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Posts Tagged ‘Inspirational’

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Food and family (and lots of fun)

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011


Food is an integral part of life. It not only sustains us, but is often part of our celebrations and milestones. This past weekend my family celebrated my grandmother’s birthday and held a family reunion in North Carolina. Approximately 80 of her 100+ children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were in attendance. As you might imagine, feeding all those people was quite a challenge. Fortunately, we have several chefs in the family – nonetheless, what transpired was awfully impressive.


This is the BBQ that was used. What is most impressive about this rig is not necessarily the size or scale, but that my cousin Eric built the entire thing in his shop. Wow. Dinner was to feature a whole hog (Claudette), three whole briskets, 16 chickens, and two bushels of corn.


Chef Eric throwing the dry-rubbed briskets on the BBQ next to Claudette.


Eric loading the side stack smoker/roaster the corn and chickens.


Meanwhile, the National Anthem is sung (by my cousin Mark) before a game of kickball.


Chef Chad slicing brisket and breaking down chickens – we’re getting close to chow time…


Dinner is served.


Now, does that look like a proud grandmother or what? The family comes together and sings happy birthday to grandma. This was truly a wonderful event.



Monday, May 9th, 2011

Moms do so much for us and are so infrequently appreciated for all of their sacrifices and hard work. When we are young, moms feed us, play with us, and tuck us into bed. Moms sacrifice their own sleep and peace of mind to care for their children and ensure that they are healthy and safe. So, today we thank our moms who have and who will continue to always love and look after us.

Thanks mom.


Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

At Dan’s Plan, we recognize that the limitations of time, effort, and money can sometimes interfere with achieving our goals. As a result, we seek out ways to make the “good behaviors” easier, simpler, and more cost-effective, while making the behaviors that we would rather not engage in more difficult or less available. That is why we think that this quick and easy gardening method from Chris McLaughlin at is simply brilliant.

First, there are a number of reasons that might discourage someone from planting a garden or from growing their own food.

  • don’t really know how
  • don’t have the time or are unable to turn soil, create the beds, etc.
  • feel intimidated by testing and trying to create the right soil conditions
  • don’t have gardening tools
  • don’t have the space or land for a garden

Soil bag planting appears to solve all of these problems. This is what is involved:

  1. Purchase a bag of top soil or garden soil and the seeds or seedlings that you would like to grow (i.e., eat).
  2. Cut slits in whatever side will be the bottom of the bag so water will be able to drain out.
  3. Place the bag wherever you would like your new garden to be and cut a large hole (as shown) or several smaller ones for individual plants (we recommend the latter approach if you live in a hot and dry climate).
  4. Plant the seeds or seedlings according to any instructions on the packets or containers.
  5. Water.

Man, it really doesn’t seem to get any easier than this. The supplies are simple and inexpensive, the time and effort involved are minimal, and the method is practically foolproof (no expertise required). At the same time, there are a bunch of additional benefits in terms of having a garden or planter that is portable, could be placed almost anywhere such as a porch or patio, and is easily set up and taken down. This is of course not even mentioning the awesome benefits that are fresh herbs and vegetables all summer long.

So, if you’ve recently thought that you’d like to have more fresh food at your disposal, but that you don’t have the time, space, or tools for gardening, think about soil bag planting. It’s almost too easy not to try.

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