Monday, May 31, 2010

rainy day bbq

yesterday we had our first barbeque of the season. we've had a terribly rainy week up in here northwest washington, but sunday was supposed to be nice. when we woke up, there was a whole lot of sun and my little family and i set to work in the backyard. our back patio was covered with the remains of a plum tree that inexplicably split itself in half at the end of last summer, and our yard qualifies at a nature preserve at this point. the grass is so tall you can lose a toddler out there. we have a path cut out to the compost heap, but that's about it. we got the patio all cleared off, the outside table scrubbed free of mold and gunk (that was my fun job), and the smoker/grill all set up. then the rain started! lucky for us, we have a pop-up canopy, so we just hung out under that all day. it was a small barbeque anyway; just us, my mom and niece, and a friend of the boy's. we still made way too much food, and sent some home with mom. i have to say, it's fun being able to send her home with leftovers instead of the other way around.

we've been playing around with our smoker, and probably will have a lot more in the way of family get togethers so we can feed people our experiments. so far we've made pizza, pork and beef ribs, and turkey legs. beef ribs weren't our favorite; the taste was good, but the ratio of meat to bone is sad. i love the turkey legs; they look all prehistoric and ridiculous, but a long cooking breaks down much of the connective tissue, and they don't need much in the way of seasoning. an simple overnight brine and they are good to go. my outdoor pizza technique needs some work, but the pizzas themselves were tasty. one time we made pork ribs with a random rub, and even though they were way too salty, they still got eaten, which is a testament to how awesome pork is. D found a website with a lot of modifications you can make to a simple grill like ours to maximize its efficiency, and we've used some of the tips. we still have some mods to make, but so far we've got a good thing going. maybe you'll come over this summer and help us try out a new recipe or two...

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