Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online.........Cool!!!!!

I just read Turbine is releasing a 7 day free trial of LOTR:Online, the MMORPG based in Middle Earth! I am downloading the client right now, but am torn about activating it immediately.....I am on vacation in a few weeks, and would love to neglect my child by playing this!!!

Richard Jewell


Wow, just heard that Richard Jewell has died, if you'll remember he was the security guard who was falsely accused of planting the Atlanta Olympic Park bomb. My heart really went out to this guy, especially when it became clear that the case against him was as weak as it was, and the FBI was playing dirty tricks in order to try him in the court of public opinion. I had always wanted to send him a letter saying that not everyone thought he was guilty, some people were proud of his performance that day (he cleared the area of bystanders when he noticed a suspicious package, minimizing casualties), and that not all Americans believe what is spoon fed to them by corporate media, sadly, I will never get that chance. Tonight, I will raise a glass of Guinness in the memory of this misunderstood man, and say thanks for a job well done.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Please let my son get a better education than this.....PLEASE!!!!!

Larry Craig, listen up!


Actually, I'm not gay, however.

It's ok to be gay. Stop hating yourself, and then projecting that hate onto an entire demographic of people as a form of self flagellation. Get over the stigma, get over yourself, accept yourself, and for the love of god accept other people and their lifestyles. I know I have brought this up before, but weren't republicans supposed to be the party of 'hands off', and de-regulate everything? Why do they think they have the right to regulate the private lives of consenting adults? My message is simple, accept yourself for what you are, accept that there is nothing you can do to change who you are, and accept that that it's the same for everyone around you. We are all in this together, stop trying to throw folks overboard.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Why the Attic?

Why is this called Devilham's Attic, pretty easy really, I keep my computers in the attic. Sadly, the last two days in Boston have been hot as balls, making the attic fairly uninhabitable. Don't feel to bad for me though, I am lucky enough to own a home, have an amazing wife and son, and an attic to store my machines. Heck, if worse came to worse this could be Devilham's Basement, there's so much room down there! and it's like 20 degrees cooler!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Corporate Bastards!

Check out this video, I swear it's barbecue related!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hey! This post has everything!

Great post here from Mahablog, it's got it all, even sci-fi references! Seriously, it's a great piece and worth a read

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

To cool for school

You paid attention during 86% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz



Okay, not as good as Becca at No Smoking in the Skull Cave, but for someone who spent the better part of high school getting high on the hill behind the football field, I feel kind of good about it!

Holy crap! This dude is nuts!! UPDATED

Yesterday I posted about the nutty rants of the group America Family Matters. Well, the folks at Sadly, No! have gone and dug up the personal website of the author of the particular diatribe in question. Check it out, it's funny, for sure, but also deeply sad, and a little scary.

UPDATE: Okay, here is a link to the author's website, I think he might want to take a course in HTML or basic web design, it hurts my eyes. Oh, and here's a funny exchange between the fellow and a philosophy professor, I love the ending!

From: ngall@xxx.ca
Subject: Re: Norman Gall, A Question
Date: March 26, 2006 5:08:01 PM MST (CA)
To: smartboard@xxx.com

Sir:

I am very grateful for your response, for it is quite clear that you are not very serious about what you are doing.

I wish you luck in whatever psychiatric programme you are undoubtedly undertaking.

Norm Gall


Last but not least, I do think this fellow might be actually a little mentally ill, and that is definately NOT funny, as I have had several friends suffer from a myriad of mental conditions, and it's no picnic to be sure. It's just worrisome when a think tank adopts his rants as sane arguments for policy direction. Stop the insanity!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Let's talk about one of my favorite sandwiches


That would be a gyro (pronounced 'yee-ro), it's a lamb and pork sausage spiked with oregano, slow roasted on a spit and the carved off in thin delectable slices.
This is then wrapped in warm pita bread, softened on a flat top griddle and served with lettuce, tomato, onion, and the amazing yogurt sauce tzatziki. I cannot say enough good things about tzatziki. I make it with good Greek yogurt (this is a little thicker than your American style, however, if you get the American, wrap it in cheesecloth and place in a strainer over a bowl in your fridge, let it sit for about 4 hours or so, enough water will leech out so that you have a reasonable facsimile), I then peel and seed some cucumber, and dice it fine, folding it into the yogurt. A squeeze of lemon juice (please fresh only!), and a little salt and pepper, and voila! An amazing sauce that will go good with any grilled meat.

