Monday, July 30, 2007

Master Diver Bean


Master Diver Bean, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

SCUBA diving eight year old....twelve feet down!

Here is a slightly better shot of our new PADI Seal Team Member:


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Airshow from Above


Airshow from Above, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

We survived the air show, despite of the heat! It was a good sized crowd and there was plenty to see. Sometimes living so close to the airport, you take these things for granted.

The Thunderbirds


The Thunderbirds, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

And here, a little bit different:


Air Show


Air Show, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Live....From the Dayton Air Show!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What's on the Grill #26


Spareribs, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Spareribs! Although I did this over the weekend, here is the picture of the grate mod's "maiden grilling". The modification worked great, so I am anxious to try something else soon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weber Kettle Grate Conversion

Over the last year, I have gone from the traditional indirect cooking method of having coals on both sides of the kettle, to having the coals sloped to only one side of the kettle. The move is two fold. One, I find that I can push the meat further from the heat and two, I have had better heat control. Something that is incredibly important for grilling low and slow.

For adding coals to an already lit and active grill, Weber has constructed the kettle grates on my Performer and One Touch to hinge open at the sides. When I have cooked off to one side, the small opening of the hinged grate has never been big enough. Especially when trying to evenly add unlit coals and woodchips. In order to combat this problem, I decided to take a new grate and convert it to a dedicated indirect cooking grate. By cutting off 1/3 of the grate bars, if figured I would have the perfect solution when slow cooking ribs, briskets, chickens or pork shoulders. It was a simple, cheap and easy solution.




1. Pick up a standard replacement grate. I saved a few bucks by getting the non-hinged grate.

2. I marked with tape, the last grate I did not want to cut. Following the marking, I clamped the grate to my work surface.

3. Using a Dremel with a cut-off wheel, I cut off the grate bars.

4. The Dremel works fairly well, but because of the size of the cut-off wheel and the angle I was coming from, I could not get clean cuts all the way through.


5. None to worry. I flipped the grate over and finished the job from the bottom.

6. The last cut is the center bar of the grate. It was the easiest cut of the bunch.


7. My cuts were about as clean as I could make them...which is not saying much. There were some high points that I ground down to avoid cutting myself. I figure that in a few short weeks, any rough parts will be covered with soot and grease anyways.


8. Well, there we go. I figured I now have ample room for indirect cooking and I no longer have to worry about "flipping the hinge" to add coals and wood. Tomorrow will be the new grates maiden voyage. I will let you know how it goes!

Kiss Them Bricks...

For something different, Zoe planned a short day excursion to Indianapolis and the Motor Speedway. The last time I had been to the track was sometime in the eighties. We took the track tour and saw the museum. It was a good time. What we did not realize was that this time we signed up for the "behind the scenes" tour. Not only did we get the track tour, we also got to get on the track and walk around. We toured the Pagoda which houses the media, broadcast booths, timing officials...everything. It was a really neat experience and this is coming from someone that watches almost no racing. I am not some kind of closet NASCAR or Forumla One fan giving this review. I can proudly say that I am really fairly ignorant of the whole thing except the fact that I now know a lot of money goes in and out of those sports...a lot.

The hospitality suites in the Pagoda will cost you around $80 - $100,000 for a race...and that is only for 80 people. Yup...it looks pretty good on my TV back home. Outside of Lewis stopping by, there are no drunks to block my way to the bathroom and the food? Why it's free...sorta.




If you get a chance to take the tour, do it. Even for non-race fans...and by "non-race fans", I don't mean the family that showed up wearing Tony Stewart memorabilia from head to toe and when I say "head to toe", I mean socks and shoes too folks. The staff was incredible, knowledgeable and friendly. With only sixteen of us on the tour, it is hard to imagine what that place is like packed with 300,000 people...amazing.

Start Your Engines...

A view of the bricks from the winner's podium at the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway.

What's on the Grill #25


Resting Ribeye, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

A nice well marbled ribeye. PIctured here resting after being taken off of the grill.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Shot


At a recent family get together, my Mother sister was apt enough to cover the lengths I go to get "that shot"...

Thank you gorillapod!

