Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Cooking Geer

Well since my recent post about Pit Envy a couple of weeks ago I have been on a mission to get a new pit. As I mentioned, as much as I love the Backwoods Smokers, the idea of getting back to cooking with logs on an offset style cooker was very appealing to me.

So a few things fell into place... One was we won the New Paltz contest and took in a bit of prize money. I also was able to sell my two Backwoods Fatboys and my CargoPro 5x8 trailer in short order. My teammates were completely behind the idea, especially after my barage of 'pit porn' pictures I have been sending them on a daily basis.

So, I put a call into Jamie Geer at Jambo Pits and put a down-payment on a trailer pit. Jamie has been great to work with so far. It looks like he will finish my new pit in December so I'm starting to plan a road trip to TX. Haven't finalized colors or options but its going to be similar to this cooker.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Garden Cooking

The garden is starting to look pretty good. Basil/herbs look outstanding... tomatoes just OK. I think we have had too much rain for a good tomato harvest this year. Sunday night did some cooking straight out of the garden on the egg... Made some pesto, grilled some zucchini, picked some cherry tomatoes and grilled off a nice piece of swordfish. Was a very nice meal out on our deck with a bottle of wine or two...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pit Envy

Over the past 10 years I've owned quite a few different smokers and grills... Langs, Backwoods, Webers, Big Green Eggs. I've currently whittled things down to 1 BGE and 2 Backwoods Fatboys. Pretty optimal equipment for what I need. The BGE is renowned for it's versatility handling everything from pizza, to high temp steak searing, to slow and low. Ideal for cooking at home for my family. And the Backwoods are perfect when I need extra capacity cooking a contest or for a crowd of friends. Both are well insulated so I can use them 365 days a year in New England.

Practical right?

Well I'm itching for a new toy. I guess you could call it Pit Envy. I've had my eye on stick burners from both Horizon and Meadow Creek. I do like to play with fire. My charcoal cookers are so 'set it and it and forget it' I no longer have an excuse to hang out in the yard and tend to the cooker. And of course since the stick burner needs tending every hour I'll need to be equipped with a comfortable recliner and a cooler of cold beer.

So amongst all of the smokers I covet two stand out today. One is from the largest producer of charcoal grills - Weber. The other is more of an artisan producer - Pits by Jambo. Guess which one I can afford?

What both Manufacturers have recently announced is new availability. WSM groupies have been clamoring for a larger version of this cooker for years. There are also rumors of 26" charcoal grill as well. The new 22" WSM should be available by the end of the year and hopefully I'll see one under my Christmas Tree.

Jamie Geer of Pits by Jambo has built beautiful, custom, off-set trailer smokers for some of the top teams in the country including Smoking Triggers and Cool Smoke. Recently after a 3 year hiatus Jamie announced he is building pits again. I haven't figured out how to fund a purchase of one of these beauties yet, but I'm working on it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Celebratory Dining

Jenny and I are turning 40 in a few months. ::gasp::

We of course are using this event as an excuse to spend a lot of money on a good time.

New Orleans JazzFest has been discussed. I'm partial to investing in a once in a lifetime dining experience. Alinea in Chicago has been on my radar as well as Per Se in Manhattan.

One of my favorite bloggers, Beef Aficionado, just posted a most excellent and thorough review of Per Se here. It certainly peaks my interest and also someday I hope to be able to incorporate the word salubriousness into one of my posts. Now I just have to convice my wife that an other-worldly meal at Per Se is worth dropping a grand on!