In Greece, I am told they even put french fries in them, decadence!!!!

If you live in the Boston area, you owe it to yourself to go to Steve's Greek American, on Newbury st. and order one of these heavenly sandwiches, they make the best in town. If you can't hit up Steve's, well, you can take your chances at your local Greek pizza place, you just might get lucky and find a gyro worth loving there. Try it, you'll like it, tell them Devilham sent you!

OOOooooOOHHH Canada! We stand on....

This is an actual quote from the conservative group America Family Matters

Caesar pacified Gaul by mass slaughter; he then used his successful army to crush all political opposition at home and establish himself as permanent ruler of ancient Rome. This brilliant action not only ended the personal threat to Caesar, but ended the civil chaos that was threatening anarchy in ancient Rome – thus marking the start of the ancient Roman Empire that gave peace and prosperity to the known world.

If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq (therefore turning it from a liability to an asset); and boost American prestige while terrifying American enemies.

He could then follow Caesar's example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court.

President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become “President-for-Life” Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.


I swear to god I would become a Canuck so fast it would make your head spin. All kidding aside, I love this country, and would rather stay and fight for it than run away and abandon it to the likes of these ...monarchists? Imperialists? I don't know what to call them. this has to be one of the most terrifying things I have ever read. Treasonous is the only word to describe it, time to turn the name calling tables on the right and call them out for what they really are. Traitors.

Does this strike anyone else as flat out wrong?

Now, I'm an atheist, but I was raised Irish Catholic, and I do remember most of what was preached to me. I have no recollection of EVER hearing a priest tell me to, or invoke a prayer to do harm to an enemy. Whatever happened to turning the other cheek? This seems to fly in the face of all that I thought Christianity was about. I feel bad for people who believe, it must be very disheartening to see there belief set hijacked by evil.

Looks like a busy week for me

Work is going to be rough for this week, and really the next couple actually. My co-worker has put in his resignation, which means I will be the only IT guy for a company of 130 people. We also have 17 new hires coming in the next few months which means I have to build out laptops for them. I have a desktop to build today for a surprise new hire who starts tomorrow. Ugh. All in all, it's going to be rough going here for a bit. Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Okay, I didn't get the sausage

Unfortunately your old pal Devilham slept in a little this morning and didn't get to the butcher shop in enough time to get some sausage, oh well. On the upside, my butcher DID have some lovely rack of lamb to offer me.


So I made a compound butter with roasted garlic, parsley, mustard and bread crumbs to smear along the top of the seared lamb while it finishes cooking in the oven, observe.



And to serve alongside, I made some skillet potatoes and sauteed green beans.



Lastly I cut 'em and plated them for the wife and me. Delicious!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Carolina Style Barbecue Sauce. You can eat this on ANYTHING

Ingredients

3/4 cup (175 ml) yellow mustard
3/4 cup (175 ml) red wine vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
1-1/2 tbsp (20 ml) butter
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
1/2 tsp (2 ml) Worcestershire
1-1/4 tsp (6 ml) black pepper
1/2 tsp (2 ml) Tabasco

Preparation

combine ingredients in saucepan.
simmer 30 minutes over low heat.
Let stand 1 hour before using.
Refrigerate unused sauce.

I never thought that yellow mustard had much use in the world (except on a straight up classic hot dog, we will discuss on a later date), but since I have delved into the world of barbecue, this condiments usefulness has grown exponentially. My good friend Bryon thinks this is the best thing I make period. I think he's weird.

UPDATE: Hey, this is for Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein, or anyone else who might be watching there diet. The butter part in this recipe? I have almost always left out, in fact, it keeps much better if you do leave it out. if your inclined to have it in, mount the butter on the day of usage as opposed to making it a part of the original mix. but to be perfectly honest, I think the tartness is best served without the roundness of butter, and plays better off my pork rubs as such.

Three simple words

New. Doctor. Who.

