July 3rd, 2010


Intelligence Test

Last week a neighbor was killed in a car wreck. The local paper said that, for unknown reasons, his truck swerved hard to the left, overcompensated, swerved to the right, rolled over twice, and landed upright. Sometime during swerving and the rolling, our neighbor was ejected and was more or less airborne for 85 feet. He was driving without a seatbelt. The paper said the accident was caused by unknown reasons, but we know that at the time, while driving, he was exchanging text with his girlfriend and was interrupted in mid-sentence.

Wet Smoke

Yesterday, the plan was to smoke a couple of briskets today, but late in the evening, with the forecast of an 80 percent chance of remnant rain from Hurricane Alex, Kathy and I decided to cancel and wait for fair weather.

Immediately after I woke this morning, I realized that we'd neglected last night to transfer the briskets from the ice chest to the refrigerator. The beef was still cold, but knowing Kathy as well as I do, I knew that it would be a waste of time to even discuss putting the briskets in the refrigerator. So, I went out, built the fire in the smoker, came back to the house, gave the meat a quick rub, carried it to the smoker, and started cooking. Just for fun, I put a bunch of home-grown ripe red Jalapeño peppers on the top shelf. It will be my first attempt at making chipotles

The rain came about 9 o'clock, first a gentle mist, then a not so gentle mist. Ever since, it's been raining, alternating between light and heavy. After getting soaked while checking the fire, I started taking an umbrella along. Mid-afternoon, I upgraded to a rain slicker and rubber boots.

On my way to the smoker, I pass by a small red oak tree. In the tree, about head height, is a mocking bird nest that's full of bedraggled water-soaked half-grown babies. I try to remember to give the tree a wide birth, mocking birds aren't the best nest builders, and it's not uncommon for a youngster to drop into the yard. My dogs know exactly where that tree is and check it once or twice a day.

The rainfall is light thus far, especially compared to places farther south. Hurricane Alex wreaked havoc in Mexico. I'd read that Monterrey received 24 inches of rain in two days. We've received two inches thus far today.

We needed the rain. I having fun, and I'll enjoy eating the briskets. We will freeze them in chunks to be thawed out, sliced and eaten in sandwiches over the next few months. What? Red meat? Fat? Cholesterol? We'll have some guilt-free meatless meals to make up for it.