Just a call out to all 180 of our members and a bit of an informative post.
I was a newbie on this forum and the same status on all the other UK and US BBQ type forums back in February of this year. Yes I felt totally dopey with my first "Hiya I'm from Sunderland" malarkey on Roll Call but I got a few welcomes on each site which helped loads. I tentatively dipped my toes into a few post with a "yes I agree" but that was it.
However it was only when I started to search and research items I needed and frustratingly couldn't find them that I just started to ask a few questions, the old why, where, what, how. What I found was that when I started to ask questions on some of the other forums I would wait an age for a reply or not even get one. I even sarcastically asked if anyone was awake or alive on one other forums (no reply)! What a load of crap!!!!!
Now on SMF you ask a question and boom members from America and the UK chip in, some times 10 or 15 helpful replies. I wanted to know if there were any books on southern cooking I could use and Wham! here's the good old boys from over the pond asking me what I wanted to make, cook and they gave me their mommas, grand mommas best recipes to try, unbelievable!
Now you start to feel comfortable, enough to have a bit of banter and joke or have serious conversations, even posting new threads!! Then I get invited to the UK Smoking meat forums (as you all were) Shxt I thought!!!. Now it was never going to be my missus cup of tea and she don't camp ever! I though it might be a load of old farts in slippers peeing about with a couple of top of the range BBQ's that we could never afford, lording it up. I even PM'ed another member and we agreed that if it was rubbish we would book into a local hotel and have a laugh by ourselves. How wrong could I have been, there were people there from 22 years old to 62, the women sunbathing (yes we had sun) and relaxing with afternoon bevvies, daiquiris which made the evenings a great laugh!
So there are us guys getting stuck into a learning curve from the group leads (women entertained with beer et al). A professional chef was there, (and a noisy Brummie) too and what were we asked to bring? Nowt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There were refrigerated trailers for all to use (cool beer), gazebos to cook under, prep tables, all store supplies, everything from a pro kitchen (no kitchen sink). The guys even brought spare BBQ's. The only rule, if you want to learn how to cook it bring it! if you want to show off your side dishes bring them we will reheat them!
Friday night kicked off, getting to know people but everyone was straight in with a drink and then Mr Monkey starts producing the best stone baked pizza you have ever had and on what? a converted Aluminium Beer Barrel with a cement and vermiculite liner, ok but then he uses it like a tandoor, then a grill, then sticks a rotisserie over the top and starts to cook full chickens, unbelievable!!!!! The day quickly became night and we had loads of new friends.
Now here we were, 11 on Saturday morning me and the noisy Brummy and the Che Guevara Chef welcomed in and given free rain with just gentle suggestion from the top dogs so that you didn't feel a prat. The BBQ's, some home made were fired up and we just got stuck in cooking things in rotation with snacks all afternoon for the women. We then started proper grillin and chillin with a beer as the cook got underway. 6.00pm came and we started to dish up but we had so much food we invited the rest of the field full of campers over for some food. Now being British they said thank you but they were not going to come. But we took a plate of food around and once one lot came they all did we ended up serving 50 or more people all thinking it was brilliant, new friends new converts, loads of questions asked and a little tuition. There was one guy from the group probably the best looking at the do even went around giving home made Lemoncello shots to all the guests. Awesome!!!!
To top the night off Wade brought out his Crepe maker and started to make Crepes with BBQ pineapple and pear for all to have, there was even profiteroles and chocolate. It could have been a wedding function feeding 200 absolutely amazing!
The day quickly became night and we had loads and loads of new unexpected friends and converts.
So what do I want??????? If you are reading this then I'm am looking YOU straight in the eye and saying, "come on get into a couple of conversations its what makes it fun". If you are not a member and just a browser, join us its free! We get hundreds of views of our posts so come on in the water is lovely. We would love to hear from you and hopefully see you at next years bash. Check out the 2016 post with potential dates.
By the way my missus stayed in a Glamping Pod (first time) and loved it, electricity for straighteners, tea and coffee making facilities @ £40 a night on, a 5* site great stuff. What a beautiful place Woodhall spa is even had breaky with guy who hosts the Gadget Show, well next table LOL!!!!
Thanks for reading and big shout out to Wade and Smokey Monkey!!!!