I love fridays

Everybodys working for the weekend


Nice, Friday at last. A young mans mind turns to barbecue. I am lucky that I live in a part of Boston known as Roslindale. Roslindale is one of those places that in the 80's and 90's was in pretty rough shape (the area adjacent to it, where my mother grew up, Hyde Park still is sadly), it had a run down feel to it, the parks were neglected, and small businesses had moved on to more lucrative locations. In the late 90's our democratic mayor (I mention this because I find it hard to believe a republican mayor would take this approach to stimulate business, i.e., spend some money) started a program called Boston's Main Streets. This was sort of a take on the 'broken window' theory of urban development, that is, clean up the area, take care of the parks, fix the 'broken windows', and give low interest loans to the existing storefronts targeted specifically at upgrading their facades and show windows. The results? Roslindale square (a scant two blocks from my house) is now the jewel of the Main Streets program, the square is a lovely triangle shaped park, surrounded by funky cool little businesses and restaurants. There are no less than five bakeries in the square, one at the end of my street even, and one of the best Italian restaurants outside of Boston's north end (our Italian American neighborhood). Why am I telling you this, well, it all goes back to barbecue don't it? In the square is a small butcher shop, Tony's Italian Market. The fellow who runs it, Tony, looks to be in his late 60's and is still going strong. One of the most amazing things about this place is when you order hamburger, Tony will grind it for you on the spot from hand cut choice sirloin. You have not lived until you have had a burger made with this stuff, it's texture when cooked is smooth and soft, yet still with enough tooth to feel like your eating a burger, and the flavor is so...so...meaty and good that you feel criminal spoiling it with condiments. He handmakes his own italian sausage, which admittadly most supermarkets will do as well, but let me tell you, his recipe has been perfected, he is at the apex of his career, this is not supermarket sausage. In fact, if you don't make it there by 10am, well, no sausage for you. I intend to be there at 7am. Wish me luck.

Sadly, No!'s LOLcons are hilarious

I couldn't agree more

Just read this article over at the HuffPo, and man I couldn't agree more. I remember thinking the same thing when W was first running "I'm gonna run this country like a business, free market, blah blah blah". What kind of business? Hopefully not like the ones you ran down in Texas you dipshit. This week, and even today with three more mining deaths added to the missing or dead list, we have learned first hand that businesses are soulless machines that want only to expand their profit margins and increase their bottom line. Is that the America you envisioned? Is that what the founding fathers were thinking about when they penned the Constitution? It's time we stopped this glorifying of corporate culture, government is for the betterment of it's citizens, clearly business has another agenda entirely.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

I think we need to change the word conservetive to consumptive. I have no idea what they are conserving anymore. It's not money, it's not land, it's not oil, or other natural resources, they just consume at a rate that would make a colony of army ants jealous.

Good lord, please stop the stupid, it stings my eyes

This could be one of the most relentlessly stupid things I've read all day

Work...not...ending





My wife and son come back from the cape today, I can't wait to see the little guy, the house has been kinda quiet and lonely without him around. To tide us all over until I can get home and give him a hug, I give you pictures.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Okay, here goes, the Meme of Four

Four Jobs I have had or have in my life

1. My very first job was as a caddy at a local country club. I hated it like poison. My folks thought it was a great idea, and actually forced me and my brother to ride down there every Saturday (on our bikes, it was like five miles away, did I mention I hated it?) at 5:30am so we could lug a leather sack of lead sticks up and down a few miles of grass. If you were lucky you got a dollar tip and a single hot dog for your troubles. No I am not over it yet.

2. Dish dog!! Another job I had was dish washer at the Bell Buoy Restaurant in my coastal New England town. My brother also worked with me, and for a job that usually gets a bad rap, we had a great time working there. It was my first gig in food service, an industry I would be in and out of for the next 20 years, so it was kind of a seminal experience for me that I look upon with fondness. It's possible that time has rosed up the glasses I use to look at this particular job, but who cares, I smile when I think of it.

3. Bicycle Courier. Can you think of a more dangerous job than being a bike courier in a city renowned to be the training ground for taxi drivers in Beirut? I have broken a thumb, several toes, two front teeth, and have had about 30 feet of road rash in total in my short stint as courier. However, on a cool autumn day, no wind, temps in the sixties, there really is no better way to turn a buck.

4. I have mentioned it before, I know, but I was also a chef. This I have done for the bulk of my working career. Now I say chef, which is a head of a kitchen, which I did do for a few years (a catering kitchen called Barsamian's), but I ended my career a simple line cook. This is not as bad as it sounds though, as it was in a prestigious restaurant working under a renowned chef, and at the time it was an excellent opportunity.

