Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Rest Of The Story, BB-Q 2008

After reading my previous post, I realized I didn't say alot about our team- the other two guys who did their share of work, and more... Missing Mike, or Skippy has cooked with me now for about 10 yrs. The Missing Mike label has been earned over the years by his habit of disappearing during the cook-off, to go bar hopping! He is older now, with 3 children and a wife that is on to him!That is a picture of his beautiful family! He's a smart guy, and with us cooking together for awhile- we know who does what- and when... The other cook was a Newby- 1st cook off ever! It was my son Craig! He was alot of help, with the shopping, lugging, tending the coals, etc. Just like where you work, the new guy usually gets the grunt work... He did that without complaint, and was learning about our tricks all the time! Next year, he wants his own category- and I bet he'll do fine. Teamwork. The older I get, the more I realize we all need to work as a team. Like Yogi Berra once said; "None of us is as good as all of us"...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

2008 State BB-Q Cook-off....

Well once again, the big day is over, and once again, I'm glad of it! It is a tremendous amount of work for what is supposed to be a hobby! The weather was great, we had a good location, and for the most part we did manage to have some fun. 40 teams competed, again from 5 different states. The teams that do many of these KCBS sanctioned cook-offs are quite good, and dominate the contest in the main categories.
The results: Well, we didn't get skunked this year! We managed to get a 2nd place in the Potato category, giving us 1 more ribbon- and no prize money! The potato recipe was, as follows:
6 medium sized red skinned potatoes
Wrap in aluminum foil, bake for 1 hour in approx. 350F oven(or grill!)until soft.
Cut in half. Carefully (reserving skins intact) scoop out cooked potato, mix w/1/4 cup sour cream, salt and pepper.
Pack potato/sour cream mix back into reserved skins.
Top with sharp cheddar cheese, shredded.
Top cheese w/cooked bits of bacon
Reheat until cheese is melted, but not browning
Top with sour cream, sprinkled w/ fresh chopped chives.
Serve while still hot, or at least warm!
I won't kid you, we scored low this year in almost everything else- which puzzled us a little... Our ribs were bad. Our brisket was so-so. Our pulled pork was so good, we didn't put any sauce on it- big mistake! Our chicken was tasty, but the skin was sub par.
More and more, this is becoming a hobby for serious competitors, who will buy a trailer grill worth thousands, a motor home, etc. I'm glad our goal is to just not get skunked! I have a few pictures, as we got a little busy to take alot of quality photos...
Today is unpack and cleanup- and I'm so whipped it's going to take a long time...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Upcoming Battle- State BB-Q Cook-off.. Meat Treatment-101..

Every year, about this time, I start making my magic potions and powders used in rubs, sops, marinades, and slathers... That's BB-Q talk!
1. Dry Rub. Usually a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices, rubbed into the various meats. This one is important.
2. Sop. Usually a mix of olive oil, water, vinegar, and some of the dry rub. This is used to baste( or sop) the meat throughout most of the BB-Q process.
3. Marinade. A wet process using spices, oil, water to soak the meat in, imparting flavor and promoting tenderness. Vinegar can be used, but sparingly. Mushy meat isn't the same as tender meat!
4. Slather. This is an odd step, but I believe in it. I create a mustard/beer/dry rub combo into a thick, spreadable goo. It helps keep the meat moist, while helping the dry rub mix hang on to the meat. It does not end up tasting "mustardy"!
We look like 3 witches while treating our meat entrees- huddling, arguing, applying! I just thought I'd let you all know what will consume me for the next few days! Pictures will be included in the next few posts- between forgetting the camera, and just plain lazy, I apologize for no visuals...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Funny Stories From Just Living Here...

