Wednesday, 8 April 2015

An Easter miracle - the dead is reborn

I'm not ashamed to admit that the only thing Easter means to me is a four day weekend, however Easter 2015 served up a miracle of sorts in the form of a rebirth. 

It has truly changed my life.

This is our old oven that was crucified by a dodgy thermostat about 3 months ago. 

Three days...three months, it's sort of the same thing. I didn't put it in a tomb and roll a boulder in front of the door, I did the lazy thing and shoved it in the corner of our back yard and draped a tarp over it.

This is a dead chook and the belly of a dead pig, bathing in brine.
a 2 day bath, the lazy buggers
The extra long weekend gave me the time to conjure the spirit of LaGermania and perform some oven-meat-smoker-metamorphosis. With some advice from my chef-trained computer programmer friend (what an awesome combination), we set some BBQ bricks on fire and sprinkled hickory chips over the top, managed to maintain a temperature of between 60-90 degrees Celsius and shoved the chook and pork in to get a smokey baptism. 

Two hours later the chicken was done, and given the truly magical fattiness of the pork belly, it metamorphisized from a big slab of belly into a magical slab of smokey deliciousness over six and a half hours.
looks a bit wrinkly, but was surprisingly moist and tasty

a bit of maple syrup added some colour and sweetness

I was forced to attend church every Sunday until the age of 17. I hold a deep, almost serious grudge against my parents for this mild form of child abuse. Not just because Sunday school was a complete waste of time, but because they decided to stop going to church after me and my siblings moved out of home. What pricks. 

No, I'm not completely serious. I love them dearly, but we all have things from our childhood that we would rather have avoided, truly soul-scarring or not.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend with people you love. Mine was eerily quiet, given my wife and kids were interstate, but it included a fishing trip, preparing and eating my first taste of steak tartar, a chance to write a bit of bullshit here, and this Easter miracle. 

Life is good. 

All the best.


  1. Hi Chips - glad to hear life is good. Eddie is quite envious of your fishing trip ..... but we hope to do some lake fishing soon, the weather here in the UK is getting much warmer and we are fair weather fishermen........

    Food on your 'old oven' looks great

    All the best Jan

  2. Your meats look delicious! I often make a rabbit stew for Easter just because somehow in US it is the animal which is associated with the season, but not as a food. Unlike you, I didn't get any religious upbringing, if you don't count for it a communism-building bs at school and on TV, but no one believed in it back then anyway. However my native country is slowly but surely accepting dogmas of Orthodox Christianity as new state ideology together with chauvinism and nationalism. Probably soon they will be teaching children at school that Earth is flat during the new school subject "foundations of ortodox christian moral". Makes me less homesick.

  3. Hi Chips, I'm going to have to stop reading your meat cooking posts because they make me drool all over my keyboard. I sympathise with your irreligious experiences having endured a similar series of tortures. I also regularly smoke pork belly in my old Weber with redgum sawdust or scraps of oak or whatever else is lying around.

    It's amusing how the christian church has taken over the saxon/germanic festivities celebrating the dawn-goddess Eostre (patron saint of Oestrogen). A time of the year which was celebrated with great feasting.

    Here's what the venerable Bede had to say:
    Eostur-monath, qui nunc Paschalis mensis interpretatur,
    quondam a Dea illorum quæ Eostre vocabatur,
    et cui in illo festa celebrabant nomen habuit

    Pagan habits die hard. Keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks Jan, Galina and Passthecream. I didn't think it was possible to tire of pork belly, but after 3 days of it, I had to freeze it in batches for another time. A heathen and a quitter.

    PTC, I had a rough idea where they pinched Christmas from, but had no idea about Eostre. Thanks.

  5. It is possible to smoke food too much. Sometimes it is better to spend most of the time just cooking it and then smoke it for a little while at the end.

    Instead of brining I put the pork in a zip lock bag with either plain coarse salt or alternatively: 1/2 tsp white pepper, 2 tsp ground coriander, 1tsp aniseed or fennel seed, 1tsp cumin seed, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1tsp chili flakes ,1/2 tsp ground mustard, 2 tsp paprika, 1/2tsp garlic granules and about a tablespoon of coarse salt all rubbed in and left it in the fridge for about 24 hours. ( give it a rub every few hours.) If I can't be bothered firing up the weber I wrap it in alfoil and cook in a slow oven until it reaches about 80' inside.


  6. this ticks all the boxes:


    1. It certainly does, C.

      I used to follow the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, mostly for the amusement factor, however I had to excommunicate myself for the obvious reasons.