Four countries I have visited

1. United States
2. Canada
3. The undiscovered country (my favorite of the Star Trek films)
4. nowhere else *sigh*

Four places I would rather be right now

1. Well, I have to admit, I am a bit of a homebody. I love being home, fiddling with my computers, hanging out with my son, preparing some barbecue treats, and I am home at the moment and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. But this is the game, so the next three answers will be in line with the rules, I just wanted to make the point that I am happy with being right here, right now.

2. Japan. Tokyo in particular, seems to be one of the most amazing places on earth. The shear amount of glittery lights, neon, and LED's would send me into an epileptic seizure, I am sure, but it's a chance I am willing to take.

3. Italy. There is something about a country that doesn't provide phone service in all locations, and yet has serious governmental bodies that manage the authenticity of cheese and vinegar that appeals to me. They have their priorities in order.

4. Ireland. I am an Irish American, my families roots are there, and I would love to spend some time on the island. I would take the time to visit Scotland and England as well, while I was there of course.

Four foods I would like to eat

1. Barbecued St. Louis cut pork ribs with Carolina style BBQ sauce. See my earlier posts on this, it is a passion of mine, there is something about the low and slow method of cooking that really appeals to me. I put a lot of love into it.

2. Fried chicken. My recipe is strong, my technique is solid, my chicken is the bomb.

3. Linguine with Clam Sauce. I remember when I was about five my folks took us to an Italian restaurant, and I ordered the linguine with clam sauce, and so began a life long love of the dish. The salty, cheesy, clammy (in a good way) sauce, spiked with red pepper flake and finished with butter was an eye opener for me. For those without an Irish American mother in the 70's, everything I ate before this was boiled to death, I thought I hated food, it was an epiphany. In the future I will post my recipe, try it, you'll like it!

4. Okay, it's a little white trash, but it's my Achilles heal. Taco night. Old El Paso taco kit. I know, I know!!! It's terrible!!! I actually have to push the table away when we make these, or I will gorge myself to sickness on them. I have made fish tacos on several occasions (no kit, corn tortillas, frying my own fist, etc.), and that's really quite nice, but I do love regular old taco night.

Four personal heroes

Wow, I never thought of this before, here goes.

1. Lou Reed. Here's a guy who has kept it real from day one. The Velvet Underground was one of the greatest bands of the 70's, and it's influence can be heard still. I saw Lou play at the Orpheum theater in Boston when I was 18, the band that opened up for them was a little known outfit at the time known as The Pixies. It was a freaking awesome show.

2. Malcomb Reynolds. I know he isn't real, but damn I love his Han Solo attitude, and his theify ways. Who said the heroes have to be real people?

3. My older brother. He can be a crank, a poor sport, and not always right about things, but no one has stood by me or come to my rescue in times of need. He never even questioned a thing when my wife and I lost our apartment a few years back due to a shady landlord, he just left work, got his truck, and helped us move our stuff into storage, lickety split. I owe him quite a bit, and he would never ask me to pay it back.

4. Can I say my wife? A few years back I broke my leg in 3 places. I was out of work for 11 months, and for the first 3 weeks or so after I got out of the hospital, I was so laid out I couldn't even put on my own underwear. She supported our household, and took care of me all by herself and stuck with me through thick and thin. She is truly my personal hero.

Man, that got schmaltzy eh? I guess I am just an old softie.

Four books I have just read, or am reading

1. Dress our Family in Corduroy and Denim, by David Sedaris. Funny collection of essays by the brother of Amy Sedaris, and NPR contributor.

2. Snow Crash, by Neil Stephenson. My friend loaned me this book since I love anachronistic science fiction (preferably the short stories of the golden age), and this fit the bill. It was a tremendously fun read.

3. A Scanner Darkly, by Phillip K. Dick. Good stuff, I even liked the movie based on it, it wasn't a perfect translation (a lot was left out, especially in the end), but served its purpose. Again, anachronistic sci-fi. We don't have plastic houses.

4. Windows Server 2003: Network Administrator, by Craig Hunt and Roberta Bragg. Dry as toast technical manual, however, it's the server software my firm uses, and if I ever want to move up, I have to keep expanding and learning, I am reading this now.

