Justin Petersen shows off just a few pieces of the macho-manly grilling gear available at Man Cave home parties MEATINGS he hosts.
Man Cave 'Mary Kay on steroids'
BROOKINGS Call it equal-opportunity home parties.
Step aside, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and Avon ladies, and make room for Man Cave, the home-party movement for men: think meat, beer, games and products designed with the outdoor macho-man chef in mind.
Justin Petersen, of Arlington and a Brookings-based engineer, hasn't quit his day job; but Man Cave bookings are very much in demand.
"That's pretty much it," he said when asked what Man Cave is all about. "The gentleman who founded Man Cave, Nick Beste from the Minneapolis area, thought of the idea while he was grilling out with his buddies.
"He said, 'Wouldn't it be nice if we had home parties for men?' And that's where he got the idea for Man Cave.
Petersen got started in Man Cave around this past Father's Day. He's done four parties to date. One of those was held in Pioneer Park. His next one in Brookings will be "whenever someone schedules it."
'There's a MEATING tonight!'
"We set up a time and place. It could be your home," Petersen said. "I've heard of them being done at campsites and parks in other places. For some pretty basic reasons, these gatherings are appropriately called MEATINGS.
"You invite your friends, and I bring some meat and drink. It's usually two or three brats per person. If it's a larger group, I'll bring a roast to grill out."
During the course of the party, Petersen will demonstrate a variety of man-sized products, most of them aimed at men who want to cook outside in a Neanderthal atmosphere heavily charged with testosterone and B.S. (Can't say that pair of four-letter words here. In Navy jargon it's "bravo sierra.")
One of the more intriguing instruments in Petersen's Man Cave inventory is a "giant spatula" that looks like it could be used to flip over a whole hog or half a side of beef. In a snow emergency it could be used to shovel out a driveway. Might be nice to have one of these in the trunk of your car when you set out on South Dakota roads in the winter.
Justin doesn't mention those auxiliary options, focusing instead on its primary potential: "You can grill pizzas, fish, large hamburger patties, a couple large pork loins."
For the fowl griller, Man Cave offers a stainless steel chicken roaster. Demonstrating its finer points, Petersen points out "a cup inside so you can pour in your beer, your cola, whatever you want to cook with. Put the cover on there and then you put the chicken on top of it."
Then, he added, "You can put vegetables, onions, potatoes, whatever you want inside it." Remove one of its parts, and roaster can be used as a wok.
Next, Justin wields a hefty 7-inch grill brush, "which makes quick work of cleaning up your grill." And with the grill good-to-go, break out a three-piece grill set, which among other things can function as a bottle opener.
With his bottle of brewski open, the chef can slip a cozy over it to keep it chilled; meanwhile, he can slip a grilling glove over his other hand: Smiling, Justin explains,"You can keep your hand warm and your beer cold."
And to make sure the cooling cozy's inner container doesn't run dry, the cook can summon his wife or girlfriend with the "beer pager," a small device like the one used to lock or unlock today's cars.
Justin hinted that his wife's response to the beer-needed summons falls in the "not-a-chance" category. Incidentally, his wife, Tabitha, is a Pampered Chef representative.
Let the games begin
One of the features of any gals' get-together over products is the games, with prizes awarded to the winners. Man Cave guys are not going to be outdone in this area.
The name of their game is "hammerschlagen." It's of German origin and is played with a hammer and nails.
Justin, using a large log to demonstrate how it's played, said, "You just start the nails and play with the opposite side of the hammer. The first one to get his nail in wins."
While the games and the gadgets are fun, in the Man Cave world it's the meat that rules: In this instance, it's brats 32 different flavors.
Justin says, "One of the best-selling ones is the Philly Cheese Steak. My favorite is the Jalapeρo Pineapple." The brats are just for starters: "There's pork loin, stuffed hamburgers, chocolate bacon."
Add to all the available meats the spices and sauces to match just about everybody's taste.
To get to the bottom line: Man Cave can provide everything from what to grill meat rules to the top-shelf tools needed for grilling.
Not surprisingly, Petersen is "looking forward to the football season. Monday Night Football would be perfect to get a group of guys over." And gals, too.
He explained, "It's Man Cave; but 80 to 90 percent of the MEATINGS are coed." As an aside, he noted that it was Tabitha who got him started in Man Cave; and the husband-wife team are considering a joint Man Cave-Pampered Chef gathering.
Men who would like to schedule a get-together for 15 to 20 of their friends for a truly macho meeting, give Justin a call at (605) 530-9391. He said he's pretty well booked in the next month or so.
Try to get that meating set up before the snow flies; and strongly consider buying one of those super-sized spatulas.
Contact John Kubal at jkubal@-brookingsregister.com.