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I hit the powerball!

26.5.05
And only the powerball, unfortunately. My $2 ticket returned $3. not quite like my recent trip out to the riverboat Casino where I doubled up my bankroll in about 15 minutes, but it's better than nothing, I guess.


So this morning I got up late, began roasting some chicken parts for stock, and began chopping veggies for my mirpoix. I totally took off 3/4's of my fingernail and nail bed on my left hand index finger. It's honestly bad enough that I ought to go to the hospital, but as I don't have insurance. Plus, there's nothing to stitch up anyway. I just gauzed the hell out of it, and I pray I can somehow get through a busy holiday weekend at work in the next couple days. I certainly need to go purchase latex gloves tonight.

Yesterday's European Cup Final made me reminisce over John Peel, so I'm watching a tribute to him that I dl'd a couple weeks ago. I'm sure that the giant Liverpool fan is smiling down from heaven after that miraculous comeback from the Scousers.

Eating BBQ before noon?

24.5.05
does this indicate a problem like drinking before noon? Not that it matters since I'm drinking a beer, too.

I love pulled pork, and this may be odd, but I much prefer it braised in beer than smoked, which is much more traditional. I think the meat is more tender, and I like the taste of the beer as much or more than smoke.

So here's my recipe:

one well trimmed Pork Butt. I like to use the whole shoulder. Some may prefer just the bottom muscle, this is called Western Style (NOT to be confused with a Picnic Ham) or a halved shoulder (Boston Butt).
1 Beer

Pork Rub (I use this for ribs as well, very tasty stuff)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons chopped thyme
2 Tablespoons Cayenne (use one T if you don't want it to be spicy)
2 Tablespoons Salt

Mix together, then pack all over the pork butt until every bit of exterior has some rub on it. Put into your crockpot on high and pour in a beer. Turn after a half hour, then reduce the heat to low in another half hour (one hour total). You might need to add more beer at this point (you want it to cover about half way up). Let cook for about 8 hours or overnight. The meat should be falling off the bone and all the individual muscles should be falling apart. Save the liquid in the crockpot. Using two forks (or your fingers), pull the pork apart into shreds. Be sure to pick out the big pieces of fat.

For the sauce, I usually use the Joy of Cooking BBQ sauce recipe and tweek it to my liking, but you can use any store bought brand, although I would advise against a vinegar based sauce. Just cut it with the cooking juices (skim the fat off first) at about 2 parts BBQ sauce to 1 part liquid. Mix it all together and it should be tasty eats. Yum!

Linklater to direct film version of Fast Food Nation

23.5.05
Link

I think that's interesting. I'd like to see an update of the information, too.

Our entire sewer main backed up today. It was just a matter of time. The plumbing is ancient, and I'm sure the town sewers are archaic.

Why am I hungover?

22.5.05
Friday was an insanely busy day at work. I guess it was the last day of school, so I was inundated with deli sandwich orders. I realize that I have a pretty decent margin on sandwiches, but there is no way in hell that my time is best served dishing out mayo and white bread and pressed meats.

I had an order for 50 ribeyes, which was pretty big. I gave the guy a sale price from last week, which still has a $1.75/lb markup ( I think, I'm still not used to reading these order sheets from this wholesaler) so figure 25 lbs of meat at $1.75 mark up and that's a tidy little profit for 30 minutes of work.

I can't help but feel like we have a massive potential on our hands for a really good magnet customer base, but I feel like I'm being hampered by an old-timer who has been the Asst. Manager of the store for like 30 years, and seems to be hell bent on keeping things Status Quo. This all despite the new owners paying me (probably) more than they can afford (but not as much as I should be making) to increase sales and tidy up the place, and hopefully allow them to expand and remodel once business is on the upswing.

I made fresh country and Italian sausage yesterday. They turned out ok, but I'm forced to sell just the bulk meat since we don't have a sausage stuffer, despite having the hog casings. I don't get it. I didn't really do anything fun or interesting besides that.

I was rather busy yesterday, too, but I managed to get out of there in time to get home for the
Wizards game. I had just planned on watching it streaming from MLSnet, but some guys I know online who live here in Columbia got a hold of me and we went out to a pseudo-ritz generic sports-pub to watch it. The first thing I noticed was that there was a fucking Bentley parked right outside. Secondly, they only had 4 beers on tap. 4?!?. That's sad. The game was pretty much shit, but the Hot Wings were actually pretty good. They were perfectly spicy, but maybe just a bit too vinegar-y. And the blue cheese was homemade with big hunks of maytag in it.