I don't know if I am causing a 'broken chain' situation if I don't tag anyone else. I am new in this here blogosphere, and only know a few folks. To be honest, I was much more of a lurker in the past, and not a poster, and am not sure of who to tag. If I am making a giant breach of protocol by not forwarding this meme please let me know and I will come up with something, but for now would it be ok if I just left it like this?

Tagged by my first Meme!!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein has tagged me for a meme, I am at work now, and cannot oblige, but look forward to going home and dropping some hammy salty info on y'all

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem!



So the dentist wasn't so bad...this time. I have to come back and get something called a "scrape and plane" ***shudders*** This involves scraping my teeth below the gum line of all the schmutz (that's a technical dentist term, sorry to bore you with my high tech jargon) that's built up on my teeth and then planing the tooth smooth so as to discourage further buildup. It sounds awful. Pray for me.

So as I left work last night a co-worker flagged me down to give her a hand with a printer that was giving her guff, so I naturally obliged. Well, since I was almost out the door I had my keys in my hand, so when I repaired the printer, I accidentally left my keys on the printer. I left for home.

The lovely young lady who I had helped called me on my cell phone (ever present since the leg incident, seriously) to let me know the fate of my keys, no worries says I, I have a spare set at home, just leave them on my desk, and thanks for the call.

I did have a spare set at home, and my wife and son were also both home yesterday, so it really wasn't that big a deal. Those two were getting ready for a road trip to the cape (Cape Cod, the Irish Riviera, God's own country) to spend a few nights at a friends cottage. We all left the house together, me with my spare keys, those two off for some fun in the sun. My plan was to hit the dentist, come back home, shower, shave, and then off to work. On my return from the tooth man, I walked in my house, put my keys on counter, went to get my mail, AND PROMPTLY LOCKED MYSELF OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!

So I had to go to work in shorts and a T-shirt to get my original set of keys and tell my boss, yeah, I won't make it in today after all. But don't cry for me Argentina, I got a 6 pack of Guinness stout, the house to myself, and even a spot of scotch whiskey to turn this day around. That's me, I'm a glass half full of scotch kinda guy, not half empty.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Why I do what I do

In 2002 I was a line cook at a fancy restaurant in a 4 star hotel (Meritage, at the Boston Harbor Hotel, if your curious). I was on track to be made a chef in their organization, if your not familiar with the industry, line cooks are like the infantry, sous chefs are like sergeants, head chefs are the generals, things were going well for my career, but things were hard. I had been married for a few years at this point and had resigned myself to this career path, I was going to put my all into it, after all, I did love, and still love to cook. Besides, saying your a professional cook does have it's sex appeal.

Those of us in the food service industry know the hours can be hard, heck, one time I came in for dinner service, a shift which starts at 3pm, and was snookered into manning the overnight room service shift with the promise of the next day off. Well the next morning, at 5:30am, I get the word that the breakfast cook can't make it in (mind you the breakfast cook covers lunch, and then preps until, you guessed it, 3pm). I came into the hotel an experienced breakfast service cook, 6 years experience in that alone, they were in a pinch, I agreed to work, but only until noon. It must have been around 10:30 when I finally snapped and started getting wildly irritable, the rash in my shorts had gone long past the point where cornstarch could do anything to help, in fact, I think I made bread down there. Service had slowed down at this point and I was set free at 11. 18 hours of work, 45 minutes there and back, as much as I loved to cook, I also loved being home with my wife, and frankly, she was not liking the scarcely seen, cranky asshole who smelled like a kitchen mat who came home every night.

In February of 2002 I rolled into work, and was getting into my uniform in the locker room, when my friend Hugh, the Saucier says, "what the hell you doin here? You have the day off! You wanna work so bad, I'll go home and you stay", turns out I hadn't checked the schedule that week, and I did indeed have the day off. It was a very snowy day, in fact, blizzard like conditions, the second blizzard that week, however, there are few things in the world I like more than sitting in my house on a snow day, enjoying a beer and watching the snow fall...it's a New England thing I guess. I knew I had a 12 pack of beer in the fridge, and I just got a 24 hour furlough from work, things were coming up Devilham!

I live in a section of Boston called Jamaica Plain, lots of green space, lots of parks, and my house abutted one of these parks, in fact, I had to walk through one to get to the train station. As I approached my house, barely a hundred yards from my door, I stepped on a patch of ice covered by a layer of snow. My leg shot forward, knocking me off balance, but then caught cement, and stopped short. Crack-CRACK! Went my leg! Even as I fell, I thought, oh man, this is not good.

