Fast Cars, Fast Woman and Hot Wings

Three things to get any southern guys heart racing; Fast Cars, Fast Woman and Chicken Wings. What more could any well rounded red neck require in a single week.  Over the last week a few things have left me speechless and for those of you who know me that’s certainly a task worthy of a story or a photo. The First:

Fast Cars (Well not really)

Fast Cars

I pulled a U Turn in 4 Lanes of traffic to swing back by this one. The caption is yours and yours alone to add. Speechless as I am, I’ve certainly added a few cliche’s to this photos of the last few days. I was told this is actually a cab so I will make it my mission to ride in this before years end. I’m thinking a cruise to Walmart would be apropos. I will tell you that a 60+ year old Hispanic male exited from the vehicle as I pulled up with camera phone pointed in his directions.

The Second thing that left me speechless:

Fast Woman (Well not Really Either; but Absolutely Stunningly Beautiful )

This week was our annual Gala or Auction extraordinaire. All Profits raised go to help a great school our children are lucky to attend.

A small team was assembled of Crack Shots Marines To Crack Shot Attny’s from Mail Men to Architects to the House Wives of Carter County.

Rather than risk one in the group having to represent another one after a night of having a few of these: (My Favorite Single Malt)

 Or Pink Drinks as a certain few ladies called them. For the second year in a row our friend (The responsible one) who looks out for our safety, rented a limo. Thank You kind sir in more than one way.

Hundreds of people dressed in 3 Piece Suites, Skin Tight Dresses, from Elegant gowns to sweats and hoodies (Yep I saw it). And eclectic crew made for an electric night. The auctions ranged from BBQ Grills to Shetland Ponies. From Trips to Italy, to AR-10 Rifles, from Doe Hunts to Paintball Wars with a Team of real Marines, Home Made Cakes and Classic Art, to Vasectomies ( I would like to thank the group of ladies for the embarrassing moment who cheered and applauded louder to my wife’s winning bid of the aforementioned then to the band who played all night, this left me speechless, as well as a little red )  The Open Bar helped those who bid open their wallets just a little wider to help support the cause.

The last item I would like to add is once again my darling wife proves to be the most beautiful woman I know. Thanks for a great date night.

Hot Wings

One of my more popular cooks for entertaining my family as well as my neighbors and friends has got to be Chicken Wings. This delectable dish is as easy as a mixture flour Corn Starch and of…… OOOPs  Secret Ingredients. To being as simple as getting the grease to 350 and frying for 13 Mins a batch. A few Small Trade secrets to a crispy wing is to not sauce until ready to enjoy.

Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings


Decadent Stuffed Burgers

Big Green Egg Stuffed Burgers

Sometimes life is a challenge. Big Challenge, Small Challenge, Unknown Challenge. The Big Green Egg once again rose to the occasion, and proved itself on the a worthy adversary. The challenge this time wasn’t against nature, time or foe; the challenge was just to be able to take a bite and to eat the burger.

We started out with a simple 75-25 Mixture making 1/4 to half pound patties. We then take the backside of a tablespoon and press down creating a  indent or bowl. Laying a slice of cheese in the indention. The next step you can really make up on your own, we took sauteed onions and mushrooms. Layering them inside the indention we then add another slice of cheese. We then put the next patty on top and tried to seal the edges using a pie crust type pinch.

Big Green Egg Burger

As you can see we were all up to the challenge that evening. Every time I make these I attempt to make a thinner patty and compensate for the natural reaction most burgers take when on the grill. Most of the time we end up taking off the bun and using a fork and knife if truth be told.


Saturday Night Slabs

Having cooked on a big green egg for many years I’ve been accustom to many treats and feasts. I’ve grown accustom to producing a certain level of food. A rainy dreary Saturday needs to be dressed up, and what better way if not fishing than by cooking.

Big Green Egg lovers are the apostles of the ceramic cooking world. We are sometime called the fan boys of ceramics. We certainly are some of the most opinionated and largest in numbers of our sect in the BBQ world. We are also the most organized on the internet having 2 very large internet forums for people to ask share and tell their experiences with the product. (Primo folks dont take offense to this, my next unit will be a Primo XL Oval)  I believe most of that is due to the sheer number of us green eggers out here. Most folks dont know there are actually a half dozen different brands. In saying that I would not stray from Big Green Egg or Primo, just my humble opinion.

Anyhow back to the cook to brighten up a dreary cold windy Saturday since fishing was not a option I thought we would do ribs.

Ribs Big Green Egg

3 Slabs of Ribs

Loaded and lit the egg and brought to a stable 250 Dome Temp, Using my plate setter legs up.

