Whenever Sis and my Brother-In-Law (BIL) come to visit us, they always want to eat at Ziffles, a rib place not too far from us, at least one time. They swear they have never had ribs as good as those anywhere else. In fact, we joke that they actually come here to “visit” Ziffles and just stop in to see us while they’re in the area!
So, when we went to visit them last year, we had a great idea! We ordered four rib dinners from Ziffles and then hauled them to Georgia in a cooler, so that the four of us could enjoy Ziffles’ ribs down there. Marsha, one of Ziffles’ owners, told us exactly how to transport it all and how to complete the meal once we got there. She even gave us partially cooked french fries to finish off in the oven and a little container of the “secret” mix of spices that they sprinkle on them to make them wonderful too.
And when we got ready to eat our “long haul” ribs, as a last Ziffles’ touch, we put a roll of paper towels in the middle of the table just like they do! The ribs were wonderful, as always, and didn’t seem to suffer from the trip at all.
So, when we talked to Sis and BIL about visiting them again at the beginning of this year, they asked if it was possible for us to arrange for Ziffles to ship them enough ribs for 25 people, so that while we were there, they could have a family dinner so that all their children and grandchildren (who were available) could experience the Ziffles they had heard so much about. Well, as it turned out, the easiest way to get that many ribs (14 slabs!) down there was for us to just bring them with us in two coolers. It made it easier that we just had to bring the ribs — their daughters said they would make potato salad and slaw and french bread to go with them. Perfect!
So, here are the pictures of the Georgia Ziffles experience.
Two of Ziffles’ biggest fans. The t-shirts were a gift from the owners last year when Sis and BIL were here and, of course, we ate at Ziffles.
We decided we needed a sign at the dinner so that there would be no confusion about what was on the menu!
Because we decided at the last minute that we needed a sign, it’s definitely nothing fancy. And, when we decided it needed something to jazz it up a little bit, a pig drawing seemed appropriate. But how the heck do you draw a “cute” pig?
. . . then I realized there was a pig drawing on the t-shirts! And, thankfully, a simple line drawing that wasn’t too hard to duplicate.
It may have been a little bit of a mistake to try to warm 14 slabs of ribs all in the apartment oven at the same time. We left them in there a lonnnnng time on, apparently, too low heat, and they still weren’t as hot as they could have been when we ate. But, luckily, they’re so good, that they were still great!
Ziffles made sure we had plenty of sauce. Those are the big styrofoam cups.
Of course, we had lots of rolls of paper towels on the tables. Very handy when eating delicious but messy ribs, but also, again, a tribute to the Ziffles tradition.
Then all our relatives started arriving.
Susan is Sis and BIL’s oldest, and just five years younger than me. So, she was more my contemporary than my actual siblings were. (It’s funny like that for late life babies like me — you’re sort of between generations.) Susan is raising two of her grandchildren. Good little kids who know they are loved.
Niece Judy is next in line. Here she is with her husband DJ, son Sam and Sam’s girlfriend. DJ is retired as a Sergeant Major in the Army Rangers, and Sam attends a military college and will be a commissioned officer in the Army when he graduates.
Carol is the third of Sis and BIL’s children. She was 9 years old when Hubby and I married, and for some reason, she suddenly became verrrrry attached to me the day before the wedding. Unfortunately, that translated into her sobbing long and loud all through the ceremony. Mama was sitting right in front of her and worried that people would think it was her sobbing! Carol is also the one who, during that same visit, because our house was so crowded and only had one bathroom, went next door and asked to use the bathroom! She was one funny little kid.
Nephew Mark is the fourth sibling. He races cars all over the southeastern US. I wish I could tell you what kind, but I only know “fast.”
This is Mark’s wife Sheila and daughter Becky. Becky races too (she’s only 11!) and won her first trophy not too long ago. I think know Mark is more excited about Becky racing than he has ever been about his own racing (and he’s had his own share of wins). I have seen a picture of Becky in her race car all dressed in her fire-retardant suit and helmet — verrrry impressive. By the way, Sheila is Becky’s Girl Scout leader, and this room is where their troop meets. Becky is a beloved only child, in case you couldn’t tell.
Terry is the baby of the family. Here she is with her daughter, Beth.
Carol’s husband, Al and Teri’s husband, Roy.
This is Carol and Al’s son, Michael with his wife. He is a Marine Staff Sergeant and left just a few days after this for his third tour of duty in Iraq. His brother Mark is in the Army and is currently serving overseas too. It’s pretty apparent that Sis and BIL’s family don’t just give lip service to “love of God and country” — they live it.
Some had a pre-dinner “cocktail” in the living room of the apartment.
When we put the butcher paper on the tables, one of my nieces suggested that we break out some markers and crayons so that everyone could doodle while waiting for the food to be served. That turned out to be a great idea. This is a fun group, so why would I be surprised that they would take an idea like that and run with it!
I don’t know who this was, but I notice what looks suspiciously like three puncture wounds in the back of the hand, like maybe from a fork? I’m guessing they may have made the mistake of getting between BIL and his ribs!
I noticed, each time I happened by, Roy’s art got progressively more interesting. It started out with just a car . . .
And then, there was a squirrel playing in the street, oblivious to the oncoming car. Oh no, look out, dumb little squirrel!
And, finally. Thank goodness, it appears the squirrel may have narrowly escaped being hit by the speeding car. By the end of the meal, I see the car now has a sponsor, but apparently the driver has indulged in too many free samples! So, this ended as a cautionary tale with two messages — don’t play in the street and don’t drive drunk!
Beth, waiting patiently.
Then we said the Common Table Prayer, and the food line started.
We made a mistake letting BIL serve himself first . He apparently was under the impression that the ribs were all for him, and the rest of us were going to eat just potato salad and slaw! Needless to say, we corrected that impression right away, and put the pans of ribs back on the serving table. (In truth, he and Sis are very light eaters, but we thought this would make a great picture to give to the owners of Ziffles because he is such a huge fan of their ribs.)
They may be nice people, but it’s hard to predict how ugly this scene might have gotten if BIL hadn’t shared those ribs!
Ahhh. Finally. I got a quick picture of Hubby’s plate before he “dug in.”.
Unfortunately, the “works of art’ suffered from also being the tablecloth!
This turtle appears to be eating his “salad” before he starts on the little morsel of rib someone has left for him.
Teri, Lexi and “the arm” played an after-dinner game of tic-tac-toe. (I see Hubby in the background, I believe going back for seconds — or was that thirds?
A fun group of my relatives. I only wish we lived closer — these are people I would love to have living next door!
May God bless you too with relatives who you not only love but also enjoy being around.