I promised to tell a couple of jokes, but I think you might find these moments from my life(so far!) humorous...
Animal Stories.
We have always had a Calico cat, and an Airedale dog- well, at least for the last 30 yrs.! A calico cat is basically a mutt cat, in fact I rescued Willow(current C.C.) from a meat market, where she had been living in a dumpster.. But this story is about Daisy, our departed, 1st cat ... This cat could have been in the cat Olympics, she could jump or get into anywhere. Wife puttering, me watching T.V.... Wife goes into laundry room, shuts the dryer door, and tumbles a load of already dry towels... I ask her "Are you drying a pair of kids tennis shoes?" Nooo.. as her eyes get larger and runs for the dryer... We open the door, and out flies a really dizzy, pissed off cat- who had been sleeping on the fluffy towels quite peacefully until the dryer fired up.. She was fine, but to this day- we check what's in there first!
Clara- Our current Airedale, came from Airedale rescue. She is a great dog now, but lived in many homes before finding her "forever" home with us. When we first got her, we took her places in the car. Whenever she saw another dog, she would go wild, barking and trying to get out the car window.. One day, she did this and started yelping... I turned around(while driving, mind you!) to see this big dog head shut in the window... She had stepped on the electric window button, and closed her own head in the window.. My wife is screaming by now, I'm still trying to drive the car AND free Numb Nuts from the window with my window buttons... For years now, if you hit the power windows in the car, this dog will go directly to the middle of the backseat- as far from the window as she can get!
No animals were harmed or destroyed during the telling of these stories...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Got A Question.. Anyone Remember Harry Chapin

I do. I remember telling my wife, "We really gotta see this guy, next time he comes to Michigan" Guess what? He didn't. Guess what? He was dead... How many times do we think the celebrity will live forever, and be at our beck and call? Live your life like there is a cut off moment... you really don't ever know when it is.. Look at your loved ones... Ask yourself "What should I do, I really must do, before I die?" Do not live your life regretting- Go for it! It really is so precious- your life is finite.. I'm telling jokes the next post- I am in "dark " mode, and people don't much like that!
P.S.- From a great song! "Ohhh, I've got something inside me"...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Twice A Year Rant- Comin' Atcha, Right Friggin' Now..

I try to limit this to twice a year... Lately that has been difficult. I will list the things pissing me off lately, by number (Boy Howdy! There's a guy on the edge..)
1. Laws. Do you how many laws we have? Do you know how many they (Congress,Senate,Etc.) put in place every year? We don't need more laws, we need people to behave to other people. Period.
2. Do you know how many people make money off this system? You have politicians, lawyers, prosecutors, clerks, substance abuse counselors, judges, baliffs, etc. Do you see what I'm saying? It's a friggin' industry- and tax payers are paying the bills..
3. We have gotten away from producing products in this country- we now have service industries taking the major role, rather than "serving" the people that make things. This is not self-sustaining.
4. If tax-payers, fine payers, and people who-do-not-have a choice payers stop paying, this system is defunct.
5.Americans have been kidding themselves for far too long- War is not a functioning economy, and giving money to other nations in need with borrowed money doesn't work either..
6. Oil is our new currency, and we don't have much.. Our weak dollar is killing our economy, driven by high oil, and products not being shipped from other countries we need to function profitably- really.
7. Hard reality will land here shortly- the media is soft peddling how bad things really are. When houses and cars aren't selling, we are not livin' in High Cotton.
Sorry kids, I just had to say this... I feel better, but I'm sorry that you don't! Look out for yourself and your loved ones- The Govment ain'ta gonna!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Not Everything I Do Works...

Over the week-end, I decided fried wall eye would be a tasty dinner. I was right, it was tasty, but not a pretty sight! I hadn't fried fish in a long time, and I was definitely out of practice.
Today, our company is doing a cook out for one of my customers. We usually do hamburgers, cheese burgers, brats, and/or hot dogs. I thought I'd make up a batch of my chili dog sauce, in case anyone there feels like eating a hot dog the right way! It is a little unusual recipe, as you do not brown the ground beef first. You simmer it right in the sauce- that is made with water, tomato paste, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, Mex oregano, cumin, mustard, etc. I usually have requests for this recipe, as most restaurants in this area make crappy chili dogs!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm In One Of My Moods... Movie Trivia..

I just want you to list a movie you have watched more than three times- it will tell me alot about you...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Mini-Meme! Two Questions.....

All of you familiar with the format really respond well to this short, but profound Meme!
Question One: What is your favorite activity?
Question Two: what is your least favorite activity, that you occasionally HAVE to participate in?

I usually go first, to help out the timid...