Big Green Egg Loaded with Ribs

Big Green Egg Loaded with Ribs

Cooking Ribs over the years I’ve come accustom to doing them a certain way. I use the 1-1-1 for loin back ribs (Not Spares) . 1 Hour Un-Foiled on the Egg, Foil and cook another Hour, and then un-foil and cook 30 mins to an hours. I don’t apply any sauce to the ribs until the last 15 minutes.

The Big Green Egg is one of the easiest pieces of equipment to cook on and is certainly the most forgiving. The thick clay walls hold in the moisture and the walls act as a giant convection oven. Radiating the heat from above as well as from below.

The Foiling acts as a braising technique and make them fall off the bone. The juice in the bottom is not from sauce its pure rib love. This will however not give you the bark, if your a bark lover foil is not your friend.

After they cook for an hour in the foil I bring them back out and put them back on for 30 mins to an hour to put some crunch back into to outside layer yielding a crisper type outside and a melt in your mouth inside.

Finished product with Blues Hog BBQ Sauce

Ill let the final picture speak for itself. I brought a rack to a co-worker tonight and in his words they were the most amazing hes ever had. The egg will spoil you and treat you well.


Tao And The Art of Backyard Living Part II

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Tao And The Art of Backyard Living Part II

We packed up the cooler that night with our staples and vices. Ive always been fond of good beer as it is one of my enjoyments.

sierra-nevada-pale-ale

Chilled beer packed, we head out across the suburban sprawl of North Dallas, heading to the outskirts and fringe of the metropolitan area. My thoughts abound as to meeting someone amungst the millions that I already knew I would become friends with.

Our last turn invokes a smile as we head up our last street and make a right on Abbey Rd. For any Beetles fans out there…

abbey-road


As we near the home from 5 houses away I can smell the smoke. The smoke that through the years will make an egger salivate on spot, grow weak at the knees and lament if we dont get to smell it often enough in our daily lives.

We pull up in a small community of zero or small lot line homes. Tikki torches lit in a path up through the flower garder to the gate. Coming out through the side gate on this hot summers eve in North Texas I see a gentle pillow of smoke lightly floating out of the gate towards us. The allure of the smoke was not as appreciated as much it would be from that point forward.

Were greeted at the fence door as is we had been part of the family for years and years. My new friend, with a big smile and a cooler glass filled with wine in tow, HIs wife and a wonderful Pug dog assuming what I will from now on reffer to the “Position” and two children out playing on the swing which took up most of the backyard except for the 12 x 20 deck nestled between both houses.. The position I mentioned above is what I call a perfected art or poise of relaxation.

“The Position”

whoswhojack

I Always reffered to this PIcture as “Whos Who”

Sounds of Music wafting through the air wrapping itself around the blanket of smoke I can now see a Big Green Egg. With its soft shape sitting flushwith the brick wall sitting atop a pillar of cinder blocks it throws a non imposing shadow as it billows smoke with such little effort. Wow that is something and I see why it gets it name. He doesnt say much just lets me take it in. Matt he says, this is the big green egg.

There it was an odd shape indeed. It subtle green hue, its unobtrusive shape, its flowing curves. She was beautiful.

As I gaze lightly around the yard I see other shapes, another with a subtle line of smoke ascending from its small and unobtrusive shape. I see that Tims chair is even with and sits against the same wall as the egg and is only an arms reach away both facing the portable TV which was always muted with a baseball or hockey game on it while the outdoor speakers filled the place with the sounds needed to fill the gaps in time.

How many do you have I asked? How many he say, well lets go on a tour…Weve got the big green egg here, and over here hidden by the coy fish pond and plants is Suzie (his bullet Somker) Over here by the gate you just came in at is the Giant Webber Kelltle, back over here is my sons small simpson hibacci, on the opposite side of the deck is the mini BGE, and over here is what started it is a Grill Dome I bought some 15 years ago at a yard sale. (mind you this is on a 12X20 deck) Wow…..Is that all I said in jest, well actually Tim thinks no, I forgot to show you Brutus and he leads me through the myriad of grills to the back fence door and opens it up and here sits his 500Lb Drum Smoker on wheels.

As we admire the line up and head back to where the she wolves have taken it upon themselves to get aquatinted as we set off on our tour accidentally forgetting to introduce them and start the conversation, typical men were told…

He begins what will be hours of conversation with something I will always remember. He hands me a chair, tells me to get another beer as he refills his faded red liter size cup. And says come sit lets enjoy there is no hurry.

