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Live-blogging the Brisket: Hour 8

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Live-blogging the Brisket: Hour 7

We’re currently sitting in the “stall” – a mysterious time in brisket smoking when the temperature sits pat (and during which time patience ought to trump panic). I believe we’re at that point right now. Waiting for the magic 185 degrees to call it “good.”

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Live-blogging the Brisket: Hour 6

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In the parlance of beef barbecue, the black crust that forms around the brisket in a slow smoke is known as the “bark.”

The purpose of the bark is to seal in the moisture so that – yes, I am going there – the bark is at least as good as the bite.

“The bark, you say?”

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Affirmative. The bark.

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“The bark.”

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The Bark!

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Live-blogging the Brisket – Hour 4 & 5

Perhaps to temper the fire of my hubris with a little smoke of humility, in today’s Gospel reading (Rite of ’62) our Lord’s words were a fitting reminder of priorities, even as my Weber was attending to its business, I should be minding my own:

“Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they?” (Matthew 6:24-26)

But then after returning home from Mass, I wondered if our Lord also considered cats in these calculations…

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Alas, they seemed undeterred by maledictions and threats of malefactions, should they even be considering carnoklepty…

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Of course, I should have trusted n the Lord (and it being a Sunday too!)…

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Live-blogging the Brisket: Hour 2

A smoking crucible of muscle, tendon, flesh and fat amid the bucolic landscape of Wisconsin…

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Water for the pan, beer for the cook, a mop and mop for the meat…

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In which the first mop is applied…

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The expert hand of a pit-master…

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Behold the astonishment of the crowd*!…

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Those pictured: besides three of my seven daughters, our new French daughter, straight from Territoir de Belfort (in grey sweatshirt) in whose honor (and apparently it is her first sight of bbq brisket)and by way of official welcome, we are “doing it up,” as we Americans say, with a Sunday brisket.

Live-blogging the Brisket

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So I’m doing this for a Sunday repast… Started at 6 this a.m. and won’t quit until sometime this evening, around 5:30ish or so. That will be ten (it is hoped, successful) hours of smoking with my kettle.

Updates every hour.

Stay tuned…

 

“Gin! The Driver’s Choice!”

gin

Absofuckinglutely apropos of nothing (except tweaking Greenpeace noses everywhere!)

 

 

One Short Poem about Halloween

The Not Great Heist of All Hallow’s Eve
The two had a plan, even a sense of irony,
as they wore masks of Shaggy and Freddie
for the cameras. Bumped the bolt. Their heist
was some silverware and costume jewelry
thrown into a pillow case—fairly petty—
and pizza and beer from the fridge. Tomfoolery
to fall asleep, drunk in front of the TV,
to be unmasked like any cartoon poltergeist.

Three Very Short Poems about Authors Who Wrote about the Sea

Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
After years at sea, he adapted a nom
de plume
for English language readers,
still recognized as a Polish phenom,
among the very best of modern writers.

Had He Caught Moby Dick
Ahab would have had to buy a pan
to fry up all that leviathan.

The Man Who Swallowed an Ocean
The flesh eaten right off Santiago’s skeleton
became the villager’s favorite feuilleton,
but who knows what monsters from the deep
swam back to reappear in Papa’s sleep.

John Barleycorn in Rags

john barleycorn

He is John, man in ragged overcoat
Long to withered knees
Manbeard made of clipped leaves and twigs

Man with face of rough bark
John who walks Saturday-night stupor
Through sibilant rings

Of maple, elm and linden leaves,
Swiftly satyr-dancing
Into crackling flower of fire

In peripatetic permutations, cough
Of dry staccato vespers, leaf to stone,
Each skeletal ballet whispers

He who is barrowed by mottled stile,
Stilled and waked in copper kettle,
Kegged and bunged for cooling cellar

In hoarse tones violent riots of autumn
Become seasonal rites trans-
Corporeal, quiet in slow burn

He is John of the demijohn
Bottle god of good folk,
Fanatic familiar of flagon, flask and firkin

His limber limbs are all consumed,
Sap-drunk as wasp and hornet
Dry and empty as cracked bobbin,

His spirit tumbles leaves down empty lanes
And empty well; he is spirit in wind,
He makes spirits from color, heat and motion

He is tall shoots and thick roots,
A shock of fruited stalks between
Breaks from his loamy scalp.

His anatomy taps boot heels,
Claps coarse palms. He, mate of dance,
Husband of hilarity, spouse of song.

Brittle brown leaves, fallen angels
Dancing down cold swift winds
Hymns that scrape, swirl and click

And always he must come along,
Always feed fire’s fermenting flower –
He empties nectar from his eye

He is John, and John must die.