1. I guess feeding people.... It's basic, everyone eats, and I think I'm pretty good at it! Maybe my answer should have been- making people happy!...
2. Funerals. I am not good at situations that require a symapathic, quiet person. Went to one a couple of days ago. I have said before, my family deals with stressfull situations with humor- to relieve the tension. This is not always appreciated by folks that don't have alot of humor in their lives...
Answer as you will, and remember! This blog is titled "Opinions and Rectums"...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Indulgence- On A Monday?

Indulgences- We all got 'em, what'll we do with them?!!? We feed them- when we can afford it! For some- it's caviar, for another- it's Godiva chocolates.. For me, it is usually something I normally could afford- but can't always get! Today, that indulgence is- Sockeye salmon! Yesterday, I noticed in the advertisements, a local store had scored some late run Sockeye salmon... Wild caught, the store must have bought this part of the world's supply, because the price was $8.95 a lb.!! I love this salmon above all others... Red flesh, deep, but pleasant flavor- it is my personal favorite (and the worst salmon I ever had was still incredibly good!). Simple quality demands simple preparation! I first coat the fillet with olive oil- so the spices stick where I put them. I then season the salmon with sea salt, coarse ground pepper, dried dill weed, a touch of granulated garlic, and fresh lemon-squeezed from the fruit. I bind the spices with real butter- and broil until done. Tonight, we are enjoying this feast with a side of home made hearty pasta salad (multi-colored pasta,red onion,celery,carrot,hard cooked egg, and two cheeses, in creamy Italian dressing, red wine vinegar, crushed garlic, and strong olive oil!).
I bet you wish you were me on this rainy Monday night!

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July! BB-Q Ribs, Whole Chickens, and Boomers!

After an unusually stressful 4 day week at work, finally the 4th! My company schedules our 6 month work performance reviews on July 3rd. Really. Besides the preparation, the "2-of-them vs. 1-of-you" format of the interview, and the usual pile of "must do going forwards" to work on after the meeting, coming home last night was like exhaling bad air! Remember- Monday was all day w/the regional sales mgr., Wednesday was the storm (and power day!), then the Thursday I just described. Yesterday got better about 2PM when I won $72 bucks on the Lotto, 230PM power came back on, 6PM got to pick out and buy my nukes to shoot off tonight!
Today has been making a salad, prepping the BB-Q stuff ( making dry rub, slather, mop, and finishing sauce). I decided to cook two whole young chickens along w/the 3 racks of pork ribs in my new smoker grill. Almost time to wrap them all up in aluminum foil, cook for another 2 hrs.- to let them get tender.
Wishing you all a great, safe, GOD-BLESS-AMERICA 4th of July!!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sunday Dinner = Tuesday Leftover Supper...

After Cole Slaw Epic Saturday, I wasn't looking to create a can-you-top-this Sunday dinner! I had twisted my ankle sometime late Friday, and got to limp through the week-end- so grilling outdoors sounded like too much hopping in and out of the house. It wasn't terribly hot, so I figured roasting some Italian flavor marinated chicken breasts and leg quarters, along with scalloped potatoes Alfredo would do nicely! The only packs of chicken I had were pretty big, and I realized left over chicken was going to feature heavily in our diet for a few days...
Monday, I spent all day with the Regional sales mgr., making sales calls on some customers that hadn't already bugged out for vacation. When I got home, my wife knew what kind of a day I had, said "Culvers?" and I said "Let's go!"...A good burger I didn't have to cook was a perfect way to wind down... I did notice the major percentage of clientele at Culvers around 730PM is heavy set, and eating ice cream...
Tuesday when I got home, I told my wife we'd better start working on recycling the chicken, and offered to make a "Chicken Wet Burrito!". To all of you that are relatively new to this blog, a "Wet Burrito" around these parts is a dry burrito with sauce and melted cheese on the outside! Cubed chicken, shredded lettuce, diced fresh tomatoes, some sauce and cheese was the filling. Wrapped in a large flour tortilla, then heated with Pepper Jack Cheese, a sprinkling of shredded Colby, and an enchilada sauce covering it until cheese melted. My son works a 2nd shift close by, and happened to call us whining about starving (saving gas, bicycling to work now!) so he got one too! It really was good- spicy, filling, and easy/fast to make! Oh yeah! By the way, the burrito was cooked in a Microwave- highly unusual for me....