What's on the Grill #24


Pizza! Homemade pizza is a big favorite here. Although we typically use packaged sauce (Not everything can be from scratch after all), we make homemade dough from scratch and then add a myriad of toppings. For traditional, we will add pepperoni and grilled sausage or for a more artisan approach, we make a lovely prosciutti, feta and sage. Typically, I make pizza in "ye ole oven". However, tonight I figured I should try it on the grill. I have been sort of daydreaming of a wood burning pizza oven, but that is not really in the cards. Since we have typically been doing convection oven pizza's, I have used "crisper" pans for the pizzas. I attempted pizza on the kettle before, but for tonight, since Eric and the blootered gang were over, I figured let's just try and recreate the oven...I used the 650.

For the maiden attempt, the results were pretty good. I worked the outside burners at first, but because the temp was a little low, I ended up firing up the center burners on low. Ideally, I would like to get some kind of tile to line the grates, but for tonight, the pizza trays were great. I refuse to pay for one of those "pizza tiles" at Williams-Sonoma. First of all, they only fit a twelve inch pizza...I always do eighteens. Secondly, $150 for a big stone seems a little excessively. I am happy so far. A little bit more experimentation and I may be on to something here...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jumbotron

Wow...we were just on the scoreboard video screen. It made me realize that the 20 foot image of my bald head proves that I have a face made for radio....

Play Ball!


Play Ball!, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

A beautiful night at Fifth Third Field.

Wrap-up

Well, it is the morning after and I can proudly say that everything went off without a hitch. I was afraid that the parade of grilled food we had planned would be a little ambitious to pull off, but thanks to realistically timing everything out it was "no worries". If you do not do it already, I highly recommend charting out your grill lighting's and cook times. It works miracles.


I used a new rub from Stephen Raichlen's Sauces and Rubs Book. It caught my eye because it added some traditional herbs, thyme and basil for instance, that I do not usually use. I rubbed the shoulders and the ribs on Thursday so they could sit overnight. Thanks to the rub, the first smell from the grill, as the meat warmed up, was incredible. That is what makes an afternoon of grilling so much fun...being able to enjoy that olfactory delight.


After smoking for seven hours, the shoulders pulled apart as though that black crust was hiding a tub of butter. My good friend Mike helped with the carving details and I have to believe he could have carved faster if he did not spend so much time eating his work!



I made four different sauces to go with the pork. A sweet & smoky, a vinegar hot (USA Keith and new Dad favorite), a lemon-BBQ and a mystery sauce that for the life of me I could not remember what was. All of the sauces were taken from various cookbooks.



For what is becoming "old hat", I put two chickens on the rotisserie. Each one was brined over night. Although it takes some planning, the results are always good. You have to be careful with the brine though because all of that sugar on the skin will quickly caramelize and burn if you do not turn the rotisserie burner off in time. I also grilled two racks of ribs. Although the ribs turned out, the pictures did not...or at least not to my satisfaction.


Thanks to all of our friends and family. One of the best thing about having everyone bring a side dish is that I get to enjoy them the next day! Everyone brought a lot of food and the meat was pretty much picked clean. The only little bit that was left was cleaned off by a raccoon that I caught doing chin-up's on the patio table at 630 this morning.

The last bit of company staggered drifted away a little after midnight. Perfect weather, perfect company, a perfect time.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tub o' Beer


Tub o' Beer, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

T-minus 2 hours and everything is on target. Chicken goes on in 15...

Right On Time


Right On Time, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Shoulders are a go...

The Grill List


The Grill List, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Tonight, we are hosting a party for around 50 people. For me, it is a whole day of grilling. This list is the only way I can keep my sanity.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Music to my eyes


Gizmodo had a post today about entertainment on the go they captured from the New York Times. This paragraph got my eye:

The major airline profiled in the article, Delta, is shooting to have its Delta on Demand setup on every flight longer than four hours by next summer, which offers 24 channels of live television, up to 28 films, 12 video games, more than 1,600 songs and 45 hours of HBO programming on a touchscreen in front of you. (Its Song airline sported something similar.)


By next summer...that would be great. The drop down CRT TV in the aisle is about as 1985 as I can handle.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Grilling...Bean Style

It looks as though I may have some competition!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

What's on the Grill #23


Brisket! Dustin's recipe from Cooks Illustrated came though. The results were great. It took about six hours of smoking and although I was afraid my grill temp was too high towards the end...I fell asleep in the pool...everything turned out well. The recipe called for a salt/sugar rub and after cooking that salt/sugar contrast really came through in the crust. After several lackluster brisket's, it was nice to finally chock one up to success.

