Stone Tables and weird sisters barbecue

I love fall, and have to wait an extremely long time for it to really arrive in North Texas. We are teased with a morning when we need a jacket, and think our air conditioning days are over.

Two signs mark the season arrival for me. The Dallas Opera season kicks off, and my involvement as a Dallas Running Club volunteer kicks in.

Verdi's Macbeth was the first Dallas Opera production. The production was created by the Seattle Opera in conjunction with the Arizona Opera. It had its problems, most noticeably with the fake rocks that were a main feature of the set. The chorus, witches, and supernumeraries did a lot of rock rearranging, without acting like the rocks were any heavier than an empty shoebox.

Early in Act III of Macbeth, the witches, or "weird sisters" had a barbecue. No, wait. It was some kind of ritual prior to showing Macbeth the clues to his future. But the set looked like a semi-circular fake stone barbecue that could have been built by the CCC if the CCC had used white shoeboxes. Sorry to say, that broke the magic spell known aesthetically as "suspension of disbelief" for me. I started thinking about Margie's marinaded chicken, and how good it smelled when it was broiling, and how it might be just the thing for a fall picnic at White Rock Lake.

At Dallas' White Rock Lake there are many structures that were built by the CCC in the late Thirties with real stone, not shoeboxes. I volunteer at races because it's a great reason to get out to the lake on crisp mornings.

Went to a volunteer appreciation get-together at the lake's Stone Tables area yesterday. Pizza was served, not Margie's broiled chicken, but that's okay. The site has a wonderful feel that has attracted picnickers for seventy years.

I am respectfully borrowing this photo from a wonderful website about White Rock Lake and the CCC.

My next volunteer effort is the Dallas Running Club's Mile 16 Aid Station for the Wellstone's Dallas White Rock Marathon, aka "The Rock". The aid station is at Sunset Bay, not far from the Stone Tables. The structures at the site were also built by the CCC, and in April 2004 the For The Love Of The Lake organization placed a bronze statue of a CCC worker at the Bay. The statue is nicknamed "Buff Biff", and the organization has recently had it cleaned so it is looking really impressive.

Daylight was fading when I stopped at Sunset Bay after the picnic. Many families were there feeding bread crusts and popcorn to the pelicans, ducks, and geese. Photographers were as abundant as waterfowl.

This may not be the best place to insert a recipe for basting sauce, but this is the national week for all things fowl. Nevermind about Margie, as that's a whole different story, and I'm out of therapy now!

Margie's All-Purpose Basting Sauce (for excellent broiled chicken)

1/2 cup salad oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp MSG (optional)
Combine ingredients in a jar. Add salt, fresh-ground pepper, and herbs to suit yourself. Shake.

© 2007 Nancy L. Ruder


Genevieve said...

The CCC did a lot of stone constructions in the Kentucky state parks, too. In my county and the next county east, the WPA had their own quarries. It must have been hard, hard labor.

Genevieve said...

Oops. Wrong link for the next county east. Try this one.


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