So. My entire adult-friend-making-status-quo-structure of only being friends with people who have kids who are friends with my kid fell to pieces – was shattered – when I received an invitation from a person who I’ve never met.  The invitation was from a person who has the audacity to not have a child the same age as Roan.  Yeh, that’s right people.  I was not only recently invited to a stranger’s home, but it was a home one state over, in New Jersey.  I would have to take one F train, one Path train, and one bus to get there.  This entire scenario sounds like it’s right outside of my comfort zone but I didn’t shown you this yet:

Photo stolen directly from Thursday Night Smackdown.
This is a picture of a dessert that would be served at this stranger’s home.  It is what will be “Grownup Banana Pudding”  which is The Awesome.  Also, the stranger is the architect of this sentence:

“I’m pretty sure the season finale of LOST already happened, so just use it [the bourbon-laced banana pudding] as a stand-in for whatever other thing you want your kids asleep for: pulling out the bong, playing Grand Theft Auto, watching an R-rated moving picture, talking about them behind their backs, or obsessively watching Discovery Channel specials about the truth and/or fiction of the conspiracy theories behind Angels & Demons even though you find the book itself to be a horrid pastiche of clichés and harbinger of the destruction of literature.*
*Say what you want, but link to the Illuminati or no, Freemasons are weird.”

C’mon, that’s a beautiful thing.  I also was prohibited from declining by Anson, lord of the carnivores when he was made aware that the name of the event was “Smoke-A-Thon”, and that the supplies were described thusly:


“15 pounds of pork butt, 26 pounds of chicken thighs, 40 pounds of baby back ribs, 2 smokers (in the backyard, not the fridge), 12 hours, 1 afternoon of greatness.
T-minus one week and it is ONThe Porkening III: Smoke With a Vengeance.”


The invitation was from Michelle, the brains, bravery, brawn and beauty behind Thursday Night Smackdown.  There was not a chance we would say “no”.  My family not only got our New Jersey on, we took a sister, a cousin, and had the best food of our lives.  Anson kept walking around the party showing people the goose bumps he was sporting from meat-induced-ecstasy.  I noticed a few wide-eyed suspicious glances, but mostly was smitten with the goofy grin on my dude’s face.  Roan and Boone found their video-game soul mate in Brian, Michelle’s beloved.  Yes, they spent the better time of the party playing Wii, but did they have the time of their lives?  Yes they did.  So much so that on the walk back to the Path train, Boone commented, “New Jersey is so much better than New York”, to which Roan shook his head in adamant agreement sighing, “Yeh, it is.  I love New Jersey”.


Though I have a little deprogramming to do on both my son (Brooklyn rules) and my husband (eating mac ‘n’ cheese every other night is totally fulfilling) I couldn’t be happier with our Memorial Day, and our new friends.  Thanks to TNS and their people for making us feel so welcome, and so very very full.


22 responses to “Smoke-A-Thon

  1. NOM NOM NOM… Sounds yummy! Glad you had a great Memorial Day 🙂

  2. There you go. A belly full of good food will overcome almost any cultural incompatibilities. Even those as vast as the gap between Brooklyn and Jersey.

  3. you know, downtown jersey city as been described by the new york times – THE PAPER OF RECORD – as “the new brooklyn.”and when you live there, you can afford to buy a duplex with a backyard big enough for a smoker and a hammock. and did you see the enormous flower garden? and the herb and vegetable patches, and the peach tree? all in a tree-lined, brownstone-y cosby-esque neighborhood? i’m just saying, your kid is kind of right.also: if you lived by the C train, it would be MUCH easier to get to my house, which you will obviously be doing again this summer.

  4. The inclusion of the phrase “moving picture” is not only commendable; it’s damn impressive.That dessert also looks delicious.Sidebar: anyone else not being able to vote properly? I keep getting a 404.

  5. Yeh you know Memorial Day was great – but I seriously had a food hangover that night. My husband miraculously did NOT, and even went in for the doggie bag they sent home that night. He’s super-human.

  6. You’ve got a point there – I think Michelle could possibly broker world peace with her food.

  7. Listen – I moved here from Utah. I’m not too proud to live anywhere. But if I live in Brooklyn it’s likely my boy will have that awesome accent which is slightly more cute than the Jersey accent. Slightly. It’s all about the kids.So what? The C? I’m near the C – so I’ll have to actually ask you for directions next time. Freaking Hop Stop Liars.

  8. Seriously Phil I don’t understand why they haven’t fixed the voting machine. I was told on Friday it would be fixed by the end of the day but no dice. Thanks for trying though!

  9. Oh – I warn you. There are long term Jersey-isms that should be avoided. Articulating them is not easy, but they are there. I married a Riverdale guy whose family raised him in Jersey – NYC is way more cooler over the long haul.

  10. Why isn’t anyone talking about the lentils? Tres Leches? That sauce? Oh, but those people were beautiful and didn’t even question what I was doing there. In conclusion, Michelle’s life partner has a minky beard to envy.

  11. First Elden and Jill, now you and TNS. I love it when my favorite blogs have “crossover episodes”. The weight I lost reading about their mountain bike ride I just put on again reading about your Meat Fest. It’s important to have balance in life…

  12. OOOH I agree with Jaden sounds yummy!! Sounds like a blast! And New York is soooo much better then New Jersey…jsut sayin!

  13. Ok….I’m actually curious because my exposure to New Jersey is essentially limited to Newark Airport (not that rad), this past meal (very awesome), The Boss (reminds me of a creepy uncle) and Bon Jovi (whom I now love, don’t judge.) I’m torn. Is Jersey awesome or not? Hard to say….

  14. That tres leches did me in. I needed to go back for more, but was full up to my ears of food. I regret not eating more of it. I think maybe – the most delicious dessert I have ever had.No doubt on the minky beard. That was one awesome beard.

  15. That rules. I’m happy that I could bring balance. It’s like those episodes where the bionic man teams up with the bionic woman. Or when Laverne and Shirley visit the Happy Days guys. I love that too – more mash-ups on the way!

  16. It was. Yummy beyond compare. I have to say in NJ’s defense that it certainly does seem to lend itself to parties better than NY. I mean, if I tried to fit all those people in my home – well, let’s just say there would have been blood. And death. So.

  17. 1. the beard is indeed awesome. it brings sexyback. all of williamsburg WISHES it could have the beard.2. jersey city is not like the rest of new jersey. it is an actual city. it has a great mix of people. it has a great community vibe. it has independent businesses and good, non-applebee’s restaurants. it has a minimum of strip malls, and those are on the outskirts.3. it is unfortunate the newark airport is most people’s entry point into the state. however, i will take newark over laguardia any day.4. my subway ride to work is shorter than that of nearly all my brooklyn co-workers.5. i get to live in a city yet afford and apartment with a yard that can fit 65 barbeque-goers. and i work at a non-profit.6. bon jovi fucking rules. no apologies.

  18. Preach it sister. I’m sending this over to the tourism board for New Jersey and expect it to be used in their next campaign. I’m enjoying my newfound Jersey Love.

  19. 15 pounds of pork butt! Sounds like my kind of party. Yum!

  20. Its look nasty how about the taste.

  21. it looks nasty how about the taste

  22. Ya man how can you eat that thing.

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