a Classic Thanksgiving

When it comes to the biggest dinner of the year, we all find ourselves in “this camp, or that camp” with very little wiggle room. Thanksgiving has always been a wonderful time for family and friends filled with an abundance of delicious food and meaningful memories made together. We had a little fun with how things are done in our co-workers’ homes this holiday: What camp are you in?
Classic Accessories Inforgraphic - Thanksgiving
From all of us at Classic Accessories, we wish you and your family a very
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sources:
Classic Accessories Employees
Graphics: Heather Thomas

a Classic Thanksgiving

Turkey Tips

Turkey Tips with Dorik Downing

We have asked our resident Kamado Joe griller, Dorik, for his Turkey Tips this season and he quickly gave us the rundown on how he preps his poultry each Thanksgiving.

1. Brine your turkey! There really isn’t an if/and/or statement when you ask him about the way a turkey should be cooked. It all starts with the brine. Dorik recommends 4 cups kosher salt dissolved in 2 gallons of water. Bring it down to “refrigerator cool” before submerging your turkey. The Spruce.com recommends brining your bird for an hour per pound. So a 12 pound turkey would need 12 hour of brine time. Dorik brines his overnight in the refrigerator and says even if you don’t have that much time, 4-6 hours will make a difference in helping your turkey retain the moisture and juices during cooking.

IMPORTANT: Always use a safe plastic to brine in. We recommend this brining bag kit from Amazon. When in question, always look for the food safe symbol on any plastic container you are looking to use. See below for reference:

Bringing Safely

2. After your hours of brining are up, rinse both the cavity and skin under cool running water for a few minutes to ensure all traces of salt are gone. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels.Rinsing and Drying

3. Place turkey on meat rack set over rimmed sheet pan in refrigerator overnight, uncovered
and air dry for at least 8 hours or overnight. (this helps the skin become crispy)

4. Before heading over to his grill, Dorik injects the bird meat all over with a mixture of 4 sticks melted butter and 1 beer. Talk about a butter beer from the Wizarding World! He recommends our local Red Hook’s ESB for it’s caramel malt sweetness and subtle spice and fruit hop flavors. He rubs outside with salt, pepper, dried thyme, rosemary, sage and garlic powder.

Dorik's Butter Beer

Need an injector? Check out Amazon’s Bayou Classic 5011.

5. After finishing the outside of  the turkey, Dorik then quarters an onion, fresh garlic and thyme and loosely places into the turkeys cavity. Packing the turkey too tightly with stuffing will prevent turkey from cooking evenly.

6. Hands down, Dorik’s cooking method of choice is his Kamado Joe Grill loaded with lump charcoal and a few oak chunks from bourbon barrels (obtained from Makers Mark in KY. Where he is a Maker’s Mark ambassador!)

Dorik's Kamado Joe Grill
His next steps at the grill are as follows:

I will use a heat deflector plate, grill grate, drip pan and wait for temp to get up to 325°. Once up to temp, I just place the Turkey in the middle of grill, place “in-oven” thermometer in thickest part of leg, close the lid and crack a cold one. (I will not open lid until turkey is up to temp) It is so great to cook the Turkey on the grill outside because it frees up the kitchen oven for other favorite items. Cooking time takes about 2.5-3 hours. Remove and let rest. Carve and Serve.

Dorik also recommends leftovers (my personal favorite!) and to always save the turkey carcass for making turkey broth. Bring to boil in large pot, reduce heat to simmer for about an hour, strain and freeze for next year. I like to use the turkey broth from the previous year for my giblet gravy. Its delicious! And for Cyber Monday … turkey sandwiches for lunch!

Cooking turkeys brings on great food debates, but that’s for another time, and another post.

Turkey Tips

Firewood: Split, Stack, Cover

Firewood
Freshly split or stacked for months, there are several reasons why proper maintenance is paramount for firewood. If this is your first time stacking or you just want a refresher course, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Choosing a location
  2. Stacking your firewood
  3. Drying and seasoning your firewood
  4. Keeping pests away
  5. Cover your firewood

Choosing a location is essential to ensure your firewood isn’t susceptible to moisture. If moisture sets in, rot can become a real problem while also attracting termites and other destructive insects. It is not only recommended to elevate your firewood off the ground but storing away from your home can be important as well. Just make sure the area you choose gets ample sunlight to dry and season your firewood.

Stacked Firewood

Stacking your firewood can be quite the science when wanting to keep everything dry and ready to burn. A level surface can be more important than you think due to pieces shifting as they dry. So be careful with how high you stack your firewood. At this point, log racks can really come in handy to help keep everything organized while ensuring you don’t stack too high. Log racks are much easier to cover as well; but we’ll get to that later.

Due to bark really holding onto moisture, residents living in rainy states or are expecting inclement weather need to consider the angle when stacking. It is recommended facing the bark side toward the ground in rainy conditions but upward if snow accumulates.

Keeping these few techniques in mind leaves air circulation. Rather than just throwing your wood into a pile, stacking them allows air to whistle through helping them dry quicker. Also keep your firewood away from any walls for air to circulate all the way around.

Axe Firewood

Drying and seasoning your firewood can take up to six months. Starting late in the winter and/or early spring are considered the perfect time to start cutting; giving your firewood ample sunlight in the months to come. The key to having seasoned, ready to light, firewood is maximum drying time.
Fire is ready

But how are you supposed to know when your firewood is ready? Before striking that match, your firewood will notify you if it is ready or not. If they change to a yellow or dark brown color you’re good to go. Also look at the ends for small cracks. If you’re buying firewood at the store, it has already gone through a drying and seasoning process.

Keeping pests away can be a frustrating, challenging endeavor. As mentioned earlier, termites can be a real threat and love to call your stacked firewood home. Attracted to older, dryer wood, make sure to burn the oldest in the bunch first.

Termites

Covering your firewood is an extremely important step to ensure you have clean, dry firewood to burn. For any recently collected pieces, go without a cover as it needs to be exposed to open air to dry. With that said, after you’ve chosen a location, properly stacked your firewood (in a safe space or a log rack), allowed for maximum drying time and pests are under control – it’s time for a cover.

Available in multiple colors and patio cover collections, Classic Accessories provides Log Rack Covers and Firewood Accessories so you can enjoy a season-long supply of firewood without concern. Don’t let rain, snow and weather elements determine your enjoyment when preparing a cozy fire for two or a bonfire for many. Save 30% NOW with discount code: FallFirePit at checkout!

Sources:

WikiHow  |  Cabin Living Magazine  |  Wood Splitter Digest  |  Rich Soil  |  Pixabay

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Firewood: Split, Stack, Cover

Cozy Up

What is better than cozying up to a Fall fire pit with a slight chill in the air on a clear night?
Classic Accessories Fire Pit Covers
When weather is a hit or miss, (like today we are enjoying fluffy white snowfall south of Seattle and had a warm and DRY Halloween – what?!) we suggest soaking up any clear afternoon you can get next to a Fall fire pit.

Have family and friends over and take football halftime outside. Grab your favorite hot beverage, strike a match and make some memories around the fire.
Hot Beverage
There are so many warm throws you can buy now (’tis the season) to toss in a basket and bring outside for all your guests to use on their laps.

Blankets
After an afternoon laughing along with the crackling fire, we hope you grab a Classic Accessories Fire Pit Cover to protect whatever Mother Nature is serving up next time.

We are offering 30% off all Fire Pit Covers and Firewood Accessories now through the end of November with discount code: FallFirePit at checkout.

Here’s to the weekend!

Cozy Up

October Pumpkin Tips

Pumpkin carving and quick tips with Classic Accessories:

How to use Tracing Paper to Transfer A Design to a Pumpkin:

  1. Create your design on one side of the tracing paper.
  2. Flip the paper over and carefully trace the design on the opposite (reversed) side with a #2 pencil.
  3. Place the reverse side (from step 2) against the pumpkin where you would like your design to go.
  4. Trace your original design with a pencil or do a soft rubbing being sure to apply pressure to all lines on the design.

Preserving the pumpkin:
For those of you who don’t want to spray bleach onto your pumpkin, we’ve heard that these concoctions can work as well:
Lemon Juice and Water 1:1 ratio or Tea tree oil and Grape seed extracts

Alternative Carving Method:
Not a fan of solid lines and shapes?
Use a drill to create a pattern of holes in the pumpkin skin.

Adding dimension to the pumpkin carving:
You can create a second layer of dimension by only partially carving into the pumpkin flesh in some places and going all of the way through in others.

Colored Lights:
For fun colors when you don’t have a special candle or light, place a battery-powered tea light or lantern into the pumpkin and place a layer of tissue paper against the interior of the carved area of the pumpkin.

Easy Assembly:
Instead of cutting out the stem, cut the entry hole into the pumpkin from the underside. Instead of putting a flame into the pumpkin, you have a plate to set the candle on—and only have to worry about placing the carved pumpkin around the flame.

Spend more time outdoors with your favorite pumpkin designs. Happy Halloween!

October Pumpkin Tips

Hunting with RVs

Planning CampOctober is that time of year to start thinking about indoors. Throwing up fall decorations in every shade between red and yellow, pulling out our favorite soup recipes, moving boots and scarves to the front of our closets – it’s endless on the rituals we have made each Fall.

Maybe the thought of RV isn’t really top of mind. In my house, October means camp.
Hunting camp to be exact.

RV Hunting

Weeks of planning go into finding the perfect spot for this group.. You can say these guys (and gals) are the RVers who don’t celebrate the last hurrah of the Summer with a final camping weekend. These campers take their RVs straight through Fall and one of the biggest trips of the year is hunting camp.

Hunting with RVs

If you ask any of them, coming home with a buck is less than 5% of why they do this each and every year. It can be a highlight for sure, but traditions are just that – something we do because we simply love it. Our group of guys take their RVs into the woods and “get lost” every Fall around their RVs, the group cook tent, campfires and tall tales.

Hunting Camp

There’s something to waking up before the sun and getting to your spot you found the day before. Knowing how many steps it takes you to get there because you’re tracking without daylight. Settling in and quieting yourself, and when you move around throughout the morning you do so with very deliberate moves, always looking for signs and knowing which way the wind is blowing. It’s a forced quiet that can feel like hours and times when hours feel like moments. You are up with the sun and around midday you find yourself back to camp.

Up with the sun

Camp has another feel to it. It’s louder there with sounds of breakfast, lunch and dinner cooking. Gear unpacking, log splitting, campfire crackling … but most of all laughter and stories of the day.

Campfire and Tall Tales

RVs are great for hunting camp. They bring the essentials from home. After a day in the woods hiking, you need a place to rest and recharge. GoRVing agrees and says “New ultra-light Travel Trailers and 5th Wheels make it easy to get in and out of the woods and convenient to get out of the cold. Outdoor showers mean clean gear for the next day. Full kitchens give you the option of dinner prepared indoors or over a roaring campfire. Locking storage compartments also let you store your gear safely overnight.”

Another great tip we found was from StayHunting.com where they suggest, “After you’ve decided you need an RV to make your camping or hunting trips more comfortable, you’ll want to make sure you choose an RV that is appropriate for the climate you’ll be in. For instance, if you’re hunting in a cold-weather area, you’ll need an RV with a heated underbelly and enclosed tanks.” They also recommend, “You wouldn’t believe how many people pack a motor home with hunting supplies, food, clothes, and forget basics like a jumper cable for their home on wheels. However, when the battery goes dead or a tire goes flat – everyone remembers they should’ve packed basic car tools as well.”

Montana

Our group also brings along a wall tent for a communal space for a stove and cooking and eating. Because we live in Washington state, we aren’t guaranteed rain free weather, so a bigger space instead of the RVs to break bread together is best. We recommend a Montana Wall Tent you can find at any Cabela’s or BassPro Shop.

We are taking 30% off ALL RV covers and accessories now through the end of October with discount code: FALLRV on our site. Just in time for the season. We hope you share the code with friends and family and we hope to be a part of protecting your next adventure outdoors.

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Hunting with RVs

Fall Road Trip

Fall Road Trip
We are always saying to Discover More Time Outdoors™ here at Classic Accessories.
Fall can be tricky (no Halloween pun intended here) to spend some quality time enjoying some of Mother Nature’s best show-stoppers. Maybe outside can be taken a little less literally. Time to grab the keys to the car or RV and hit the road this season.

Our very own Brad Dorcik is very familiar with the East Coasts claim to fame. He states, “Growing up in Pennsylvania, gazing at shades of yellow, orange and red this time of year can be breathtaking. The vibrant colors at their peak are worth seeing if you haven’t already.”
Brad did a little bit of research for us and found, “With a favorable summer this year, the leaves were eagerly waiting to put on a show. A healthy push and pull of rainfall against warmer temperatures help maintain the leaves colors, allowing them to stay vibrant longer. However, too much of a good thing can hinder the leaves in reaching their peak colors.”

Fall Road Trip

With that said, we put together a short list of some spectacular spots across the U.S. to see the leaves in all their glory as well as some camping spots in their area:

Find the Leaves this Fall

#1. Wissahickon Valley Park, PA
Camp Beaver Valley: http://www.campbeavervalley.com

#2. The Catskills, NY
Saugerties / Woodstock KOA: https://koa.com/campgrounds/saugerties/

#3. Green Mountain Byway, Vermont
Green Mountain Family Campground: http://greenmountainfamily.com/

RVing in Fall

#4. Upper Peninsula, MI
Sunset Bay RV Resort & Campground: http://www.sunset-bay.com/

#5. Aspen, Colorado
Carbondale / Crystal River KOA: https://koa.com/campgrounds/carbondale/

Fall in Aspen

#6. Columbia River George, OR & WA
Columbia River RV: http://columbiariverrv.com/index.html

#7. Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, NM
Enchanted View RV Park: http://enchantedviewrvpark.com/

Family Fun Fall Road Trip

Most of these RV parks have seasonal activities for the entire family for the Fall season. We suggest asking the locals around the campground their favorite spots to visit. Grab your keys and go!

We are holding a contest NOW through the end of October to review a Classic Accessories RV item on our website or on Facebook and you’ll be entered to win a RV item of your choice. Winner to be announced November 1st. Two winners will be chosen, one from our website and one on Facebook. Good Luck!

Sources:
The Travel Channel
News PSU EDU
Fodors.com

 

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Fall Road Trip

Autumn Adventures

The Road to Fall
Autumn is bringing the colors here in our beautiful Washington State after one HOT Summer and we are finally seeing dipping temperatures that are a welcomed forecast around here. It seems like we celebrate the coming of this season earlier and earlier every year. So if you’re not kicking off Fall now because you did so earlier in September, (you’re not alone) what are some fun ways to celebrate this popular season?

Road Trip!
Fall Road Trip
Some of the best sights for Fall colors come right outside your car door. Especially if you live on the East Coast. Rolling fields on fire with Autumnal (said in your best Martha Stewart voice) colors. We have excellent views here in the Pacific Northwest, but if you’re looking for show-stopping colors, best to head East.

Soups On!
Fall Soups
Nothing is more comforting than a warm cup of soup in a crisp fall day. Over at All Recipes, the most popular Butternut Squash Soup is this one with this easy to make recipe:
Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  2. Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.

One of my personal favorites is crafting with what Fall has to offer:
Leaves
On my first walk with my daughter, I picked up leaves along the way from various trees with various colors. I brought them home and pressed them in a book between sheets of waxed paper. After 3 days I took them out and dipped them in beeswax and let them dry. Well, my daughter just turned 5 and those leaves have hung in our home every Fall since in my windows. It’s a cheap way to preserve memories and a fun story to tell house guests on where the leaves came from.

Another way is to plant Chinese or Japanese Lanterns to showcase the mystical Fall plant. They grow in stages and even fade away to intricate veined cages in the Spring that shows off the plant’s red fruit. Fall Lanterns

I am always saying “Grab my camera!” Fall is one of the best times of year to get the kids outside for some fun photography. Golden light comes earlier and kids are always down for a run or jump through the fall leaves. Fall Photos
Fall kids and leaves

And our last favorite for planning an Autumn Adventure is to visit your local pumpkin patch!
Fall Pumpkins
The sights are many and also fleeting as the temperature gets colder so enjoy them while you can. Go “grab your camera” and get outdoors!

Enjoy the weekend.

Source:
All Recipes
Pixabay
Pexels
Classic Accessories

 

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Autumn Adventures

Madrona – Behind the Photoshoot

We have some amazing lifestyle images of our collections. After our latest photo shoot at Lake Oswego, our team sat down to tell us about their favorite shots, some of the more challenging aspects of how the days go and a little magic that happens when you design covers for the elements and Oregon throws you gorgeous days without rain:

Dorik Downing, Art Director.
Jake Sornsin, Product Manager.
Brad Dorcik, Associate Online Merchandiser.
Heather Thomas, Production Artist.

Madrona – Behind the Photoshoot

Top 10 Games

Backyard Fun

Autumn is officially here and what a Summer it was! We have compiled a list of our Top 10 Backyard Games this past season. If most of these games aren’t on the deep sale aisles some of them are completely DIY. What better way to spend rainy afternoons or weekends inside making fun games for next Summer? Have them ready for the first sunny BBQ with friends and family, or if you’re lucky enough to still have warm weekends in your forecast, go grab some paint and get creative!

Here’s our list of the best Summer games with quick links below for sales or How-To’s:

DIY Jenga
Pam Garrison’s colorful Jenga post-share of a Beautiful Mess.

Our #2 comes from Maria Provenzano via the Hallmark Channel for a quick and easy how-to for Balloon Dart Board. We suggest filling them up and making it a water balloon game for an even bigger splash!

Four in a row
Giant Four-in-a-Row comes from our friends over The Home Depot where you can shop their handmade project here.

Dominos
Oversized dominoes are always fun with their high contrast and geometric patterns. This version comes from mariage.com as a backyard reception game.

Twister
This highly Pinned Twister game is fun for kids of all ages! You can even spray paint in different colors for your favorite teams, holidays, etc. Stay true to the Twister colors and simply bring the game’s spinning wheel outside. Spray paint more circles for even more players.
RingToss

Bring our your fair game with an oldie-but-a-goodie: ring toss! You can collect all sorts of sizes and shapes and designate different points. Kristi from I Should Be Mopping the Floor (great blog!) gives a vintage take on the classic game in her how-to here.

Tic-Tac-Toe DIY
So many variations of this game are out there. Our favorite is right from Taryn at tarynwhiteaker.com where she mixes neutral stones and a simple walnut stained board to bring one of our favorite games outside. Here is her How-To for the Tic-Tac-Toe project.

Ladder Golf
Amazon has great offers on ladder golf that is perfect for any backyard in various styles and finishes like this ladder golf toss by Beach Bums.

Bean Bag Toss

Across the board favorite game is the bean bag toss or cornhole to some folks.
Check out how the DIY Network spins this game here.

Lawn Chutes

Our last game (in no particular order) is Lawn Chutes and we recommend this all-in-one piece set from Etsy’s 5-star reviewed shop: The UndergroundShop

What are your favorite backyard games to play?
Here’s to a great weekend … have fun!

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Top 10 Games