Monday, October 31, 2005 

A weekend at home!

I finally had it - a weekend at home!

This weekend marked the first weekend without a major commitment since Labor Day. Regrettably, I DID have a birthday to attend on Saturday, but have been feeling pretty ill so I begged out at the last minute. It was a good choice, in the end. The good weather and rest has pulled me through my funkiness!

My shipment of Wicked Good Charcoal came in on Friday, so I was set to grill all weekend. I took advantage of the quality weather by cooking dinner a-la-grill both Saturday and Sunday nights!

Saturday's dinner was pure meat and potatoes. A pile of rib-eye steaks from our former cow (see previous post) were the main dish. They were absolutely fantastic. All those thoughts that the meat from that grumpy old cow would be tough have been chucked out the window. The steaks even got rave reviews (and yummy noises) from Farmer Girl who, self admittedly, isn't that excited about steaks.

On Sunday morning, I sparked up the smoker and threw on a pair of chickens. Rather than let the extra grill space go to waste, I rooted through one of our freezers and pulled out a couple of packs of country-style pork ribs. I ordered these as part of the cut sheet for our last pig order and I regret it. I had forgotten how generally useless those ribs are. In hindsight, I should have had them made into sausage or something. But, since they're there, I figure I need to use them! I put them on the grill with the chickens and smoked them for future use.

The ribs went into the freezer. I figure I'll pull them out the next time I'm doing a pork rib chile. They're smoked so it'll be a tasty thing to pull them out when it's -30 outside! The chickens, on the other hand, were part of my dinner. I made smoked chicken quesadillas. I whipped up a batch of homemade tortillas and added black refried beans, corn, monterey jack and the diced smoked chicken breast from my AM labors. Needless to say, they were well received by the family!

The rest of the chicken will be tossed in a stock pot with some veggies and simmered for a day or so. This will make some of the most fantastic smoked chicken stock you can imagine. The only thing better is the same type of stock done with Turkey.

I can’t tell you how nice it was to be able to take a day to cook a meal. It wasn’t fancy, but it was all made from scratch and lasted all day and tasted great!

Slow food rules.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005 

I have a cow, Dude!

That's right! In a bastardization of those immortal words utterd by Bartholemew Simpson, I have a cow, dude! And the best thing about it? That cow is in my freezer!

Yes folks, that's right. I now have a freezer packed with beef! Farmer Girl was given a grumpy old dairy cow this summer. She opted to graze our "practice cow" for the summer to better understand how to handle cows and their grazing habits/needs. At the end of September though, our practice cow's time had come.

Given that she was old (5 years) by the standards of beef, we had told our butcher that we wanted hamburger and stew meat. With some hope, but little expectation, I had added that if he found any good looking steaks on her to cut them for me. When we picked up the 500+lbs. of meat, passed a couple boxes on to her previous owner, we took it home and tried to make room for her in our freezers. As I was packing the stuff away, imagine my thrill when I realized that I not only got a couple of good steaks - but an entire BOX of steaks!

Yes, I've got porterhouse, t-bones, strip steaks, tenderloins, flank steaks and more! Yee Haw! Now our freezers have the three main food groups in them! Pork, Poultry and Beef!

It's been a busy few weeks, and I haven't had the time to properly barbecue anything as of late. But, the end of our weekend commitments is two weeks away. At that point, I think I'll celebrate by ordering a big old brisket or pork shoulder and making sure it's ready to eat just in time for football!

Until then, keep smokin!


Monday, October 17, 2005 

The Wedding!

Just a quick post, because I'm knee deep in a 6 week mass of commitments and work!

Happy marriage wishes to Yomper and his new Bride!

The wedding was held at the St. Divots Golf and Sledding Club - a club formed by The Old Bull (Farmer Girl's uncle) and family. The weather was positively soaking, but what a wonderful time!

As Best Man, I was occupied with getting the groom organized and handling some of the music details. Farmer Girl was in hardcore Maid of Honor mode and helped keep the food coming out of the kitchen and the guests happy!

When Yomper called and asked if we thought Old Bull and Mame would host this auspicious event, I figured they'd be delighted and wasn't wrong. And, I also knew that the Old Bull could put up a mean smoked prime rib!

The bride asked that there be a baked potato bar and salad bar along with the main meat!

It was a fantastic meal with great people. And of course, there was the whole wedding ceremony thrown in for good measure. I don't think I've every seen such a giddy bride in my life. It seems she just loves the Yomperguy! I tried to talk her out of it over and over, but she just wouldn't listen! :-)

Bye for a bit,



Bachelor Party!

Two Weeks ago, I had the pleasure of playing host for my friend Yomper's (who never updates his blog) bachelor party. It was a small affair, with just a close group of friends getting together, eating some good food, smoking some celebratory cigars and playing cards. And, of course, doing everything we could to insult the groom-to-be!

I imposed a "must wear a silly hat" rule upon the guests. They were all required to bring them, with the noted exception of the groom-to-be. I bought him his hat, and if you ask me, it looks quite fetching!

Aside from some gifts with amusing sexual overtones (such as the hat above), and a few decks of bawdy playing cards, we avoided the obligatory strippers and such. We are, as always, on a budget. And, of course, I'd rather pump money into a good meal!

For dinner I went "manly". I cooked up a bunch of NY Strip steaks with my East Valley Steak Seasoning - They were fan-freakin'tastic!

In addition, I boiled up some corn on the cob and made some of my popular seasoned potatoes (made with my own Seasoned Salt). For dessert, I pulled one of my favorite recipes out of Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby's Thrill of the Grill - Chocolate Pudding Cake! Capped with a strong cup of coffee, the meal was a resounding success!

Afterwards, there was poker, and consumption of large quantities of quality hard alcohol!

Since virtually everyone who attended the party slept at my place, I made eggs and a Strip Steak hash with onions, leftover potatoes and leftover steak. It was well received!

A good time was had by all!