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.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Care of Cell 44: Losing friends, life's grift

A Facebook post led to phone calls led to finding out that one of The Wife's childhood friends, a woman with whom she has had a long, complicated friendship, is on life support in an Albany hospital with lungs that apparently look like Swiss Cheese. She is Pneumonia ravaged and holding on by a thin ephemeral strand to her life here on Earth.

We are about to hop in the car and go to her side. Because of the ups and downs that come with any relationship, there is guilt, bittersweet relief, sadness and the irreversible loss of their tangibility, their 'themness' that will always be absent and silent.

I know it was not easy for her raising two young girls by herself and then years later another baby with an unfortunate father. I know she was, like most of us, crippled with self-doubt, fear, flagging willpower, and a thirst for self-destruction, but in the back of my mind, I always thought it would be different, that she would turn it all around and land square on her feet. Life is full of surprises.

The mighty Zombies perform "Care of Cell 44," from the epic Odessey and Oracle album just below. A sweet song from a mother to her son in jail. Beach Boys, Beatles and more in the mix with this stuff. The Zombies are so wonderful.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

You Gots to Chill: What's what and whatnot

On Saturday The Wife and I drove out to Sayville, Long Island for the 2009 Battle of the BBQ Brethren NY State BBQ Championship which was sponsored by RUB BBQ. Saturday was a grilling contest and Sunday was the KCBS BBQ Contest. I was there as a representative of RUB.

We walked in and first went to visit my buddy, Phil, the Grand Poobah of the BBQ-Brethren. As soon as I walked into his trailer to say hello...he tells me to put down my camera and coffee and start cooking. We hadn't been there 5 minutes, I hadn't finished my first cup of coffee and I was sweating shallots and garlic on a camping stove.

I cooked the stuffed chicken breast entry for the Entree category. I don't know how we did-- it seemed delicious to me. The stuffing had the shallots and garlic, olives, mushrooms, sage and cheese (pepper jack??), then it was topped with pancetta and mozzarella and served on top of a grilled polenta cake with grilled fennel and then a red wine and mushroom gravy and a sage leaf as garnish. Nice dish.

It was great to see some people that I don't see very often and to be amongst other absolute BBQ nuts who enjoy talking about it all as much as I do.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Children of the Revolution: Recent home cookings...

Dinner: Dry aged rib steak, double smoked thick cut bacon, grilled asparagus, roasted potatoes and braised caramelized cabbage....

Dedicated to my buddy, Scott.

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