Photos of readers

Do send in a photo or two of yourself doing something interesting or characteristic of your life. We have, after all, more than 61,000 readers!

Today’s Featured Reader is Douglas Swartzendruber (on the left in the picture), who sent a food-related photo and the caption below:

When thinking about favorite activities, many things came to mind from trail running [Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods] to basketball playing [still get in two nights a week] to acoustic jams with friends [a plug here for Colorado Roots Music Camp] to traveling, but the picture shows an activity that our family has enjoyed for over 70 years – barbecuing chicken.

On our northern Indiana farm, we raised corn, wheat and chicken – a lot of Leghorns, tens of thousands per year.  The early bbqs were made out of oil drums cut in half, but the square-bottom ones shown are much more efficient with an even charcoal fire.  The grills are stainless steel and make for easy turning of 20-25 halves per grill.  For big events we would have up to 10 grills going.  The sauce is a fairly simple mix of water, vinegar, butter, Worcestershire and seasonings, with the bbq technique being turning every minute or two with ample application of sauce after each turn. Another technique that is important – note that Slugger and I have our arms crossed in such a manner that we are turning the chicken in the same direction!


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 7, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Wow. How much for a chicken? Looks very tasty. I do have a question. Wheat in Indiana? Was that for the chickens?

    • Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      We raised the wheat mainly for the straw that we baled and then used for bedding in the chicken houses. The wheat went to the local granary for milling. How much – quite expensive depending upon where you live! Jerry has requested a half 🙂

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Ah, Thanks. Never thought about straw for bedding. Very good. I guess we quit planting any wheat by around 1970. All that specialization and Iowa was not going to be a wheat state. Jerry is Chicago so his chicken would be more expensive.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 7, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m bettin’ you’re still able to get out and dish the ball on a fast break, Doug.

    • Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Ken! And indeed passing is a forte, which is rare for a Hoosier 🙂 However, my 3 is still decent.

  3. Michael Fisher
    Posted October 7, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Hi Doug

    “Water, vinegar, butter, Worcestershire and seasonings” – what’s the seasoning you favour?

    I wondered how the chicken halves are secured to the grid for turning, but then realised there’s a spare 3rd grid to put on top before turning. Clever!

    • Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      The basic recipe simply calls for some garlic salt, salt, pepper and sugar. Yes, the chicken are held in place with the another grid – however, if one fails to squeeze tightly, chicken can fly!

  4. Jenny Haniver
    Posted October 7, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Where’s my invitation? I’m ready to chow down.

    • Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      We just did a batch last Saturday. I’ll let folks know when the next round will be 🙂

  5. Blue
    Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    A darling friend and I ‘ll be right over, Mr Swartzendruber,
    for the witchery’s Oktoberfest harvest bonfire and bbq. I ‘ll amply supply its Templeton Rye.

    Again, when and to where should we haul in to exactly ?


  6. max blancke
    Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I took a photo of myself, which is a thing I rarely do. But I am unsure where to send it.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    That photo makes me nostalgic for Summer. I’m afraid it has left the Northwest for the year. That’s some mighty fine looking chicken…fried chicken? Who needs it! 😉

    Interesting sauce recipe. I don’t think I’ve ever had BBQ chicken without a tomato/ketchup based sauce. Your sauce sounds clean, letting the chicken shine.

    • Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Yes, corn was the cash crop, with our acreage about a 90/10 split, corn to wheat. We return to northern Indiana every summer, so perhaps we need to have a WEIT bbq and potluck!

      • Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, this was for Randy at 1.

        • jamesisdead
          Posted October 7, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          Hi Doug, did you state that you’re having a BBQ next Saturday in Colorado Springs? I can bring anything that you would like.

    • Posted October 7, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      The sauce both adds a nice flavor as well as making the meat very moist – even the white meat.

      • Mark R.
        Posted October 7, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, sounds like you’re doing a lot of basting. Makes sense that even the breasts will be moist. The only reliable way I can grill a good breast is with the rotisserie; that never fails, but it’s not as fun.

  8. Posted October 7, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    There is a commercial outfit that closely approximates what we do. If you type in Nelson’s Golden Glow into the Google search box and then click on Images, you will see some fine chicken!

  9. scruffycookie
    Posted October 7, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  10. rickflick
    Posted October 7, 2019 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m a complete novice to this kind of cooking. (I assume that burnt appearance is just the sauce turning to soot?) I’m thinking, I should get out more. Our family tradition was cooking fresh garden vegetables but never had a bbq. It must be an American Midwestern thing.

    • Posted October 7, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      I think you are right about it being a Midwest thing. And yes, the burnt appearance is truly only appearance as the skin soaks up a lot of the sauce. The skin and other charred parts such as the small bones are quite tasty 🙂

  11. darrelle
    Posted October 8, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Oh my. I’m with Randy. Please let me know what I have to do to get invited to your next barbecue.

  12. Posted October 8, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    What sort of sides go with such a chicken?

    • Posted October 8, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      For our latest gathering, we had some raw veggies and dip to munch on while bbqing, then potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans and mixed greens salad, and then usually followed with a fresh peach or fresh strawberry torte with lots of whipped cream. 🙂

      • Posted October 10, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Thanks, even if I don’t eat much chicken anymore, I do appreciate hearing how things are different and the same in various respect in places.

  13. Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Colorado Curmudgeon.

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