Here at Lazy Acres North, we rise not to make the donuts but to build a fire. Sounds kind of Beavis and Butthead-ish, doesn’t it? But true.
6:30, a little late for our normal rise for the smoker but early enough around here to make the natives restless.
I didn’t know what we would face today. I pulled the smoker out last night, cleaned it up, and left it out to make the tasks at hand this morning easier. Wouldn’t you know it stormed last night. The smoker doesn’t like rain. Yet she was excited to be out for the first time and was ready to roll this morning like a dog on her first walk of spring; standing proudly in the morning sun, exclaiming “bring it on!”
The fire is now burning away. We’re using a local natural lump charcoal today. I’m a little disappointed with the size of the lumps. I prefer to have larger chunks of wood. This charcoal is pretty small, a little larger than fifty-cent pieces if you can imagine rectangles that diameter. It doesn’t appear to burn very clean either as the ash is darker than the good stuff.
I like to let the smoker cure a little. Given this is the first use of the year, a hot fire burning in the fire box for an hour or so will burn off any odor, send the spiders running, etc. Of course we cleaned it yesterday but you never know. Once we’re happy, we’ll choke it down to 220 and place two sticks of cherry wood over the hot coals as we put in the butt.
The butt has been in the rub now for about 14 hours. We used less paprika this time and focused more on the sugar, onion and garlic powders, and black pepper. We’re confident that we’ll have an awesome crust. For the BBQ aficionados, there certainly is paprika, cayenne, chipotle, salt, and other secret ingredients the rub too. Don’t want you to think we left those things out.
Not sure what the fixings will be yet. Although I’m sure Tracey will head out to the market for some greens. Normally she makes her greens with smoked turkey legs. Here in St. Louis those are really hard to find. So she’ll find a ham hock or equivalent. Who knows what else.
It’s been a good visit back. The kind that makes me leery of returning to Richmond. We love our house here and the lifestyle it has supported. Last night while cooking out, the trees seemed to be happy we were home too. The wind moved through gingerly yet strong enough to cool the patio. The yard is green, everywhere. The birds sang some tunes. Nice to sit outside and relax in your own home with all of nature welcoming you in.
The DMB show was solid. Seems they are getting better. This was a much better show than last year’s at Busch Stadium. Not sure why I couldn’t post pictures to Facebook but somehow the Twitter photos did go up. The Blackberry takes crap pictures at concerts but we still like to do it. Maybe it’s the beverages.
Hope you are enjoying the weekend. More BBQ notes to come through the day…