Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Smoking, kind of!

Well, today I jumped out of bed, did all my housework in record time and got ready and waited for forever for the stores to open. When 9 o'clock finally hit I headed out to buy me some fresh chickens and hamburger, I was going to smoke some meat! I ran home with my purchases, still excited and unloaded the Jeep.

Now, if you've never smoked meat, it's certainly not complicated, but there is prep work. We choose to brine our chickens before smoking, and I like to make my brine earlier in the day, put it in the fridge and then let it get really cold before putting in the meat. Ok, so I make the brine, measure, check, measure, check, chill, perfect. Still thinking of my smoked chicken.

I figure I'm in the kitchen with a mess started, I might as well mix up the sauage meat. Ok, things are still going well, but then, no curing salt, bummer. I run back to town to buy curing salt, still going good. Get home, finish up my mixture, and start the waiting game.

About noon I figure I should put my chickens in the brine. Still exciting. Now I wait for DH to get home from work. We live in "town" and have some neighborhood hoodlums, so we have to keep the smoker locked up in the old shed, so he has to dig it out for me. Finally, he gets home and we go to get my handy little machine. Unfortunately, because of fire codes, we have to either use a propane or electric smoker now, no good old fashioned fire, which I am much more comfortable with. Propane is going to blow me up and electric is going to fry me, lol. Anyways, we did it out and guess what, we can't find the cord! We tear up the shed and the house, in case I put it away so that it didn't get "lost!" Can't find it anywhere.

I go back in the house defeated. What can you do with a brined chicken without a smoker? Certainly not throw it out, we never, ever waste food, it just goes against everything our family stands for. So, in desperation, I go on the internet and discover you can "smoke"on a barbeque. Ok, we don't have a smokebox, so I dig up an old egg cast iron fry pan, you know, a really small one, and use that as our smokebox! It worked alright, but we definitely prefer our smoker. Perhaps we didn't do it properly, but it didn't have the same flavour that we're used to, but still edible.

I am going to have to bake my sausage in the oven now. This would have thrown me for a loop a couple of weeks ago, but I saw Canadian Crafter had a recipe for sausage on her blog that she bakes in the oven, so I am saved even if we don't find the cord. Yeah!

Tomorrow will be a much better day, I am going to can pears and necterines. I plan on doing some cinnamon pears and lemon pears as well as some plain. Cinnamon pears are so pretty and seasonally appropriate for Christmas, they just taste so "cozy" warmed up with realy cream.

The boys are now mumbling about goose hunting. Monday is a holiday here, so they figure they can go on the weekend and get a few geese. I wonder what happened to the big elk trip, but there is still plenty of time for that, and the geese have been flying for about ten days now.I'm not saying too much because if they do go, I will need a new smoker for those birds. otherwise I will have to wait for freeze up to throw out nets to get fish, and I have smoked chicken in the brain now!

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