Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dad's BBQ Pork Micro Style

Gez. No post since January.  

Gee, dude ur phat and lazy for sure.  There is a good reason(s) but I digress. 

Years ago, I had a party and wanted to BBQ a pork shoulder.  So, I asked my Dad for his red meat rub recipe ”formula”.  What I got was, “Hmm, Son I’ll make you some”.   In typical dad fashion, not only did he deliver the rub but also showed up to watch the progress. “What is that?...Where is your mop son?...Didn’t I teach you how to make a decent mop for the mopping sauce? thermometer, how do you keep the coals at the right temperature?  You need more mesquite!”  Sigh… I guess that is how you learn.

Anyway, last week my friend invited me to this party at a private beach house and I volunteered to make a BBQ pork shoulder.  FYI Guam more so that the rest of the US thinks BBQ is grilling.  There are two decent BBQ place here but the rest are just grill masters.  So, here I am in Guam with no BBQ smoker to my name and yet I have volunteered to do real BBQ.   Task one find pork shoulder; Payless nope, California mart nope, Cost-u-less nope, Island Fresh nope.  I just default to a small picnic butt that will work best cause like I said I don’t have a real smoker neway.

Basic Red Meat Rub
Rubbed to be forgotten
Next step was the rub.  Pretty easy except I ended up buying some really large jars of spices.   I think I’m gonna make a big batch of rub to give some small jars away for Christmas presents.   Proceeded to prep the meat just like Dad schooled me.  Scored the meat fat side in diagonal criss-cross fashion then rubbed down the   pork the day before and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.  The rub was a simple mix chili powder, garlic salt and onion powder, brown sugar, plus some other secrets.  I “Rubbed it and forgot it” overnight in the fridge. LOL.
Mopping Sauce w/Mop
Just a paragraph about the mopping sauce.  Saw some BBQ show on TV that used apple cider instead of apple cider vinegar with the red pepper flakes so I tried it.  Well 50/50 mix of cider and vinegar.  And yes Dad had I had real mop just didn’t shred a white tee-shirt.   Next time I’ll stick with apple cider vinegar…smile it is better.  I think you need the vinegar to offset the alkali of the pepper in the mopping sauce, it also adds a tangy flavor.


Any real BBQ master would have looked at my grill and walked away, Dad included.  It is a cheap (less than $15.00) home depot special.  It doesn’t even have a bottom vent.  In one word it sucks but did that stop me?  Hells no.  proceeding fearlessly.  Found this bamboo charcoal that is the shit.  The stuff burns even and well. The stuff is square and comes in a box…how weird is that.  Locally there is a wood called tangan-tangan that’s a great smoking wood.  The stuff grows all over the island except in Home Depot, so I bought a small bag of mesquite.  Talk about lazy -  in fact locals would argue that it took more effort to go to Home Depot than to walk to the nearest vacant lot and just cut some tangan-tangan down but, hey obviously I’m not local.  Last grille note is that I also used a small aluminum drip pan in the base of the grille, since it doesn’t have a bottom outlet.  Because I didn’t want the mopping sauce to smother the coals and mesquite.

Offset lid to for airflow
Ok so the next day comes and I really don’t fell like spending all day mopping and BBQ’n.  Wake up early to get started , fart around and the next thing I know it is 2pm.  Egad so I finally light the coals and the pork is cooking nice and slow by 3-3:30pm.  Good thing I didn’t find a pork shoulder I would have been mopping till 2am.  With no lower vent to control, I used the lid and just cocked it on top leaving about a ¾” offset to allow air to the coals.  All throughout the day I feed charcoal and mesquite chips through the grille.  Sometimes I had to slide the grill and meat over to get the larger chucks of wood and charcoal in, precarious but doable.  Caution - my maximum bed of coal was maybe 6” in diameter so need to be very tuned to micro fire management.

See the drip pan?

That is it! Tend fire, mop, rotate, tend fire, mop rotate…repeat till the meat is tender.  Don’t forget the KFC is the best with BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.  Oh yeah, the party was cancelled! 
All done at about 1am

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So the adventure continues....

