Kalli’s birthday camping party has become an annual tradition, and a delightful one, too.
Kalli, Jarrett, and an entourage of their many friends convened at the family property on a recent Saturday. Megan and I were a little concerned about the head count of 30 or more, but we needn’t have worried. They arrived with a keg of beer and coolers full of food. Jonathan made 10 pounds of pulled pork, and I made a more modest quantity of chicken filling for the evening’s taco dinner.
We were lucky to have any chicken filling at all. I got up early on Saturday, did a few loads of laundry, and set the chicken to cook in the slow cooker. A couple of hours later, I went to check on it and discovered that it was ice cold. As in, the chicken was still frozen. I tried unplugging the slow cooker and plugging it back in again – pretty much the limits of my expertise with any form of technology – and it still didn’t work.
I took the whole thing, chicken and all, over my brother’s place. We put the chicken into our friend Lu’s crockpot, which she had lent to him a couple of weeks earlier, and I took it back to my place while Jonathan dismantled mine. Spoiler alert: the heating element had met an untimely demise, taking the rest of the slow cooker with it. So much for that. The good news is that I managed to get the chicken filling done on time.
Meanwhile, tents were merrily growing in the garden:
And the tents’ occupants were playing beer pong. They soon discovered that the drinking part of the game didn’t work so well in the pygmy puff dust, so it became more of a game of skill while drinking the beer in your hand.
We had some visiting dogs, including a darling little spotted brother and sister rescued from under a house a couple of months earlier. Lucky, the sister, was a little unsure about all the unknown people and found a safe spot:
I’m not usually one for small dogs, but they were so cute and really warmed up to the attention as the party went on. Another of Jarrett’s friends had recently traded in a problematic girlfriend for the adorable Atticus:
Definitely an upgrade.
Kalli thoughtfully provided Party Survival Kits:
These included provisions like Band-Aids, sunscreen, a toothbrush, condoms, gum, disinfectant wipes, and other things you might need when camping in the middle of nowhere with some of your best friends.
We had a great BBQ despite the near kitchen emergency, and in the morning Jarrett made bacon, eggs, and home fries on the outdoor gas stove (if you can call it that – it’s two rings hooked up to a small tank of propane, last seen in Erica’s al fresco samosa frying at Junapalooza). Then the visitors set off home, with more happy memories and plans for next year.
A YEAR AGO: The joys of faux pho. And the sadness of memory.