Monday, May 31, 2010

The pulled pork was a success. It was delicious, tender and juicy. It fell off the bone. The bark produced by the rub had a remarkable and addicting flavor perhaps because of its copious quantity of ground dark coffee. The barbecue sauce was great but somewhat superfluous because the meat stood so well on its own. My husband said it was better than any he has eaten. And, unlike me, he has actually eaten pulled pork before. I can't really take credit, all I did was follow instructions.

To complete the Southern barbecue theme, I made homemade soft rolls, carrot and raisins salad and strawberry sheet cake to go with it. The kids scarfed the rolls down with just butter and jelly right out of the oven. The strawberry cake was amazing. My 7 year old took one bite and said, "Whoa! This is so moist, it's better than any cake I've tasted!" I own the carrot and raisin salad now because no one really liked it but me. "I think you added too much honey. It's a little too sweet," said the boy whose breakfast of choice is a bowl full of marshmallows.

There are leftovers of everything except the rolls so today I can focus on finishing an Adirondack chair project and putting the finishing touches on a Halloween prop. Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I don't cook meat. I can rarely cook a chicken breast that isn't too dry or too pink. My kids call my standard underdone poultry 'Cheerleader Chicken' because so often it is raw-raw-raw.

I recently found a no-fail recipe for bacon wrapped pork tenderloin for which, to my surprise, I wasn't the exception. Based on that singular success, I've moved on to a recipe I found for Texas styled pulled pork.

I have never tasted pulled pork. Before I moved to NC I had never even heard of pulled pork. Until recently, I thought it was a culinary cousin of the loose meat sandwich that was such comic fodder on Roseanne. But with pork butt on sale for 98 cents a pound on the opening weekend of barbecue season, the stars are aligned for a new learning experience. Besides,'pork butt' is just fun to say.

So last night when I couldn't sleep, I got up and started making a coffee-chipotle rub and chipotle barbecue sauce for the 7 pound pork shoulder (butt included) I bought yesterday. The recipe calls chipotle powder which isn't a standard stocked item at the local grocery store. In fact, Pace Picante Sauce is stocked with the ethnic food as if Texas is a foreign country. So the first step was to roast some chipotle peppers in the oven. I ground them in the grinder formerly known for coffee. Who needs sleep?

The rub done, I moved on to the barbecue sauce. I was wide awake when I started but the 40 minutes of sauteing and simmering was all I needed to finally feel dozy. Luckily, with help from a sleepy lick of a spoonful of fiery hot adobe sauce, I managed to finish the barbecue sauce without falling asleep in it. The rub and sauce done, I finally went back to bed at 3:30 wondering how to cook a 7 pound pork butt at 200 degrees for 14 hours and catch up on my sleep.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I signed up for Metal Art for Beginners because I've always been intrigued by metal sculptures. My mind simultaneously holds two thoughts when I see something I like: "Hey, that's fascinating," and "How hard could that be?" I decided to find out for myself. So for a hundred dollars I signed up for a class that promised that I would leave the class with a piece of yard art. Sounds lofty, but between my house and the metal shop there are at least fourteen people who believe that tire planters are yard art.

The class is 30 miles away in a very rural county and is held in the metal shop of an alternative learning high school. The place is dirty, and ill kept as if everyone has given up on the building and its occupants. Our instructor said that he's seen students making weapons in class. He said the teacher tried to kick the weapon makers out of class but the the parents complained and so the kids returned. The teacher said he'd quit but that out of the twenty kids in class (20 kids with torches and blades!) there are about three who are worth going to work for. Unless one of them is the next Holly Fisher,(That's her work on the right.) I worry that he's just desperate for a paycheck.

Our first functional welding project: a third hand (It helps hold vertical pieces of metal while welding. One of the guys in my welding class also said that the third hand could be used to hook a slaughtered pig and hang it up off the slaughterhouse floor. Good to know.) Also in photos: an example of my awesome welding skills. Anyone got a lawn mower that needs fixing?

Monday, May 24, 2010

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Today, I made peanut butter cookies dipped in chocolate and chopped peanuts before I went to Metal Shop.
I like making things.
Bread, cake, pies.
Cookies, appetizers, granola.
Fences, gates, fountains.
Gardens, tables, decks.
Cheesy music videos featuring my kids.
Halloween props.
Animated Christmas decorations.
My kids happy.
This blog will be about those.

I hate making things, too.
School lunches, beds, big messes.
The status quo.
This blog will not be these.