Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Been very busy teaching summer classes. But speaking of summer, last week was the solstice, and it sure feels like it! We've been getting over 100 for the last several days. My dear husband, Daniel, managed to get the brick barbecue pit in working order just in time for outdoor cooking weather. It came with our house, but was in a state of disrepair. The grill grate and firebox door were extremely rusted, and some of the mortar was cracking, with bricks coming loose.
Here is the replacement door Daniel made. He really outdid himself with this! It's made of a piece of sheet metal he cut to size, and then added hinges, a handle, a latch, and even adjustable air vents made of metal disks (now that I think of it, I'm not sure what those were originally supposed to be, but he'd know!) that swivel over holes he drilled in the sheet metal. The whole thing is painted with heatproof grill paint (he later painted the big door on top with the same paint after scraping the rust off).
Here I'm getting it fired up for its first use after being repaired! So far I've been using a mixture of wood and charcoal. I let it burn a bit to preheat the smoker and wait until the flames die down a bit before adding the meat.
The chickens ended up cooked all the way through, but still moist and juicy and not dried out at all, with great smoky flavor. I'm really looking forward to cooking all kinds of things in here in the future, maybe some barbecue brisket or pork shoulder or ribs, or even Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham. I bet I could even throw some ripe jalapeno peppers from my garden in there to make chipotles.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
It's always fun to go away on vacation and come back to see the big difference in the garden. When I look at the garden every day, I don't notice the changes as much as when I'm gone for over a week. It turns out we didn't get any more rain in May after that rainy weather at the beginning of the month, which is a shame. My in-laws had to water the garden a bit in our absence.
I was surprised to see how much my basil transplants grew while I was gone. They're ready to plant in the garden. I think I will put them in the spot where my garlic is now, after I harvest it.