This Thanksgiving I went to Japan on a whim.  I must say that going to Japan by oneself and not knowing a lick of Japanese wasn’t the smartest thing to do.  The target destination was a place called Fuefuki in Yamanashi prefecture.   A town in the middle to the world renown Japanese grape region.   How did I pick this region??  Friend I met on Guam was working there so figured I’d go visit. 

Grape vineyard in the center of town

Grapes on the vine
OK, some background info on Fuefuki it looks like a nice inland valley that in my opinion could have been a swap at one time (lots of water/storm drains everywhere).   I think in the late sixties bubbling hot water came up thru da ground so now the place is a mecca of Japanese bathhouses along with being the fruit including wine grape region of Japan.  

Well apparently the same weekend as the US Thanksgiving Holiday was some Japanese national holiday..long story short, all of the hotels were booked for the weekend….fuck it I went anyway.  Wine country why not?  It was beautiful the weather was like August at home but dryer.

Getting there was easy.  I had a Delta ticket that was due to expire on the 31st of Nov.  so I used it.  Business class to Japan, Oh yeah Baby!  The sad part is I don’t/can’t drink like I used to so the few glasses of champagne didn’t make the upgrade worth it.  At the airport, everybody speaks plausible English so finding the right bus line to Fuefuki was easy.   You could also take the train, but the trip has about 4 transfers with a few minutes between to find the right train.  I figured bus - no transfer - straight trip.  So far easy Parcheesi.  I passed thru the Yasmanashi Tunnel about a week before it collapsed whew!

So my friend meets me at the bus station and takes me to this hotel that at least has a room for Thursday and as luck would have it there was a cancellation..wooo hooo.  Lodging was solved for the four days I was there.  The next day I set out to explore.  It was pretty cool though I didn’t do any bathhouses…hello I don’t even enjoy hot tubs and sitting around with a bunch of men in sulfur fumed water just wasn’t interesting.  This place was clean.  Guam is dirty. Why so many Japanese tourist go to Guam is beyond me.

Trip Highlights

1. Went to this family restaurant and ordered from the pictures what I thought was chicken.  What I got was the cartilage tips at the end of chicken breast.  It was weird, they had a sliver of meat and chicken skin.  The order was about ten 1-1/2” pieces.  The place had little inset gas-fired hibachi’s that let you cook the food.  This is easy -  I cooked those bad boys till they were crunchy, then shootz it was all good.

2. Shopping hmmm, well Japan was a little colder than Guam and I needed a jacket/coat.  So I hit the mall and a few clothing stores hoping to find some warmth.  Damn I’m not the biggest dude but the XL, and XXL’s where too small??  I guess I didn’t see the big and tall store.  Neway, I find a vest that is tight but hell, it’s a down vest on sale a size XXL.  A bit later, back at the hotel I notice the snaps and zipper are on the wrong side.  Apparently I have a woman’s XXL (hey it was on the men’s rack, how am I s’posed to know?).  I swear to God I didn’t see any Japanese women that weekend that would even remotely be a XXL.  Thinking about it I’m not sure I have ever seen a size XXL? 

3.       Fuefuki has a bargirl Karaoke district which isn't much different than what is in Guam.  It is funny the places in Asia that I have been, there are always no local women.  I must go to the "non-local" places.  This one  joint had a high yen “bingo” game in the back?  I think the term bingo was lost in translation.   OK so the next night I went looking for a Jazz club and saw this club called “Night and Day” a piano bar.  Can’t go wrong with that, Cole Porter and Frank Sinatra right?   It was cool owned by this older Japanese guy ….that spoke English yea!  Lol he made me sing a karaoke song (nope no jazz slightly misleading) I selected Johnny Cash, but when  Helen Reddy “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” came up Tak throws me the mic and says sing while he accompanied me on the piano.  Needless to say, I have a new song in my karaoke repertoire.  They were great ppl, warned me to be careful walking home and then sent a bottle of local wine to the Hotel. 

