Hey friends – hope you all had a great weekend! Ours was packed full of fun, and Saturday was definitely the highlight. Before we get to that, we need to announce the four winners of the Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss giveaway! These four people won a coupon for a free container of Natural Bliss!
Congratulations. Your coupons will be mailed to you shortly.
Now then, back to our Saturday adventures…
In the morning we headed out to Dave’s hometown of Adel, Iowa, for the annual Sweet Corn Festival. The day started with a fantastic parade. After the parade we moved on to the most important part of the event…free sweet corn!
On Friday night, a large group of people gather to help shuck the 7 tons of sweet corn that will be served. As soon as the parade ends, a massive line forms to get some of the starchy goodness. The line was over 2 blocks long!
After moving through the line, we looked back to see how far we had come…
Then we approached the corn trough to get as many ears of corn as we wanted.
After we got our corn, we headed to the butter station…
That’s not water…that’s melted butter. Holy cow!
Buttery, starchy, and awesome.
After gnawing down on a a couple ears of corn, we decided to walk around a bit and grab some more grub. We went straight to the stand that served Finn his pork chop on a stick. We opted for smoked turkey and smoked pork sandwiches. Delish! As we were eating them, we realized that it was the same guy who catered our wedding reception seven years ago, The Master Griller.
To wash it all down, we found a smoothie stand. We’ve been on a big smoothie kick recently, so the strawberry, mango, orange smoothie sounded like the perfect thing to finish off our lunch.
At this point the kids started to have a physical and emotional breakdown, probably due to all the candy from the parade. So we headed back to our house to relax and refresh. In the evening we were headed to a friends house for a “Meat-a-poolza.” We decided to bring a side of baked beans for the festivities. Dave has been working on perfecting a bean recipe for the past couple summers and we think he was finally able to nail it down. It has stout beer and tons of bacon in it. If that doesn’t make the best beans in the world I don’t know what does! We take an average can of Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans and turn them into magic. Here is how you do it…
Spicy Stout Beans
Total time: 40 minutes
Serves: 12 large servings
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 bottle stout beer
56oz cooked beans (2 large cans of Bush’s Vegetarian)
1 cup barbeque sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1/4 cup hot sauce (more or less depending on how much spice you want)
Heat a large dutch oven or a sauce pan to medium high heat and add the chopped bacon.
Cook until most of the fat is rendered from the bacon. Add the onoin, garlic, and pepper and saute until soft.
Stir in the chili powder and smoked paprika. Add the beer to the pot and turn the heat to high. Boil for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the beer reduces down. Bring the heat back down to medium.
Drain the beans to remove most of the sauce that they are packaged in. Add them to the pot along with the brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire, and hot sauce.
Turn the heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are warm.
Once the beans were cooked, we packed back up and headed over to the party. The spread of grilled meats was mind blowing. Italian Sausage – wrapped in bacon, lobster tail, sirloin, brats, bacon wrapped burgers, shrimp, ribs, and lots more. It was amazing. We just did a Grill Face-Off on Friday and declared Infrared Grills as the winner. BUT, if you have the desire, passion and time to master the art of charcoal grilling, we highly recommend it. We can tell you one thing…Travis has it mastered.
This guy knows how to grill up some unbelievable food. Besides the spread of meats, he grilled vegetables in one of the most creative ways we’ve seen. Instead of putting them on the grill and then flipping them all half way through, he just set them on a grate, and then put another hot grate right on top of the veggies. Genius! He never had to flip the veggies. The heat of the top grate allowed them to be cooked through. We’re sorry we didn’t get a picture of the entire spread, but we were too focused on eating and forgot to take a picture at the beginning. This is what’s left…
When it was all said and done, it went down as one of the best food days that we’ve had in a long time!
Does your town have an annual festival like the Sweet Corn Festival?