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Susan in FL

Tag Team eG Foodblog: Light My Fire!

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Welcome to our second eG triple tag team foodblog. In the previous triple tag team, the bloggers were trying not to smoke. In this installment, summer is around the corner and our bloggers are smokin'! Expect to see some grilled pizza, smoked butt, smoked salmon and brie, and kebabs. Some will smoke bacon, make BBQ sauce, do a rotisserie roast, or experiment where the whim takes them.

Welcome back Marlene and snowangel, and welcome first-time blogger lancastermike. Take it away!

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Yay!!! I noticed something was MISSING from my routine this week and realized it was a daily check-in with a stranger about his/her life and food habits. This should be fun...

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Thanks Susan! Mornin all. I'm especially pleased to be teamed up with Mike who has supported me through various smoking/grilling projects in the past. Susan of course is a mistress of the smoker.

I think we've got a great week lined up for you! We've been enjoying some really nice weather here so let's hope the weather holds as we grill our way through the days.

I'll be back in a bit with some fresh cinnamon rolls for y'all. Right after I get the eating machine to school and lay in some supplies!

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Most excellent! I really hope you'll be showing us your equipment! Photos, please!

(I mean smokers/grills, woods/charcoal, etc. Get your mind out of the gutter!)

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Good Morning to all,

Looking forward to my first blog. With Marlene and Susan along I know any errors I make, they will correct.

Yes, Chris I will show my equipment. One gas, one charcoal.

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In what I understand to be blog tradition, here is how I start my morning. The french press was a gift from my wife, Maggie. At the time I thought I'd use it on occasion. However, it is the only way I make coffee these days

Most folks know Marlene and Susan. A few words about me.

My darling wife, Maggieand I live in Millersville PA. I know it says lancastermike. The town of Millersville is located just a mile or two from Lancaster. Millersville is a nice little town which is dominated by Millersville University of Pennsylvania.

The other members of our household are

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Arlo the dog. Pictured on the dog couch. He is a regal sort who believes he is in charge of the world and all others exist to serve him.

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and Gus the dog. A very friendly and happy fellow, Gus, unlike Arlo listens to me.

Pictured in my avatar photo along with Arlo is Sophie. She left us in February and she is greatly missed. Sophie adored Maggie and she continues to miss her every day. I do as well. She was a wonderful dog who was loved by all who met her.

Sophie and Gus were rescue dogs. Arlo came from our local shelter. The best dogs come from those places.

Both of these guys get up with me in the morning. I put the kettle on for my coffee and we go out for a dog leg lift and to walk to the end of the driveway for the paper. I come back and my water is ready for the coffee.

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A typical breakfast for me. Not as nice as Marlene's.

Than off to work at

Lancaster County Prison

For reasons of security I cannot take any photos at work So my lunch will be descriptive only.

Many thanks to Marlene and Susan for inviting me to join this blog and grillin' and smokin' will start tonight.


Edited by lancastermike (log)

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Good morning all! It is a beautifully sunny day here and this is just about my favorite time of day. The kids are gone to school and I have had my morning wander around the yard with my cuppa. This is an exciting time of year in Minnesota -- my daily garden patrol reveals something new every day. My pulmonaria are almost done blooming, but my coral bells opened their little blossoms this morning and the columbine will open today. I'm thinking its warm enough that I can get some basil in the garden either today or tomorrow.

My first task every morning is to fire up the coffee maker (Phillips drip). I get everything set the night before -- water in, beans in grinder. Grind, start and shower. I like my coffee strong and black and ready once I'm showered and dressed. Prefer dark greasy beans. I have a little bit of this treat left:

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My folks are just back from Berkeley and I think Peet's Italian Roast is one of my favorites.

Off to contemplate breakfast!

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The eating machine is off to school and I've done a bit of grocery shopping. It's a busy day today as I've got company for lunch, then get Ry from school, get dinner accomplished and off to music lessons. Tenor sax for him, piano for me.

But first. Coffee. Those of you who know me, know I adore my coffee. As seen in previous blogs, I have the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Thermal carafe coffeemaker and I love it. My husband sets it up in the morning and by the time he comes to wake me up, coffee is ready and waiting.

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One of the new toys I'll be playing with this week is my new breadmaker. I've got a breadmaker, but already, I'm loving this one which is convection:

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(the orange is merely a reflection of the orange shirt I was wearing yesterday!)

So far I've made some cinnamon swirl bread:

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And last night I attempted cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting:

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That's what my menfolk had for breakfast this morning.

In terms of equipment, I'll be grilling on my Vermont Castings 5 burner with infrared rotisserie:

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It's a gorgeous day here. Unforuntately, it is supposed to rain for the next 4 days which should make smoking/grilling here a challenge. Like golf, I am a fairweather griller. :biggrin:

In the meantime, I'm off to make hamburger patties for tonight's dinner and attempt to clean up my kitchen before company arrives.

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The wondering is over, and the withdrawal pangs have subsided. This will be a great week of smoking, and I hope I can get a chance to read along once I tell Chris the subject. He'll be here looking every day.

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Breakfast. (yes, I'm embarrassed)

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I almost never eat sweet things for breakfast -- I'd rather eat eggs and bacon, or chips and salsa, or savory leftovers. But, every so often I get a hankering for a bowl of cereal, and this one sort of leapt out at me this morning. It was very sweet, and I won't be repeating this for a long time. This cereal was Peter's choice.

I usually opt to by Malt-O-Meal cereal. Malt-O-Meal is located in Northfield, MN, home of my alma mater (St. Olaf College). Back when I went to college, Malt-O-Meal only made the hot cereal and when the wind was right, the whole campus smelled of Malt-O-Meal. I also like the fact that this cereal uses less packaging.

Off to run errands in a few minutes.

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It's a gorgeous day here. Unforuntately, it is supposed to rain for the next 4 days which should make smoking/grilling here a challenge.

And here as well. It is very nice today, but the forecast for tommorow calls for rain the like of which leads to Ark construction.

Ought to make our Thursday night special even more of a challenge.

Lunch time here at work. I eat at my desk and 99% of the time bring my lunch. The prison food service does offer a staff meal, but I mostly pass it by. The kitchen is run by an outside firm but staffed by inmates. I have no problem with the inmates preparing the food as some staff do. My issue is the food itself. Mostly starchy and fatty. I can get a salad and sometimes do and add my own dressings and perhaps some leftovers.

Today I had a chicken leg quater that I grilled on Sunday. I often cook something on Sunday for us to take for lunches during the week. I also had some celery sticks and a tangerine. And one of Megan Blocker's favorite beverages, a Diet Coke. I know, not very exciting. Like many I think my work lunches are rushed affairs full of work and phone calls. Not a real relaxing time. I tend not to get to involved as I never know if I will even get to it.

The prison security staff does not leave at all. In my job, i could go out, but 30 minutes is not much time.

I also ALWAYS bring something for the afternoon. This keeps me away from the afternoon trip to the vending machine. Today I have Sunnyfield farms low fat yogart. I buy the quart conatiners and mix in some DaVinci sugar free syrup for flavor. That trick I learned from my low carb diet days. The yogart itself is not bad, its the stuff in it that has a lot of sugar.

Well, back to work!

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Hey, Mike, you kept your impending bloggerdom well hidden! I hope that when you're not busy smokin', you will show everyone a little bit of Pennsylvania Dutch country up close and personal. (Somewhat relevant aside: In my 30 years of living in the Northeast, there has been only one time where I have been in a landscape that actually made me nostalgic for the part of the Midwest where I grew up. That was driving from Harrisburg to Lancaster on PA 283. Yes, you can find that sort of landscape in Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri--the area is much hillier than outsiders imagine it is.)

So are you gonna fix us some ribs, Mike? Reveal your rub secrets? Share with us your killer sauce?

And while I see that you have a great coffee setup, you still haven't shown us your grill yet. No need to rush--you've got all week, and I'm patient.

Welcome to the wonderful world of foodblogging! I hope you have as much fun doing it as I did!

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Rain in the forecast here, too. It has been a beautiful, warm spring, and things are further along than in most springs. But, the day has clouded up and the reports indicate rain for the next few days (as well as some day-time highs in the low 50's!).

But, as long as I can get the chimney lit, I don't let weather interfere with my grilling plans.

Off to run my errands and then perform some minor surgery on the trusty Weber Kettle.

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I'm all for the smokin', but is everyone still cigarette-free since the last tag team blog?

Marlene - I have grill envy. Our little Weber kettle grill is woefully undersized for my grilling ambitions!

May I request lots of fruits and veggies this week? Grilling more of them is one of my summer goals.

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Ooooh, a blog with FIRE. Right up my alley :wink:. I'm really curious about smoking, and will be paying close attention.

Oh, and could I request a picture with some flames? (says the closet pyro :cool: )

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Ah, three of my favorite smokers. Cool! It's not supposed to rain here this week, so I'm sure to be doing some smoking myself. Maybe we can have a smoke-along one day?

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This is going to be fun!

But.. could somebody please explain to an ignorant European what's the difference between smoking, grilling, and barbecuing? thanks :smile:

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I'm back, and fed.

First stop was at the Lakewinds coop for some Cedar Summit Farms milk.

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Although you can buy this milk in cartons, I like the glass jars and the kids really like the plug of cream at the top of the bottles. There is cream at the top of the cartons, but it's just not the same thing. The milk is now certified organic and although quite a bit more expensive than supermarket milk, it is worth it!

This particular location of Lakewinds is quite small, and definitely fits with the small town feel of Anoka.

The Twin Cities has a lot of coops, about a dozen I think, and the support for these is great enough that a new coop was just built in Northeast Minneapolis last year.

I ran a few more errands and came home absolutely famished. My breakfast cereal left me feeling hollower than if I'd just had some fruit!

So, a tuna salad sandwich on toast with some strawberries.

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A can of tuna, some minced shallots, Hellmans and cracked black pepper. My disappointment was that I could have sworn there was a 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce in the fridge, but it must have gotten used. So, romaine. I really, really like iceberg on a sandwich.

Off to perform surgery on the Kettle and turn my bellies.

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May I request lots of fruits and veggies this week?  Grilling more of them is one of my summer goals.

well you can certainly request! I'm sure my fellow bloggers would be happy to supply some. :biggrin:

Ah, three of my favorite smokers.  Cool!  It's not supposed to rain here this week, so I'm sure to be doing some smoking myself.  Maybe we can have a smoke-along one day?

Absolutely. The more the merrier!

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Today I had a chicken leg quater that I grilled on Sunday.  I often cook something on Sunday for us to take for lunches during the week.  I also had some celery sticks and a tangerine.   And one of Megan Blocker's favorite beverages, a Diet Coke.  I know, not very exciting.  Like many I think my work lunches are rushed affairs full of work and phone calls.  Not a real relaxing time.  I tend not to get to involved as I never know if I will even get to it.

Woo-hoo! Diet Coke, baby!

I hear ya on the lunch front...I'm eating mine right now. At 3:15. Grrrr...

ETA: Susan, that sandwich looks real tasty - the toast looks warm and crispy! :biggrin:


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

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I had no idea one could buy whole, unhomogenized milk around here. I wonder whether Cedar Summit Farms sells in Duluth? Time to call the co-op and find out.

This will be a fun week. Our gas grill is out of service, thanks to a bored dog's efforts to chew the gas line in two. ("Go out of town without me for 2 weeks? I'll show you!") We have a small portable gas grill, new, and an old charcoal backup, so if y'all do a grill-along this week I may be able to follow along. While Snowangel has just the threat of rain we have the actuality just a couple hundred miles north. Rain and fog. Fog and rain. At least it's spring.

I'm interested in seeing all the things y'all grill. Grilled fruit and vegetables are a wonderful thing - but so is grilled meat.

Marlene, in your teaser earlier I honestly thought you were going to make cinnamon rolls on the grill!

ETA: Now I see you're talking about a smoke-along rather than a grill-along. I'll probably just enjoy it from the sidelines, as I have the smoking thread. Still intimidated by the time that takes.


Edited by Smithy (log)

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I haven't had time for lunch today and things won't get much better until I can slow down after music. I did get all the ingredients I need to make BBQ sauce, which is done entirely on the grill, and as long as it's not pouring tomorrow, I'll make it.

I'm going to need to figure out what to do about the smoker if it rains. I don't currently have an umbrella to put over it!

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Ok, what with all the smokin' expertise around here, I thought I'd ask a question about my cracked butt. After a long and smoky wrangle, I served up about half of it, but I still had about 2.5# left over. I vacuum-sealed it and froze it, and when I spied it in the freezer today, I got to thinkin'....

Is it possible to reheat the butt, slowly, so as to bring it to an internal temperature of 200-210F, or have I already missed the butt boat? If so, what's the best method, d'ye think: low roast in tin foil? or back into the smoker? or... butt sous vide?

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Is it possible to reheat the butt, slowly, so as to bring it to an internal temperature of 200-210F, or have I already missed the butt boat? If so, what's the best method, d'ye think: low roast in tin foil? or back into the smoker? or... butt sous vide?

This has worked for me in the past. Foil, low and slow.

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