The ABC Dinner Club is getting close to the end of the alphabet. Check out where we dined for the letter U here.
For this month’s small gathering we hosted family and friends for some good ‘ole Kansas City Bar-B-Que, smoked pork sliders and ribs. Dave is the official griller/smoker in this house but on this particular day he had an obligation away from the house for several hours. If you have ever smoked meat you understand that it is an all-day process and according to the hubby depending on the quality of your smoker can require a large amount of attention/intervention. Much to Dave’s unhappiness our smoker is on the low end of the spectrum which means we have to babysit the charcoal fire every hour, all day long.
The night before smoking day, Dave applied his go-to rub (recipe below) to the pork, covered it in foil and refrigerated it for about 12 hours. The next morning before he left, he started the pork in the smoker and tutored me in the process.
First, I had to make sure this fire did not go out which meant I had to continually add charcoal. I also had to throw on a few pecan and cherry wood chips every so often. According to Dave’s smoking bible, “The Art of Smokology” by Chef Richard McPeake, wood chips add a taste dimension to your finished product. So far not too hard, but very messy!
Next I had to slather this hunk of pork with the mop (a basting sauce used to add moisture during the cooking process)every so often and monitor the internal temperature. We were shooting for an internal temp of 165 degrees before we wrapped the pork in foil with additional mop and continued cooking.
Fortunately for me Dave came home before we had to wrap this beast in foil because I was not quite sure how I was going to do that by myself. This was a LARGE (and very hot) piece of meat. We cooked the meat for an additional four hours, about 12 hours in total before it was taken off to cool. Once it was cooled, the pork was hand pulled and the “finishing flavors” were added. The next day, about an hour before we served it, the pork was put back on the smoker to add the final touch of smoke.
The process is lengthy but if you enjoy pulled pork it is worth it.
Here is the rub Dave likes to use:
Pulled Pork Rub
“The Art of Smokology” by Chef Richard McPeake
½ cup Chili Powder
¼ cup Paprika
1 TB Kosher Salt
1 TB Ground Cumin
1 TB Ground Poultry Seasoning
1 TB Superfine Sugar
1 TB Garlic Powder
Combine all ingredients and blend well. Liberally cover all sides of the pork, wrap the pork in foil and refrigerate for 12 hours.
In the next post I will share the fun dessert we had!
I have been thinking about doing some garage organization for a couple of years. We park our cars in the garage each night and always come in and out of the house through the garage where I am constantly subjected to this.
Not my happy place for sure! The Mr. was not enthused about this project because he had some strange idea that the garage was his domain to do as he wished. He argued that we could always get 3 cars plus a motorcycle in the garage and that he had seen garages in much worse condition. I agreed, but wouldn’t it be nice if everything were neat and tidy and you could always find whatever you needed I coaxed? His reply was that he already knew where everything was. I finally had to promise him shiny new cabinets with a new workbench to get him to reluctantly agree. Here are a few more pictures of what we started with.
Because we knew this was going to take us a few weekends (four to be exact) we had to do this in stages. We started by moving everything off the back wall where the new cabinets would be placed and then painted the wall. The day after we finished the new cabinets were delivered.
Dave spent a few days assembling the cabinets and securing them to the wall.
Once that was completed, the hardest part of the project for my
gearhead, hoarding, tool-loving husband began. It started with both of us going through the old cabinets and shelves, grouping like items together and deciding what to discard. For the sake of our marriage it became pretty clear that Dave needed to do this job on his own.
Not only does Dave have a fondness for tools but he also inherited many of his father’s and father-in-law’s tools which resulted in multiple’s of many items. The beautiful white metal cabinets you see in the before pictures were actually out of his parents original home and he just did not understand why I thought those needed to go. I must say that Dave ended up doing a great job, even willingly departing with a few items. I also got a little satisfaction as he was sorting through cabinets and boxes, when I heard him exclaim more than once, “I have been looking for that!”
After the new cabinets were filled up we proceeded with painting the other walls and hanging as many items as we could using all available wall space.
We also painted the steps into the house and built a couple of shelves above the garage sink.
One of my favorite items we did was hang two bins above our large recycle container to hold the glass items that our recyclers do not pick up and the plastic bags that we take back to the store.
At one of our multiple trips to Lowe’s during this project I found some really fun tape that I needed for something, although at the time I just did not know what for. It was Scotch Brand Tape in a chalkboard finish or a whiteboard finish. I chose the Chalkboard finish and it came in handy when I labeled the bins.
Even though we still have a lot of “stuff” in the garage, everything has it’s own defined place to land which was exactly my goal for this project.
And just because I love a good before and after picture….here are a couple of more looks!
Being organized is definitely my happy place!
Linking to Wow us Wednesdays at Savy Southern Style.
Check out the “T” installment of the ABC Dinner Club here.
Gift suggestions for Mother’s Day are all over the place right now but I wanted to get my two cents in…..here are a few ideas I came up with!
