The Hampton Smoker

What's up wtih what's going down? Does a tree falling on the ocean with no one around make a sound? Barbecue, BBQ, Bar-b-que. It's all in how you sell it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Where U Been?: Weekend Bbq and Life in General

This past weekend was quite action packed. We were in East Hampton with my brother and the Wife's friend, Diana. Saturday afternoon while I 'qued with Hiroshi, Diana and the Wife headed out for more groceries. That should have taken an hour or so.

4.5 hours later the Wife called to tell me that right after they left us, they stopped to get gas and couldn't get the car to start. They were eventually towed, but the prognosis was not good. Plus, nothing was getting done until Monday. The fuel pump was most likely shot and this was not a super cheap fix. Maybe $600. Bastards.

Well, on Monday, the mechanic told us that two guys called in sick and he was swamped. Call back Tuesday. The Wife stayed over, again, on Monday. Tuesday morning, and nearly a thousand dollars later, we got the car back. Yes foiks, about $900. MotherF******s!

Lindy's Car Service, by the way, out of Montauk (I think) will service East Hampton and they f'ng rock. They couldn't pick me up Sunday night, but they continually called other places until he found someone that could. Thanks!

For foods we made Pastrami, which was smoked and then steamed, a pork shoulder, a dozen or so chicken thighs with a new baste that is awesome(!), three racks of baby back ribs and a bunch of smoked cheddar and fresh mozzarella, which was smoked over a small fire of hickory and peach for about 4 hours. We shot for keeping the fire temperature at 80 degrees or below for the cheese, and it was about 12 degrees with the wind outside. We also cooked up some biscuits to map out the hotspots on the cooker again, and it is remarkably even all the way except for the first 10 inches closest to the fire which, of course, is the hottest.

Here're some chow pictures. Click the pics to make 'em grow up big and strong.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Car Smell: KCBS rolls out new logo

As part of efforts to transform the Kansas City Barbeque Society into "KCBS," a higher profile, national organization capable of attracting big money sponsors (read: major corporations) and potentially position itself as a sponsor of a more broad range of events outside of barbeque, a new logo has been introduced. Cue chanting choir of angels. What do you think?

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

When It Began: The N.C. BBQ Trail

Most of the bbq histories I've read discuss the introduction of the pig to the Carolinas and the role that played in the creation of what we now call barbecue in the United States. As folks moved on from the Carolinas in search of new opportunity elsewhere around the country, they took the bbq with them.

Well, the North Carolina Barbecue Society has connected the dots of their culinary history and created the official North Carolina Barbecue Trail. There are 25 stops on the trail that runs from Eastern North Carolina all the way to Tennessee.

While many establishments have moved away from the traditional methods of cooking over open fires w/ wood (mainly hickory down there) embers, the locations on the trail all maintain the old way of doing things and all proudly display an emblem that identifies them as purveyors of the lost art of wood cookery.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, here's a piece about his one and only visit to Seattle. Interestingly enough, he ate bbq in Seattle. Good choice.

Martin Luther King Jr. arrives for his sole Seattle visit on November 8, 1961. Essay 673

On November 8, 1961, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), the great civil rights leader, arrives for his only visit to Seattle. He speaks at the University of Washington and at Temple de Hirsch on Thursday, November 9, and at Garfield High School and the Eagles Auditorium on Friday, November 10, 1961. A reception follows at Plymouth Congregational Church.

Reverend Samuel B. McKinney invited him to be part of a lecture series sponsored by the Brotherhood of Mount Zion Baptist Church. McKinney was pastor of the church and a friend and classmate of King at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Racism at First Presbyterian

Arrangements were made for Dr. King to speak at First Presbyterian Church because Mount Zion would not be large enough to handle the numbers expected. First Presbyterian Church canceled the oral agreement to rent the sanctuary to Mount Zion just weeks before King’s scheduled arrival and shortly after advertisements of his lecture were circulated. The reasons ranged from construction work to other commitments but McKinney attributed it to racism. He appealed to First Presbyterian church leaders, but this only produced other excuses such as the use of the sanctuary only for religious meetings and the reluctance to have proceeds go not to Mount Zion’s building fund but to King’s enterprises.

