How To Smoke Stuff

For father's day, I gave my dad a Brinkmann smoker. This past week, I got one too, because, well heck, I live in Arkansas and have access to some of the finest minds in smoke cooking. Here's the results of my first attempt (click images for full size):
  1. First, get a smoker and someone to help you put it together:
  2. Next, get some hardwood chunks to add flavor to the meat. I went with hickory:
  3. Soak the chunks in water for a few hours so they burn slower:
  4. Fire up a few coals-- don't overdo it, slow and low is better:
  5. Apply a meat rub. Since I was using baby-back ribs, I chose a simple rub of 2C brown sugar, 1/4C coarse sea salt, and a good bit of ground black pepper. Apply liberally:
  6. Put it on the smoker! Put larger stuff below and small stuff up top. Leave it alone, and add charcoal and wood as it runs out. It will begin to smell up the neighborhood with smoky goodness:
  7. Get someone to watch it go:
  8. If it rains, don't give up:
  9. It takes awhile, so a nap might be in order:
  10. After 4-6 hours, you will have wonderful smoked meats!   Enjoy!
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So here I sit in front of the computer eating some pistachios. My eye glances down to the can. I see the ingredients list: Pistachios, Salt. Then, right below it, I see the strangest thing ever. Three little words: "MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS". What? How does THAT happen? I'm fairly certain that peanuts and pistachios are pretty different. One comes from trees, the other from bushes. Don't believe me? Grab a can of shelled pistachios from Inter-American Products, Inc. of Cincinnati Ohio. Very strange, but that's pretty much par for my life.
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Utter Failure

So tonight I tried to make the Atkins Crab Cakes. No lump crab meat to be found, so I thought I'd use crawfish tails instead. Bad idea. After dirtying almost every pan in the house and having to clean the floor twice and change shirts once, I have a collection of what could only be called Crawfish Gravel. No amount of Keto Crumbs made them hold together, nor a surgeon-like gentleness, or much threatening with spatulae. Argh! Oh well, I guess failure is the mother of invention. Tomorrow night I'll try the feta burgers my friend Emily (Bayly's wife) recommended. In other news, my sister has moved to Spokane, so if you are close, stop off and see her cats: Jasper and Onyx. Also give her a job. Preferrably one that pays very well-- she deserves it. Also-- I've been discovered by another Kelly Adams! Read the comments on this post here (opens in a new window) from a few weeks ago. I think we should form a credit union or something. Or maybe a secret society a la H.P. Lovecraft.
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10 lbs. Lost

Woohoo! I'm 10 pounds lighter this morning. So far, it's been pretty easy, and I haven't been tempted too badly. However, I am looking forward to blowing ketosis with great gusto on Thanksgiving. In other news, it seems my host has finally gotten their server upgrade done and my site is up for good. Also, they installed the Perl module Image::Magick so when I upload photos I'll be able to re-size them on the fly for thumbnails. Think of all the bandwidth you will save, my loyal readers with slow modem connections!
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Diet Update

I've been doing pretty good, so far. I'm deep into ketosis and I haven't really had any terrible cravings. 2.5 pounds have disappeared since Sunday and I'm feeling pretty good. Tonight, me and some work guys are going to play music, and I'm sure to be tempted with beer and pizza. I think I can resist. I had dinner (brats and kraut) with Bayly and Emily last night and it's good to have a buddy to commiserate with. I really need to cook more-- but this week has been rather hectic and I haven't had time. I'm hoping to make carb-free fried chicken this weekend. Also, I might start another batch of beer (to be ready in 6 weeks)-- cream stout this time.
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Day One

Day One of the diet is going ok. Got up this morning at had a Keto shake. So far, I've had only one cup of coffee. Tonight is Baked Meatballs from a recipe off the Atkins website. I couldn't find veal, so I switched it for ground turkey. I feel a bit bad about eating around my office-mate, Shariq, who is muslim; so he's in the throes of Ramadan and fasting. Oh well, he can't eat pork rinds anyway. Thanks for the comments posted to yesterday's posts! Currently listening to: ZZ Top - Mescalero ("Punkass Boyfriend"), and the new Joe Bonamassa CD.
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So today marks the last day of carbs for awhile. My friend Bayly's wife (Emily) and I are going full-Atkins together. After an expensive trip to the grocery (carbs are cheap, protein is expensive!) I'm set for at least a week. Caffeine is supposed to go as well, but I can't do that-- so I eliminated Diet Pepsi. No drinking either, which may save me some money in the long run. So if you see me in the halls or anywhere else, do NOT offer me that donut. Further bulletins as events warrant-- Add comments about your dieting experiences below:
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