Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"To Your Kitchen, from the Castle Rangers Booster Club" - Barbecued Pork Chops

Date I made this recipe: July 19, 2010

To Your Kitchen, from the Castle Rangers Booster Club compiled by the Castle Rangers Drum & Bugle Corps Booster Club and Friends (Munising, Michigan)
Published by: Circulation Service
© 1974
Recipe: Barbecued Pork Chops submitted by Mrs. Ed Matson – p. 20

People, I’ve often said that I have a cookbook for just about everything and this week is no exception. After attending, of all things, a Drum Corps International competition with a friend, I came home, pulled the Castle Rangers (Drum & Bugle Corps) Booster Club cookbook, To Your Kitchen off my shelf and away we went!

The Castle Rangers was the name of a drum and bugle corps from my hometown, Munising, Michigan. The Castle Rangers were organized in 1973 to take the place of the Silver Echoes that performed from 1962 to 1971. The Castle Rangers lasted until 1977 and sadly, that was the end of the line for the drum and bugle corps.

I tell you what, folks I wanted to be a Silver Echo in the worst way, particularly a member of the color guard. Flag bearer, rifle twirler, it didn’t matter to me just as long as I got to wear those satiny uniforms, plumed hats and best of all, the white majorette boots. (It was, and remains, all about those boots!) But alas, I was too young. One of my former next-door neighbors, though, was the corps commander, sharply issuing orders to her crew – “Mark Time March!” “Forward March!” and I would snap to attention as though she were talking to me. (And don’t get me started on those snappy salutes they gave at the start of each parade as they still bring chills.)

By the time the Castle Rangers came along, I was no longer interested. (Much of it, I hate to say, was due to their outfits. Miner's Castle, the inspiration for the groups' name, is part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and that prompted the (park) ranger outfit. But people, the colors they selected, green and orange, were a definite turn off. And I didn't quite fancy looking like a forest ranger at the time so there it is.) Be that as it may, I still hung out with some friends in the Rangers and managed to learn how to twirl a rifle or two.

So fast forward to the DCI competition held this past Saturday at the new University of Minnesota stadium that was built near my house. Ai yi yi, people, talk about a change to the corps!

First let’s start with the fact that today’s drum corps don’t march and given the number of guitars, marimbas (xylophones), and even tympanis (kettle drums) that were used, you can see how that would be a problem. I’ve never seen so many percussion accoutrements in my life!

Style wise, today’s “march” consists of this interesting heel and toe combination that always triggers me to “sing” “Heel, toe, heel, toe, slide, slide, slide, slide…” like I learned during dance class during PE (physical education) in high school. I’d rather see some military-styled marching because that’s what I’m used to but I fear those days are long gone.

Third, call me a dinosaur (It’s okay—I do!) but what on earth are these groups playing? Most songs, a term I use loosely, were unrecognizable. And okay, so the Silver Echoes played the song “Tammy” from the movie, "Tammy and the Bachelor” (popular in the 60’s) but what’s your point? At Saturday’s performance, the Madison Scouts earned big brownie points by playing a medley that included "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" (from the musical "On Your Toes," music and lyrics by Rogers and Hart, 1963) as well as Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue." Now that’s music!

But what wasn’t music…or at least music I’m not used to hearing from a drum & bugle corps was a religious medley played by one of the groups we heard on the field. The first piece they played sounded a lot like "Beauty and the Beast"…until the flag corps came out in choir robes carrying crosses. Excuse the pun but what.the.hell???! The group ended with a piece that took me about a half an hour to name ("Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow") and the piece de resistance was the group unfurling a large banner with hands clasped in prayer in the middle. Oy vez!! We didn’t know what on earth to make of that performance—heavenly? Divine? (And while I’m at it, drum and bugle corps started to lead troops into battle and while I’m sure the troops called upon divine intervention to keep them safe, I’m not sure that today’s troops could get their battle groove thing on with that music as a warm up!).

And finally…I would be remiss if I did not talk about the modern day concept of a color guard. I realize time has marched on (hahaha) without me but since when does a color guard consist of dancing and prancing flag bearers and riffle twirlers? And can we TALK about the outfits? Oh.my.word. Let’s be clear—lyrca is nobody’s friend and lyrca plus major polyester is just against the laws of fashion. And the COLORS! Holy Moly—hardly anybody’s outfits matched those of the drum and bugle players. Where are Clinton and Stacey from TLC’s What Not to Wear when you need them? (And no, Clinton and Stacey, we are not talking about a little pop of color to accentuate an outfit. We are talking about a paint spattering of what was left over at the Home Depot paint department that day!)

All that being said, it was most unfortunate for all that the Twin Cities experienced major storms and only 14 out of 23 corps competed so we were unable to take in the full drum corps experience. Kudos, though, to the ones who performed, especially an itty bitty drum corps from St. Peter Minnesota. It was nice to see some local groups mixed in with the big guns from either coast.

So back to the cookbook--there’s nothing like a community cookbook, is there? I love the fact that I know just about everyone in this cookbook, a cookbook by the way that I took from my mother’s collection. After much discussion and lobbying, we settled on the Barbecued Pork Chop recipe. It was ridiculously easy to make and (and this I love), I had all ingredients on hand so all I had to buy was the pork chops. The only advice I have is to watch the chops as pork tends to get dried out very quickly. The sauce was a winner and is something I can see putting on many a cut of meat.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to viewing and listening to vintage sounds from the Silver Echoes on YouTube…already in progress. (Their rendition of “Look for the Silver Lining” is giving me goosebumps!)

Barbecued Pork Chops – makes 4 to 6 chops or pork steaks
For the sauce:
½ c. catsup
½ c. chili sauce
¼ c. chopped onion
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. celery seed
1 clove garlic
Dash Tabasco sauce
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients, mix well.

In a large saucepan cover meat with water. Salt to taste. Simmer covered over medium heat 20 minutes. Drain the chops and place in a covered dish. Pour the sauce over each chop. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Grill over hot coals until browned, about 20 minutes, brushing with sauce if necessary.

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