Ok so it is time to leave and catch the bus back to Narita.  That was the most difficult part of the trip.  We go to the train station and ask about bus tickets because it is also a bus stop.  No luck at the train station info booth.  No English but my friend knows Japanese so we get a number to call for the bus line.  He he I call the number later and we communicate only just enough for me to understand that the woman on the other end of the phone cannot speak English. 

OK no problem I got this.  Next step Google translate Bus to Narita and ask the desk clerk to help.  

Done! I have reservations but no ticket.  With a reservation, you have to go to the convenience store with a ticket kiosk.  

I handed the clerk the paper with reservation confirmation number for him to operate the kiosk (which is all in Japanese)  after the BAS vs BUS spelling incident I finally have a ticket.  With ticket in hand the Bus/Plane trip back to Guam was without incident.

Friday, August 10, 2012

GM#2 - Another try at the ginger martini

So the other day I’m at the California Grocery store (Guam is funny the Korean Grocery store is called California ?) and saw these awesome humongous ginger roots. Yes indeed!! This is an omen to have another try at ginger martinis. Honestly, what else do you do with ginger roots that big? Anyhoo G-Daddy buys two big ass roots of ginger.

This time is going to be different. I’m gonna do it right.

Step two Grab some cheap rum, Virgin Island rum from St. Croix. No good dark rum on Guam, but last time that made the martini’s too dark. This time we are going for appearance, presentation, and taste. Gez, I just can’t do white rum it has no flavor.

Step three. Get a juicer, ain’t none of this silver bullet pint sized food processor action like last time. I borrow a juicer from a friend of a friend and proceed to burn the unit up. Hmm… I guess ginger was a bit dense for that juicer, seriously what a major mess. The feeder housing dropped into the grinding wheel and then plastic shavings got all into the juice. Then, I tried to use coffee filters to strain the slurry, the fines in the mix just clogged the coffee filter. Note from attempt GM #1. I did look for cheesecloth lol saw it the next day at the store, have now for GM#3

Repeat step three. This time I don’t full around - I buy a juicer. None of this Hamilton Beach plastic crap. I go with the Jack LeLanne’s Power Juicer Pro with special extraction technology, designed for performance and taste “as seen on TV”. This baby is stainless steel construction with a way better/bigger motor, and yes I did peal the ginger first. Holy cow!! The juicer 2000 did the trick. I’m all for high extraction technology.

Yield, three potion bottles of ginger syrup. That seems to be the default value. Kmart had the really cool stopper bottles. Last time I had to drink three bottles of sake for the bottles.

I also used white sugar, but I didn’t simmer the mixture for very long, just enough to dissolve the sugar. Mistake I had semi-sweet ginger juice but, not ginger syrup.


Equal parts ginger syrup and rum. Mix in shaker filled with ice and serve in chilled martini glasses. The result was mixed (lol yes I was being punny). I personally thought the drink was too gingery, that in itself wasn’t a bad thing. Next time though I think I’ll rim the glasses with sugar. Still can get the color looking like something you really want to drink. The muddy browny yellow just isn’t that appealing. Need to get the MIHOTT opinion on that.

Conclusion, drinkable but nobody asked for another.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What I Got in Hawaii

While in Hawaii I wanted to get some artwork or something to remember the experience.  Problem was I also wanted something practical and functional.  Eureka, how about ukuleles.   Man,  Craigslist is the place for get ukes on Oahu.  So on the Big Island koa trees grow with really good grain, ukes with koa bodies have a nice deep rich sound.  haha I hear you people..."Yo G, do you know how to play ukulele".  Well, dat aint da issue I'm workin on the playin stuff.

Kimo Jones #247
Koa w/ebony frett board. Haven't figured out a name for his fella yet.  This is the only one that I brought new on-line.   I think the guy is in Kialua but, not sure?    

King Kamaka

Full name King Koa Kamakamaka.  Oh yeah,  this baby is strung with a low G which is perfect to bring out the rich sound of the koa.  Got him from a guy in Mililani, he also threw in a little amp.   You could tell he was sad letting it go, was moving on I guess.  Never showed me the uke he was keeping.

