Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Thanks for the Memory to The Maximum Leader.

I now have my own battle cry:

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Prowling on the tundra, attacking with a mighty sword, cometh Brian B! And he gives a mighty scream:

"Brace yourself, oh human speck of dust! I lay waste to all I see until my glands are satisfied!!"

Find out!
Enter username:
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created by beatings : powered by monkeys

OK, so it's not as glorious as "SPOON!" but it still beats Arthurs "Not in the face! Not in the face!"

Blegging In AND About the Northwest

Despite being a native of the Pacific Northwest, I haven't been to Seattle since I was 5. For the most part, my treks into Washington have been limited to the area in and around Vancouver/Camas, and one jaunt up to Longview to take the bridge back into Oregon (as a shortcut to Astoria). Most of my knowledge of the PNW is of Idaho and my native Oregon.

That will change this weekend. TFR and I are celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary by taking a long weekend trip up to Seattle. We plan to drive from Eugene to Portland Friday night, and stay the night at her sister's house (the SIL has offered towatched The Lad for the weekend, so this will be the first time we're BOTH away from him for more than a few hours). Saturday Morning we leave as early as possible for Seattle. W plan to spend the night Saturday night, and spend as much of the day as possible on Sat. and Sun. in Seattle, returning to Portland Sunday afternoon/early evening, and back to Eugene on Monday.

So my bleg to my readers is this: What should we do while in Seattle? We already have our sights set on Pike's Place, the Underground Tour, Space Needle, and the Monorail. What else is there to do that's distinctly Seattle, and is cheap and not too time consuming? Bear in mind we don't have a lot of time or money, and don't want to feel rushed. I was considering taking a Ferry, just to say we've been out on the Sound, but which one will burn uyp the smallest amount of our day? Which ones go places worth visiting just for an hour or two?

If you're a Seattle resident, or even WA resident in general, or know the city in any way, your input would be greatly appreciated.

Obi Wan Has Taught Me Well

As anyone who has followed my food posts on this Blog knows, I acquired for myself earlier this summer a smoker shaped, as one reader commented, like a stripped-down R2D2. I've spent a good deal of my time this summer taking what I already knew about cooking and grilling, and applying it to developing my abilities in the pursuit of barbecue. And I feel that I've been fairly successful. I may not have the years of experience that some barbecue chefs do, but I was already a good cook, and took to this new cooking form.

But something was missing, something that held me back from true mastery of the form, and I knew what it was. This weekend, I set about to right that wrong, and I believe I have. I've accomplished what is, in my esteem, the barbecue equivalent of a jedi building his own lightsabre to mark his graduation.

I have made my own sauce.

Oh, I'd come up with recipes of my own before -- I'd modified certain techniques to fit my own taste, even delveloped my own dry rub and baste recipes. But the finishinf sauce, that was still coming out of a bottle. Until now.

My sauce is definitely a more western-style sauce, since it's a sweet and spicy tomato-based sauce. TFR tried it by itself and thought it too sweet, but had to admit that once applied to the meat and cooked in, it was quite good.

And so, without further ado, my sauce recipe:

In a medium saucepan combine the following ingredients:

2 cans (10 3/4 oz. each) tomato puree
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp oregano
1 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce starts to bubble. Reduce heat, simmer, stirring frequently until sauce is smooth. Apply to food by taste.

I tried it on beef short ribs Saturday. The sauce was good, the flavor was goot, but the ribs were too damned fatty. I'm sticking with pork spare or back ribs when it comes to rib barbecueing. TFR suggests I should try this on chicken. I'm going to try slow-cooking a Beer Butt Chicken (TFR prefers I use the term "Beer Can Chicken", but let's be honest...) on the smoker with this sauce recipe, I'll let you know how it goes.