Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

How To Get Back In The Game: A Sequel to a Kielbasa

After his infamous kielbasa incident, Big Brother counters back with this little number in an honest attempt to rectify his calling towards pit master immortality. The following is his gallant attempt at a second chance at the game of smoking- a nice lob shot from the base-line as it were, this time with a promising plate of pork chops, and after much debate, a smoke wood suitable for the task. Can he pull it off?  Here then, in his own words, we offer forth another Elder Brother guest post, in:
 
 The Secret True to Life Mis-Adventures of Elder Brother
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The other day, I read with some interest, the comments you readers had for my first smoking project. I was deeply humbled by your concern for my well-being during this experiment with my Kielbasa. I assure you that I am fine, and though my bride raised her eye brows at the first taste of the mystery smoked meat, she did in fact eat it. She said nothing unprintable, so to my way of thinking, I took it as a sideways sort of complement. For the record, I thought it was pretty good.Since that cook, little brother has taken me under his wing and is schooling me on the “Smoky arts.” He visited me one day, loitering in my driveway camp, expounding on the virtues of wood, explaining this and that, trying to get my enthusiasm up. He explained how the mild Apple smoke would enhance my meat ,what Hickory would do for ribs and such. He lectured on Rubs and Marinades.
This was sermon on the mount type of stuff. Indeed, I decided, right then and there that I was going to give it another try. I was going to smoke something! First thing was to get some wood chips.I eyed with intent, my wife’s sculptured flower beds, with their mounds of wood chips. Little brother cautioned against that. He did not say why, but like a parent with a questioning child just said… “Because I said so.”
I got within twenty feet of my Lilac bush before I heard him holler “Stop”! Like he would to a dog running into a busy street.
Likewise, when I picked up a Maple tree branch from my front yard, left over debris from winter storms, I glanced furtively over at brother. His eyes were closed, his chin was sunk to his chest in dispare, slowly shaking his head back and forth.I guess I was not impressing my teacher too much…At this point Little Brother stood up, glanced around and stated flatly, “I gotta go”.And that was that. I was on my own again.I could tell that my brother was a little bit displeased with my lack of attention to his teachings, so I was going to do something about it. I would go to the store and buy some of those dad-burned wood chips. I would get wood with a label on it, so that next time he cornered me,and wanted to know what the heck I was smoking, I could tell him!IMAG1110 (1)Fifteen minutes later,I pushed through the door of the hardware store like a gunman walking into an old western saloon. I stopped for a moment, studying the room and the sauntered over to where the barbecue grills were sitting in all their glory. I casually lifted a lid here and there , checking things out, trying to look cool while searching for wood chips. Golly, there was a lot of paraphernalia for smoking. There were four different kinds of thermometers, and half a dozen tongs to choose from. Then along the bottom shelf I found the wood chips.I found a lot of wood chips. I had no idea there were so many different kinds or what they were even used for. Pecan, Hickory, Apple, Peach, Grape, Mesquite, Cherry and I thought about that branch in my yard when I read the last one, Maple. About then a young gal came over to me, one of the clerks at the store, and asked me if I needed help. I glanced up from my kneeling position at the wood chip shelf, and asked if she might have a preference for one kind wood over the other.
“Oh my,” she stated, “that is way beyond me…I have no idea.”
The girl at the cash register was of the same mind, “Wow” she said, “You one of those guys who can use smoke?”
I stood up a little straighter, a little bit of pridefulness swelling in my soul. I was enjoying this.
“OH, I like to dabble a bit” I said.
I walked out of there with my chest pushed out,apple chips in hand and pride in my stride. Yup, I was one of those guys. I was on my way to becoming a patron of the pit.Back home I was excited to get the little Smoky Joe into action. I placed my seven pieces of charcoal gingerly onto the residual pile from the last cook, and lit up. I watched the flames for a while, mesmerized by the aroma of the smoke wafting out from the little grill. Back in the kitchen I prepared for the event to come. I had nice thick Pork Chops laid out on the cutting board and started to put the seasoning on, or “Rub” as my brother would say. I gently padded and rubbed the meat, trying to emulate my little brothers technique. I really did not know what this was all about, Me? I prefer to pat and rub my plump belly after I eat the meat. But then I respect little brother. After all, he has a Blog, I do not…While all this fondling of meat was going on, I had dutifully been soaking my apple chips in a bowl of water. I will tell you this, they looked just like the chips from the wife’s flower garden. I did the obvious calculation and discovered that it would cost well over a thousand bucks to do her flower beds with this exotic wood. Lucky for me, I only needed a small handful accomplish my needs.Wood on the coals, meat on the grill. I was doing it. I set the little lid on the little Weber and waited, soon puffs of smoke started rising through the holes in the lid. Alright! I sat there in wonder, the magic of the smoke drifting around my camper and driveway. I was surprised that people were not stopping along the street in front of my house to witness this extraordinary event.