Then I left for the bars but couldn't get a hold of anybody. So I sat at Tellars, at the bar by myself and drank for a couple hours. I didn't mean to get ripped, but next thing I know, I'm at Snappers (which I have a personal ban on) chatting with Mike and Em, and probably being belligerent. And I'm so drunk that I can't remember my wife's cell number. Bad news, but JJ showed up and had KT's number so I got home safely.

I'm googling, but I can't find out if the jury came to a decision in the Rios trial. Personally, I think he did it, but with no murder weapon, I'm afraid that the jury will have a reasonable doubt as to his guilt. I will be so sick to my stomach if he gets acquitted.

new look, same old shit

19.5.05
Just got back from a few beers with the Dudes. I'm hungery, but I shouldn't be since we had stir fry for dinner, and I ate too much (I marinated some ribeye scraps I took from work in some soy, oyster sauce and fresh, grated ginger)

I'm really obsessing over sausage curing and dry aging of beef. I get paid tommorow and I think I may pick up a few books on Amazon that have piqued my interest.

I have a lot of what I need to setup a dry aging fridge, assuming my folks let me use their workroom/basement/unfinished area thingy.

Here's a setup that I think I may try

Essentially you just need to keep constant temperature and low low humidity. I have a dorm fridge that I'm not using, I just need to control the humidity, which isn't really easy to do here in Missouri.

template work and wasting my day off.

Busy coding some CSS to make this blog actually look good. Jamming out to:

Got some sun tea brewing on the porch and sipping on a cran and vodka. Nice afternoon.

wtf is with my template?!?

17.5.05
Did I purposely pick the ugliest damned template? I keep meaning to code some css, but I keep getting distracted. I have a decent template I wrote for Heart of America Soccer Foundation that didn't get used, so I could just mod that I guess.

In the mean time, KT and I went for a walk in Cosmo park that ended up being like a hike. It was just spur of the moment after getting some Limeaides at Sonic, so we were both just in flip-flops. Not very conducive to the trails we encountered. My ankles hurt.

Not much else to note. the Rios trial is shaping up quickly. I've been more than a little interested in that. Freaking bizarre crap.

EDIT: fixed the first link after hearing about it from Dave #1

Jace's Famous Brat-Burgers

For those of you who have been lucky enough to attend one of the many tailgates at Arrowhead Stadium where I've served these beauties, you know the hype is real. For those that don't, my recipe is below. I didn't try reducing the recipe, because I'm not very good at that. Try doing so if you wish, but I don't have any idea of how to do so. My bud Octavio said he saw that Johnsonville was now marketing something similar, so I thought I would share the real thing.

12 lbs. lean ground beef (round would be ideal, I usually use the shop trim, which is somewhere in the mid to upper 80% lean realm).
10-12 lbs fatty ground pork (two boned pork shoulders are about perfect. I usually trim the top cap off first and use for salt pork since we don't want these burgers swimming in grease)
16oz Bratwurst seasoning (I mix my own, but you can find them available for sale. Look for a mixture whose first ingredient isn't salt and lists Mace amongst the top 5 ingredients)
2 Cups beer.


Mix very well, but don't over mix. One trick is to mix the meats together first, until it's about the texture of meat loaf, then roll out the meat and evenly distribute the spices. (Thanks Alton Brown). Then fold up and mix the mixture with the beer until you get an even distribution of spices and a slightly sticky texture. You can make patties any way you wish, but usually the mixture is too sticky to use the traditional patty makers. I like to just roll up the meat into 3# logs, wrap them in butcher paper and freeze over night. Then I cut the patties out on the band saw with a bone-in blade.

Grill them just on the far side of medium (because of the pork) and top with either brown mustard and kraut, or lettuce, tomato, onion and Mayo. Garlic Aioli would be awesome, too.

back wit a new batch

13.5.05
so our cable was shut off for a little while. Then I got paid. Good.

Our anniversary was good. KC was fun and Bluestem was an amazing restaurant; see the Heartland section of eGullet if you're interested in my full review. It involved Foie Gras and Kobe beef.

Work has been ok. There was an issue with my pay, but I got it resolved. Things have been moving. I've gotten more compliments. I'm really happy, but there just isn't enough hours. Last night I was at Best Buy fiddling around and a manager was selling iPods. He didn't answer that well, so I showed the man mine and talked to him. The manager was impressed and asked me to apply. So I might be slinging electronics part time.

Tonight, I've already had a couple beers and am working on a cran and vodka. Gonna run with the fellas tonight, but I gotta work tommorow.