Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Weekend

I thought I'd tell you at little bit about my weekend that just ended.  I had a book signing on Saturday in Clarinda, Iowa, a birthday on Sunday and another TV show on Monday morning.  I'll start with the book signing.

I did a book signing at the Garrison Coffee House in Clarinda, Iowa.  If you have not stopped and checked them out, please do so.  They have great coffee drinks and food.  I had a White Hot Chocolate because I'm not a coffee drinker.  But I love WHC and theirs was excellent.  Because my signing ran from noon to 2:00 PM, I also did lunch.  The Tomato Florentine Soup and Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwich were terrific.  The Egg Salad had a little kick to it.  Back to the place, it is very roomy as it covers 2 buildings connected inside by a couple of openings.  Its walls are down to the brick and both have old tin ceilings (1 new & 1 original).  Carolyn (owner) does a great job with the Garrison Coffee House and has a very friendly staff.  Again, check it out.

I've been wanting a smoker for a few years now and my children gave me one for Christmas.  Of course, it wasn't put together and weighed about 150 pounds.  It needed at least 2 people to assemble and so I waited for my son-in-law and daughter, Beth, to come down from Rochester, Minnesota for my birthday.  Matt is an engineer and has the same day as me for his birthday.  One of my wife's sisters, Ellie, from Kenosha, Wisconsin came too.  Her husband, Dan, helped with the smoker and somehow the 3 amigos put it together (and no extra pieces left over).

Well,I had my first try at Smoking and did alright for a first time (lots to learn).  I smoked some pork back ribs and a fresh pork butt.  The 6 of us thought everything tasted great.  I was very proud of the ribs.  They came out just perfect.  The pork butt needed more time than I had figured.  So I had to finish it off in the oven for about 35 minutes (timing is everything) so that all the food was ready to eat at the same time.  We chopped the pork butt and it had great flavor too.  It just needed to be started sooner.  I'll know that next time (part of the learning curve).

If you think that smoking is for you, do some thinking & research.  An electric smoker takes less watching and heat work (keeping the fire going & the temperature in the right range).  But if you have the time to watch and work it all day, I'd go the route I did with a live fire.

I was on KQ2 again this morning (Hometown This Morning Show) with Bob, William  and Samantha.  I made "Crab Cakes" from the blog recipes.  They loved them and were surprised at how easy they were to make.  Here is the link to the video Crab Cakes Video.

I'll be talking about pasta tomorrow and what you should know about it.  Thursday and Friday will be pasta recipes for you to try.  Enjoy and have a great week.

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