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Holiday BBQ aims to bring community together

By Staff | Jun 25, 2019

When it comes to celebrating the Fourth of July, many may think of fireworks – and barbecue.

For the upcoming holiday weekend, The Community House will host a Community Social on July 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. with the theme of “Rib Night.” Resident Chef Jarred Harris explained that they wanted to celebrate July 4, but decided on a weekend event because there are already many day-of activities.

“We thought a Saturday event would be nice,” he said.

“And no one else does barbecue on the island, and my barbecue is good,” Harris added.

The Sanibel facility hosts the themed events regularly as a way to bring the community together.

“It’s a social event – through food,” he said.

The July menu will pull mostly from America’s Southern roots in terms of ingredients and flavors, kicking off with three traditional starters: homemade pork rinds, sweetcorn salad and Brunswick stew.

Harris noted that the salad is one of a couple vegetarian options available off the menu.

“It’s made with fresh sweetcorn, peppers and onions,” he said.

The stew is a familiar dish among areas like Georgia and South Carolina.

“It’s basically a stew made out of pulled pork,” Harris said.

“And everybody has their own version,” he added.

For the entrees, diners will enjoy baby back ribs, St. Louis-style ribs and Southern-style spare ribs.

“We called it ‘Rib Night’ because the protein is going to be ribs,” Harris said.

“Some of the ribs are going to have dry rubs, some of the ribs are going to be marinated,” he added.

Baby back ribs are leaner, so they tend to have less fat.

“They come from the loin, so the back of the animal,” Harris said.

He explained that St. Louis-style ribs and spare ribs are the same, except St. Louis-style ribs have a more uniform shape and less fat due to the rib tips and brisket flap being removed from the cut.

“It’s without the trimming, so with all the fat and taste,” Harris said of spare ribs.

There will also be a surprise fourth entree, which will be marinated differently than the rest.

“In all the Community Socials, I always add like one or two extra things,” he said.

Sticking with the Southern barbecue theme, the featured side dishes will consist of black-eyed peas and rice, collard greens and corn bread, and macaroni and cheese – made using four different cheeses.

“It is memorable if you’ve had it,” Harris said of his mac and cheese recipe. “It is awesome.”

All of the dishes will be vegetarian options as none will be made with pork.

“These are traditional Southern sides,” he said.

The desserts will include an ice cream sundae bar, chocolate brownies and root beer floats.

“It’s like comfort food. Everybody knows what a root beer float is,” Harris said.

The sundae bar – a Community Social staple – comes with Harris’ homemade topping sauces as usual. The brownies will not contain nuts, but assorted toppings will be available on the side.

Event tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door.

An additional $5 donation is requested to enjoy the desserts.

Harris recommended that people get tickets in advance because space in limited.

“We want people to buy their tickets early,” he said. “We don’t want anybody to be disappointed because we’re sold out.”

Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.

The public is encouraged to come out.

“It is going to be an excellent way to meet other members of the community,” Harris said. “We want people to come and socialize – and we do that through food.”

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net.

Event tickets can also be purchased in-person at the facility.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way.