Monday, August 22, 2022

Time to bring back the Pitmaster

Not a Pitmaster yet, but going to work to that end!

Spent a couple hours putting my new smoker together, time to get ready for fall and cooler weather and get the porch and grilling area all set up for some outdoor delicacies!! I got inspired last Friday when I went over to the golf course and had some brisket off of the Three Blessings BBQ Trailer. It was very good, but I recall back in my Florida Days and my old smoker making brisket that was even better, so time to get the Smoker set up and ready.


A few months ago, I started gathering things to get back to smoking meat. When I was in St Pete, I had the exact same smoker and loved it and made some fantastic brisket, prime rib, tri-tip and Ribs...so I bought the same smoker, it has been sitting on my porch ready to assemble. I also got a double flat top griddle for my Camp Chef, I like the flat top griddle better than the BBQ Box, where things keep falling through the grill...love grilled vegetables and the flat top works better, steaks are just as good on the flat top - I really don't give a shit about grill marks...good meat and flavor is more important. 
More on that later. You will note the thermometer on the door is reading 100 degrees - little warm this morning.


Back to the smoker.



I dug up all my old rub recipe's and gathered large containers of spices. Bought an action packer to keep them all together.



Got a good selection of smoke chips and another action packer!


I also want to get into some sausage making, Weisswurst Sausage, Bratwurst, Bockwurst and any more I can discover, including smoked sausage like Summer Sausage. A while back a friend here in 29 made some amazing sausage from some old German recipe's from his grandfather who was a sausage maker in Germany. He was thinking of opening a sausage shop or small restaurant and after a few beers and some great sausage we determined the proper name would be as follows, so I made a logo for him.


Would have been so fun to say you had dinner at the Wurst Restaurant in 29 Palms. Sadly, as he was negotiating a lease for a small store downtown he went toes up, so that ended that. His wife dropped by a few copies of recipes for a couple of the sausages he made and we tried, so now it will be my turn...wish I was younger I would start up the Wurst Restaurant in 29 Palms!!

I bought a grinder and sausage stuffer, so this will be a learning experience.


I am looking forward to some new experiences and renewing some old ones - good smoked brisket, juicy, good bark and nice smoke, low and slow is my motto!!

Always more yet to buy - I have brine buckets and marinating tubs on order!

I suspect there will be a smoked turkey or two for Thanksgiving in the clubhouse!!

Stay Tuned!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Fry Day!!

 


It was time to try a different version of Jalapeno Poppers.

Years ago in Texas in a little seedy bar in Dallas, I discovered an item called Armadillo Eggs, they were fantastic and long forgotten, but with my new deep fryer, I thought it might be time to recreate Armadillo Eggs. I was reminded the other day watching Diners Drive-Ins and Dives!

So I gathered the ingredients, watched a few You Tube videos on various versions, every Texan has his own recipe. The one that most matched my memory is what I was determined to make.

Made my favorite stuffing!


Cream cheese,, Monterey jack and real bacon bits.

Stuffed the peppers!


Rolled out the sausage!


This did not work real well - bad You Tube suggestion just grab a wad of sausage and roll the pepper in your hand until it is coated, dirty hands but much faster.


As suggested I put these in the freezer for an hour!

Meanwhile pulled out a couple Vidalia Onions and got the onion rings ready!


Mixed up some waffle mix - Thanks Ralph Foore for the suggestion!


Tired and hot rather than get out bread crumbs and make more of a mess, just decided to use the remaining Waffle Batter!

ARMADILLO EGGS - My Version!!


Now the remaining peppers are in the oven!


Now time to sharpen up my Pitmaster Skills.

New outside porch table arrived and set up!


Time to set up my smoker!



Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"


Friday, March 4, 2022

My Trip to the Islands

 


First you have to pack and prepare!

So I called my friends at Key Largo Fisheries and arranged a shipment of some of my favorite seafood!

How about some Conch Fritter Mix!


Dug out the fry daddy!


Love those Fritters!


Gather a few friends!


Time to Travel

It looks to be a dark & Stormy night in Bermuda - a little Goslings Dark Rum, some Goslings Ginger Beer in a tall chilled glass!



Now travel down to the Florida Keys!

Add in those wonderful Conch Fritters


A few pounds of Fresh Florida Stone Crab and a bowl of Gulf Shrimp!


Add in some fresh Florida Lobster Tails!





Split and on the flatop Grill!


The trip back to the Islands was a wonderful Gastronomic Success!

Every year I enjoy a trip back in time to some of my favorite foods, place the order wait anxiously and then gather some friends and share the food and experience.

Always one of my Favorite Evenings!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Yes Bay Lodge ONCE MORE!!