Mango Baby

Mango Baby is injured,  Segundo dropped her and she needs to be fixed.  Needless to say I'm not happy.  She is a Tangi concert w/ebony frett board.  Tangi, he has stopped making ukes.  She has a really bright sound with an internal pick-up.

Blondi Blonde

Ok,  so one could say I have a thing for tall blondes.  Blondi is big and I have no clue what type of wood she is,  perhaps a tiger maple but I think the grain pattern is too tight.  The deal went down in the Ala Moana Mall parking garage.  I left the Koa Boyz and Baby at home, only have Blondi here in Guam.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Guam Breadfruit

Hey ho

Long time no post, well quick update I'm in Guam. Interesting place lots of ppl in denial...I mean hopeful that U.S relocation from Okinawa will happen. More on that later. Been here for almost three months saw my first tree snake the first month. Ain't seen one since. Well, just up the street is a bread fruit tree. So I had to try cooking one.

Well, after looking up how to cut and peel in the internet I fried that puppy up. The long and short of it is breadfruit is pretty bland. Very starchy like plantains, I used butter and had to cook on a low heat, just soaked up the butter. Next time I'll try peanut oil and a higher heat. seasoning is the key, I kept it simple celery salt and pepper but easily could have gone the sugar, cinnamon...sweet route.

There u got it just a quick update on the Guam thing. I need to get more active through, so next on the plan is to find a dive buddy. Got the dive gear here so I gotta use it. I also owe a Guam summary ... s'plain the denial comments

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November KAF Update

Ok it is past time for another KAF update. G-Daddy is done with the “Hawaii Project” final close –out has been a bitch and I’m free. Here is the Kick Ass November summary.

11/1 – I left Hawaii for Troy Michigan to visit USNCB Force. Had a great time cept lil’Ricky chewed my glasses. Spent week visiting The Force with 2 of those days in Lansing visiting KC. Highlight was the Motown records museum. OMG The Force dives like crazy in motor city. Egads I washed my cell phone. OMG it is impossible to buy an unlocked cell phone anymore.

11/5-11/6 Hungout with old college friend in Lansing MI. It was great lol we hit a couple of bars downtown. Dude is from Wasilla so we had great fun talkin about Sarah and the state of American politics.

11/8 – Fly to ATL and pick up big sis’s car. Start road trip to Emerald City. Met The Adventure (TA) in Atlanta. The car condition was a questionable 1996 C220 with 256,000+ miles. Lol my brother was posed to meet me but that didn’t happen. I had to pay the 200 bucks to get it out of hawk from big sis’s mechanic….arrgh family. Car condition summary after the mechanic “looked it over”. One trash bag of garbage and misc items for donations, gas gauge doesn’t work, gas leak somewhere, turn signal not working, no licensed plate lights, coolant leak somewhere. The overall male opinion is “sis sell the car”. Neway the GREAT ROAD TRIP had started. Gas gauge solution, use the trip odometer and only drive 300 miles between fill ups. Get this TA had a plane ticket to AZ based on the condition of the car just in case.

11/9 – Start of the GREAT US ROADTRIP Atlanta to Seattle 3700 miles with a side bar to Sierra Vista, AZ. First, leg ALT to HSV and met some friends of TA there. Car did OK so we pushed it to Florence AL. Hmmm weird noise started like sirens couldn’t determine where it was coming from. The take the back roads off the plan and now we need to stay on the interstate total lack of confidence the car will make it.

11/11 – Tried to contain TA’s geocaching addiction but that didn’t happen. Hit Texarkana with a geocaching vengeance, found 4. Met an interesting local(?) that gave us the town summary. The old railroad depot was vacant so of course we had to check it out, alas there was nothing of interest. Did find a house worth painting. Was hoping the travel/any from work would revise the watercolor urge but had/has nothing. Texas is huge took three days to get across that place. Figured out the gas leak/smell, it happens whenever the gas tank is filled too fast. Saw my first wind farm, I want one. Visited friends of AT’s outside of Dallas, she knows ppl everywhere.

11/13 – Get to TA’s place in Sierra Vista on Saturday did laundry and “rested” B4 the second half of the trip. Rested means ripped up living room carpet, mounted flat screen TV on wall, fixed bath lavatory drain, installed wireless router. Man was that rejuvenating.

