Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving and whatnot


Despite what you may think, Thanksgiving (American-style) does get celebrated here in Germany. Usually on the Saturday afterwards because we simply don't get the time off.

Now, before you think that I and my other expatriate friends are getting together to celebrate a great American tradition,I have to disappoint you - we do it for the food.

This year, like the last two, the bird was smoked on the grill. We had a (intensely expensive) 12 kg turkey as the centerpiece of our feast. I contributed stuffing, two kinds of coleslaw, and a New York-style cheesecake. There was also green beans in bacon, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and a mushroom gravy made from the drippings. A pumpkin pie and apple pie were available for dessert and there was a cheese assortment to round out the meal.

Damn, was it good...










If you have the opportunity to do your bird on the grill, I highly recommend you do so. Every year it has been so juicy and tasty (even the white meat!) The whole process is so low-effort that you'll never do your bird in the oven ever again!

These guys have a pretty good reference (despite the scare tactics regarding handling raw turkey as if it will give you the Marburg virus should you touch it without a hazmat suit) We don't seem to have this problem here in Germany...

Hats off to our hosts and to all of those who attended and made delicious dishes. As always, its so fun getting together with you all for this - I hope that it happens for a good long time to come.

As I have said before - this is about good food in good company. That's what makes this a true reason to give thanks!

I bought a bottle of this, mostly for the pain...


This is really a great dram. I am not going to try to befuddle you with bullshit about beginning, bouquet, finish, etc. - I'm not that knowledgeable.

I like it. That's enough.

Anna and I made chicken soup again:


As always, it was really good. Sadly, we put it on the balcony, thinking it would keep in the cold while we were away for Thanksgiving. We were wrong. It got rather warm and on Sunday we had to deal with 8 liters of bad soup.

I wanted a new keyfob:


This is a Crisscrossed Solomon Bar from J.D Lenzen's new book "Paracord Fusion Ties - Volume 1: Straps, Slip Knots, Falls, Bars, and Bundles." Blue and orange paracord contrasts nicely and it has a 2 strand diamond knot at the end.

Go and knot!

I bid you Peace,

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

All that is gold does not glitter...


Pulled pork.

Pulled pork is a type religious ecstasy - when done correctly, it blocks your external awareness and expands your mind in a form of euphoria. Anyone who has experienced this will readily agree.

You may say that this is extreme in its description but once you have a bite of that meat, you close your eyes, all other input is blocked out, and your thoughts are filled with only two things: how delicious it tastes and that you need more. Much more.

All you need is:


Now, a helping of previous experience makes a world of difference but it really isn't necessary. Everyone started solo once and unless you made a grave error, the meat turned out fine.

Lets get to the photos, shall we?

Here is the beast, bound. 5.1 kg (11 pounds for you non-Metric types)


This is a boneless pork shoulder, which means that they destroyed the poor thing getting the bone out. That's why we bound it with butcher's string. You can use a bone-in shoulder but most people agree that it takes longer.


We then smeared it with mustard and covered it with Raichlen's Basic Barbecue Rub. Wrapped in plastic wrap, it marinaded for something like 12 hours.


During the lull in the action, I prepped the grill using the Minion Ring technique and got everything ready so that all we had to do was place the meat, light the fire, and close the lid.

20 hours later...


Final stats:

End temp meat: 90'C
Internal grill temp: 105'C

So, in foil and in the warmbox...


Tara wanted to help.

So, after an hour of terrible waiting...


A meteorite is born!


Here's the "pulled" part of the event. If the meat is done right, you should be able to separate the pork with a fork using a vigorous pulling action.



So, this is what you end up with. The meat is hot and juicy and has this wonderful smoked twang. I have difficulty describing it...


Even Kali (the portent of Satan) could not resist the aroma of fresh pork!

Kali plate

So, I had some friends over because as my mentor Dave would say "spreading the word about good barbecue is doing God's will" and your average German has never experienced anything like this. Watching them pack away 3 and 4 (! I only had two...) sandwiches and seeing their eyes roll back into their skulls with pleasure was worth the 20 hours sacrificed to make this.

And that's how I see this - spreading the Good News to the uninitiated.

Take some time and make barbecue. I assure you that it will be time well spent.

I bid you Peace,