Saturday, July 7, 2012

Family Reunion - 2012

Every summer for the last 24 years, my father’s side of the family has met at a farm near Colome, South Dakota for a long weekend of visiting, food, horseback riding, food, games, food, a silent auction and a great Saturday night feed for about 150 relatives, friends and local neighbors.  Did I mention food?  Some of us early birds arrive on Thursday to help get everything set up.  On Friday nights, yours truly is the official Head Grillmeister for burgers, brats and dogs.  Did you ever grill for 50+ hungry people?   This year I had the able assistance of Lloyd from Wisconsin on the grill line:
That is me on the right and Lloyd on the left.  What you don’t see are the other two grills that we are about to load up with burgers and brats.

The weather on Thursday and Friday was hot and humid, upper-90’s F.  We actually ran the generator for about 3 hours on Friday afternoon to use the AC to cool us down.  Saturday morning at 6 am the weather had definitely cooled down.  It was 65 F with humidity at 92%, i.e.; cool, but very damp.  It is now 87 F, 45% humidity at 3:30 pm, which is probably the high for the day and there is a cool breeze blowing.  So we are getting by with the windows open and the Fantastik Fans going to circulate air.  There are some of the smaller rigs plugged into 20 amp circuits from one of the out buildings, but not enough power for my rig; or my brothers motorhome.  Of course, we both have built in generators and I have the solar panels.

Here are some photo highlights from the weekend so far:
The latest in hay bale technology about 5 miles from the farm.  Each bale weighs about 1,500 lbs.  I just liked the scene.
The hay ride wagon is pulled behind a tractor.  Our host, Roger Pochop is at the wheel.
The follow up horseback contingent waiting to begin.
Heading out for the fields.
The Calvary brings up the rear.
That is Rosie in the center of the picture with the white hat.
Waiting for their turn on the horses.  The horses are provided by Stan Bicek, the guy in the plaid shirt and cowboy hat.
These kids have a blast on the horses.
Such posture!
This is the most interesting camper at the reunion.  It is actually designed as an ice fishing hut on wheels.  The inside has a kitchen, bathroom, several bunks, a dining table and six covered  openings in the floor to drill through the ice.  The whole unit is hand cranked upwards to get a towing height.

Tonight is the big pork feast.  In years past, the practice was to burn cord of hardwood in a 6’ deep, steel lined pit in the ground.  It would take all night to burn that much wood and several of the more hardy types stayed up all night telling tales and feeding the fire.  By about 5 am, there was a layer of about 4 feet of red hot coals.  A round steel grate holding large foil wrapped portions of a whole hog, along with a few wild turkeys (if available) was lowered on top of the coals.  A steel cover was placed on the top of the pit and the whole thing was covered with dirt.  About 5 pm, the dirt was shoveled off, the steel plate removed and the slowly cooked meat was lifted from the coals.  It was incredibly good.  Here is a picture of the raising process from a prior year:
Alas; over the years, two things happened to make this a “past” activity.  There are now fire bans in the County; and we seem to be running out of people willing and able to stay up all night.  So now, large pork loins are slow roasted in electric roasting pots all day.  The pork is still great, but most of us “remember” it was “better” back then.  This is our 18th consecutive year at this reunion.

Thanks for stopping by.


Nan said...

A reunion that size must be great! There seems to be activities to suit all desires.

Me and My Dog said...

What a wonderful reunion! This kind of event is great for keeping up with the family and friends and also it gets all the generations together.

We used to have a similar annual reunion, and it was soooo much fun. I wish we were still doing it, but ....we're not.

Have a great time! :)

Laurie and George said...

What a great time! I come from a small family, but George's family had big reunions like that.