Mastering the recipe.
This weekend I didn't fire up the grill. I'm in withdrawal.
Instead, I cleaned out the refrigerator and used up all the food I bought for projects that I hadn't made yet. I also did some other house keeping, and we spent Sunday apple picking upstate.
I know this isn't related to BBQ, but if you're in the NYC area and are looking for a great place to go apple picking, try the Wilklow Farms in New Paltz. It's a beautiful hillside orchard with about 10 different varieties of apples. They also have an antiques shop, cider mill, pumpkin patch, etc. This is a great place to spend a fall day. They make the best apple cider doughnuts I've ever tasted. They're worth the trip by themselves!
Wilklow also has a hay ride through their farm and through the "spooky" woods. It's kind of tacky, but still fun. We passed the "possessed" pigs. They have about 30 pigs that have about one week left to live. After that it's to the slaughter house and to market. The driver said that I'll be able to buy some of that pig meat in November in the Brooklyn Green Market. I was hoping that they had a smoke house on the farm that I could check out. No such luck.
But I did get to work on one more aspect of my quest for perfect BBQ. One of the things I keep hearing from the BBQ masters is that you must be able to accurately reproduce your recipes each time. From rubs to sauces to meat, everything should be exactly the same each time you do it. Well, I've never measured an ingredient in my life. I don't like being that exact. It's one of the reasons I don't bake.
My daughter's school is asking for recipes for a cookbook that they will publish as a fund raiser. I was making cream of mushroom soup for my her, and it's my own recipe, so I thought I'd write this down for the cook book. So, for the first time in my life, I measured every ingredient as I made the soup. I tweaked, I poured everything into cups and measuring spoons, I added in 1/4 tsp. increments. The soup came out great.
Well, now I know how I'm going to spend the winter. I’ll be working out my recipes so that I can do them exactly the same every time. Working out the rubs, sauces and mops so that I can sell them after I win a few trophies. Look for WhiteTrash BBQ and WhiteTrash Rub in the near future.