An hour later, after shutting down the little grill, I brought my prized meat into the house, the perfume of the apple wood smoke lingering in the air. Gosh, this was good stuff. Brother would be proud of me. I had done a good thing here! I laid miraculous chops alongside the chopped potatoes that I had cooked in foil down in the coals during the cook. The presentation was completed with a dappling of steamed peas and carrots nestled into the grouping.

I work second shift, and as such rarely am home for supper, but I am the cook of the house and I cook for my bride almost every day. When she comes home, there is some kind of supper for her in the refrigerator, waiting for her to heat up. Today was no different, I placed cellophane over the plate and placed my prized meal on the refrigerator shelf like I was setting up an entry for a state fair competition. I would have the left overs when got home from work.

While I was at work, I could smell the distinct aroma of the apple wood,still clinging to my clothes, off and on the whole night. I wondered if anyone else could pick up on the scent. Each time I picked up the fragrance, I would get a flashback, seeing the smoke puffing out of the grill, the smell of the kitchen as I put the meal together. Man, when the bell rang and my shift was over I could not get home fast enough, I was ready to taste the spoils of my toils.

My wife was fast asleep when I got home, but I hardly cared, I was like a kid at Christmas, I had been thinking about those pieces of pork for nine hours. I went straight to the fridge and swung open the door. My mouth was watering as I stared blankly into the empty space that once held my long waited supper.

Nothing…

Nothing was there! I glanced feverishly around the kitchen, what the heck! Where was my supper? I looked in the freezer, and finally in the sink, and there found two dishes, remnants of meat stuck to the dirty edge of one plate. A stray green pea off to the side of the other. It became obvious that my supper was gone. I started at the plates, lifted one gently and took a whiff. Ah…the smell was still there, the fragrance of success. I set the plate back into the sink, leaned my hands on the edge of the counter, and smiled. The loss of my supper was also my gain. It meant that I had passed a test of sorts. I had smoked meat, and it was good.
Good enough that my bride ate it all.

I was now…a “Patron of the Pit”.

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13 responses

  1. What a fantastic read! I could literally taste the smoked pork. The world over – nothing beats smoked meat!

    May 24, 2013 at 10:33 am

  2. I literally laughed till I cried 🙂 This has to be the funniest, sweetest smoking story I’ve ever heard! What a wonderful post, it’s so nice to hear it in his words. Great job Big Brother!

    May 24, 2013 at 10:46 am

    • Well he doesn’t mean to make folks cry, but I think he’ll be tickled to hear that. Thanks much!

      May 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

  3. “…“You one of those guys who can use smoke?…” ROFL! Apparently, yes. Aw man, when your woman cleans the plate of something you have prepared, believe me, you have have arrived at Patron Pithood! 🙂

    May 24, 2013 at 11:21 am

  4. Liz

    You share your elder brother’s way with words for sure. Great story 🙂 And congrats on the smoking success…

    May 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    • Thanks Liz. Yes, he is the raconteur of our tribe. Its good to get him going around a camp fire, and just idle back, beverage in hand, and listen to him spin.

      May 25, 2013 at 9:37 am

      • Liz

        your tribe has a raconteur–that is exactly the reason for your awesomeness 🙂

        May 25, 2013 at 3:28 pm

  5. When it came to the two plates in the sink, I thought, Oh no, big brother came over and ate it. Good story.
    Laurie.

    May 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm

  6. You crack me up! You certainly know how to weave a good story and now you are the master smoker. You must be so proud of your big brother!

    May 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

  7. Yes, he’s coming along in stride. Now if he could actually get to taste what he has cooked!

    May 25, 2013 at 9:44 am

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