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365

remember Wooly Willy…

not that, get your mind out of the gutter…the toy that gave you hours of fun by moving magnetic shavings around to make different facial hair configurations…well now, there’s Furry Jimmy…your new digital friend…

start with the all American classic…The Youklis…

or go casual with The Weekender…

you can go all the way with The City Gentleman…

need a quick halloween costume? don’t be a pirate, again! try on one of America’s most beloved characters…The Lincoln…

(or Amish, if you prefer…)

there’s the perennial Fu Manchu…

it’s still not too late to go to Comic-con as your favorite comic book super hero…

(the boys in legal said we can’t use the real name, so we just call this one Chops…)

add a few chin whiskers…and you’ve got a Reverse Fu Manchu…

wanna scare the young punks in your neighborhood…nothing beats The Enforcer…

if you really want to make people poop their pants, you can’t go wrong with The Cleric…just add a robe and a towel and terrify your friends…

but nothing beats America’s all time favorite…Der Fuhrer…

brought to you by FunCo!!!

(FunCo will not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the misuse, or inability to grow facial hair, or any damages that may or may not result in use of facial hair. If your use of extreme facial hair results in the need for servicing, repair, or correction of your equipment you assume all costs thereof.)

remember Wooly Willy…

not that, get your mind out of the gutter…the toy that gave you hours of fun by moving magnetic shavings around to make different facial hair configurations…well now, there’s Furry Jimmy…your new digital friend…

start with the all American classic…The Youklis…

or go casual with The Weekender…

you can go all the way with The City Gentleman…

need a quick halloween costume? don’t be a pirate, again! try on one of America’s most beloved characters…The Lincoln…

(or Amish, if you prefer…)

there’s the perennial Fu Manchu…

it’s still not too late to go to Comic-con as your favorite comic book super hero…

(the boys in legal said we can’t use the real name, so we just call this one Chops…)

add a few chin whiskers…and you’ve got a Reverse Fu Manchu…

wanna scare the young punks in your neighborhood…nothing beats The Enforcer…

if you really want to make people poop their pants, you can’t go wrong with The Cleric…just add a robe and a towel and terrify your friends…

but nothing beats America’s all time favorite…Der Fuhrer…

brought to you by FunCo!!!

(FunCo will not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the misuse, or inability to grow facial hair, or any damages that may or may not result in use of facial hair. If your use of extreme facial hair results in the need for servicing, repair, or correction of your equipment you assume all costs thereof.)

my little wildflower garden…

From morning in the garden…
From morning in the garden…

yesterday i made two versions of my favorite way to grill chicken…beer can chicken…

i brined the first chicken…here’s the brine recipe…


start with a 12-pack of your favorite barley soda…that’s the adult beverage otherwise known as beer…you don’t want anything too cheap…or too fancy…remember, you’re cooking, not drinking…your choice should be based primarily on what tastes good to you…bland, crappy pisswater will not bring good results, and expensive beer is just a waste of good brewing…i’m using Sammy here mostly because it’s what i had on hand…and the freshness date was January…

pour the beer into a stockpot…i’m using a 9 qt here…which is just right…you’ll see why later…

next, the spices…


a handful of whole cloves…


a handful of whole allspice…


and a handful of peppercorns…


add 2/3 cup of coarse salt…i’m using sea salt…because we’re fancy like that around here…kosher salt works just as well…


and 1 cup dark molasses…most brines are some combination of water, salt, and sugar, and there’s already plenty of sugar in the beer…in the form of alcohol…i like molasses because it brings the right touch of sweetness…

notice how the level of the beer shot up of from just below halfway to 3/4 of the way…that’s from adding the salt..that’s why you need a big pot…

if my chili recipe is beginner mode…this is intermediate…not because i’m using any sophisticated techniques…brining, smoking, dry rubs, grilling…these are simple things…the degree of difficulty goes up mostly because you need some non-standard equipment…then again, everyone’s got a 9 quart stockpot, right…

