by Keith Fisher
It’s conference weekend. What are you going to do? Are you the type who sits in front of the TV all weekend? Or do you hang on every word, while doing Saturday yard work, Priesthood session that evening, and park by the tube on Sunday? Maybe you will travel to visit family and listen on the car radio.
No matter what you do, the messages delivered from the pulpit during conference will delight and inspire you. I hope you have a prayer answered.
If you need a new family tradition, I have a suggestion for you. Several years ago, we had access to a cabin one weekend a year in the hills west of Midway, Utah. Every year, we picked conference weekend. We called it a family reunion and preparations began six months in advance.
When I was a child, my dad took us to Grandma’s house every conference weekend. I remember a lot of wrestling matches, board games, singing, and Grandpa saying shush. Most of all, I remember the close family ties created with more than one family unit sharing the house.
It was with those conference weekends in mind that we came across the perfect family reunion idea. You see, conference weekend is good because schedules don’t collide. Nobody has to be away on Sunday for meetings. With a little variation, our agenda was always the same.
5:00 everyone arrives and gets acquainted
6:00 Dutch oven dinner, or barbecue
6:45 get acquainted games
7:30 slide show/testimony meeting
8:30 more games, indoor pinata
The rest of the evening we enjoyed each others company
Get up, fight for bathroom time.
Breakfast; quiche, fruit, cereal, and juices
9:30 Treasure hunt/games for adults
10:00 Conference on TV. No organized events
Board games are on the tables, crayons, paper, and crafts.
Noon. Conference is over. Big loud game. Easter egg hunt in April
1:00 lunch. Light sandwiches leftover salad from Friday
2:00 conference begins. People who don’t want to watch conference go hiking or other pursuits Board games are on the tables, crayons, paper, and crafts.
4:00 conference over, ladies go shopping. Men get ready for Priesthood meeting. Someone agrees to stay with the kids.
6:00 Priesthood session in town at the stake center. Ladies pick up pizzas
8:00 pizza and root beer floats. Followed shortly by the talent show.
Laugh fest and talent show until bedtime.
You get the idea. We didn’t schedule major events on Sunday and we didn’t worry if some people wanted to play table tennis during conference. Some of them grabbed a piece of floor and absorbed conference through closed eyelids.
We usually roasted a turkey on Sunday and had a family meeting after the last session. People started to pack up for home around six and we were left with grins on our faces for a job well done. It only took a couple of days to recuperate, but those were some of the best parties we ever held. All of that aside, however, it brought our families closer and the testimony meeting brought tender feelings and the Holy Ghost to the surface.
Now, as you go about your different traditional conference activities, I hope you will at least get those you love together and cook a Dutch oven meal. Start a new tradition.
Return to the Neighborhood.
by Keith Fisher
Did you ever have a tailgate party? Many folks set up to cook food each week, outside the stadium or sports arena of their choice. The purpose being, to have fun rooting for their team and eat a lot of good food in the process. These impromptu cookouts happen with regularity across the nation.
Have you ever considered holding one before a youth soccer or flag football game? I sat on the sidelines on Saturday, watching my daughter’s cheerleading squad. It was flag football, and we could’ve used some more support from the crowd. In fact we could’ve used more crowd. Can you image how pumped up the players would be if they could hear the cheers of many supporters?
I rooted for the son of one of my friends, and his team won. My daughter cheered for the green team and I noticed some of the red team players, seemed to feel ignored. Then they cheered for the red team and the green team seemed to feel ignored. I’m not saying cheerleaders can influence the outcome of the game, but everybody loves a pat on the back.
So get out there on Saturday, or Wednesday. Whenever the game is scheduled. It’ll be a great game and it’s usually free of charge. Then you can go wild for the team of your choice.
Here’s my idea, think of all the folks who would show up for your son’s game if you told them you were cooking. You could set up first thing, making breakfast burritos, or grilling hot dogs. Just think of the cheering section you could create. Just think of how much of a hero you would be.
Here’s my recipe for a quick tailgate party:
1 very large cooler for sodas
1 portable grill see here
hamburgers, hot dogs (Grill them)
Buns and condiments
Individual size bag of chips for everyone
Ask someone to bring potato salad
If it’s morning you’ll need a large water cooler, filled with hot water
A large can of hot chocolate mix, Styrofoam cups.
Propane stove with two burners.
One griddle, one skillet
Start by browning sausage in the skillet. Set aside but keep warm. Scramble eggs. Lay a tortilla on the griddle and turn over when warm. Build a burrito on the griddle. Roll and hand off with a paper towel.
Now, you get the idea. You are only limited to your own imagination. Here is another idea:
Sirloin tip Roast
12-inch deep Dutch oven
3-5 pound beef Roast Sirloin tip
dried chopped onions
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 small white onions
2 beef bouillon cubes
Tenderize meat by poking it with a fork or special tenderizer. Rub dried chopped onions and seasoned salt into the meat
Melt butter with oil in a hot Dutch oven with bottom heat only. Searing all sides of the roast. Drain oil and butter from oven.
Prepare onions by removing skin and cutting part way through (as if you were going to quarter them). Place roast in center of pot and the onions next to the meat on two sides and roast with 10 coals on the bottom and 16 coals on the top until done (remember to add new coals when old ones are spent to keep the heat up.
Add bouillon cubes when there is enough moisture in the bottom to mix with. Roast is done when inside temperature is 170 degrees.
Take the roast out, and shred it with your fingers, set aside. Add two cups of water and two bouillon cubes to the drippings and bring to boil. Use hoagie rolls for bread and serve French dip sandwiches. A bag of chips, and a drink.
Enjoy the lunch but make sure everyone is done by game time. Remember which team you are rooting for, and give your son/daughter the thrill of support. Try not to curse the referees they take a dim view of that kind of thing.
Return to the Neighborhood.