Brisket post-mortem

The brisket from yesterday was well received by the 10 people in attendance. I had six people here that have lived at one point or another in Texas (some as recently as two weeks ago!), and everyone says it tasted authentic.

I cooked it to an internal temp of 170°F, and I actually don’t think it was enough. The thicker part of the brisket was still not well done, so I think I should’ve let it go to 180 or 190. I took it off the egg at 6:30pm, so it cooked for 13.5 hours. The baste that I used was a little mustardy, so I’ll tone down the mustard in the baste next time around. The BBQ sauce I made had a good amount of kick to it — not spicy to me, but to a few others it was. 🙂 I should’ve guessed that it would be spicy: the recipe called for a 1/4 cup of chile powder, some cayenne pepper, and [Tabasco sauce](http://www.tabasco.com/). That should’ve been one tip-off; the other tip-off should’ve been the recipe’s name: Fire and Brimstone BBQ Sauce.

Other than that, it was good times. Lots of beer (thanks [Andrew](http://blogs.msdn.com/andrewj/)/Kipper; Kunaal) , wine (thanks John/Mary), brisket, potato salad (thanks [Jenn](http://www.realmccoy.spaces.live.com)), a few other sides, and lots of friends. Oh, and Muscato cake and chocolate mousse cake!

Notes from the morning

So, since I’ve been up since 4:30am cooking brisket, I wanted to jot down a few notes from the morning.

First, there seems to be a racoon living in our backyard. He was drinking from the pond while I was waiting on the BBQ to heat up.

Second, there’s nothing on TV at 4:30am on a Sunday. Oh, except MTV does play music videos, and not just on MTV2 — on MTV! All this time I thought they didn’t play music videos anymore; turns out, apparently the MTV folks think the music video demographic are early risers. TNT-HD has had a good movie run, though: [A Time to Kill](http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0117913/), [The Negotiator](http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0120768/), [Murder at 1600](http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0119731/). Seriously, that’s two [Samuel L. Jackson](http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0000168/) movies in a row!

Third: 11:45am, and I’ve started making the BBQ sauce. Oh, and I’ve finally opened a beer for myself.

5:24am and I’m awake

This could be my earliest blog post ever.

Already been awake for an hour today.

And, no, this is definitely not normal for me. However, the [Big Green Egg](http://www.biggreenegg.com/) is at a happy 220°F, and a 9.5lb brisket has been going for 25 minutes. On at 5:00am, plan to take it off at 6:30pm. Flip and baste every hour. Replenish charcoal and hickory at the halfway point. Wrap in aluminum foil at 5:00pm. Eat yummy food at 6:30pm.

The real question is: when should I start drinking beer?

UPDATE @ 5:29am: Yeah, television sucks at 5:30am on Sunday. Boredom settling in rapidly.

What’s on your Sidebar?

Those of you running Windows Vista – what’s on your Sidebar? What gadgets can’t you live without?
(Blatant steal: I got this idea from Sean Alexander’s blog post: [Top 10 Sidebar Gadgets](http://www.seanalexander.com/2007/05/21/Top10SidebarGadgets.aspx).)

On my work computer:

* [Traffic by Live Search](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=d5ad423c-05bd-4de4-8803-b05ecc339397&bt=1&pl=1) showing horrible Seattle traffic
* [MSN Gas Prices](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=edc14bc5-72f5-4e0d-b761-5a765408f67b&bt=1&pl=1)
* [Live Search](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=9107a4f7-531d-4b22-81fa-c310cbb19072&bt=1&pl=1)
* Stock Ticker (default)
* Today Is (default)
* [Outlook Tasks](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=ef27c368-814f-49d5-8167-603dfec628cd&bt=1&pl=1)
* [Package Tracking](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=dea59ce1-e61b-42d6-a8a0-a901724c87f7&l=1)

I hate web spam…

I really hate web spam. Since I used to run [Movable Type](http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype) here, lots of spammers used to hit up /mt/mt-tb.cgi and /mt/mt-comments.cgi to try to auto-spam my blog. I’ve been running [Wordpress](http://www.wordpress.org/) for (checks archives) nearly 3 months now, and I’m still seeing it.

Today, I was checking out my [Mint](http://www.haveamint.com/) statistics, and I noticed I had some really spammy-looking [outclicks](http://code.jalenack.com/archives/outclicks-pepper/) from my [photo gallery](http://www.marius.org/gallery/). Turns out spambots on in “t3h internets” are spamming my comments in there too, so I’ve disabled Gallery comments now.