anyway…

bring to a boil, cover and let cool to room temperature…

meanwhile…gather your tools…

this is your moisture delivery system…here’s where cheap beer is okay…beer canning is about steaming the bird from the inside out…the alcohol burns off, and what you have left is water in a can…well, hopefully, a little bit more than that…

next, you need a cooler, or anything that’s food safe and big enough for 5 pounds of ice, your brine, and your 3-5 lb bird…why the ice…this is not a marinade, and you do not want the chicken to cook at room temperature inside your brine…that’s what would happen without the ice…so, do the right thing and avoid giving yourself and your loved ones food poisoning…


like so…that’s the chicken buried under the ice there on the right…that’s a lot of brine for one bird, i know…this recipe is for brining two birds, but…sometimes, in the middle of cooking, your wife calls to inform you that the meal you were planning to have ready for the grill in seven hours now needs to be ready to eat in four hours because you are now serving four people instead of two…

ah well…improvise, adapt, and overcome…the more, the merrier…

where was i…the bird is in the brine…make sure the chicken is fully immersed in the brine, and covered…one hour for every pound…that’s all you need…

while we’re waiting, let’s dry rub and smoke the other bird…

fairly straightforward here…one clean and dry chicken, your favorite spices, and an hour in the refrigerator…

and…you can ignore the fancy grilling apparatus that’s holding up the bird…they’re available wherever you can find silly kitchen doodads and geegaws, but you don’t really need it…unless you’re paranoid about cooking a chicken with an aluminum can stuffed inside it…

did i hear you ask what spices…oh, some ginger, some paprika…and some other stuff…use what you know works for you…

when ready, put this on your grill at 300˚ for 30 minutes…this guy is kind of a dork, but he’s got good advice on how to make a simple smoke device for grilling…

there should be a photo (or two) here showing you how to open the beer can with a churchkey and pour some of it out and then add two or three garlic cloves and some spices…and finally, how to put the can in the chicken…but sometimes things move too fast in the kitchen to remember the camera…so…

voila…


et, voila…


400˚ for 30 to 40 minutes on the grill or in an oven…


and super tasty delicious chicken…i promise…

uncle Jimmy’s chili…in five easy steps…

i like to cook…every once in a while, i manage to make something so damn good, i have to tell folks about it…this is my simple, and delicious chili recipe…

step 1…

chop equal measures of garlic and shallots…what you see here is equal to one fistful of each…


this looks like a lot, but i’m making a week’s worth of food for two…

step 2…

in a 1 quart skillet, saute with oil and seasonings to taste…i like to use a combination of ginger, paprika, coriander, and…some other stuff…use what you like…

step 3…
brown the meat…i’ve read some recipes that call for three kinds of ground meat…pork, beef, and lamb, or, sometimes a poultry…this is also a good combination for meatloaf and meatballs…me, i like to start with 1 lb of chorizo…

Polidori is an old italian sausage company here in Denver…i usually go with Boulder Sausage, but this is what was in the supermarket…


i like to start with the chorizo for obvious reasons…the swine has to be well cooked…

and then i add 1 lb of ground chicken…

and 1 lb of turkey…

seasoning appropriately along the way…

stir and mix the ground meat while it browns…next, you start the rest of the chili…and here comes the easy part…

step 4…

for every pound of ground meat, add 1 can of black beans, and 1 can of diced tomatoes into your slow cooker, or crock pot…i know, i know…until our garden starts churning out fresh beans and tomatoes, the canned stuff will have to do…


and don’t worry if you don’t have a crock pot…a 1 quart saucepan, or, preferably a cast iron skillet, will work fine…after the meat is completely browned…like this…


mix the meat into the beans and tomatoes…carefully…aaaand…

step 5…

cover, and leave on high, or simmer if you’re using a skillet…for three hours…stirring once every hour…

damn, i need a bigger crock pot…or, maybe one of these

happy eating…


my current reading stack…

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