Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's for the children

Well, teach them and train them and you are protecting them.

I totally get where the father is at in his mental state.  I would freak if my child had to undergo something like this.  I train with Mrs. 45er and want her to have the ability to defend herself, but if were up to me I'd want to be the one to have to deal with a situation like that.  The mental aftermath is an entirely different kind of thing you have to prepare for.  I don't think 14-year-old has had enough time on this earth to be mentally ready for something like this.  That said, I'd rather it end this way than any other.  That's one quick thinking and smart kid.  Kudos to good parenting.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Heavenly postage - assembly required

A while back, That Guy was telling me about a very cool recipe/cookbook that he was reading.  I expressed great interest and he told me not to get it.  Guy code understood.  I have a birthing celebration coming up and guess what just came in the mail?

Oh, such beauty
Looks like work.  Yummy, yummy work.  And a big thank you to That Guy.  I can't wait to try some of these.  We've been making venison smoked ring for decades and dry ring for a few years.  We've dabbled in jerky and you've seen the bacon escapades here.  There are so many cool things in this book.  Also, they know what they're talking about...

Yes, yes it is
My dad and I have been talking about advancing to summer sausage and there is a pretty cool recipe in here for that.  Venison summer sausage would be a fantastic addition to our normal goodies.  I just can't wait for cooler weather.  Oh, but do I have a surprise that might make hot weather a moot point.  Just wait and see...

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Some thanks are in order for a new follower.  To Tyler North from American and Armed, thanks very much for hitting the button and being subjected to random ramblings.  I welcome comments and always will respond.

Go check it out and check that fancy shotgun shell holder.  :)  That reminds me of taking my Remington 870 Talo with an 18" barrel to a fundraiser skeet shoot.  I do that kind of thing on purpose.  If I'd have known about this, I'd have rocked this look as well.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pounding Wet Sand

When we were looking at the house we own right now, I remember looking out the back door when it was being shown to us and thinking how the above-ground pool in the back yard was NOT a selling point.  All I could see was maintenance.  Well, we ended up with it.  It's been ok.  We use it.  I do maintain it.  Mostly.

So, this weekend came the series of unfortunate events leading to the multiple project payload.  You know what I'm talking about.

"Hmmmm, that hose is leaking.  Well, to fix that I have to drain the pool down.  Well, since I'm going to have to do that, I may as well replace the leaky inlet which I've been fighting.  Oh, you know since I'm doing that, I really should replace the sand in the filter."  This is where misery is born.

You see, you're supposed to replace that sand every few years.  Well, it's been a few years since we moved in and the previous owner didn't exactly take care of the pool.  The neighbors have told me stories involving tree-rats doing the bloated back-stroke and Swamp Thing colored water.  I can only imagine what has gone through that filter.

The purchase of the supplies was much less painful than I expected.  Therefore, I left the pool supply store much more optimistic than I had any right to be.  I decided to start early in the morning on the project instead of working in 103F heat.  I'm silly that way.  Still, it was HOT.

The inlet replacement was pretty simple.  Hoses took no time to attach.  I'm cranking along, super-happy with myself.  So, then I took the valve off of the filter and gazed into the abyss.  I would spend the next few hours lounging down there with Faust wanting to go in halvsies on the deal he made just to end this thing.

There is 200 pounds of sand in that filter.  That's dry weight.  This sand is wet.  Very wet.  Let's top that with the fact that there is a PVC pipe that comes all the way to the opening of the filter, which is already small.  I can barely fit my hand through.  I started shoveling with the little plastic cup that I had.  That lasted a very short time.  I've learned some things in life.  Don't ignore the voice telling you when you're doing something stupid.  It's always right.  Also, taking time to find a better solution always beats wasting a lot of time doing something and then trying to find a better solution.

I stopped pretty quick and headed to my parents' house to get their shop-vac.  My thoughts were this:  I would use their old shop-vac and if the vacuuming of sand burned it up, I would get them a brand new one.  Better than buying a new one and finding out the hard way.

