May 2011 Archives

The Brady Bunch

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This weekend (memorial day weekend) was one of several where the kids have joined me down at Linda's place, and it's felt a bit like the Brady Bunch. We're 2 kids short for that, but we do have 2 cats, so it's close. Regardless of numbers, though, it makes my heart glad to see how well the four kids interact, most of the time. Kids will be kids, of course, and there's a share of bickering and fighting, but in general, it's just wonderful how well they all get along. The four of them are downstairs watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows right now, and when I left to come to bed, and Lindsay climbed up onto the couch in my spot, Chris announced "Fine, I'll just stay down here and snuggle with Katie!" This, of course, elicited a whoop from Katie and the two of them settled down to watch together. Too cute for words.

Yesterday was a A-level minor league baseball game at a stadium really close by (the Potomic Nationals) and the 6 of us had great seats. We watched the whole game, laughing, high-fiving the players as they ran by (we had REALLY good seats...), and stayed for fireworks and Katie and Chris ran the bases. Ellen and Lindsay mostly played on their iPhones, but even that was fine. Watch the game, don't watch, just have fun, and we all did.

It's always a special time together, doing whatever, and I couldn't ask for much more between the kids I have and the kids I'm looking forward to being much more a part of. I'm very lucky in this, and I know it.

Pull My Pork.

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I love barbecue. I love ribs, chopped BBQ, smoked chicken, smoked hot links. But one of my favorite kinds of BBQ is a really good pulled pork sandwich.

Now, there are really two ways to make pulled pork: True BBQ in a smoker (which is great, but a lot of work and tends to be a bit dry), and slow cook it with spices and BBQ sauce and vinegar (which is tender and moist, but generally missing that great, smoky flavor). However, I've tried to bridge the two with some help from my friend, Liquid Smoke.

I used a "picnic" pork shoulder, and this was my first attempt at this (and mostly, I made up the recipe), but it was really really good.

5 or 6 lb bone-in picnic shoulder (we'll remove the bone, so if you can get it already de-boned, go ahead).
-1/4 - 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-1/4 - 1/2 cup water
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-3 - 4 cups ketchup/BBQ sauce/any combination
-4 oz liquid smoke
-1/2 cup or so maple syrup (preferably real stuff)
-1 medium onion, sliced into reasonably fine rings.

you want enough liquid to cover the whole shoulder, which is why the measurements are somewhat vague.

put all ingredients into crock pot, set on low. Let cook for 10 hours or so. You should not be able to pull a large chunk out of the pot without it falling apart. When it's that tender, turn off the crock pot, pull out all the meat to a platter and, using 2 forks, shred it to strands. Put it all back into the pot of liquid after it's shreaded and put the crock pot to "warm." Let it just sit in the warm juice for as long as you like. It'll just get better with time.

Serve on soft rolls with sides of cheddar cheese and pickle chips.

Mother's Day Special

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This came from my dad, regarding my mom, quoted from their trip home from my house today, Mother's day. For anyone who doesn't know, Henry is my sister's 3 year old son.

Mom: The reason paul weighs more than you is because he's shorter.

Dad: What?

Mom: Well, if he was taller he wouldn't be as heavy.

Dad: So then shorter people weigh more than tall people.

Mom: right.

Dad: So then, because he's shorter, Henry should weigh more than Karem Abdul-Jabbar.

Mom: Don't be silly. Henry is just a baby.

That's my mom. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Don't ever start making sense.

The Last Concert

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Tonight is a milestone--the last elementary school band/chorus concert we will ever have to attend. Hot cross buns, Mary had a little lamb, and all the other training wheel songs are a thing of the past after tonight. Although the kids play their little hearts out, I can't say I'll miss this part of the little-kid experience. Listening to 20 apathetic 9 year olds murder Beethoven is getting tired...

My Manager

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Katie: Hey dad, why don't you sell your cocoa next time we have a garage sale?
Me: Well, because garage sales are usually in the spring and people don't want cocoa in warm weather.
Katie (not missing a beat): Why don't you sell hot dogs?
Me: You're just going with anything here aren't you...
Katie: Yup!

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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