The skies are grey, change is in the air. I can feel it, see it, taste it. My house, high on a hill is bearing witness to the trees beyond the lake, turning as I write.
Just a few short weeks from now, when the night time temps dip, the trees will blossom with beautiful hues of Autumn Red, fading to Orange, Gold and Yellow.
Today is nasty in a wonderful Fall sort of way. It’s raining and a bit chilly.
I REALLY DO hate to see the Summer days grow short but … I SOOOO love the Fall. Bright sunshine and cool nights. NO BUGS to spoil any outside leisure activities and, those beautiful colours in the trees.
According to Wikipedia, An “Ode” is elaborately praising or glorifying an event, describing nature intellectually as well as emotionally.
And so, this is my Ode to Fall … how I love thee!!
Ahhhh, but the promise of Winter … my favourite.
Yes, I know some have a problem with that. Perhaps I’m one of the strange ones.
I SOOOO love to ride my motorcycle. Sadly, I just don’t do very well with the crazy heat and humidity that goes hand in hand with the Summer months here, where I have lived almost all of my life.
Being a Butcher for 35+ years has messed up my internal thermometer. I used to DREAD going to work. “How in the WORLD am I going to stay warm for 8 hours ???” Crazy thing now, I LOVE it !!!
I ACTUALLY look FORWARD to spending the ENTIRE day in the COLD !!! Seriously!!! I can work my butt off and NEVER break a sweat !! It’s BEAUTIFUL !!
Again, I digress …
Here’s the deal … I SOOOOO look forward to the cold and SNOW !!!
I want to be clear … I LOVE the change of seasons we are blessed with in this part of my beautiful country (Canada) and, I really wouldn’t have it any other way. As much as I look forward to Spring, and the rebirth of everything green, I ALSO SOOOOOO look forward to the COLD, exhilarating slap of WINTER!!
I am a skier. I love all things out-of-doors, especially in the Winter. I guess that makes me a bit of a “Winter weirdo” and, let’s not forget … a FOODIE too!
For me, the Winter presents a WHOLE new experience for folks that just love to cut, cook, prepare, present and serve FOOD to appreciating people (mainly my Marital equivalent, family and friends). Comfort food to warm the heart and soul. Spicy chili’s, hearty stews and crock pot recipes that beg for a crackling fire, glass of wine and a big sweater.
Coming home today, as I drove up my long driveway, I was wondering “how am I going to impress my marital equivalent for dinner tonight ” and, … I’m SERIOUSLY drawing a TOTAL blank.
I put the key in the door, my beautiful four legged Princesses meet me as usual, and … dinner is gone. Out of my mind like the flush of a big Porcelain throne.
History. It’s play time and … Daddy’s home!!!
I usually give dinner serious thought during the day. Today however, I’m waffling between pulling nasty, last minute, got-no-time-for-anything-else, burgers or worse out of the freezer … OR, (wait for it …) the dreaded “Breakfast-for-dinner”!!! Fast n’ easy, bacon and eggs with toast (yum … so easy, … AND, sooooo good)
Sadly, my lovely spouse just doesn’t “GET” the whole “Breakfast-for-dinner” thing !!!
Back to the drawing board.
With the days growing colder, my opportunities to smoke (food, NOT tobacco or that other funny stuff!) are dwindling. As the outside temperature drops I must add more and more time to my overall cook, since I use an old water smoker. One of these days I’ll invest in a Big Green Egg but, I digress, … again.
Back to dinner. I want to use my smoker tonight but, I haven’t presoaked any wood chips … or have I ???
This whole diatribe has been the reason for my Blog post today.
I have a ridiculously obvious and simple tip I actually fell into by accident to share.
Back in the summer, after smoking some ribs for dinner, I was cleaning up and realized there was still half a bag of hickory chips soaking in my bucket. Not wanting to drain them, dry them and store them for next time, instead, I put them into a ziplock bag and stuck them in the freezer.
Waiting for wood chips or chunks to soak can be a pain (at least 30 minutes to 1 hour). If you’re eager to begin smoking food as I am tonight, the wood needs to soak before being added to the grill in order to maintain a slow smolder rather than a quick burn, which can impart an acrid taste to your meat.
In my freezer, I have pre-soaked, ready to use wood chips!! By the time I get the old smoker rockin’ , my chips will be thawed and ready to use!
Necessity is the Mother of Invention AND, the end result of many happy accidents around here !!
BTW, … the same tip is great for soaking bamboo skewers as well. This is a must before grilling since soaking will help keep the wood from burning before the food is cooked. You can even use frozen chips for your gas grill too. Just place them inside a foil pouch with holes poked into it for ventilation and add them to your BBQ while cooking your favourite protein.
Chicken leg quarters, brined, smoked and finished in my little water smoker, served with foil wrapped potatoes and steamed, buttered broccoli.
Comfort food for a chilly night … ahhhh the crackling fire.
Honey? … can I pour you some wine ???
All is good.
Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential