31 October 2013

Turkeys in Mud...Or...

 ...how to feed 50 cavers turkey with all the fixin's in the most complicated way possible!

I had a great "birthday" weekend. I took Friday off from work. (Thursday was my birthday, but you shall see why I took the next day off.) I slept late. Whew. Nothing like sleeping from 11PM until 10AM to make sure your batteries are recharged. I got up, fixed a leisurely breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast, then caught up on blogs and Facebook, then decided it was time to get it in gear since I was headed to RASSFest for the weekend!

RASSFest is the 3x/year gathering of my caving grotto, the Richmond Area Speleological Society. I've been a member since 1986, and was made an Honorary Life Member in about 1997 or so. I used to go caving (exploring caves - NOT spelunking since cavers rescue spelunkers) just about every weekend I wasn't scouting. So a LOT. Now, not so much with a dead shoulder and a near dead knee. But I still love getting together with my friends. Here's the pics from the weekend, and a sort-of "travelogue" video from Saturday night's campfire, and the trip home today. OH! And I officially combined this with some selfies! HAHAHA

Friday night we had a HUGE party in the bunk house! I had SOOO
much FUN!!! And SOOO much BEER!!!
My "ditch diggers"...you'll see why I needed these shortly.
One of our newer cavers...a rocket scientist, literally!
Another new friend. Nice thing about cavers, we almost all get along!
This is the "coal" fire. Note the bright orange center. This provided the
hot coals to cook the turkeys on.

Making the mud. It is an carefully guarded secret as to the ingredients in the mud.
Here we are preparing the table to mud up the turkeys.
Alas, no one was available to take pictures of the mudding,
and my hands were too cruddy to touch my camera!

But there they are! Four 12 pound turkeys, wrapped in mud,
happily (or maybe not so) cooking away in the pit that is now filled
with HOT coals from the fire. They get turned over onto fresh, hot coals
every 45-60 minutes. Every turn is a fresh basting for the birds!

One of our old timers, Bill B., cooked one of the turkeys on a spit over an open fire.
This was SOO much simpler. I think we'll do all 5 this way next time!!!

There was a whole stack of fixin's to be made...
Stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and NINE PIES!!!
Here we are, 6 hours later, stripping the meat off the bones!
Note the guys in the rear are wearing welding gloves to lift those babies off
the fire and get the chicken wire and outer layers of foil and mud off the birds.
This is kind of  an "after" picture of the dinner! You can see some
turkey, green beans, there is stuffing and mashed potatoes, with gravy and
cranberry sauce, with rolls and butter and spices!
There was a crowd! We counted 55 people! Awesome!!!
That night, we had a bonfire! Imagine 50 friends, all sitting around
a conflagration like this! TOO COOL!
And, the first of the promised selfies. This is me, by the campfire.
Wasted by tireness! No "fun" for me tonight! Too tired to indulge!!!
Selfie #2: Today, I headed home. Margot, my bff (seen below),
slept all day Saturday, but was bright eyed on Sunday morning!

It was a great weekend for me. I had so much fun, and worked so hard. But the result was worth it. Total recreation, in every meaning of the word. And now, if you've stuck with me this far, you can now spend 6 minutes watching a video of last Saturday night's campfire, and Sunday's trip home. I suggest turning your computer sound down a bit, as the audio on the video is a bit LOUD!