Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blogger Party 2012

For last year’s party we had a theme of Texas BBQ in East Tennessee and for this year we decided on an East Tennessee Cajun cook out.  We had decided to hold it earlier in the year so it wouldn’t be as hot but the Mother Nature must have heard it was a Cajun fest and delivered some South Louisiana weather – mid 90’s, but it was comfortable on the dock.

Last year Robyn Medlin won the furthest distance traveled award and this year it goes to Dave and Jackie Scott (My Year On The Grill) who came in from Kansas City, KS just for the party - is that cool or what.  In addition to the Scott’s, the blogging attendees were:

A.J. & Katherine Aucoin (Smoky Mountain Café) – they were also the cooks
Alexis, Trevor & Chris Grove (Nibble Me This)
Laurie & Dave Myers (Big Daddy Dave)
Dave & Penny Klett (Riding With Dave and Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen)
Meakin & Sam Hoffer (My Carolina Kitchen)
Beverly & Larry Doolittle (Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings)

And the folks who showed up just because they heard there was a party at Almost Heaven South were:

Stuart & Sandy Hoffer – Meakin’s brother and SIL
Pat Whaley – Bev’s sister
Elaine Sitzlar – Pat’s good friend
Holly & Joel Elder – Our friends
Kaitlin Aucoin & Courtney – Katherine’s daughter and her friend
Wende Doolittle – Daughter
Joe Howell – Good buddy
Loong Yong – Wende’s boss
Jim Warren – Wende’s co-worker

With 25 folks, we pretty well maxed out the dock - I've been wandering about the limit - maybe 30.

The Hoffer’s and Klett’s bunked with us and the Scott’s stayed with the Groves' – one more bedroom and the out-of-towners could have all stayed here at the Almost Heaven South B&B.

Chris, Dave Scott, and the Aucoin’s got to the lake between 9 and 10 to get the cooking started and the rest of the guests began showing up around noon.  While dinner was cooking, we enjoyed several delicious appetizers provided by the guests and some glazed nuts graciously sent to us by the Cathy Farley at the Wives With Knives blog & her Bavarian Nut Co. near Portland, OR - thank you Cathy, they were a hit.

As usual, I spent too much time hosting and having a good time to get many shots but several of the bloggers took photos and are posting, so please visit their blogs (links above) for the rest of the story.  Here’s the dock set up with Dave and Chris to the left.

This is dinner to be and it’s a shame so much of him is inedible.

Chris brought the veggies and prepped them and the Aucoin’s brought the crawfish and shrimp and A.J. did the cooking in a giant pot and all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you.  He definitely knows how to do this and it was all outstanding. Also, a big thank you to those who brought something, Chris and Katherine for co-hosting, and to everyone for just taking the time to come share a piece of your life with us.This is the kitchen with Executive Chef A.J. in action.

Here we are digging in.
Bev showing how to do it.

After eating, we took down the tables and sat around visiting into the early evening, getting to know those we hadn’t met and catching up with those we had.  Jim Warren came by boat and he took folks on a boat ride around the lake and turned a couple of them into water skiers.  We wrapped up the day with a twilight cruise on the pontoon boat.

As we spent the week getting everything ready, I was thinking to myself that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this again, but I had an absolutely super time and am now looking forward to next year and I'm sure Katherine, Chris and I are open to theme suggestions.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

Two years ago: Pasta Bolognese


5/27/12 event date


  1. What a fabulous party Larry. We had a great time and thanks for waiting for us get home from down south to have it. Also thanks for including Stu and Sandy.

    We haven't been to a crawfish boil since we lived in Mississippi and A.J., head chef, and Katherine and Chris really out-did themselves with the seafood boil. Love the photo of Bev. Those bugs aren't the easiest things to eat but boy are they delicious.

    Can't thank you and Bev enough for hosting this and allowing us to stay over. We had the time of our lives. Y'all are the best!

  2. Oh my gosh, Larry, it looks amazing! I so wish that we could have been there. With my father-in-law in hospice, we just couldn't commit. It looks like it was such a good time!

  3. Larry, A great time for all of us! I love that photo of Bev with the Crawfish! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave and Laurie

  4. What a great accounting of your party! And temps in the mid 90's??? yikes. And I suppose humidity added. That sounds hot to this semiarid desert, high country dweller. Still wish I could have been there and thought about all of you lots that day.

  5. Love the picture of Bev! She is rockin' those crawfish! So glad to hear the party was such a success!

  6. Go Bev, get your crawfish on :) Great party Larry!!! Looks like everyone had a great time. I can't imagine the fantastic food you'd be eating w all those food bloggers there :)

  7. It looks as if the Blogger Party was a big success. One of these days we are going to make it to one of these fun -- and delicious -- events.

  8. I'd have to say it was the best one yet. I had a great time and can't wait until next year. AJ rocked it!

  9. It looks and sounds like a terrific time was had by all.

  10. Well Larry, you call it almost Heaven South and it sure lived up to the reputation. Gracious hosts, incredible cookin and a fun time for all... We are already making plans for next year; The Social Event of the Season!

    Could not have been better!

  11. It looks as though you guys had a great party! I love the picture of Bev...I am going to my first crawfish boil this weekend...I am thinking Bev has the technique! I would have loved to have joined you...maybe next year!

  12. Mr T says... Big Dude,you know how to do it right!!Luv those mud bugs

  13. Wow! What a party! Sure wish I lived closer. Love the shot of Bev :) Those crawfish look so delicious!

  14. Oh My---wish we could have been there. One of these years, we'll shock you and get there...

  15. What a great party, Larry. I love your header photo of Bev enjoying her crawfish. It sounds like everyone had a wonderful time. I was thinking of you all and wishing I didn't live so far away.

  16. We had a wonderful time, Larry and thank you and Bev so much for allowing us all to enjoy it at almost Heaven South. a.J. did a fabulous job!

  17. Looks like another great time at Almost Heaven South. I'm just glad your dock didn't get maxed out.

  18. What a fun time you all had and the food looks and sounds great. Love the pic of Bev! I've never had crawfish, buy my hubby loves, loves them.

  19. Wow, looks like ya'll had a blast and the crawfish look fab!! Will definitely try and make it next year!

  20. love visiting friends on the lake, and know all had a great time, how could you not with such a fine host and great food

  21. One of these times I'm going to make it so I can eat my first mud bug!! Looks like a wonderful time and so many of those bloggers I follow, so it would be fun to meet them all in person someday.

  22. Go Bev! You show em girl :) Looks like so much fun. I so wish I could have come!

  23. So glad a good time was had by all. Sure hope I can be part of the fun next year!


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