Monday, January 31, 2011

I will smoke this year at the summer place!

My thoughts start to turn at this time of year to our summer place. This is the place where we plan on spending most of the summer during our retirement. I’m thinking this year would be a good year to get the smoker. Although you can simulate smoking on a grill, I think it’s time to think of a smoker I can start in the morning and let it go all day. I’d love to see some expert demos. But what I’m also thinking is the type of smoker may have to be a good sturdy smoker that can stand years of my abuse.
Before I make the big decision I also have to think about my strategy for what I’m going to cook. You have to remember my rules for cooking while at the summer place. It can’t be ornate, time consuming or difficult to put together. It can’t require a bunch of bowls and dishes to wash. It can take all day to cook but it can’t take much effort on my part to get it cooked. Theres lots of rules to avoid lots of work. I’ve spent 27 years slaving over a hot stove. It’s over.
Where to get the meat? Believe it or not my first destination is the club! Believe it or not, even though I cooking for only two I save a ton of money on meat alone at Sam’s or Costco. I can get a slab of some excellent salmon, beef brisket, ribs, skirt steak and hamburger. When I have to freeze some of it I turn to the vacuum seal, no freezer burn. I think the large containers of herbs and spices would be a good direction to go, once again saving money at the club.
I have a natural fear of aluminum when it comes to food, but if I leave the meat wrapped in the store wrapper and bring it up in the cooler I don’t have to worry about the possible mess when the cooler is opened once we arrive. Then if I bring the rub already combined in a zipper storage bag I will be able to start the process when we get there. Unwrap the meat get the rub on, rewrap the meat and place in a disposable baking pan. The food won’t come in contact with the aluminum and I can through the pan out! Now all I have to think about is the mop sauce and what I’m going to use for sauce.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Diabetic Smoke House

Diabetes knows no age, financial, racial, or national boundaries. If we aren't diagnosed at a young age it can rear its ugly head as we age. With that one single word our imagination fills with visions of food scales, pink packets at restaurant tables so we can substitute our sugar and pharmacy bills. I am so stubborn about the stigma placed on eating as a diabetic I resent the words “Are you eating correctly?” So my answer to these medical professionals is, it’s not that hard! Those words surprise them. I think I’ll bring a copy of my cookbook with me when I’m going to the doctor.
I went into my new found condition with the attitude of: there are a ton of foods out there I love that fit into healthy eating for diabetics. This inspired my own personal cook book! Diabetic Smoke House. I picked the name because I want everything in it to be fun, easy and healthy to eat. You have to view its construction! It is a blog for now.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Here's how we will burn up time.

As the baby boomers begin to retire we are about to see a lot more people going online than ever before. Now that so many people are out of work the on line community has exploded. Even though we’ve learned everything we need to know to stay safe, know a scam when we see one and know what spam in our email is, we still find things to get frustrated over. My big pet peeve is the programs and opportunities that say “signing up is easy, easy as one, two, three. We then find out we must have a cell phone; we must accept payment through another source other than PayPal. And we do not send checks for payment or do auto deposits. Follow this link, and the link doesn’t work. Refer to the FAQs to determine your problem, and then fill out form. Go to point 6.88.97 in the terms and conditions and click on the link provided. By the time you’re done you’ve wasted an entire day. Time for a drink!!!!
I’m not whining, I’m relating. I know I’m not the only one who’s run into this. There are millions of us, possibly billions.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Retirement income and humor that comes with it

I'm living in that dream world of "If you built it, it shall come." I'm finding its a lot like watching cement dry. I just want to enjoy my blogs, help people and earn income at the same time. Let me tell you I never thought I'd be forced to become a programmer with all the terminology that comes with it! Getting gadgets and tools to help you can lead down a long and winding road. I would love to get you guys choices of reading material to make your day lighter, easier to go through. I think not. "Something's broken". "ID invalad". "To find out why read this 15 page article to help." Still having problems? Click this link, or contact us using the code below to open the interface listing more possible problems and maybe how to fix them. Then come back here and go through the whole process again to test each item you fixed and see if it worked!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The sump pump is dead!

What on earth is a sump pump? Where would you go about finding one? Your 64, looking into the face of retirement and stuff starts falling apart. Its not like the piano broke. Without a sump pump you stand the chance of your basement flooding. To have a sump pump you have to have a sump. That's like a collection hole for water you don't want. Who pays any attention to these things until they grind to a halt? My neighbor now has to learn all thing about a sump pump. The choices, and decisions have got to be made immediately. The average good sump pump runs around $170. But in the event it goes out a back up system is recommended. That's another $170. You can get one that doesn't operate on electricity but the new one could break. You can install it yourself, but at 64 who would? Contract the job out, double the price. I wonder if we have a sump pump?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Plank cooking northern pike

Ok, I know its not summer yet. People who ice fish may like this idea, but for me it works out best to cook this on the outdoor fire. That doesn't start happening til April but thinking about and planning for "cooking on range" style can start in January. Planks Bought,not yet. Fish, to be caught. Northern really are our favorite fish when Walleye are being elusive.

You can buy your planks in grocery stores, outdoor gear stores and farm and garden stores. Just make sure they are made just for the purpose of cooking. Don't try to make your own. I use pine, maybe maple. The light delicate flavor of fish doesn't mix well with oak or mesquite.

You only need a couple of tbsp. of vegetable oil, peanut oil or maybe olive oil. I use Italian blend seasoning. Maybe some salt and pepper but that's it. This is amazingly tasty without a ton of calories. It just tastes sinful.

After you read the label on your planks you'll be looking for something that holds a fair amount of water. You have just done most of the work except for starting the coals or wood fire. No one can give you a general amount of time to soak planks. They come in so many shapes and sizes only the label can tell you for sure!

Now you gather 5 more things. The seasoning, salt, pepper, oil, and the "fish flipper. I bought mine as soon as I laid eyes on it. They usually come pretty thin so you can get between the fish and what its cooking on without leaving parts of it behind. They need to be a long flipping turner so you can actually pick up the whole fish. Cutting the fillet in half the short way works for me with the bigger northerns.

About 15 minutes before eating, yes this means everything else needs to be fully cooked, coat both sides of the first fillet with oil. I wait until its on its way to being fully cooked, then start seasoning. A little seasoning on the fire is good for flavoring they say, but I like the lack of a mess to clean up.

I turn it when it looks cooked, you know white, not grayish. Then I sprinkle the seasoning on the side facing up. Call people to eat when the last fillet is on the plank. when its done pull the fish and the plank off the fire.

Fish is about the only thing I cook on a plank and reuse the plank again, unless it's uselessly chared from the fire. I clean it with straight water. Never use soap because all wood is porous. Easy stuff. Enjoy