Opening Day

Friday nights in the fall will always reign supreme in Texas, but “Opening Day” is all about baseball as far as I’m concerned. There is something special about the beginning of baseball season. It’s our annual fresh start in the Spring. Everyone has a chance. Everything is new. Feels like everyone is good with turning towards green grass, blue skies, and fresh air. The boys of summer will get their big league show rolling in April, but the boys of Tomball got little league baseball going this week. It’s a seriously big deal in Tomball. It was time for another great parade.

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Chef Greg and I chased our own field of dreams over at Spring Klein baseball park in the late 1970’s. Strack Farms was slinging farm fresh produce and serious barbecue out of wooden shack on a two lane Louetta road. Strack Farms was local before local was cool. Dad was coaching and mom was keeping the score book for the league records. Watching the parade and baseball families in Tomball Saturday morning made me feel all gooey inside. Now we are serving barbecue right down the road from a little league baseball park. Life is so good.

The Tomball Little League parade and festival helped us kick off another wonderful Saturday at The Craftory. We are hoping that next year we can afford to be a significant sponsor for the league. I’m on a mission to get a banner on the outfield fence. That’s when I’ll know we’ve arrived.

When the parade was over I treated myself to our house Micheleda.

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We smoke tomatoes, onion, and GAWLIC for the base of our Michelada mix. Our brisket rub for the cup rim, a squeeze of lime, and the beer of your choosing is a quality companion to your breakfast or barbecue. This is a darn tasty beverage good anytime of day is how I feel about it.

Shelly and Heath are feeling the spirit with a Micheleda and a Mimosa. We always enjoy having the Parker’s in the house.

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A perfect storm led to another busy and exciting Saturday. Impact News published a nice story about the foodie scene in Tomball and Magnolia. We were part of the story and some new folks learned about us. You can read it online here. The story is well done in Impact New’s typical enjoyable style. We always look forward to the new issues.

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The baseball parade, gorgeous weather, and Facebook foodie groups all together brought us regulars and first timers. We’re feeling fortunate on that front for sure.

The line spilled into the dining room before I knew what happened. I ended up guarding the front door so we didn’t get too over stuffed inside the building. We need a plan for line management when this happens. Michelle was managing the line by offering beverages to help keep it fun and sort of like a tailgate. As a friend told us this week…you know you are at the right place when there is a line. We do try our best to make it move fast. I don’t think the wait was ever more than about 20 minutes at the very most.

We’ve got some work to do. We need to make more barbecue and chocolate. This is good, but we need a plan.

The week started off with us taking Will Benson up on his offer to test drive his rotisserie style barbecue cooker. We managed to get to nearly the end of Saturday before selling out, so we were able to serve more people this week.

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One morning, while I was tending to the test cooker, I was rather tickled by the aroma of freshly baked goods coming from Jane & John Dough (on the right) and the sounds of Wild Spirit Yoga (on the left). The yoga studio had transitioned from quiet meditative mind and body bending to KC & The Sunshine Band’s “do a little dance”. It struck me as a missing scene from The Big Lebowski. I felt like a backyard barbecue warrior again.

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“uh, hey man, this is Old Town Tomball, lets get down tonight”

We’re considering this style of cooker for catering and festival opportunities; as well as, a back up for The Black October when that cooker gets over loaded. This style of cooker is very different from our offset cooker. There’s some learning yet to be done, but we did make some great barbecue with this rotisserie.

The chase for pretty & thin blue smoke like that which spills out of The Black October was going well.

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We’ve been invited to participate in this years Houston Barbecue Festival on May 22nd.  The festival will present 20 – 25 of the area’s most notable barbecue joints along with some of Texas famous one’s like legendary Louis Mueller Barbecue. Tickets are on sale now at the Houston Barbecue website.  Tickets are limited and they will sell out, so consider it soon and get yours before they are gone.

We went last year and really enjoyed the event. It’s a pretty sweet and smokey feeling to be included in this event. Turned out Chef and I were thinking the same thing one day as we showed up at The Craftory sporting these shirts from last year.

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Isn’t that special.

While the guys were fixing sinks and smoking meats, Michelle was hand rolling chocolate truffles like our pecan praline.

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Those always go fast.

Some special visitors dropped by this week.

Michelle and I have a border collie named Handsome Gus so we know all about the smarts of this breed. Fergus is a new rescue. He’s already learned how to dress his master in a craft beer T shirt and lead her to The Craftory. I’m telling you. These dogs are smart.

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Border Collies along with all other well behaved doggies on their leash are always welcome outside at The Craftory.

The most special visitor of the week though was three week old Noah Kingston on his first venture out of the house.

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Noah brought his mommy in for a brisket & blues sandwich and watched her eat it with some pretty serious observation. Kid wanted to know what the line was going to look like on Saturday.

A couple of weeks ago, I started a little picture contest.  Post a pic, use #thecraftory, and I’ll pick my favorite and give $10 in Craftory credit to the winner.  We are getting some great pictures to consider. As I was searching #thecraftory I came across a Swedish leather goods retailer called Tallinn Craftory.

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Ain’t the Internet a hoot.

Lets hope this Swede can keep his grip on that brief case when he sees the picture Nick Rama posted this week.

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I think it was the egg perfectly dripping off the edge of turkey that captured my attention the most. It was close this week again. Keep them coming folks, your day will come. Who wouldn’t enjoy 10 bucks worth of chocolate or barbecue.

Thank you all for another stellar week.

Cheers! Scott

 

 

 

 

 

 

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