Friday, June 10, 2005
I've always said this blog was about food, wine and politics, but food and wine seem to get short shrift around here. This is odd since I am much more interested in these things than politics.
With politics being in such a dreary state lately I have had trouble getting motivated to blog at all. I've tried to put up somthing mocking Howard Dean, but it really isn't very sporting to make fun of the lessor members of our society, and as a result, just couldn't put my heart into it.
So I've decided to let you in on the food part of my life; at least as it pertains to "The Project".
Folks, I'm building a Big Baby.
I've always had a passion for Bar Be Que as it represents the highest form of the manly arts. The other pursuits in this genre include, but certainly are not limited to, fishing, shooting, cigar smoking, scotch/wine drinking, and drivin real fast. As I think everyone knows, to qualify as a manly art the event in question must be essentially pointless, require a level of skill that appears difficult but is actually fairly simple to master, have a large suite of gadgets and gear that one can use/wear while engaged in said activity, and if possible, make loud noises. Bar be que posesses all of these traits plus it has the added benefit of tasting great!
Yet, bar be que touches another level that the other manly arts have difficulty attaining. You see, bar be que, at its most basic form, represents man's quest to control nature for his own tasty ends. A master bar be quer is one who has gained temporary control over fire and smoke, and uses these essential elements to feed his family. I appoligize up front ladies, but this ain't for women folk; that fire is dangerous, manly stuff, and the master bar be quer has spent years in the back yard protecting his loved ones from the danger, while simultaneously perfecting his art.
Heady stuff you say? Well I agree brother, and that is why beginning this weekend, and lasting until however long it takes me to finish, I am going to fashion those to barrels into this little beauty.
Then, imagine the fun we'll have! Brisket done as the cowboys in Texas smoke it. Pork ribs in the KC, St. Louis, Memphis and Chicago styles. Last but not least, that King of the bar be que cuts; smoked pork shoulder. I could go on forever rhapsodizing about the glory of pork shoulder. Tender, moist, with the hint of smoke ring around the meat - this is the bar be que that people remember.
A quick story: We hosted PD1's end of year soccer party at our house a few years ago and I smoked several shoulders on the grill; one at a time. It took me almost 4 days of smoking to get enough meat ready. I served it with the world's best corn bread, baked beans and a Jicima, Mango Cabbage salad, and my guests were weeping with joy the meal was so good. Bar be que for them, on that day, was as close to a religious experience as one is to get outside the doors of church.
Can I get an "Amen" people? I knew I could.
So today I take the next step. I'm turning it up a notch, as that loathsome cajun says on the Food Channel. Success is not guaranteed. Hell, it may not even be likely, but that is not going to stop me. Bar be que is not for the faint hearted. When you're dealing with hunks of meat, burning wood, and controling it all with air there just simply is no net. Building a smoker, by necessity, is fraught with the same dangers.
Wish me luck........I'm going in!