2. Ina Garten’s Make It Ahead cookbook – I love Ina and her calm demeanor. Wouldn’t you just love to sit down with her for lunch?
3. Flowers are ALWAYS a good idea!
4. Mom’s always love a little bling and this Infinity bracelet from BenyDesign on Etsy is really sweet. I could see having charms with your kids or even grandkids initials.
5. Itunes gift cards are the perfect personal gift because Mom can pick out music or books for her own taste. In my case, it would be an audiobook because I love to listen when I am out putting miles on my fitbit….it makes the time go by so much faster!
Happy Weekend friends!
The ABC Dinner Club went to brunch! Check out the details here.
Our little town of Lee’s Summit will soon be getting a new store called ‘At Home.’ This national chain of stores used to be known as Garden Ridge. Although there were Garden Ridge stores in our metropolitan area, I had never visited one so when I noticed an ‘At Home’ store during my stay in Omaha I decided to check it out for all my hometown friends. Before going in the store my assumptions were that it would be similar to the HomeGoods chain of department stores and I was not completely wrong, but there are some differences.
The At Home store is much bigger than any Home Goods store I have been in and with a definite warehouse feel. I would say 30% of the store I visited was devoted to patio and garden merchandise. I am not sure if that is a nod to their former namesake or if it was just because we will soon be in spring mode and this was just their seasonal offerings. I would definitely recommend this store if you are looking for outdoor furniture or miscellaneous outdoor décor. I have never seen this many aisles devoted to outdoor furniture cushions alone.
The store also had a VERY LARGE collection of throw pillows, again aisle after aisle of cushions displayed by color, as well as this entire side wall. Quite an impressive collection.
If you are in the market for an occasional or side table you should definitely visit At Home. I would guess there were ten aisles alone crammed with small tables representing all types of décor styles.
The other item I noticed that the store devoted a large amount of real estate to was area and throw rugs. I would estimate a good 20 percent of the store was dedicated to rugs of all sizes, colors and designs. I would definitely visit again just for the rug collection.
The store also offered the expected candles, lamps, picture frames, wall décor and other miscellaneous knick knacks that you would find in any home décor store. These items reminded me of what I would see at Hobby Lobby and overall, the prices were fairly good. I suspect that most items have a “made in China” tag on them and the quality would be what you would expect given the price. I did enjoy seeing this touch of spring on the cold, snowy day I visited.
One thing I do like about HomeGoods that I did not see in the At Home store is the occasional brand name items. This past fall I purchased a few pieces of Spode Christmas dishes from HomeGoods at a much reduced cost to finish out my collection. I would probably visit this store again if I were looking for a specific item and it will be interesting to see how their seasonal offerings change.
I am pretty sure I have never said those exact words before, even though they are true! Since our time in Omaha is work related and just for a short period of time we rented a corporate apartment, which basically means it comes furnished, including linens and kitchenware. I am convinced it was stocked by a man who had never cooked before in his life. I have exactly 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates and 4 cereal bowls. I have no mixing or serving bowls. I do have three sizes of tongs but not one serving spoon, unless you count the soup ladle. Believe me, I have tried to use it as a serving spoon but it does not work that well.
After custom building a home eighteen years ago and continually tweaking to accommodate needs and wants, there is an expectation that your surroundings are a certain way, I am not saying I am spoiled, ok maybe I am saying that, but I am a little inconvenienced by a few things around here.
- MY SILVERWARE – When Dave and I got married thirty plus years ago we registered for twelve place settings of Oneida’s Dover pattern 18/10 stainless steel flatware. These heavy weight utensils have probably been our hardest working asset over the years, feeding our family on a daily basis. I really never appreciated them or even thought about them much until I went to use the flatware in this apartment. I have never felt such lightweight utensils in my life. I swear they are made out of tin foil. Can you guess which is my silverware?
- A Walk-In Shower – This complaint might seem minor to many of you but for someone who has 4 joint replacements, falling and dislocating something is one of my biggest fears. Stepping over the side of a bathtub when everything is wet and slippery and there is not much to hold onto can be a scary thing.
- A spray faucet – Every time I wash dishes here I find myself trying to pull the stationary faucet handle so I can use the spray feature. I never realized how much I used this nice feature at home.
- My recliners – When I started the process of joint replacement a wise friend told me I needed a recliner at my house. Over the course of those surgeries I ended up with two recliners, one in my bedroom and one in our living room. They were a life saver during that process and continue to be my favorite places to sit in my house. This apartment has a very low sofa and loveseat which neither Dave or I find comfortable to sit on.
- Space – This one bedroom apartment is 656 square feet, actually smaller than my master bedroom suite and walk-in closet at home.
Ok, I will stop complaining now. Overall the apartment is not that bad. It is fairly new with granite countertops and dark stained cabinets. The bed is king size and we do have a washer /dryer in the unit. It also has climate controlled indoor parking for one of our cars. This time away is making me appreciate all those things that are waiting for me back home and that is not a bad thing!