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Thursday, November 29, 2007 

Whereshebeen?

That's the question. Where have I been? The season has ended, have I ceased all barbecue? Have I left the building like Elvis on a road trip?

Nope. Howling Hog Barbecue is still here. Until the end of September, we were balls-to-the-wall busy. During August and September, we cooked for three parties and vended professionally at The Animal-Powered Field Days. But, it's nearly December and the season is long over now.

Which means that it's time for me to go into heavy practice mode. And that's what I've been doing. At this point I've focused all of my energies on ribs. As our friends and supporters know, we've had a bear of a time figuring out what the heck KCBS judges are looking for with regard to pork ribs. We've tried everything we could. We've marinated them. We've rubbed them. We've wrapped them in foil. We've done everything except sacrifice a sow under the light of the moon while dancing naked around a fire (really, no pigs were harmed during that naked dancing incident!).

So, with the purchase of a dozen racks of ribs, I have worked my tail off to figure out what makes them tick. I'm now down to two racks left, and by golly, I believe I've got it figured out. My ribs are now consistently getting rave reviews. They have the right spice and the right sauce and they're coming out the same each time I cook them (this is REALLY important when you compete). I'm pretty sure that our scores on ribs will rise dramatically next season.

The only downside to all of this work with ribs is that I've neglected my favorite meats - the big ones! I haven't cooked a pork shoulder or a brisket since September. Good thing Christmas is coming. I just placed an order for six pork shoulders and eight briskets. The weekend before Christmas, I'll be cooking like a madman as I try and prepare loads of freshly cooked barbecue to gift to my friends and family over the holiday.

Boy am I looking forward to it.

Best,

Chris