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Gatherings Gal

Gatherings Gal grills ... Ted Laws from Texas

By Gatherings Gal October 27, 2011

The basics:

My name is: Ted Laws.

My job is … very fun and rewarding. I get to make friends, build relationships, and promote acts of charity and benevolence through fraternalism. As a Modern Woodmen financial representative, I also create legacies of love with the power of life insurance and annuities provided by one of the very finest organizations in the world.

I am from: Austin, Texas.


The “important” questions:

Vanilla or chocolate? Both (and, of course, homemade is best).

I like my steak cooked: Full of flavor, medium and juicy.

White or wheat bread? Wheat (the heel if you have it, please).

Get to know me:

On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll probably find me: Smoking real Texas BBQ; helping out my wife, Lori; spending time with my kids; and maybe even a little water gardening.

My favorite memory of a family gathering is: Giving our 3-year-old foster son his very first birthday party. It was at the park with everyone there. The water and game activities, “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” candy falling out of the piñata. All of the children smiling, eating watermelon, chips, and hot dogs with ketchup, hamburgers, and Stephen’s birthday cake with a huge T-rex dinosaur that roared and had eyes that would light up. That night after his party, I tucked him in bed, gave him a hug and found that thing in his pillowcase. He did not want Elijah, his brother, or anyone else to take it away.

The next gathering I’m planning is: A fundraiser for a local volunteer fire department.

My favorite volunteer activity is:  BBQ fundraising. No one goes without.

My party planning style is: The bigger, the better.

My favorite recipe is: Smoked Thanksgiving turkey

· 1 whole turkey
· ½ cup Italian dressing
· ½ cup rosemary
· 1 orange
· Chicken fajita seasoning
· Brisket rub
· Coarse black pepper
· Lemon pepper
· 5 or 6 slices thick maple bacon
· ½ stick melted butter

1. Remove neck and giblets from cavity and rinse bird.
2. Place bird on 3 to 4 feet of extra heavy-duty foil.
3. Pour Italian dressing and coat bird.
Place rosemary into the cavity, followed by an orange cut in half.
Dust your bird with chicken fajita seasoning, brisket rub, coarse black pepper and lemon pepper.
Place bacon slices across turkey breast, covering as much area as possible.
Inject melted butter in each breast going through the bacon.
Wrap turkey with existing foil, leaving 1 or 2 inches of air gap by the turkey legs.
Place bird in indirect fire barbecue smoker. Hold pit temperature between 200 to 250 degrees depending on outdoor environment, and smoke for 8 to 10 hours. Internal temperature with a meat thermometer must be 185 degrees in the deep, meaty thigh area.

Tip: Try using fruit wood to smoke with. I prefer peach wood. Two years ago, we smoked 55 turkeys for a high school fundraiser and 34 more for our friends’ families’ gatherings. Lots of fun!

Sound off: Do you want to be grilled by Gatherings Gal? Comment here or email her at


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Halloween party themes for kids

Holidays | Party Planning
By Gatherings Gal October 27, 2011


It's hard to believe that Halloween is right around the corner. Time to get ready with your best costume and a bowl of your favorite candy. (I'm splurging for full-size candy bars this year for neighborhood Trick or Treaters.)

If you are having a gathering for kids this weekend, check out these party themes:

Spook-tacular Halloween party

Costume party for kids

And a few fun and simple activities for your spooky get-together:

Walnut hunt

Zombie dance

Pumpkin decorating contest

Pass the pumpkin


Sound off: How will you spend Halloween?

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