'If you can’t stand the heat'...
By Carlene Phelps
Here is hoping all of you enjoy a special National BBQ Month this May! Our celebrations will include one extra backyard barbecue and dedicate it to this special month. We’ve harvested our first round of green beans, squash and potatoes from the home garden while the delicious English Peas we enjoyed are now gone. It’s been a family affair, with mostly Joe’s efforts, and enjoyable for all!
We have several items to review this month, the first being a New Orleans Firefighter’s Cookbook, entitled, If You Can’t Stand The Heat, and authored by Robert Medina. If this is what the firefighters eat in New Orleans - they eat well! I found some simple how-tos, many with a little twist, lots of cajun delights as I expected, and some delicious additions to our favorite Southern recipes. One of the many things I like about this cookbook is the instructions with all the little details. Even as a Home Eco-nomics major, I find some cookbooks give complicated directions. Robert Medina goes out of his way to make sure I get the right instructions. The variety goes from Mom’s Stewed Chicken to Urky Lurky (invented by a firefighter, of course). The recipe for Cheese Grits takes the gritty out of grits and makes Mama’s grits a whole lot better! Thanks for making my New Orleans’ favorites simple enough for this South Georgia cook to prepare and enjoy!
Sock’s Love Rub Co. of Duluth, Ga., sent a sample of their original seasoning just in time for us to use on several items including a wing cook. Several members in our family just like grilled wings without all the ‘hot’ and this allowed us to use this rub in a ‘split’ cook. It actually reminded us of another rub we really enjoy with the combination of spices. Everyone needs a ‘good’ rub suitable for several meats and this makes a good choice. We actually recommended this rub to a church group who purchased 25 lbs. to do a Boston Butt Sale. The results were great according to reports from those purchasing the Boston butts. Find out more at www.SocksLoverub.com.
The wing cook I mentioned above worked out well for us who just wanted grilled wings and for those, especially our grandson Bailey, who prefers a lot of hot we also had another new product - Tabanero Hot Sauce. This is a product from Tabasco and Yucatan, Mexico and is rated Medium to Hot on the heat scale, according to independent taste tests on the bottle. Bailey put the scale leaning more on the hot side but loved every drop. It is definitely not bottled just for the heat as there is a lot of flavor and a great choice to add to any sauce (as several of us did) that needs a more heat and is also shown as 100% natural. More at www.Tabanero.com.
For those of us who cook a lot of beef, pork, and poultry, it also means a lot of meat shredding. A new product on the market is the MeatRake. Several of our family members tried the meatrake on different meats and found it to be very effective. The grips on the longer handles gives a better angle, and the stainless steel combs quickly separates the meat. The results was best when shredding chicken and beef as the combs were a little close for pork. However, to be fair, it might have been that the pork butt we were shredding was not as tender as the chicken and beef since we took it off the heat at a little lower temperature than normal. The plastic safety comb covers is another important feature for storing. Get more information at meatrake.com.
It’s been other busy month with all the sauces coming in for the 2012 Sauces of Honor competition, and it’s sure to be busy for the next few weeks as we get them all judged by members of our extended barbecue family. The BBQ Border War, originally scheduled for April 28th, has been re-scheduled for June 16th, the day before Father’s Day, at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds in Waycross, GA. Check out the website at www.nationalbbqfestival.com (click on BBQ Border War on the home page) for more exciting details as they develop. This includes the eight counties in our area as cooks compete to be crowned the best in their county … and the regional Grand Champion of Southeast Georgia. It’s always fun and the Exchange Club will be saluting fathers and families with many activities.