Month: July 2010

July 25, 2010
Following on my last BBQ experiment, I did a google on how feasible it is to retro fit my Weber Kettle with a grill thermometer. Note that I already have a meat thermometer, but the idea of the grill meter is to measure the actual temperature of the grill when using it with the lid on.

The current version of my grill comes with this fitted, and it seems there are lot of people who are drilling the lid of their old models and fitting a part obtained from Weber’s spares dept, or similar. However this means drilling through steel coated on both sides with porcelain enamel. As a result many people choose not to drill, but merely place the thermometer loosely clipped in the top vent hole. As the top vent is usually used only to put out the grill (temperature is controlled by opening and closing the bottom vent), this isn’t too bad a compromise.

July 24, 2010
I have just had my first attempt at pulled pork today, on the BBQ. It wasn’t completely authentic to the recipe I was using – instead of a “Boston Butt”, I used a small piece of pork shoulder that had been boned and tied (I removed the string before it went on the BBQ). I rubbed it with a dry mix I made up of sweet smoked paprika, brown sugar, sea salt, black peppercorns and cumin, then – after I cooked myself a couple of venison burgers for lunch – I put it into my kettle on a low indirect heat, with some soaked hickory chips.

I had completely forgotten to get ingredients for a mopping sauce (to baste the meat), so I improvised with a base of vinegar, with a chopped onion in it and some lea and perrins for flavour. I then left the shoulder to smoke, basting it every 45 minutes.

July 23, 2010
July 22, 2010
While the kitchen is being worked on, I have been making more use of my Weber BBQ Kettle. Last night I cooked a couple of burgers for my tea, but not wanting to waste a kettle full of charcoal, when I was finished, I moved the coals to the side, and put in a whole chicken on this contraption.

The idea is this – you open a small can of beer, and pour off half of it (hopefully into a glass). You then place the half-full can in the centre of the roaster. You sit the chicken on top, so that the can goes into the chicken cavity. This means that the bird is upright, with the legs hanging away from the body, so everything cooks well, while the beer (or, in my case, cider) inside heats up and helps keep the bird moist from the inside.

July 22, 2010
Tim and Nev have been with me all this week, and all the new units are in now, the sink is installed and plumbed, and all of the worktops are in place. There is still plenty to do (including tiling and painting), but already the kitchen is looking absolutely amazing, and I can see that I have almost doubled my usable cupboard space. Which, of course is the whole point of the exercise.

Something I didn’t mention before is in preparation for this work, I naturally had to empty out the kitchen of everything – pots and pans, crockery, cutlery, appliances and groceries. I never realised that I had so much in the kitchen – I have two large portable shelf units in the lounge stacked high my bookcase is crammed with tins and packets, and my conservatory has 4 large storage boxes full of bits and bobs.

July 19, 2010
July 16, 2010
Perhaps because it is on BBC Three, I haven’t heard much chatter about Mongrels – sometimes it seems as if I am the only one watching it.

If you haven’t seen it, it is a puppet show for adults (adult topics and swearing) about the animals that live “behind the bins”. It is also very funny. We are currently half way through the first series of 8 episodes, but all episodes shown so far are available on iPlayer.

July 8, 2010
July 5, 2010
July 4, 2010
Last week I posted about sun tea, and then learned of the possible health issues with leaving flavoured water in the sun all day.

Subsequently, I tried ‘s suggestion of the fridge method, simply putting a jug of cold water with a few teabags in the fridge overnight. I found that this method worked well with both tea and roibus, and the resulting drink was nice and clear, and clean tasting.

July 3, 2010
I discovered, who not only do online glasses including varifocals (like many other companies, it seems), but will actually allow you to pick up to 4 frames to receive as a 7 day “home trial”. Frames come with plain lenses, of course, but I think it’s an excellent idea.

They also do reglazing of existing glasses, and cheaper than Boots. However, I have decided to hang on to the (non-varifocal) specs I was thinking of getting reglazed as varifocal, as it seems such a waste – the lenses in them are still my prescription, as it is only the closeup/reading part of my eyesight that has changed.

July 3, 2010
I have been doing stuff around the house today – essentially packing all my books away, so the kitchen cupboards and shelves can be transferred onto the lounge bookshelves, in preparation for the great kitchen tear-down. However, I then need to put the books (and other junk) somewhere, which necessitated a major rearrangement of my box room to Tardis-like capacity. (Regular readers will know that I now have storage space in the loft, but that is for *organised* storage.

The only problem with this plan is that I have been at it all day, solidly. Despite a couple of attempts to be distracted, it turns out that almost everyone else is too busy today to blog (thanks to Paul, though!).