Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Making The Best of It: BBQ Wings and Bodacious Bean Dip

img_1165Well, it’s February. And it’s still winter in Minnesota. Tho the sun may tarry in the sky now a few minutes longer than it once did, signifying, perhaps, that the summer processes have begun, I’m here to say, you can’t really tell. It’s just plain cold out. Snow still courts our yard, it’s still dark when I come home from work,  and there is a patch of ice on the driveway that I think has been there since Thanksgiving. But that’s Minnesota. And after a while you simply come to accept your deep freeze situation in life, and just make the best of it. Indeed, there comes a point in every Minnesotan’s winter campaign where they acknowledge to themselves and the rest of the free world, that it’s not going to get any warmer for a while, and that they for one are done complaining about it. Mostly.

A good example of what I mean was found on my routine food sortie to the local Cub grocery  store. There outside the motion activated sliding doors perched this lovely ice sculpture. I guess I can’t tell you what it is tho. Looks something like a duck and a man merged together, and carrying a purse. It doesn’t really matter, I guess. What matters, like all good gifts, is the thought behind it. The poetic triumph of it all. For here stands a sculpture really of what it means to be Minnesotan. To be stuck in the cold for half the year. Nay, half of your life, when you think about it. It is at once an icy monolith to the power of positive thinking! It says that life in the ice box has not gotten this soul down. That they will make the best of it, regardless. Lemonade, if you will,  wrought from winter’s harshest fruit. Yup, that ice sculpture was much more than the tangible work of a talented person. It is a symbol of sanity when everyone around you is losing theirs. Odd that you can gleam so much just going to the store for some chicken wings, but it is so.


Later that evening, speaking of chicken wings, I fired up the old Weber kettle grill for supper. One of the things I like to do, when the charcoal chimney is under fire, is give it a little whack on it’s side with the tongs, and watch how the sparks scatter into the night. Sometimes it makes for interesting photos. Sometimes not. But even so, I enjoy the artistic spray of sparks flashing against a dark, wintry sky. It soothes me.


There is also a certain comradeship amid the coals. They give off two things a winter bound  pit keeper craves: light and heat. And oh what a joy it is on these frosty winter evenings to bandy close to a hemorrhaging bed of orange coals. To feel the heat rolling out of the pit. It takes the sting out of the cold night, and loosens a stiffened soul. And for a while at least, you are content in your dark little corner of the globe, managing your meat over this beautiful bed of briquettes. Even in the middle of a Minnesota winter, out on the patio in the cold, there is joy to be found, patron to the pit. Like so many hardy folk around here, you just have to make the best of it.


These wings were seasoned first in one of our favorite blends, Poultry Perfection, from the great folks at Miners Mix. They’ve been awful good to us, and it’s our privilege to thank them yet again for sharing their wares with us. True spice wizards if ever we’ve seen any. Anyways, at the end of the cook, we glazed over the wings with some Sweet Baby Rays as per custom in BBQ fare, whilst back inside, some banter of the bodacious sort was at hand.


My bride whipped up a hearty batch of Miners Mix Bodacious Bean Dip. Mercy, it’s good stuff, people, very tasty, and one box seems more than plentiful, I might add. A plentiful bean dipping Nirvana. Plentiful also in the after effects come bed time, for thy cotton sheets may billow as if hit by a soft summer breeze. I almost slept on the couch that night if not for the mercy of my lovely wife. But like most good Minnesotans, she too made the best of it. We all did. Mostly. And Amen.

Smokin’ in Mesquite

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13 responses

  1. Well, my friend WordPress is acting up and will not allow me to like this post. (Says it is loading?) I do remember the ice sculptures in MN. For years they used to make a huge ice palace in Como Park over in St. Paul. Many of the local restaurants had ice sculptures on their salad bar tables. Like you say – Using what you have and loving life. Just like you seem to do every day. As usual, the food looks and sounds great. Stay warm – only a few more months before spring will finally come to the twin cities. Life is good!

    February 4, 2017 at 11:31 am

    • Thanks John in Ecaudor! I remember a big ice castle around here back in the 80’s, I believe. It gained national attention. It was a pretty big deal. But yeah, it’s fun seeing what people carve up out of snow and ice. Let’s see you do that in Ecuador ! It’s also cool to share a Minnesota connection with you. I still marvel at the tiny size of our world some days.

      Blessings, and prayers for Mary

      Take care,

      February 4, 2017 at 2:37 pm

  2. The like button finally appeared! Must have been frozen there for a minute!

    February 4, 2017 at 11:32 am

    • Frozen in the literal sense! Glad it cooperated for you. Good old technology.

      February 4, 2017 at 2:28 pm

  3. I love a good wing. I will be cooking up a few batches tomorrow for the Super Bowl party, though, I confess, not on the grill. I very much like the photo of the sparking briquette fire. Evocative. Thank you for keeping the fires burning all winter long for us seasonal grillers. Cheers.

    February 4, 2017 at 4:52 pm

  4. What a fascinating sculpture!

    February 4, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    • Yeah, wish I had talent like that. Aloha Auntiedoni! To warmer days!

      February 4, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      • Only 6 more weeks 😉

        February 4, 2017 at 7:05 pm

  5. Thanks Todd. I will be doing wings likewise tomorrow. Great bellies think alike! Hope you have a great Super Bowl party. I’m rooting for Atlanta, but my nfl mind says patriots by 10.

    February 4, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    • Go Falcons! I have similar concerns about the final score.

      February 4, 2017 at 9:09 pm

  6. I have found that there are 3 stages of winter.
    “It’s winter!” Excitement, the first few weeks.
    “It’s winter!” Growled out of frustration for about 3 or so weeks.
    And finally “It’s winter.”

    February 5, 2017 at 6:56 am

    • Aptly put, Mr Dodd. I suspect that is an accurate representation of the physiological path a winter bound soul takes.

      Good to see you, ol boy!

      February 5, 2017 at 8:55 am

  7. Pingback: Making The Best of It: BBQ Wings and Bodacious Bean Dip | My Meals are on Wheels

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