11/15 - Hit PHX for CO2 capture burner mtg. Been talking with this friend of mine about being a PM for several coal and oil fired power plant burner replacement projects, for like almost 5 years. Come to find out the “investor” is waiting for the Mexican Government to redeem some 1913 Govt. Bonds lol roflmao… OK it may turn out but, I’m a little less confident it will happen. As my friend would say we should know by tomorrow…

I was also to meet a man about a solar panel/farm idea of met. My idea - The solar panel COOP farm, a simple plan. Buy some land, let ppl buy shares in the COOP, share in this case means PV solar panels. It is like this, most ppl don’t want to put panel on their house. Typically, old houses aren’t designed to incorporate several 3’x7’ solar PV panel arrays on the roof. The utility company will only let residential owners use the roof-mounted equipment to offset the utility cost. Hell in Hawaii, the electric company is claiming that to many residential installations will destabilize the grid WFT?? The total “collective” can sell the power generated to the utility company at peak cost and all of the members can benefit (meaning a monthly check) from the sale of power. The PV farm COOP can support a battery storage/inverter station so the grid stabilization think isn’t a factor. lol yeah I’m looking to buy some desert land in AZ near a power transmission lines hopefully for real cheap. Well that is an entire BLOG entry in itself.

11/16 – Well the second half of the trip had to pick-up the speed. So headin north yuk worst hotel of the trip was come rundown casino outside of Las Vegas. Barstow smells and looks really rough, the passenger side turn signal flew out of the car and the lens cover separated and flew over the roof. Amazing enuff it didn’t break or get run over by a semi tractor-trailer. Had some shipping tape in the car and ghetto’d the bad boy right-up. The coolest things on the California portion; 20 mule train BORAX mine (would have asked for the tour but, I just taped the turn signal back on the car), viewing the freight train on the Tehachapi Pass Loop, looking towards Death Valley, the orchards, Corning for olives and virgin oil.

11/17 – Oregon, sis’s lil car on the mountain, it was tough. But it did OK until Portland, it was raining cats and large dogs, the check engine light comes on, the add coolant light comes on. Lost all confidence in the car…call all my friends and family in Seattle and put the warning out that if the car dies in route send help.

11/18 - Lesson learned is dat sis’s little car don’t like to be pushed. After a nights rest, can of oil, and more antifreeze it purred into Seattle just fine. Had enough time for TA to geocach at the old Olympia brewery birthplace of Oly Pop!. Saw Aunt, Uncle, cousins and old college friend. Spent the night at D&S’s place, smile I actually “jammed” with D on guitar and, me on my ukulele lmao. I guess I learned something in Hawaii.

11/19 – Whew! dropped the car off at the shipping place and caught the plane home. Landed in ANC, it was 8 degrees F. Segundo picked me up at the airport. WTF, who leaves Hawaii to go home to ANC in the middle of the winter?

11/26- Took Segundo to Juneau to visit Primo and his GF. Primo cooked dinner at his roommates hse (not GF but, an older woman with young daughter). Great food, he slow roasted the turkey, it was a good time. We geocached the day after it was a good time. Lesson learned quit drinking with children, Primo is an angry drunk. New worries as a parent, oh well it never ends.

Well woo hooo it is good to be home. I have tickets to the AIFF and my birthday is coming up. Lots of house stuff to do. Let the rumpus begin. Christ I need to figure out what is next, again that is another BLOG entry also.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

KAF Update

Sorry for the lack of post all. Not that I haven't been having fun but project close-out has been a bitch. So I guess fun has been under achieved. However, I did go to the Big Island on Labor Day. A buddy of mine has taken it upon him self to document the health and location of Wiliwili trees on the island, freelance environmentalism. So we spent the afternoon hiking and locating these trees.

Mature tree, about 100 years old we figured??

Wiliwili tree seeds

Nice grove of trees.

The last groves of trees was a turkey roost, alas no turkey but we did find a turkey feather!

You could see/feel the spirit of this old tree, its is dying, note orange color.

Here is all of the pics from that day.