Did I mention it was a blizzard?? Know how many people frequent the park during a blizzard?? Damn near no one! I looked down and my leg was bent in an unnatural position, fantastic I thought. Crawling to the street to get help was out of the question, I made it about 4 inches and found the pain so bad that I figured I would pass out and they wouldn't find me until the spring thaw. Back then I was one of those folks who never carried a cell phone, I didn't want people bugging me all hours of the day! leave me be I'd say! You can bet your bottom dollar I don't leave the house with out one these days! I laid in the snow for 45 minutes yelling for help. Turns out falling snow muffles sound, isn't that a fun fact? Anywho, my nextdoor neighbor ended up taking her dog for a walk in the park, and finally found me. I remember her asking me if I was sure my leg was broken, and thinking, wow, what a stupid question, should I tell her "no, I have a superflous knee", but I bit my tounge instead...discretion is the better part of valor as they say

I will tell the tale of the hospital in a future post, it's quite the story, but to wrap up the main gist of the post, with a rod and five pins in my right leg, I can't stand on my feet for 18 hours anymore. I was out of work for 11 months and had time to go to school for IT (ah school, you are wasted on the young, or at least I wasted you when I was young, I would give my other leg up to take some more schooling, perhaps some history?). I got an IT certification and now work at an accounting firm as desktop support. So many people ask me why I do this, when I had such a cool job before, and don't I hate wearing a shirt and tie? Quite simply, working for over a decade wearing a dirty napkin for a uniform, and getting cut and burned on a regular schedule, well shit. That gets old

Work was a bear



Rough day for the deviled ham. One of my coworkers called in sick, and we also had two people start work today, which meant not only was I picking up my coworkers slack, I was also training and coddling new hires. Coupled with that a co-worker of mine brought in her desktop for me to look it, it was hopelessly riddled with virus's (virii??) and pretty much needs a complete rebuild. No worries though, I made it through, and that's one day down.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow, and I am kinda terrified. I have had a dentist phobia for years now, and I have put off the visit for many of those years (please don't ask, it's an embarrassing amount). I expect to be lectured and tortured, and not necessarily in that order.

Holy smokes, sounds like they got him on the run!



Photo Courtesy of the Huffington Post

Sunday, August 12, 2007

This is freaking funny


my sister sent out this photo, she says she walked in the room and swears she found her daughter like this!

Final BBQ posting for this evening



Well, here is the finished product, enjoy!!!

Caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes


Now isn't this just a lovely summer salad? Perfect for barbecue.

Barbecue Sauce

Many store bought sauces are perfectly adequate for most folks, however, if you've spent the last 2 days preparing and cooking a cut of meat, well, it seems a disservice to the pig to not make your own. Lately I have been taken with Carolina style, follow this link to check it out http://online-cookbook.com/goto/cook/rpage/00043E. I find the tartness and piquancy perfectly balances with the savory flavors of the pork, try it won't you?

Live blogging my barbecue



And here is my CharGriller working away, I am into hour one of the ribs, and have got the smoke phase working hard. You really only want to add smoke in the first hour (unless your intent was to fully smoke the product in the first place) of barbecue, as the meats pores will tighten up after that and really won't pull in any more flavor, and creosote will build up on the meat which is a. cancerous, and b. bitter, so don't do it!

More on BBQ RIbs


Okay, so I mentioned that I was going to fire up the Q yesterday, and that is indeed the plan. I got some beautiful heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil from my garden for a salad, and 2 racks of St. Louis cut pork ribs, observe.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Roast Suckling Pig!!!

BBQ Ribs, Devilham Style

Okay, so you want to make BBQ ribs do you? Well, real BBQ is done low and slow, over indirect heat, and takes many hours, however, before you even put a match to a hunk of charcoal, there are other things you have to take care of first.

You are going to need some ribs, the preferred cut is the St. Louis style cut of ribs, this is a cut somewhere between a spare rib and a baby back. It has a little more fat than the baby back, but a little more substance to it as well. Since we will be cooking these over the course of many hours, a lot of the fat will render off, so don't worry to much about it. On the underside of the rib is a tough thin membrane that will need to be removed. While many consider this an important step (as do I), and it would be a critical misstep to forget to do it if one were in a competition, I have forgotten to remove the membrane once or twice and frankly, again, thanks to the long cooking time, well, I didn't notice a grand drop in quality. What I am getting at is if it's giving you a hard time when you are trying to get the stuff off, well, don't sweat that either.

Next, what I like to do is to cure the meat. I make a solution of water, kosher salt, brown sugar as a base, and then, depending on mood or availability I will add other flavorful ingredients, such as apple cider, maple syrup, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic cloves, well, you get the idea. Submerge your ribs in this solution overnight. I have found that buying disposable tin trays from Costco to be invaluable for this and other stages of BBQing, so you can take that for what it's worth.

24 hours have passed, and it's time for another step in preparation. Remove the ribs from the cure and pat them dry with a paper towel. Next you will want to smear the ribs with yellow mustard (Whoa! you say, yellow mustard!!! that stuff is crap!! well, yes, but it does have it's uses in the world. In this case it will slough off with the fat over the course of cooking, but believe me, you would notice it missing if not used, and it helps the rub stick). Next you will want to rub the ribs with a spice rub, mine consists of paprika, brown sugar, kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder cayenne, and a few other 'secret' ingredients, but that should provide you with a good framework to start with. Let the ribs rest with the rub on them for at least an hour, in fact, seeing as how you will want the ribs to be room temperature when you put them on the fire, just leave them out for this stage of the process.

Okay, time to start your fire. I have a Chargriller smoker/grill that I would highly recommend to anyone in the market for BBQ rig. It's basically a half barrel grill, with a side firebox for smoking, however, when I do ribs, I set the fire in the half barrel, but push the coals all the way to the right hand side so as to create an indirect heat source. I also like to have some wood chips soaking and ready to go to throw on the coals, for some good smokey flavor. Once your fire is going you will want to make adjustment until your cooking chamber reaches approximately 260 to 280 degrees, this is the BBQ sweet spot.

Place your ribs as far from the fire as possible on your grill rack, throw on some wood chips, close the lid and enjoy a beer. Periodically (about every half hour or so is my guide) you will want to baste the ribs with what's called a vinegar mop. Mine is pretty simple, I take a tablespoon of my BBQ rub, and whisk it into 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, but you can look up and use whatever version you like.

3 1/2 to 4 hours later, and you will be enjoying fall off the bone porky pleasure. Slather with your favorite BBQ sauce, and serve with some crisp cole slaw. It's my favorite thing in the world

Here is the photo I promised!

Good Morning

Hey folks, it's Saturday, my day with the little guy, at some point I plan on posting some pics of him, he really is super cute. Just put him down for his morning nap, so I get a little time for myself. Later on today the neighborhood is having a family fun day at the park around the corner from my house, so me and the wee one will most likely be attending that, until of course, my crippling social anxiety takes over and I go running back home... ah the joys of borderline mental illness.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

I smell something cooking down under the attic....must be the little woman, I wonder what's for vittles???

And on that note....

For my second blog entry of all time......I am signing off to play the wonderful space sim X3: Beyond the frontier. If you are at all interested in space sims, this, in my humble opinion, is one of the best. It is a combination of many gameplay styles, combat simulator, tycoon game, and (and not just) real time strategy. If you are willing to put up with the VERY steep learning curve (I had the game for a year, kept trying it and giving up.....so hard) then you are in for a treat, as it's one of the most addictive gaming experiences I have had.


It's fun to speak as though I am addressing an audience, when we all know no one is going to see this blog!!!!

Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, this is my first attempt at blogging (how many times has that sentence been written?), so bear with me people. First, a little about me. I am a married 30something IT professional, ex-chef, ex-bike courier, ex-art student living in and around Boston, Ma. I have (at the time of this post) one 11 month old superdude, and two cats. Some of my interests include PC gaming, BBQ'ing (the real kind, low and slow, ribs, brisket, shoulder, etc.), cooking in general and...well...not much else, except..................the ellipses version of the drum roll..............politics.


I am a born again political junkie, since I no longer work the slave hours of a line cook due to personal injury, I now have the time to be politically active, or at least politically aware, as the case may be.


I am a dyed in the wool Democrat from Taxachusetts my friends, and I hope to touch on all these subjects during the course of my blogging.


Please don't hate on me.