Friday, November 5, 2021

Dock Closing Party 2021

We hadn’t done this in a while and since we had a nice day on Oct 31, we decided we would have a dock closing party, which we haven’t done in a few years – it’s really just an excuse to get together.  We had ten neighbors join us for a fall menu of grilled hot dogs, chili, mac and cheese and and several desserts.  We had the mac and cheese because I had recently seen an appealing recipe for chili mac and since we had the chili, I decided to make the mac and cheese and combine them in my bowl.

Fortunately, we were able to pick a sunny, 62F beautiful fall day for the event and we ate at five to be done eating and visiting before it turned too cool.  This shot is from our parking area while I was using the burners to clean the grill.

We met up at 4pm when the temperature was in the low 60’s and began with an appetizer of Caramel AppleCream Cheese Spread with pretzels and apple slices.

The plan was to eat around five and be done by six when the temps began to drop.

We used our normal recipe for chili and made it the day before then reheated it in a slow cooker for serving. 

Anson Peckham’s Chili Con Carne


6-8 medium onions, finely chopped

2 green peppers, finely diced (added by us)

2 T. bacon fat

7 garlic cloves, fine dice

3 lbs. ground beef

35 oz. canned tomatoes with liquid

1 T. tomato paste

4 oz can chopped green chiles (med, or hot to taste)

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

1T. salt

1 tsp black pepper

4 cans red kidney beans with liquid

3-4 T. Larry’s chili powder (or 1 t. dried oregano, 1T. celery salt, 1 T. ground coriander

1 T. dried cilantro, 1 T. ground cumin, 1 t. crushed red pepper, 2 t. chili powder)


1. Add the bacon fat to a large pot over medium heat.

2. Brown the ground beef until most pink is gone and stir in the onions and peppers and cook until they are softened.

3. Drain everything in a colander, return to the pan, stir in the garlic and cook a few minutes.

4. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for a couple of hours.

5. Add more liquid if a soupier consistency is desired – I like mine to be very hearty.

6. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder.

For the mac & cheese, I used the recipe from The Stay At Home Chef for a stove top version which I made just before the party then kept warm in another slow cooker.

The 12 of us spent about an hour socializing and getting to know some new guests who came with SIL, Pat

Then we ate the meal above plus the desserts – I’d ask one person to bring a dessert and we ended up with seven so plenty to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.

This is my view while eating.

After supper, it was more visiting until it began getting cold and dark.  Bev made a great looking witch. 

The appetizer, food, and desserts all got good reviews and the chili mac was very good and similar to our normal chili as we always stir cheese into the bowl except this had the pasta as a filler.  I would make it again.  Everyone seemed to have a good time and the food was a hit so the next step is to winterize the dock (supposed to be down to 31F this week) and get ready for the spring dock opening party.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

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


10/31/21 event date


  1. you folks sure know how to throw a delicious fun party!

  2. Larry, Looks like a good time was had by all. That caramel apple cream sounds great! Chili mac...haven't had that in a long time... Love your party dock. I didn't come over to fish off it all year...kept putting it off. Time flies! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  3. What a fun and tasty way to spend Halloween! Bev looks adorable.

  4. I've come to the conclusion that stove-top mac and cheese is the best. And I have to try that caramel apple cream cheese spread. Great idea. Bev looks adorable. And she looks really good in orange. (my favorite color) And what a beautiful shot of your dock in the fall colors. Looks like a great party.


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