Back to the house with the sucker.  Things went quite swimmingly until I got down to where the really wet stuff was.  Sadly, I was just starting to get that loving feeling back.  That's when the sand started actually filling up the hose.  Luckily, I had buckets of water I had collected when I drained the pool.  What's a good idea?  Sucking some of that up to clean the hose.  What's a bad idea?  The one I just had.  An even better idea would have been just wrapping tape on that stupid leaky hose that started all this.

So, now I have a very wet, very sand filled shop vac.  I'm on the 4th or 5th emptying of the thing and it's getting messy.  Oh, and really heavy.  So, the decision has to be made to either empty it a lot or blow a gasket every time I empty it.  I emptied it a lot.  A whole lot.  At this point I can't get the sand out of the bottom of the pool filter.  The pipe goes down and fits to a bunch of spokes that I can't get the hose under.  You know what did fit under it?  My hand.  My now very raw hand.  Scraping a bunch of wet sand into a hose has what I will call an exfoliating affect.

Finished sucking!  Now, haul the new sand to the back of the house.  Fifty pound bags of sand.  I'm reminded of hauling a bunch of cattle feed.  Feel the burn.

So, the project is finally complete.

Stupid hose.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Smoke - you complete me

So, there were a few comments requesting the final result of the rub post.  Well, I planned on it but the final results really do need articulation.  There were some issues and then things got weird.  First off, the ribs turned out wonderfully well.  Here is the final product from that project:

Hehe.  Remember these?

Anyways, the pork roast above the ribs was supposed to be pulled pork, remember?  Well, there was a series of unfortunate events.  The internal temperature was rising on pace to make it to the right temperature but we had to go to my parents.  It's a short drive and I had my mom pre-heat her oven and immediately put it in when we got there.  However, that's when it stalled.  I had a heck of a time getting it to get up to 170F.  At this point, I gave up on the pulled pork.  There were two reasons.  I didn't foresee the internal temp making it to the required 200F in time and I started to consider that this was a roast from the rump, not the shoulder.  This means much less fat and these were pretty lean pigs to begin with.  Here's something to remember when you're cooking.  Be flexible.  Adapt and overcome.  Oh, and don't announce your plans (oops on my first post). You might have to change them and then you can't say you did it on purpose.  it's kind of like that perfect shot.  When you make it, just put the gun down and walk away.

What I ended up with was a fantastic smoked pork roast, not a pulled pork sandwich.  The brine made it amazingly moist and juicy.  I sliced it thin and we had it on buns.  I noticed something else strange when we started taste-testing.  I used the exact same rub on both the ribs and roast.  The ribs were great.  Just a hint of heat, a little sweet and perfectly flavored.  The roast was amazing as well, but man was it spicy-hot.  I can only attribute this to the fact that I really packed the rub on the roast.  My thoughts were that when I pulled it apart, the seasoning would incorporate into the meat.  If that actually happened, I think it would have been ok.

All-in-all it was successful.  We had a great Father's Day and good food.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Aye - There's the pork rub

Well, sometimes you start to brainstorm and simple dinner plans escalate into all-out food insanity.  My mom wanted to have a nice father's day dinner and wanted me to do some grilling, maybe some steaks.  Well, remember, we have all that pork from the pigs we butchered.  (By the way, I have 10 more pounds of bacon curing in the refrigerator).  So, I thought why not some pulled-pork and some ribs?  Ok, so what now?  First, the pork we have is a roast from the ham, not the shoulder.  The shoulders all went into sausage.  That means I need to do a good brine and rub for that.  Might as well make a rub for both the ribs and roast, right?  Well, here is what I have done so far:

First off, this recipe is for a bone-in pork shoulder and I recommend that for the fat content.  This will work for a roast up to about 6 - 8 pounds.