 


I was invited By Kevin Hack to return to Yes Bay Lodge as a guest two years ago and with the Covid the Lodge did not open last year so the reservation was advanced to this year and last Friday the 23rd of July my good friend from Montana, Jim Flinchbaugh and I got on several planes and made our way to Ketchikan, Alaska then boarded a floatplane for the trip out to the Lodge. We had a small weather issue, the Lodge had a large group arriving at the same time and the plan was for me and Jim to ride along with all the luggage on a boat to the Lodge, however it was too rough for the boat to come in so the plane had to make multiple trips, Jim and I hung out at the new office and helped organize luggage then he and I flew out last with some luggage then the plane made one more luggage only trip, we got out to the Lodge about 3 pm local time, got fishing licenses, met our guide and in plenty of time for wonderful appetizers at the bar. By the way - hard enough for me to get to Alaska without lugging all my camera gear so took the small pocket Sony, pretty sure I have enough pics with the large camera....

Soon it was dinner time and lo and behold it was one of my favorites - Dynamite Halibut, rice and roasted vegetables!



It was wonderful and we met the new chef Gabe Guettich, who happens to be the Grandson of a long time guide at Yes Bay Lodge - Jim Bernard (Slice) for those who remember.

A few stories at the bar and the long travel day was over...

I neglected to get our first days dock picture but it was a very productive day - we got our limit of 12 salmon, limit of silver grey rock fish (2), the halibut eluded us!!

Day two we focused on halibut ALL Day and managed two small ones and our rock fish a pacific Cod and a salmon, and a few small Kings which had to be released, we also lost a real nice Silver Salmon right at the boat!!



Our second evening dinner was just as delicious as our first We had a tender filet mignon - Our third evening we had Ling Cod and it was so tender and moist a perfect meal!!


The weather cooperated very nicely, of course there was rain, welcome to the Southeast Alaska Rain Forest, but the wind stayed down and we had perfect fishing weather.


Our third and last day of fishing was a huge repeat of the first day - quickly got our limit of pink salmon and a couple nice Coho (Silver Salmon), our rock fish then spent the afternoon searching in vain for the larger halibut - we managed another small one...Our last evening dinner was White King Salmon, so we had the full Alaska assortment of food and Gabe did a wonderful job!


Long travel day yesterday and a wonderful 4 hour wait in Seattle that POS town waiting for our flight to Kalispell, got back in Kalispell at about mid-night, then off to bed!

A wonderful perfect return to Yes Bay Lodge, it was fantastic to make one more trip up to my all time favorite spot in the world!! Good Fishing, Great Friends, Superb Food!!

Thanks to the entire crew for making my return visit another memorable time at Yes Bay Lodge, the BEST Fishing Lodge in Alaska!


Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Friday, May 21, 2021

The Carvana Experience

 I'm a Soul Man!


Car Shopping

Been shopping for a newer car for quite some time...wanted something small, easy to get in and out of and decent mileage...went and test drove a Kia Soul at a small dealer here in 29, however it had a zillion miles on it and was dark blue and they wanted too much money, so started an online search and decided to check Carvana after seeing their TV Ads...


Well lo and behold I found a white one with low mileage and after a price check saw it was a good buy and decided, what the hell...well after I puchased and got the financing approved I found out the car was in Indiana and so I did a carfax and found it had been registered in Ohio and Indiana and knowing that both of those states use a mag/chloride slurry to de-ice the roads which creates instant rust, I canceled the order and got their chat help online and searched for another, found this one with less miles, a few hundred bucks more, same year and an Arizona car...BINGO!

I can see why online purchasing is catching on - no dealer haggles, high pressure shit to deal with, every car I ever bought took most of a day and evening as I walked out and returned and haggled and haggled, having grown up with my Mom working at Wallace Lincoln Mercury and I worked part time there and listened to the salesman stories, I always made the salesman and manager work to get my money...too old for that much fun anymore. This was way easier and if you do your homework and know a good price for the year, model and mileage, then find one that fits and hit enter!!

Twentynine Palms is out of their delivery area and wanted to charge me $500.00, but when I switched cars the delivery dept. got me on the phone and said if I can get it close will you go pick it up, of course I said how close - Ontario, CA - NO, Palm Springs - Maybe, how about Yucca Valley - 21 miles away - YEP - saved $500.00. Met at the post office, they dropped it, took a short drive and checked it all out...signed a few pieces of paper - gas tank was full and drove home!

The delivery!



The Drive Home!

My first concern was how peppy the car was, hating being behind a Toyota Prius getting on the highway, I did not want to feel like I had to pedal the damn thing, well it is peppy and fast and up to 50 or 60 in short order - car is totally silent, good A/C, radio and bluetooth and a sirius radio system which I need to investigate since there is not shit around here to listen to...very pleasant trip home, rear tires are like new, front still real good but a little less tread, something for my friend Dustin to check when I get to Montana...I'm Happy


HOME!!





Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Friday, December 11, 2020

Good friends and Florida Seafood!




Fun to get together with great friends and enjoy a ton of fresh Florida Seafood! 

GREAT FRIENDS!


Florida Stone Crabs 


Fresh Gulf Shrimp 


Grouper on the Griddle! 


Fresh Cole Slaw 


Twice baked potatoes 


A plate full! 


Chowin Down!! 


Always a great time with good friends and was more than happy to share! 

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest