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

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

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

Last Summer Bash

After the long weekend, so many of us are ready to call it a day to Summer. Some of us still hold on to our BBQs and plans of hosting outside gatherings until the Fall Equinox is upon us, (13 days left!) not that we’re counting.

After looking into backyard bashes and end of Summer parties online, one can get sucked into the Pinterest vortex. As overwhelming as it is, there are so many simply and easy ways to send off Summer in style.

Lighting in key to any party, but when daylight begins to transition into Fall, lighting can be one of the key features to a party that can be enjoyed into the fire-pit hours. Here are some really great ideas to keep the gathering well lit with dwindling daylight:

Lighting for the last Summer Bash

String lights are a super easy way to add that warm glow to any outdoor patio. If you are more into candles, try the tiki-torch variety or the little potted citronella votives to keep the bugs away around their biting twilight hours. We recommend adding our Patio Umbrella Mosquito Net Canopy to easily screen in the party and leave the bugs out:
Classic Accessories Mosquito Net Canopy Classic Accessories Mosquito Net Canopy

For lunch or dinner, we would suggest making one of our Art Director, Dorik Downing’s, Double D Burgers that we featured in our latest VLOG. They are spicy and delicious!

Double D's Burgers

Summer side dishes are a dime a dozen. Fresh produce is plentiful at any local farmers market. I am a huge fan of Delish.com’s  Watermelon Balsamic Caprese Salad:

and their Jalapeno Popper Potato Salad:

Or basically any kind of grilled corn on the cob!

Outdoor games are so popular these days and there are so many you can make as a simple DIY. Apparently LARGER versions of indoor games are all the rage as well like this fun idea for dice from Megan over at the Handcrafted Life:

The perfect ending to all the parties this season is and oldie-but-a-goodie … S’MORES!
They can be as simple or as elegant as you can dream up. With “bar” set-ups trending more and more each summer, a simple chocolate, gram and “mallow” have been thrust into the lime light with more refined flavors and ways to showcase the offerings. Sky’s the limit to what pairings hosts can serve up:
S'mores Bar
Check out the fun sign you can grab now on Amazon HERE.

After the party leaves and you find yourself starting to think about ending the BBQ season for the year, don’t forget the covers!

Madrona Collection

Check out our new Madrona Collection with taped seams ready for the harshest of Fall’s weather. We are even taking 25% OFF your entire order now through the end of September with discount code: PREFALL at checkout. (site-wide!)

Cheers to the last bash of Summer!

Sources:
BeaniPet
Bower Power
Optimum Garden
Handcrafted Life
Amazon
Catch My Party
Pin Img
Delish

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Last Summer Bash

Summer to Fall

Is there a bigger hashtag than #Fall? Seems that’s all we hear as Summer draws to an end. The days are shortening, the mornings are growing colder by the day, and somewhere someone is watching out for the first PSL (Pumpkin Spiced Latte for those of you who have never heard of a coffee shop called Starbucks) sighting.

Labor day is upon us and everyone always asks, “What are you doing to celebrate the end of Summer?” End of Summer?! We don’t want to put limits on when Summer will end so we are celebrating the Sunny Season with 25% off our entire site for the entire month of September! Just use discount code: PREFALL at checkout.

Now for those plans of celebrating the long weekend. We asked around the building what Classic Accessories employees do for the Summer to Fall transition. What are they getting excited for, what activities are already penciled in, etc. Check it out:
Summer to Fall with Classic Accessories Employees

 

Summer to Fall

Why cover your grill?

Why Cover Your Grill

When people talk about BBQ in America, the discussion typically takes a turn towards location. Grilling and smoking are time-honored traditions that have many roots. Some states are divided by sauces, some by smoke, some by rubs and so on. As much as we can chat about the best recipe or our favorite pit to grab a bite, here at Classic Accessories, we take location a little more seriously than a sauce debate. We know the elements can vary drastically just in our lower 48. Since we are in the cover business, we look at what mother nature is serving up season after season if broken down by three of her favorite styles:
Grilling Climates
When we think of humidity, we think hot, tropical days and nights with moisture in the air that feels heavy and thick. Napoleon Grills reminds us that, “humid can also mean damp, like a foggy day in London,” which we may see more than our fair share of in the Pacific Northwest. Our grill covers are designed with air vents that keep weather out while providing maximum ventilation and minimum condensation. Our covers are also designed to not cover wheel or leg bottoms that hang to the ground. This prevents the cover from sitting in any standing water that is common in coastal climates where heavy rain and snow can be a seasonal detriment. Water, in any form, is a damaging element to outdoor kitchens and we have introduced taped seams into our NEW Madrona RainProof Grill Covers to further keep moisture from barbecues and grills

Water on patios, metals and decks
Dry climates pose another threat to your grill over time with damaging UV exposure and lack of moisture. A cover will prevent dust and debris from coating the grill and finding its way into catch pans where fires can easily be started. When we say our covers are designed for all elements, we took these environments into consideration.

Here are some quotes from various BBQ forums on covering grills:

Grill Cover Reviews

One of the best things about grills is that they are meant to be used outdoors, so they are built with some of the toughest materials. Even though price tags vary by brand, style and size, all grills have their weaker points as well. This is where a cover can come in to extend the life of cheaper metals and help keep some of the accessories like side tables, tank doors and controls working like new.

steel, enamel, cast iron, wood and porcelain

From harsh weather to daily use of your grill, you always want to have it ready to fire up at a moment’s notice. There are many tips and tricks to cleaning your grills between parties or between seasons. From informative videos to how-to articles, the last step is always the same no matter if it’s for the day or for the Winter … put a cover on it.
75 % of all Americans own a grill
75% of all us adults, or just big kids, own a grill or smoker. That’s a lot when you think about all the different regions. That’s also a lot when you think about all the different kinds of styles of BBQ and grills out there. What’s more is the style of outdoor kitchens and rooms we have to think about too. From small balconies to lavish outdoor kitchens, we know style is one thing you think about when purchasing a cover. Sure the features of the cover are instrumental to how the cover will perform for you, but we know that your grill is just as much a part of your outdoor decor as your furniture is.

Grill and BBQ Cover Collections by Classic Accessories

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12

We have over 10 different collections of covers, all with unique designer colorways to features. A big part of the design process here at Classic Accessories is keeping our ideas fresh and on trend. One of the biggest we see is the need for design and function have never been more apparent. We are seeing grills with numerous handle, color and finish options. Ryan Bloom, of Urban Bonfire, states that designers that choose to combine “raw cooking power with beauty see the winning combination.” We like to think that our designs nod to both camps. We have the strength and durability built into our covers with the designer features that compliment any outdoor space. Making the choice to cover you grill, barbecue or smoker should be an easy one. Finding the right size and style should be just as easy, and that’s where Classic Accessories can be a part of the solution.

Here’s to gathering around the grill this August with friends and family.
We hope you end the day, or season, with Classic Accessories.

Sources:
Pixabay
Mercury News
Napoleon Grills
BBQ Bretheren  |  The Smoke Ring  |  The BBQ Forum  |  Smoking Meats

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Why cover your grill?