It was quite a wild weekend at the Stephenson Ranch during my last visit, what with members from both sides of the family pouring in to the central coast from all over California, bringing the visitor count to a whopping 22.5 folks (Baby C counts for something, right?). So we prepped wood for a bonfire, laid out the bags set from my wedding, fired up the bbq pits (all three of them!) and invited everyone to make whatever specialty they pleased.
Uncle Dave started things off right with spicy linguica paired with a very sharp cheddar, while Uncle Mark and Aunt Debbie whipped up some of their famous smashed potatoes - first steamed, then buttered and baked, topped with either bacon or artichokes and cheese. YUM. Rounded out the meal with a giant pork tenderloin and some grilled veggies. Auntie Carole took care of dessert with two bomb dot com cakes - a super moist lemon icebox cake with cool whip topping and a dense chocolate cake with caramel chocolate swirl frosting. In. Sane.
Ryan put together a Family Bags Tournament and presided over the elimination rounds
with an air of authority commensurate with that of a yacht club president.
After several thrilling opening rounds, favorites Michelle and Uncle Mark came face to face with unexpected power players Leigh and Artie the One Man Party (that technique! where did they come up with it?!). In a nailbiting final round (18-17, 18-18, 18-19!!), M&M snagged the coveted title when Artie inadvertently sank a 3-point beanbag to put his team over the maximum allowable number of points. Congrats to Mark and Shell! Talk of a Christmas rematch tournament and demands of partner re-drafts (it was fair and square, sorry KK and Lis) are already in the works.
Thank you to my wonderful extended family for a remarkably fun weekend. You fill my heart to the brim, and make me more excited than ever to bring a new little ragamuffin into this silly, loving mix.