Sunday, July 18, 2010

Schramihana and Other Stuff

Summers in Minnesota are busy. We have just a few months of gorgeous weather and every Minnesotan embraces those months to the fullest.  It means that June, July, and August and even September are jam packed with events, boating, and barbecues.  These months are also the vineyards high season.  We may be working a lot this summer, but we're doing our best to also embrace these summer months with some fun too.  It also means, that with all that is going on, there is a lot to write about, but finding the time to write every time I want to is difficult!  So when I do find some time, I have to condense about three different themed posts into one.  So here we go...

With so many barbecues going on, we do our best to distinguish ourselves from any other Minnesota cook-out.  Here's a snapshot of one at our place.

First we have Aaron do the cooking out on Schramihana grill.  I do all the preparing and then hand him the food and the barbecue tools.  Schramihana was one of the first projects Aaron took on when we moved here.  As a longtime lover of hibachi style restaurants, he decided we needed to have our own hibachi grill with group seating around the grill.  While I thought painting was a priority, Aaron thought we could not go a minute longer without an outdoor hibachi grill.  So he built one and we adoringly named it "Schramihana" after hibachi-style restaurant, Benihana.

Mastering the skills of the hibachi chef is not an easy task.

It usually involves tossing eggs up in the air and trying to crack them in the air, lighting onion volcanoes on fire, and throwing random pieces of meat at our guests, which 9 times out of 10, they do not catch in their mouth.

A chef's hat and apron is on our list of things to buy so he can get the full hibachi chef effect and try to catch shrimp tails in his hat. 

We had friends from Brazil come visit us a few weeks ago.  Lavinia, was my family's exchange student 20 years ago!  She came back to visit with her mom and her two Portuguese-only speaking children.

Last time Lavi was here, I was an 11 year old with dreams of becoming a fashion designer. Enough said.

This past weekend, we had some friends and neighbors over for an impromptu Schramihana cook-out. 

After aforementioned egg tossing, we threw our guests on the little red wagon that Aaron built and took them for a spin around the vineyard.

They listened to tour guide Aaron talk about grapes, what we have to do to diseased plants, and how to tell when the grapes are ready for picking. 

Of course we can't forget the wine on the wagon ride.

Can you tell the children were just so enthralled? 

Then we made our guests throw axes at a wooden post. 
We had several discussions on the correct axe throwing form.  Scott and Julie both used their right leg as their power leg.

While Dave and Amy...

..Wes and Caroline all took more of the baseball throw stance by using their left foot forward.

Even though nobody was really all that good, Scott finally got one to stick!  So I am going to say that stepping forward with the same foot as your throwing arm is most successful, based on his outcome.  Just in case any of you reading will ever face a game of axe throwing. 

And then we started, not one, but two fires.  A campfire for s'mores and for the dogs to enjoy.

And a bonfire....just because it is fun and cool.  There may have also been a few fireworks gone awry, but that's all I will say about that.  

It wasn't until I uploaded all these pictures that I realized the kind of get-togethers we are throwing here.  We basically invite guests over, throw food at them, toss them on a wagon, talk grape to them for 20 minutes, give them sharp objects to throw, and then start a raging fire.  And our guests all seemed to have a good time.  And if not, they were good at pretending.  It's not your typical Minnesota barbecue, but then again, have we ever been typical?