Local organizations and churches denounced the cancellation. The Christian Friends for Racial Equality, Grace Methodist Church, the Baptist Ministers Conference of Seattle and Vicinity, and the Capitol Hill Ministerial Association voiced shock and disapproval. Even the Presbytery of Seattle commended King to its member churches.

Other venues were offered immediately. King arrived the evening of November 8 and checked into the Olympic Hotel. He gave his first lecture at the University of Washington on Thursday, November 9, in the old Meany Hall before 2,000 students. They gave him a standing ovation. That evening he spoke at Temple de Hirsch. On Friday, November 10, he spoke at Garfield High School and that evening at the Eagles Auditorium, now (in the twenty-first century) ACT Theater. A reception followed at Plymouth Congregational Church.

Creative Protest

In his lectures, the civil rights leader stressed creative protest to break down racial segregation and discrimination, and called on President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) to use the executive order to declare all segregation unconstitutional. All of his talks were inspirational and promoted the concept of brotherhood.

A Progressive City

After the last lecture, he requested that McKinney take him to a barbecue restaurant in the Central Area where they spent several hours eating and talking and reminiscing. He left on Saturday, November 11, impressed, according to McKinney, by the progressive attitude he saw in the city, especially in the African American community.

The internationally known leader’s legacy in Seattle is reflected in its landmarks.

In 1974, Harrison Elementary School was renamed Martin Luther King Elementary School.

In 1982, after a long struggle by businessman Eddie Rye, Empire Way was renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.

On February 24, 1986, the King County Council passed Motion 6461 redesignating the namesake of King County to commemorate Dr. King rather than William Rufus DeVane King, the Vice President-elect for whom the county was named in 1852. A bronze memorial plaque to commemorate this change is located on the first floor elevator lobby of the King County Courthouse at 3rd Avenue and James Street in Seattle.

In 1991, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park at South Walker Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way was dedicated.

In 1998, a bronze bust of King by Jeff Day entitled “Speaking Out” was placed in the Allen Theater of the Act Theater complex. It was dedicated by the board of directors of the theater and by the Benefit Guild, a black women’s service organization. The bust commemorates his speaking engagement in the same auditorium space on November 10, 1961.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Mary T. Henry, Tribute: Seattle Public Places Named for Black People (Seattle: Statice Press, 1997), 39, 41, 42; Ferdinand M. DeLeon, “When King was in Town,” The Seattle Times, January 16, 1994, pp. L-1, L-4.

By Mary T. Henry, January 08, 1999

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Long Time Gone: holiday catchup

Here're some pics from the holidays that I've been meaning to get posted....Not much to say today, and pictures say thousands of words, no?

Red Velvet Snowman Cake

Our brand new Kitchen Aid Mixer (thanks, dad!) making the cake

Brisket and Potato Pancakes from Chanukah dinner w/ my folks

My new, delicious niece, Gwen, cavorting w/ Granny

My mom on the last night of Chanukah

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Fox in the Henhouse: New Year Cooking

Happy new year, my friends. I hope that you had a nice holiday season and have emerged rejuvenated and well. Let's hope the best days of 2006 are the worst of 2007.

Here's a look at some of the cooking we did over the New Year's weekend. We kept it a bit more simple-- a couple of chickens, a brisket flat, a piece of beef shoulder that we cooked and shredded, a pork loin cut in sections, 2 sausage fatties (bulk sausage rolls), a few pounds of cold-smoked white cheddar and a bunch of pizzas. The shoulder and the brisket were actually cooked for 24 full hours(!). The last 6 or so were in the oven at a low temperature. They were moist and tender, like you wouldn't believe. The brisket was probably overcooked by competition standards, but I don't care. It was amazing.

Beef Shoulder


A small, hot fire with an onion for aromatherapy

Golden brown bird


Pork Loin

Vertical and horizontal sections of Wubby at same temperature. Sweet!

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