Let’s take a step back from our beard grooming needs this week and talk about Labor Day! Needless to say, even during the holiday, the Cap’n is here to take care of all of yer beard’s needs. In fact, there will be a Labor Day Sale from 9/1 through 9/5. Enjoy!
Now, let’s talk about Labor Day festivities. We all like our three-day-weekends and many of us will celebrate the last gasp of summer with a BBQ and, hopefully, one final dip into the ocean. So, how can we make the end of summer 2016 a good-bye that people will remember for a long time? Here are some of the things the Cap’n likes to do:
1. Decorate your home and backyard in pirate style for your BBQ. This can be done rather cheaply. Any dollar store will have the supplies you need to turn a family gathering into a pirate pow-wow. You need the Jolly Roger, candy coins for a treasure chest, some hooks and eyepatches, and maybe even a small pirate ship (it’s quite easy to make out of a cardboard box). That’s all. And you’re ready to set sail.
2. What does a Cap’n serve at a Pirate BBQ? Since we’re talking mighty swashbucklers here, let’s start with the alcohol. Of course, ye can always just dump a rum barrel in the middle of the dining room and make yer friends serve themselves, but ye can also be a bit more refined (after all, ye might have lassies attend yer festivities). How about a Cherry Rum Cocktail? Put cherry cola together with rum and maraschino cherries into a tall glass, add some sugar and ice cubes and, voila, ye’ll have a bunch of happy buccaneers. Then there’s the Classic Cuba Libre. All ye need is four ounces of cola, two ounces of rum and some lemon to taste. Voila, happy pirate! Or how about a good old-fashioned Rob Roy? Ye’ll need a quarter cup of Scotch, a couple of tablespoons Sweet Vermouth, and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters. Top the whole thing off with ice and a maraschino cherry and you’re ready to go. Next up, the grub, cause it’s a BBQ and ye want yer crew to have something to chow down on. How about a Shipwreck Stew? Ye know, it can happen to the best of pirates… It’s an easy slow cooker meal. Brown 2lb of ground beef, then add it together with onions, beans, potatoes and tomatoes to a slow cooker. Then cook it on low until the potatoes are tender (about 4 hours). Ye can also try some Hidden Treasure Pockets.
In a large bowl, sprinkle some yeast over warm water. Then beat in the sugar, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and whole wheat flour with an electric mixer. Then stir in bread flour. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover it with a light cloth and let it rise in a warm place (80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit) until it has doubled in volume. Next up, we’ll add the pork. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook and stir until the pork is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Stir in ranch dressing mix until the meat is well-coated, then add the cabbage, zucchini, onion, red bell pepper, carrot, and garlic. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Cut your dough into squares and then place about 3 tablespoonfuls of the pork filling into the center of each square. Bring the corners over the filling and pinch to seal. Secure with a toothpick, if needed and bake for about 15 minutes (at 375 degrees). Serve hot! And how about some Captain’s Seafood Crab Dip? It’s so simple, even Cap’n Jim can make it. All ye need to do is: mix mayonnaise, crabmeat, Cheddar cheese, French salad dressing, lemon juice, and horseradish together in a bowl; refrigerate until the flavors blend (about 4 hours).
3. Of course, ye also want to have some pirate-themed games during yer get-together. Especially the wee lads and lassies will enjoy those. Let me suggest activities like a treasure hunt. Think of an Easter egg hunt and substitute that with pirate-y items. Little pirates also usually enjoy decorating their own treasure chests (all ye need are cardboard boxes, magic markers and maybe some glitter). Captain Hook’s ring toss is always a fun activity as well – all ye need are some cheap plastic hooks from the dollar store. And don’t forget the Gold Doubloon Guessing Game. Put a few handfuls of edible gold doubloons into a chest and ask the little pirates to guess at the number.
Hope the Cap’n was of assistance in making yer upcoming Labor Day party a success. Have lots of fun and enjoy yer bounty! And if yer running low on Blackbeard, remember, there is a sale during Labor Day Weekend.