The Untimate Carry-In!


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.

p100022212   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.

p10002251   We decided we needed a sign at the dinner so that there would be no confusion about what was on the menu!

p1000224   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?

p10002222  . . . 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.

 p1000239  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!

p10002401   Ziffles made sure we had plenty of sauce.  Those are the big styrofoam cups. 

p10002341   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. 

p10002481   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.

p1000241    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.

p10002601  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.

 p10002421  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.”

p1000279   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.

p1000272   Terry is the baby of the family.  Here she is with her daughter,  Beth.

p10002361   Carol’s husband, Al and Teri’s husband, Roy.

p1000256  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.

p1000237   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!




p1000245  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!


p1000247   I noticed, each time I happened by, Roy’s art got progressively more interesting.  It started out with just a car . . .

p10002501   And then, there was a squirrel playing in the street, oblivious to the oncoming car.  Oh no, look out, dumb little squirrel!

   p10002712   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! 

p1000262   Beth, waiting patiently.

Then we said the Common Table Prayer, and the food line started.

p1000255   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.)

p1000260  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!

p1000264  Ahhh.  Finally.  I got a quick picture of Hubby’s plate before  he “dug in.”.

p10002741   Unfortunately, the “works of art’ suffered from also being the tablecloth!


p10002761  This turtle appears to be eating his “salad” before he starts on the little morsel of rib someone has left for him.

p1000269   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.

14 Responses to The Untimate Carry-In!

  1. Hilary says:

    What a delicious post, Sandra. And a fine advertisement for Ziffle’s. It sounds as if they totally deserve your praise, as they’ve gone out of their way accommodate your sister and b-i-l. Good ribs are wonderful. Excellent ribs are an experience.

    Frank is the rib master around these parts. He’s kind of famous for his BBQ’d beef and pork ribs. We’ve hosted a couple of Ribfests on our street and gone through a couple of dozen racks of baby back ribs. My neighbours still rave about it. If I ever find my way back to northern Indiana, Ziffle’s would be 2nd on my list of places to visit. You, of course would be number one. 🙂

  2. Amy O says:

    How fun! I’ve suggested that you could publish a tabletop book for your pictures. Here is another one….Restaurant Owner. You sure made it fun. I will have to remember Ziffle’s, we are big rib fans. Has you DD ever introduced you to the Texan BBQ here in town? If not, you may want to try it. Have a great day!

  3. Barb says:


    Great post, pics, etc. Looks like you have a great family….lots of fun…even if far away.
    Our family does not think that you can beat Ziffle’s ribs, either. I’m sure Ziffle’s is very proud to tell about their ‘Ziffle’s South’ location!

  4. Pam says:

    Talk about a great delivery service!!! Those must be SOME ribs!!!

  5. Caution says:

    I am absolutely starving now! Ziffle’s sounds wonderful and the owners sound like such nice people. You all had a great idea for feeding that many people. Just plain old fun!

  6. Sandra says:

    Hilary — If you and Frank do make it down this way, we would be delighted to have you visit, and we would definitely take you to Ziffles! (And, I love it that we’re number one on your list, AHEAD of Ziffles!)

    Amy — No, DD’s never taken us for ribs there. Maybe we’ll have to request them next time!

    Barb — I was just thinking that I’ll have to make a copy of this post and mail it to Marsha. I think she would enjoy reading about “Ziffle’s South.”

    Pam — They are great, but I have to say I was a little nervous about transporting them, even though Marsha at Ziffle’s assured us they would travel well. I hope we haven’t made a tradition, so that they expect these every time!

    Caution — The ribs were great. But, even more than that, it is just fun to be around Sis’ family. They all live in the same area, and really enjoy each other. They remind me of how families used to — almost a community of their own. They also all go to the same small Lutheran church, where there are usually about 20 of them on any given Sunday. Needless to say, they are a big part of that church!

  7. Betty Rose says:

    Dear “Little” Sister,

    You really did a good job on our Ziffle’s party. Our family gets really excited when relatives from out-of-town visit (even without Ziffle’s) since we have never had relatives living close. They think you and Jim are really fun guests! I agree. Don’t wait for Ziffle’s to come again, Let’s just let that be one of our great memories. Of course, we WILL make others when you come again.

    Your “Big”? “Old”? Sister,
    Betty Rose

  8. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Betty. We had a wonderful time. You are a GREAT “big” sister. 🙂

  9. I’m getting hungry!! I know what it is like to “miss” the foods from a place you used to live. I never thought of transporting the food and hosting a party with all the goodies. Now I want salad from Casa Grille in Ft. Wayne, Dale’s BBQ from Florida, Dixie cheeseburgers from South Carolina, etc…

  10. Sandra says:

    Ha!!!! Totallyscrappy, you really had me going there for a minute with your comment about Casa’s salad. Then I realized, your husband probably went to the Seminary here! I feel so clever to have figured that out. We love that salad too. Did you ever eat Ziffles when you were here?

  11. Olivia says:

    I love this! I’ve worked at Ziffles for about a year and a half! It’s so great how our ribs can travel so many miles and still taste so good! ( I saw this when we were looking up reviews)

  12. Sandra says:

    What a nice surprise that you stopped by, Olivia! I can’t imagine working at Ziffle’s — the constant exposure to that aroma would drive me crazy! 🙂

  13. scott says:

    living in england i got a really poor choice when it comes to restaurants. When i visited Florida last year for a holiday a visited Ziffle’s and i actually enjoyed it. in the uk all have is chinese, pizza hutt, mcdonalds or the appalling subway… if i lived in the usa i would get as fat as pig! lol

  14. Sandra says:

    Yes, Scott we do have a great variety of restaurants, but they are all hurting right now, because of the economy. It is noticeable when you go to a restaurant that they aren’t nearly as crowded as we are used to.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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