Sigh. I wish someone would come up with a [TypeKey](http://www.sixapart.com/typekey/)/[LiveID](http://get.live.com/getlive/overview)/[OpenID](http://www.livejournal.com/openid/about.bml) system that actually worked and was well used, so comments could be better managed.

(ed. note: now that I’ve written all that, there’s a lot of links up there. And it looks spammy. How ironic and lovely.)

Big Green Egg: Pork Loin Roast

Pork Loin

Today, I fired up the [Big Green Egg](http://www.biggreenegg.com/) for its inaugural run. We tried a recipe off the BGE website – [Mr. Toad’s Pork Loin](http://www.biggreenegg.com/recipes/pork/mrToadsPorkLoin.htm). I had a 5 pound pork loin roast, followed the directions in the recipe, and threw it in the egg at 300 degrees. About 3 hours later, the pork hit 140 degrees. Done.

We pulled it off the pit, let it rest for 15 minutes, and then ate. Wow. Good stuff. I think I’m trying brisket next week! 🙂

New Grill! I’m an “egg”head!

After reading several reviews on the web, and getting inspired by a [co-worker](http://www.seanalexander.com/2006/09/05/LaborDayBBQMeetsTechWizardry.aspx), I decided to buy a new grill. And I’ve eschewed the propane tank forever.

I bought a [Big Green Egg](http://www.biggreenegg.com/) from [Thompson’s Hearth & Home](http://www.thompsonshearth.com/bbq.htm) in Issaquah. This thing is a beast! Tips the scales at over 140 pounds, and I can’t wait to get it fired up… Which, will sadly have to wait until next weekend at the earliest. Stupid [wisdom teeth](http://www.marius.org/2007/05/09/a_long_day.php).

At any rate, I outfitted my large green egg with a [BBQ Guru](http://www.thebbqguru.com/) [Competitor](http://www.thebbqguru.com/bbqProductDetail.cfm?prodID=229) kit, complete with a 10CFM blower; and a few other [accessories](http://www.biggreenegg.com/bgeacc.htm): egg nest and egg mate.

The guys at [Thompson’s](http://www.thompsonshearth.com/) were awesome: Les helped me out the day of my purchase (his job was easy — I had done my research), and he noticed my Texas car dealership sticker on the back of the Murano. He asked where in Texas we were from, and, as it turns out, he also went to [Texas A&M](http://www.tamu.edu/). While we loaded up the boxes, we talked about things in Aggieland, food that we miss, and local sites in Bryan/College Station. He threw in (as standard fare) a 20 pound bag of charcoal and some BBQ seasoning, and as we were leaving, threw in another set (“I’ve gotta take care of my fellow College Station people”).

We got home a few hours later, and I realized that we forgot to load the egg nest into the car. I checked their website today, and they’re closed on Sundays, so I figured I’d call and leave a message. The owner ends up answering the phone (I think they forward the phone), and I explain the situation to him and that I’ll come by on Monday to pick it up. He says that he’ll be in Issaquah for a bit, and can go into the store and leave the missing box out in the back of the store. Talk about awesome service.

Ok, back to reading more about the grill.

A long day

Today started out fairly normal and as planned, but it went downhill.

As I sit here, my arms are bruised. My jaw is fairly numb. I have 4 teeth less than I had this morning. I’m on pain medication.

It sounds drastic, but, yeah, I got my wisdom teeth removed this morning. First time ever that I’d been under anesthesia, first time to have to get an IV in the old arm vein, first time to have teeth extracted. It’s been a day of firsts, and I’m ready to get through the next two weeks so I can start eating normal food again. 🙂

Luckily, I’ve got Diann here helping out, even with the gross stuff that comes with this (mmm bloody gauze pads). Best. Nurse. Ever.

Grey’s Anatomy

So, tonight’s episode of [Grey’s](http://abc.go.com/primetime/greysanatomy/index) … sucked.

I hope [ABC](http://www.abc.com/) puts the spin-off thing up to a vote, cause the whole Los Angeles bit seemed awkward, forced, and contrived. I’d vote no, and the other 7 or 8 people I watched it with said the same. Some of them even left early to go to sleep, that’s how awful it was.

[update: [Jenn](http://realmccoy.spaces.live.com/), the party host from last night, [agrees that the new episode sucked](http://realmccoy.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!3B09599082A824!187.entry).]

Oil Changes and Wireless

I love it when I take my car somewhere to get an oil change, and they have wireless. Kudos to [Nissan of the Eastside](http://nissanoftheeastside.com/Default.aspx) in Bellevue.

And, as bonus points, they at least used WEP encryption. (Yes, I know WEP isn’t perfect, but it’s better than the Nissan dealership I used to go in Texas that just had an open network)

Yay!