Aye, the rub:

1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup brown sugar

I put all of that into a dish with a tight lid, then shake vigorously.  Remove the lid and crush the larger chunks of brown sugar and shake again.

The brine:

2 quarts of cold water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 bay leaves
3 Tbsp of rub

Pour cold water into bowl, preferably with a spout to pour back out easily.  Add the salt and stir until dissolved.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Add the rest and stir.  Put the pork roast into a 2 gallon Ziploc bag and pour in brine.  Seal top and put in refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

After brine is complete, pour out and rinse and pat roast.  I put mine in a disposable aluminum pan since I was planning on smoking it.  I wanted to retain as much moisture as possible, and not lose any dripping down through the grate.  Cover the roast liberally with the rub and put on the smoker.  You can use the oven in all honesty, but you'll miss out on the smoke flavor.  Whichever means you decide upon.  Keep the temperature at around 225F and you'll want to cook it for 1.5 to 2 hours per pound.  The internal temperature should reach 200F.  Then, shut off the oven and let the roast slowly cool in the oven until it reaches 170F.  Take it out and use two forks to pull it apart.  This should be very easy at this point.

So, for right now it just went on the smoke.  I used the rub to coat the ribs as well and I'm cooking them side by side.

Can't wait for dinner.

Monday, June 11, 2012

More Gun Friendly News

Antis and politicians are being left in the dust.  Ruger has been skyrocketing in its stock price.  More guns are being sold now than really ever before.  Now states are trying to attract some of that good business.  It has always left me scratching my head when arms and ammunition manufacturers do business in hostile states.  I understand it costs money to move, but it has to cost some pretty serious change to stay as well.  This is a story on Potlatch, Idaho.  Potlatch is actively campaigning to poach some gun manufacturers from less friendly areas.  They also don't seem to be jumping on the bandwagon now.  Potlatch looks like it might be full of my kind of people and Idaho has been a friendly state for a long time.  Good for them, I say.  Lower cost firearms due to less regulation and headaches for the manufacturers mean lower cost for us.  It also means pulling money out of the pockets of politicians that would use your own money to take your rights away.  I think we would call that a Win-Win.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


But do you know what kind of fries?   My uncle is here from West Texas.  They do a lot of ranching.  Along with that comes such delicacies as "fries."

Have you figured it out yet?

Yep, what are called calf fries, or mountain oysters among other things.  A lot of people just can't deal with the thought, but on the ranch these are something to look forward to around cutting time.

There are just too many jokes to make and none of them have any tact.  The process is pretty simple.  The cutting is obviously already done.  Then, you peel, slice and season.  A little salt, pepper and garlic powder then...

into the cornmeal.  Turn the heat on under some oil and get it up to around 350F.  Drop these in and fry until just golden.

Done.  Serve with french fries.

I'm curious about the responses I will be getting for this one.  I know everyone has heard of these.  I figured few people have ever seen the process, so I'm here to appease your curiosity.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lazy Blogging

I've been out of pocket for a week on business.  The good news is I was in pocket in That Guy's back yard.  That meant we had to make it to the range at least once.  He and I have both been in the market for a .308 in an AR platform.  Well, he found one.  So, since it's already been posted, I'm going to be lazy let you see it over there.


It's mine.  It's been a whole one year since I started this.  I have to say the only thing I can say is thank you.  I would never have imagined that people would actually have cared enough to pay attention.  I appreciate that you take the time to peek in.  I do notice.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Many more thanks

Thanks to mojave rat for hitting the follow button.  He is over at mojaveratstwocentsworth.  It's a good place and worth the visit.  Anyone that likes bacon that much is a friend.  :)

Also, a follow up for Mazie over at Who Knew.  Now we have a link!  I didn't have one when I originally posted the thanks, so that has been rectified.  She is working on starting on some basic firearms training, so I know she will be interested in the knowledge of those of you that wish to share.  I know it's so hard to get gunnies to talk about guns, but do your best.  :)