What's on the Grill #22

Tonight was one of those rare family "get togethers" where everybody actually "got together". With weather in the 90's and not a cloud in the sky, it was a wonderful day to spend poolside and most importantly grill. Of course, in traditional fashion I spent more time by the grills then in the pool, even though I was dressed for the later...quite the sight.



For mass feeding, I brined two chickens and then stuffed them with fresh thyme and sage. The skin was rubbed with salt and pepper and then brushed with melted butter once on the rotisserie.


I based the ribs on a recipe from the new Weber Charcoal cookbook. Overnight, they marinated in a combination of Apple Cider and Lemon juice. They were then rubbed and grilled low and slow. Rounding out the meal was the typical fare of grilled corn, quasi-homemade slaw and baked beans.


For desert, Zoe blessed us with her homemade Pavlova. Pavloa is a meringue shell piled with heavy whipping cream and a menagerie of fresh fruit. She should have made two, because with ten people it was gone in a flash.


For today, I am smoking brisket. I have grilled brisket before, but it is one of those finnicky things that has to be just right, or it just isn't. Fellow griller Dustin was kind enough to e-mail me a recipe that he found sucess with. As I type now, I can smell burnt hickory wafting across the deck. Mmmmhhh, can't wait.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

One of these beers is not like the other...


I tried explaining to my Dad, who is the king of matching a guest to their preferred beverage, that my college age brother doesn't drink Natural Light because he likes to, he drinks it because it is cheap.

I don't know about you, but I don't buy a beer just because Consumer Reports lists it as a "best buy"!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Ribs in Waiting


Ribs in Waiting, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

6 racks of ribs in apple cider and lemon juice and 2 chickens in a brine...tomorrow cannot come soon enough...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

What's on the Grill #21


Grilled pineapple with a butter rum glaze. Served great with some vanilla bean ice cream. This was so good, we ended up having it two days in a row. There is nothing like grilled fruit!

4th of July...Asian Style!

With an English wife, the 4th of July has never really been a big "party day" for us. I'm not quite sure why, but I am guessing it is simply a case of bad memories...dating several hundred years old!

For an incredibly different spin this year, we decided to go Asian. We have enough cookout plans in the next four days, we thought some true homemade Asian food would be a nice change of pace. I think the most difficult think about cooking Asian food is the prep time and of course, only having two arms. For three dishes, prep took almost two hours. Granted I'm slow, but it does take a while. Although like anything else, you have to get all off the prep done ahead, because there is no time once your wok is fired up.



I love Asian food...but I often find "commercialized" Asian to be so heavy. For instance, I love General Tso's, but the chicken is always 90% breading. Using a recipe for the General from Emeril Lagasse, you use no breading...just chicken. The end product is fabulous.


Thanks again to Nancie McDermott, we whipped up some Thai Fried Rice and Paht Thai.



Although pictured last, for an appetizer we fired up some crab rangoon with a homemade sweet and sour sauce.

The only thing missing was some Singha!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Incipient Guestwork

My great friend Eric...or at least he was before he left me with the admin rights to one of his blogs...is off for a two week trip that takes him from The Villages in Florida to Las Vegas for a friend's wedding. He spun off a sister site called, Incipient Cerebrations, from his original blog, Blootered Cerebrations,

As Eric says in his introduction:

This is the sister site to Blootered Cerebrations. I set up my phone for mobile blogging and began exploring moblogging. I quickly found that I wasn't happy placing the mobile blogs on my Blootered Cerebrations site... Blootered is a place for writing, and since I have only a 12 button phone, writing mobile blogs was clunky, at best.

So here is a place where I can send those quick, incipient thoughts and cell phone photos. Sometimes the things I post here will lead to greater rumination on the Blootered site; but I imagine that most times the things posted here will forever remain incipient.

Eric mentioned last week how hard it was to "predictive text" captions to go with his pictures. Since I knew he was getting ready for this crazy two week trip, I told him why not let me just guess some captions and fill them in on the fly. So, an idea was born. I'm not sure how good that idea is...but it is off none the less...

Boba & Max


Wow...APP contributor Jayme sent me the completed picture of his Boba Fett bounty hunter mock up. For the unsure, the bounty hunter is the one on the left. Max, the one on the right, is Boba's left hand little man. Jayme hand painted the helmet and claims that he has some girth issues that will not allow him to fit into the costume. I am sure that if the price was right and the spaceport was nice enough, he would find a way...