Hawgeyes BBQ

2005 Senior Q

October 8, 2005

TreeTop Senior Q, Broken Arrow OK
Robert and Keri Cathey

In the spirit of the Senior-Q project, we decided to again bring the fun of barbecue to the residents of Tree Tops, a local lower-income seniors’ apartment complex.  We are Robert and Keri Cathey of Broken Arrow OK, CBJs and sometimes-cooks under the team name “Hot Wire BBQ”.   My grandmother Mickie Newman is a resident at Tree Tops, so the other residents have often had various barbecued meats for their potluck dinners in the past.  They do seem to have developed a particular fondness for pulled pork with Blues Hog sauce on the side, and would often ask Mickie “When are your grandkids going to be cooking again?”  Needless to say, Senior-Q offered an excellent opportunity.

We began the planning phase by giving my grandmother a copy of the article about Senior-Q around the first of September, and she reported to her residents’ board with a little bit about what we wanted to do – that we wanted to throw a barbecue feed for them sometime during the month of October.  She didn’t have to ask their opinion twice.  It was unanimously approved, and the date of October 8 was chosen.  Mickie then reported back to me that the residents loved the idea, and had already placed a sign-up sheet in the community room.  Although we had planned to supply meats and sides, they chose to also follow part of their usual potluck plan and bring other salads and desserts to go along with the meal. 

By Saturday, October 8,  about 50 residents had signed up for the feed to be served at 5 pm.  Most had signed up early, so I was fairly certain of the headcount about a week ahead of time.  The local Reasor’s Supermarket had kindly given us a $75 gift card to use toward the supplies for the cook.  We wound up cooking eight pork butts, about 50 pieces of chicken, 2 gallons of “Hog Apple Beans”, corn on the cob,  a tangy pineapple-coleslaw, a marinated sweet-tart black-eyed pea salad that I already knew had proven to be popular at their potlucks, and a huge peach cobbler.  The butts were injected with Chris Lilly’s injection recipe and drizzled with our “Butt Juice”.  The chicken was marinated in Italian dressing, dusted with Head Country rub, hot smoked, and glazed with Blues Hog cut with pineapple juice.  (For once, my chicken turned out decently.  Too bad it doesn’t come out that well in competition!)  All cooking was done at our home, then packaged and delivered to the community room of the apartment complex by around 4 pm.  When we pulled in the driveway, we had a welcoming committee.  The weather was beautiful, and a number of residents were relaxing outside while watching for us in order to offer their assistance in hauling things into the building.  We accepted their gracious offers of help, and the barbecue parade entered the building with the luscious smell of smoked meats trailing beind.

While I lit the steam pans and set up the buffet, Robert started pulling pork.  He acquired quite an audience during this process, both to watch and to sneak a few preliminary samples.  Robert does enjoy the theatrics of asking those watching if they’ve “ever seen the pop-up timer on a pork butt”.  He then proceeds to slide the bone out of the butt with a most dramatic flourish to demonstrate the tenderness of the meat, to the ooooh’s and ahhhh’s of those watching. 

The residents were invied to start through the buffet right on time.  They seemed to thoroughly enjoy their first trips through the buffet.  And their second.  And, in a few cases, their third and fourth!  There was also plenty “planned-overs” available so that everyone who wanted to take home extra could do so – and almost all the attendees took us up on the offer.

After everyone had been through the buffet the first time, I got their attention and explained why we were doing this for them, admittedly borrowing some of the wording from Hawgeye’s original Senior-Q writeup.  There were a number of the residents that asked where our restaurant was and if we did regular catering, and we had to remind them that we just do this for fun, and not for money.  I told them, “Shoot, if I had to do this for a living, I’d go broke!” 

All in all, it seemed like everyone enjoyed their meal and their “doggie-bags”.  We’ll be cooking turkeys for them for Christmas, and Robert will be playing “Santa” for their Christmas party again this year.  For a group like this, once is definitely not enough.  What I haven’t figured out, though, is who enjoyed the meal more – the cooks or the honorees.

Submitted by
Robert and Keri Cathey
10303 South 19t8th East Avenue
Broken Arrow OK  74014


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