Saturday, December 31, 2011

See ya, 2011

Awesome axe kick snagged from this website
I don't think I've ever heard someone say, "Oh, if only this year could last forever," have you? No matter how wonderful your year may have been, it's always time, isn't it, for a new year to begin. 2011 has not been a favorite year for many of us. I heard a commentator say the other night that the theme of 2011 is "When will it ever end?"

Instead of champagne this year, I'm planning on sending off 2011 with an axe kick. Then I may imbibe in some bubbly.

I'll make sure to eat my collard greens and black eyed peas too for a good dose of health and prosperity for 2012.

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Fish Friday" Cedar Wrapped Ling Cod

Here's my post on the Char-Broil Live site about cooking Ling Cod in The Big Easy. What I loved about making this dish? It was super fast and delicious. It's also simple. During the slog of holiday dinners, parties, and platters of cheese, it's nice to have a simpler dinner here and there. This dish is heavy on the flavor but light everywhere else.

Read the whole post here (please) and if so inspired, throw me a comment here or on the Char-broil site. I do so love to hear from y'all.

A Practical Wish for the Holidays

My son attended a preschool one year called Nature Kids, housed in the middle of Seattle's largest park, the 534-acre  Discovery Park. The main premise of the preschool was that the kids would go on a hike for most of the day, rain or shine, learning about nature.

The school had all sorts of specially named places they'd hike to: Stick Belong, a place they often gathered large sticks to make a lean-to fort, Owl Logs, a place with fallen trees that could be an instant game of pirate ship, and the Wishing Tree.

The Wishing Tree was my son's favorite. Almost every day, the kids would gallop to one particular tree of many that surrounded an open field and whisper their wish. My son naturally wished for superhero strength, the ability to change into a cheetah, or an invisibility hat he could don to sneak candy whenever he wanted.

One kid, however, wished every time, without fail, for a sandwich. My son reported this to me each time with an incredulous voice, for the boy apparently wished out loud to the Wishing Tree as well.

"But he gets a sandwich!" my son would say, shaking his 4 year old head. "There's a sandwich every day in his lunch!"

The fact that this boy would waste his wish on something so mundane, and on something he'd get within the hour baffled both of us. Even I, a cynical adult, would prefer an invisibility hat to sneak chocolate over a sandwich.

But after a while I got it. The kid was a practical fellow. He wanted his wish to come true.

For those of you that want your wishes to come true this holiday season, I suggest socks. Wish for socks. Sometimes it's better to keep your expectations low and be surprised. After all, they might be really great socks.

For the rest of you...Happy Holidays! May your feasts be plentiful and delicious. May your family be bearable. May it not hurt when you bite your tongue. Do bite it, for the few days you need to. It will make for a far smoother year. May your gifts all fit so that you don't have to enter the post-Christmas fray at the mall, unless you like that sort of thing. May you get amazing socks. May you go easy on the eggnog and be mildly controlled with the chocolate...

And when the din settles down, may you find time to stop, breath and contemplate the new year about to unfold.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

White Winter/Fall Colors

We don't get much snow in Seattle. Most of our "white winter" is an unending white sky. It gets grey plenty too, but today it was that endless white. Here are some images of winter I took today, walking to the post office, contrasted by some fall pictures I took last month. We had a glorious fall, due to incredible blue sky, crisp sunshine days.

I played with the highlights with this one.

What a contrast to the fall...

My son is saying, "Come on, mom!"

My favorite of the fall pics. I have a cheap little point and shoot camera. It's woefully inadequate for a food blog, but it fits in my pocket and helps me capture my kids and fall leaves and stark trees.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Holiday Store is Open!

We've come up with a host of barbecue stocking stuffers this year. Back by popular demand is the BBQ Soap. An olive oil soap, it's scented with sandalwood and hickory, "For when you want to smell fresh out of the smoker!" TM. Also this year we have the Pitmaster's Blend coffee for sale. Truth be told, it is the Tango Blend by Cafe Mam, but we've renamed it Pitmaster's Blend because it's what our pitmaster, Eric, drinks by the gallon. We think it is the best coffee on earth.                 
As always, we sell our spice rub, smoked peppers, sauce gift packs, and signed copies of She-Smoke! We have a new T-shirt design! Big, bold, Ballard. Get 'em while they're hot. Here is one of our cooks, "Falcon", modeling the new T.
Check back to the blog soon as I'll be unveiling a really cool giveaway for the holidays!