Odds and ends Saturday

Grampy and Amelia: big smiles

I’ve been sitting on some odds and ends blogging for a few weeks now. Time to catch up.

We stayed in Macomb for Thanksgiving this year. My parents visited Monday through Friday. They arrived late Monday and left early Friday, which means we only saw them three days. I wish they would stay longer. But we are happy to see them. Madelyn and Amelia got along great with Grammy and Grampy, and didn’t terrorize their dog Scooter too much. Tuesday we hung out; Wednesday we took a daytrip to Galesburg for the childrens museum and lunch at Landmark; Thursday we cooked and ate. The whole time (and all break week) Madelyn resisted naps like crazy, which means my parents got to see her in full-on spaz mode. More than once, my mom looked at me as if to say, “Um, you were a little hyper, but this girl takes the cake.” Yes she does.

Our thanksgiving chickens, just after roasting What did we eat for Thanksgiving? I cooked a pair of chickens in our (salvaged from the trash) electric smoker. Erin roasted potatoes, onions, and brussels sprouts, and made whole wheat buttermilk rolls–a day after she made a cheese and butternut squash strata. So. much. bread. But I loved it. For dessert, Erin made apple-cranberry pie, pumpkin pie (using pumpkins from our yard, though not the tree pumpkins), and I made vanilla ice cream. Yum, yum. Since then, I’ve been trying to put in some extra miles–and not by making trips to the refrigerator.

After my parents left, I spent Thanksgiving weekend grading (web projects and essays), watching football, and doing laundry, with some break time to take care of the girls.

And speaking of football, it is championship Saturday. Big East (de facto), Conference USA, SEC, and then the Big 12/ACC double bill. Obviously, I’ll be watching the SEC championship attentively. For me, neither Florida nor Alabama have distinguished themselves in the manner they did last year, and the game could go either way. Poo on Carlos Dunlap for getting loaded and kicked out of this one. But last year, Florida beat Alabama without Percy Harvin. They can beat Alabama without Dunlap. And I hope they do.

Winter seems to have arrived, so we probably aren’t going to finish the back porch painting this year. We’re really close, though–just some touchups after the second coat. I’m sure our neighbors are much happier to be looking at the back of our house now. Right now I’ve got a few dilapidated storm windows in the basement for a quick couple coats of paint. Just hoping to get another year out of them.

I am still not brewing. Feh. I’ve had some conversations with some friends about a group brew. Maybe that’ll kick me in the butt and I’ll get something going.

Edit 12/5: Alabama 32, Florida 13. I was wrong about Dunlap not being missed. Alabama played extremely well and Florida played miserably. The Tide were better in all phases of the game.

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6 Responses to Odds and ends Saturday

  1. Michelle says:

    Hey, way to score on the smoker! I found a plan for a smoker made from a steel trash can and a hotplate. Might get to work on that soon.

  2. cbd says:

    Make sure to work a water pan in there. That’s the key part!

  3. I would think if the wood was soaked enough it wouldn’t be a problem. Might be wrong.

  4. cbd says:

    IMO you need a water pan to keep the meat from drying out, no matter what your heat source is. Especially true for poultry. Plus, you can put citrus or other flavorings in the water.

  5. maybe a duel box, part for wood chips and part for water, it will sit on a one-burner hotplate, or maybe a lower setting rack, under the meat and above the woodchips?

  6. cbd says:

    This is ours:

    Here’s a diagram which is pretty close to the inside:

    except what they’ve labeled “sand” is a pan full of water. So that’s between the heat source and the meat, which keeps the heat indirect, stable, and generally speaking less than 250F.

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