Dance is art. But it can come pretty darned close to a sport as well when you factor in the physical rigors involved.
And sporting events are prime spots for tailgates, right?
So what better reason to hold a tailgate party at a dance recital?
That’s what we did on the weekend, enjoying pulled pork, meatballs, salad, beverages, good company, and rain drops.
My task was the pulled pork. I had a 15-pound pork shoulder in the freezer, so we were well armed. It went on the Big Green Egg Friday evening at 7 p.m. I was worried some of it was still frozen, or close to it, so I cranked up the heat slightly to 275 F to make sure it would be done by Saturday afternoon.
This was by far my smoothest long cook on the Egg to date. I hung out in the backyard into the early evening, listening to classic rock selections on my iPod, sipping on a cold beverage, and making sure the temperature was nice and stable.
A check at about 1 a.m. had me thinking it was going to be done ahead of schedule, so I dialed back the heat a little more, to 250 F, about where I normally cook a pork shoulder.
I should mention the moist exhaust coming off the Egg had attracted a swarm of mosquitoes. I can’t blame them. The backyard smelled divine.
These big hunks of meat require long cook times to slowly break down the toughness of the meat.
My target temperature was 200 F internal to allow the collagen and fat to break down. I expected about 18 or more hours of cooking time.
At 6:20 a.m., the pork had blasted through its stall period and was already at 182 F. It typically stalls for hours somewhere between 150 and 160 F. I turned down the cooking temperature some more and had another nap.
By 1:30 p.m., it was done. I removed it from the Egg, placed it in a roasting pan, covered it in foil, and let it rest for about 30 minutes in the oven.
I removed the fat cap and the bones, and started pulling with two forks, adding spices and some Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce as I went.
We ended up with two big pans of pulled pork, which I took to the tailgate.
Our daughter ended her dance season on the weekend with three recitals, one Friday, another Saturday afternoon and a third Saturday evening. We tailgated between the Saturday events.
Lawn chairs, a portable shade tent, which did a great job keeping the drizzle off us, and vehicles pulled up close created the perfect spot in the parking lot. Everyone had plenty to eat, a lot of laughs were shared, and a few strange looks from passersby were given.
Now that is how you enjoy a dance recital.
The folks gathered around are always a treat to hang out with: Char and Eggless Chad, Matt and Jude, Tony and Lina, Dave (husband of Teacher in the Bleachers, who was unable to attend due to her need to do report cards), and our assortment of offspring.
Tailgating at a dance event. I think we’re onto something.
Sprains and strains
Speaking of dance recitals, the daughter sprained her ankle in the middle of the three recitals. She’s a trooper, though, as she popped back up and finished the number. Then she iced it down, wrapped it up and performed Saturday night – with a joint that looked like someone had cut a small ball in half and glued it to her ankle.
She’s learned the Corcoran key to surviving sprained ankles. When you feel it go, hit the ground to avoid putting your full weight on the turned ankle if possible. My right ankle got sprained several times in high school and was never as strong as my left ankle. But taking an immediate tumble helped prevent even more damage.
As a journalist, you generally look forward to election nights in terms of the challenge and adrenaline rush of deadline reporting.
Technology has made it somewhat anticlimactic.
And I’m at the age where I’m not going to complain.
For the recent provincial elections, Mary Beth and I fired up our computers at 9 p.m. when the polls closed to track the results locally and across Ontario. With the ballots being immediately counted as they were processed, we wondered just how quickly the results would begin coming in.
We should have instead wondered how quickly a government would be elected.
By 9:15 p.m., the station I was watching had named its first “elected” candidates, some with just 12% of the polls reporting in. I thought that was a bit hasty.
But by 9:20 p.m., Rick Nicholls and Monte McNaughton were both reported as re-elected with the majority of polls in their respective ridings reporting in, and Doug Ford was being anointed as the next premier.
Twenty minutes. That process in the past took hours.
So, it was no surprise that by 9:30 p.m., I was camped out in front of Nicholls’ PC celebration zone for the evening, T-Bones, waiting for the MPP to arrive. We scrummed him outside for a few minutes before he walked inside and thanked his campaign faithful.
I was back in the office before 10 p.m., and the story was written, edited and up online with an accompanying photo by 11 p.m.
Talk about efficient.