I said well the grills are going do we need to do anything, no his retort, they will take care of themselves. Hey said to me Matt if your going to get an egg and learn to cook on it your going to have to learn one thing….He turns his gaze from the baseball game and looks at me and says…..Slow and Low my Brother, Slow and Low, cooking and Backyard living is about enjoyment.

I felt like grasshopper on Kung fu.

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That night were were treated to a myriad of foods and flavors one of which is still our favorite. Very very Terriyaki made by Soy Vay. He did a pork loins, Chicken Thighs, Legs, Steak some sausages, and boudin and more. All of which was eaten at leasure with finger dipping bowls and dipping souces and spices. All was cut up on a large butcher block on the outdoor table and any and all we welcome to sample any and all.

As we sat and ate neighbors walking around and more of their friends started showing up. If you walked by and looked in you were always invited for a drink and a taste of good food, music, wine and most importantly, friends.

We had a wonderful night, and I could write more about it. As we left my wife turned to me and said when are we getting one of those with a smile. My fear of her being mad from the 400 I had spent the weekend prior was gone. She said a I dont care what you spend on that thing as long as you make it taste like what we just had. We were hooked, on it and the life…

We went out the next morning and bought our first Big Green Egg.

Thanks BGE, for being at the center many good times spent in mine and others back yards and the many others weve brought into the fold over the years.

Simplicity, relax, good friends, good drink, good music and assume the position, and most importantly

Slow and Low…….

God Bless All and have a safe and Happy Holiday

TAO and The Art of Backyard Living Part I


TAO and The Art of Backyard Living Part I

I was a young green horn selling and designing computer networks back in the hay day before the internet pop….Was sitting in my back office cube, lights dim (as I always undid one of the two bulbs), …1970s Sears radio with a loudness knob instead of volume, I had found in the warehouse playing a little John Coletrain, and Thelonious Monk around 7 am, getting my head straight and having a cup of coffee….

Had been married only 8 months, just bought a house, was still semi nieve although I had been through college and military. Thought I knew what was good in life and certianly thought I knew how what tasted good…

I heard the boss talking to someone and they walked up the hall towards my cube, and he brought a new sales guy in. Introduced me to him, and he showed him his new cube across from mine. After the boss departed to let him get set, he hollered across the cube man its pretty early for the monk,… but I like it…As he forgot about straightening his new desk up he grabbed his coffee and came over to the corner toating his coffee. Introdiced himself again, and looked around my office covered in Jerry Garcia Ties hanging off a sword fish I had found in the warehouse as well. He looked at me and said to me normally I wouldnt say this but I got a feeling you and I will become very good friends.

Within minutes our conversation moved across, music, family, towards the ineveitable….Food…He said do you like to cook out….I said sure I just in fact had bought a new gas grill this last weekend, and spent 8 hours putting it together….Took so long to put it together only has time to burn some hot dogs on it….

He looked at me with the compasion of a older brother and mentor and said: Again this is within 10 minutes of us meeting: He said Man, if there is one thing in life I could tell you and you would listen and trust me, even though we just met, have I got something for you. I know we just met and you dont know me from adam, but if you trust me Ill share with you one of the best things Ive learned in life… With dead certainty and seriousness he stated You need to go buy a Big Green Egg…….

WTH is an egg I said…Oh Oh Oh… he said with a french twist to it, and said it with a smile as true as a Childs at Christmas, and a gleem in his eye as if he was walking in the garden of Eden. He said: It was a ancient oriental form of cooking second to none, based on the simple principle of air flow in the bottom and air flow out the top creating radient heat on clay walls…

WOW, sounds simple and cool… The Tao of outdoor cooking ran through my head…As he continued to describe the history and the various makes through the years I was brought deeper into the fold. He said, have you ever had chicken pop in your mouth, nervously I said no….Have you ever had a steak that actually grew in size from the juices….No…But now I hooked and Im hungry…

We forgot about selling, and work, and continued to talk for hours, covering our pasts, pets, family, music, hockey, hobbies and more and more about this Big Green Egg till finally lunch came around…

I told him man I just bought a 400 grill last weekend…My wife would kill me if I bought something new. He said why dont you and your wife come over tonight, we will have a few beers on the deck listen to some tunes, let the she wolfs meet and get to know each other and I will show you the Big Green Egg…

Little did I know that day, I would made what was to be a life long best friend, and be told one of the most wonderful things about enjoying life, the Big Green Egg.

That day on our way home, as my wife and I worked together, I had told her of the new sales guy, or commonalities, his invitation and of course the big green egg and his statement of guarantee.