24 June 2009

Tennessee Traditions

Tradition is that my mother prepares one or two lasagnas, freezes them, and then reheats them in her RV's oven early in the trip for all to enjoy. This year was no exception. Tom and I arrived at Cades Cove on Monday afternoon, and Mother already had the lasagna in the oven. That evening, we ate and yakked and ate and yakked and on and on for most of the evening. The little girls (my great-nieces) ran and screamed and the big girls did the dishes. (I rinsed and dried.)

Tom and I headed back down the mountain to civilization (Townsend) for our first night at Dock's Motel. Dock's is a funky little find and a bargain. The accommodations are campy, cozy, and clean.

Tuesday was next, and that was my, Tom's, and Lynda's [sister] turn for dinner. Let's back up a bit. Our oldest sister, Lori, is the planner and the enforcer. That is a good thing. Lori assigns nights for each of us to cook -- we share the dinner responsibilities among all of us throughout the week. I guess this is one of the responsibilities of being the big sister. Again, a good thing.

I had planned the menu for the evening a few weeks ago (Lori is great about doling out the responsibilities weeks in advance) and tonight was kabob night -- Salt Lick dry rub seasoned chicken and veggies on bamboo skewers. Tom and Lynda were great chopping the ingredients while I prepped the mini Weber grill. I fired up the charcoal in the chimney I brought from Dallas, and soon we were off and cooking. As you know, I'm a bigot for my Big Green Egg, but I must give the little black Weber accolades for being "johnny-on-the-spot" (not to mention that it is about 300 pounds lighter).

The kids hated the kabobs -- I learned that mature tastes don't always work well with youthful expectations. Granny [my mother] came to the rescue with PB&J sandwiches. Thanks, Mother! In the ultimate vendication, though, my great-niece, Stephanie, approached me after dinner and asked when she would be grown up enough to like food like my kabobs. She's well on her way!

Tomorrow, the next traditions kick in...

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