not sure what the entire menu is, but I know it will go something like this: meat, meat, meat, and more meat. To be fair, he’ll also make Cheddar and Onion Stuffed Bell Peppers, because I love them. What can I say? He loves me.
For his last BBQ, I brought scones. They were delicious. I ate two on the drive to Tacoma. Okay, maybe three. Can you blame me? Forty-five minutes is a long time to be in the car with delicious scones. This BBQ, I’m going with a little more roughage. I need to keep my energy in case I challenge him to another pillow fight.
Broccoli and Bacon Salad
I first had this salad when Jujus made it for a potluck. We didn’t hang onto the recipe, but since then we’ve made it several times. Both of us agree it’s best on the second day, which makes it a great take-with-you-dish. Plus, did I mention how inexpensive these ingredients are? The only slightly expensive item is the bacon, but you aren’t using much of it. Bacon is one of those fabulous flavors which goes a long way. Separate the package into multiple freezer-safe zip-lock bags. This will let you always have bacon on hand to spice up a meal on the cheap.
1 cup mayonnaise (I often use fat free)
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
6 cups broccoli florets
1 small white onion, finely chopped (red will work too)
½ cup raisins
3 -4 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained, and finely chopped
Mix the dressing together thoroughly. Toss dressing with broccoli, onion, raisins, bacon, and water chestnuts. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.