It was a smoking weekend. On Saturday, I smoked a bunch of chicken. Wings and drumsticks. I’ve done chicken enough times that I have it down pat. I normally use a dry rub of my own creation, or at least something I’ve stolen off the Internet and modify it to my own tastes. I try to make sure that the main ingredient isn’t salt. I also try to make sure that it has some heat, so rather than salt, a lot of my rubs feature black pepper as the main ingredient.
We are preparing for big changes in our household. The “rotten” kid is getting ready to move out and go to college at the University of Minnesota. The oldest son is preparing to move back in along with his girlfriend and her six-year-old daughter. It has been a long time since I’ve been around such a small child therefore it’s been a long time since I’ve had to be aware of what comes out of my mouth.
I’ve also been cooking for adults. I have to admit that I don’t eat nearly as much really spicy food as I did before my heart attack, but I still like to have some spice and whenever I cook.
So Saturday, I did the chicken. I also did smoked Mac and cheese. I know you’re supposed to prepare things ahead of time and have them ready to go but I didn’t grate the cheese until I was well into the process of melting the cream cheese to begin the process of making “the cheese”. I thought our large slicer had a grater attachment and it turns out, that no, it does not. Therefore, while the cream cheese is melting and potentially burning I am freaking out about what I’m supposed to do – abandon the project entirely or forge ahead. I chose to forge ahead and simply take out a knife begin chopping the Extra Sharp cheddar into chunks. I did the same with the Pepper Jack and proceeded.
It was the best Mac and cheese I’ve ever made.
On Sunday, I smoked pork spare ribs. I haven’t really smoked a lot of ribs, but have mostly stuck to the birds - chicken and turkey. We just don’t eat a lot of beef. The spareribs, however, turned out to be incredible, and I could kick myself for not having done them before. They weren’t difficult. I used the 3 – 2 – 1 method on them where I smoke them for three hours, then put them in foil for two hours, and then again smoked them for the last hour after putting barbecue sauce on them. I normally never take that last step – where I actually put sauce on them because everyone has a different taste.
I didn’t tone them down much for the child. She liked them despite the fact that I made sure they were kind of hot. I discovered that I probably can live with this child. She is a beautiful young kid with an exceptional sense of humor and seems to be very smart.
Funny, while I was looking for ways to smoke the drumsticks, I came across our own website, and in fact an article that I’d written last year about smoking chicken. I completely forgot about it. It includes a rub that I still use, although since I didn’t have any brown sugar I could find I went with something different this weekend.
I went with this on the ribs:
- 1/4 cup sweet paprika
- 4 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
It was fabulous. Seriously, I have no idea why I haven’t done pork spare ribs before. They were so unbelievably good. And everyone loved them. I told her we would be smoking them all the time from now on, but only in the summer or warm weather months. In the winter, I said, we will be learning how to make Borscht because I have this need to be self-loathing, and we’re going to be taken over by Russian hackers anyway, so why not be prepared.
She did not like the sound of Borscht when I described it to her. I mentioned an alternative of Calico Beans. We will get to fart a lot in winter to keep the house warm. Take that, global warming.
Did you know that our website has tons of smoking recipes. You can find them by doing this search on Google:
And just like that, we’re nearly into mid-July.
What did you do this weekend?
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Midwest $10,000 Corn Hole Classic is coming to Pipestone, MN on August 18th - 20th for an ultimate epic Corn Hole challenge from 6 states over the Midwest
Then There’s This:
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