On the road with CT

Brisket 101 Virtual Training with AC(Not Wharton)

Last week I was on a call with my peers who also sell double decker tour bus tickets to the tourists. The question was posed as to what we were doing over the Memorial Day Holiday. Not a lot of fun adventurous plans given the current environment but we are trying. AC(Not Wharton) informed us that she will be taking a maiden voyage with the smoker that she got her husband. She was asking for suggestions so brother S(squared) said that I should help her. Of course I would, I actually live for this kind of shit since I don’t have a grill of my own now.

AC(Not Wharton) and I had a quick conversation on Friday on the items that she needed to get prior the cook. We spoke about technique and how to prep the meat. It should be mentioned that AC(Not Wharton) practices Kosher Dietary with her family. I am always enthralled with other religions so it was interesting learning how the food had to be prepared. We were able to add some traditional BBQ Techniques and keep her still in the good graces with Temple. She and I agreed on Sunday and I told her to call me if she had questions.

So for you folks who don’t know how to smoke meat it can be intimidating. Add to that it being your first time using a smoker that has a layer of dust it’s daunting. I mean this can be down right frightening because you have put yourself out there and you can’t just paddle back in. Day of the cook AC(Not Wharton) calls me scared that she has already messed up because she didn’t dilute the Pineapple Juice marinade. It was here that I informed her that Rule Number one for Pitmasters; “Pitmasters never make mistakes, everything we do is calculated, planned, and or modified at the last minute if needed.” There is another golden rule that Brother Guido (a fellow teammate) says but it didn’t really apply here “Get them Drunk and Stall, Stall, Stall!

We get the wood chips on the hot coals, the Brisket on the smoker and we start checking hourly. Things are going well but I can get the sense that AC was feeling that smoking meat should be a on a time table like you cook in the oven. Here we learned another lesson on that you have to be subtle and always be reactive. No cook is the same. We get a two hours into the smoke and we are nearing the time to pull them off (a little early but that is fine, this smoker doesn’t have a bottom daisy wheel damper) and we wrap it in foil. As expected, we have to add more charcoal and we get the brisket singing in the foil.

I ended up going to the Commissioner to say hello to Brendan but AC(Not Wharton) sends me the pic of the finished product. What I like most about this was her feedback, she gets it.

  • “I didn’t Season it so well.” (we can also talk about injecting too)
  • “Tasted a little over seasoned.” (we can work on that, we can keep it simple and season it on the back end)
  • “Not a fan of the thin layer of Mustard to put on the brisket before we season it.” (Disclaimer to AC – I do that for Pork Ribs and I may have gotten that wrong. I don’t really cook Brisket like the Asian Fireman or Myron Mixon) We can use oil or the residual juice.
  • Wants to get a less lean Brisket next time. (We need to talk to the Asian Fireman on that)

Hey, I was pumped that she was happy with it. To cook a dish that you are unfamiliar with is hard. To prepare the dish on a cooking apparatus that you have never used before – That pretty incredible. But to do this and your teacher is in Brooklyn when you are on the island of Long…Get the F out of here!

What can I say, us New Yorkers are pretty resourceful and can pretty much do everything. Personally I can’t wait to come out and hang with AC(Not Wharton) and we do some whole chickens beer can style or Burnt Ends. Oh Burnt Ends are the Bees Knees! You are ok if I smoke a couple dozen cigars in your back yard right?

On her list of things she needed to get was a fire extinguisher. She didn’t have one so I told her to have some Flour handy in case we had a grease fire.
This is Battalion 9 in Manhattan that I am hoping I only ever get to see when they are getting provisions at my new Grocery Store.
I have Never Seen one of these before.
AC – Get you one of those Oven Thermometers next time you are at the store. You and I gauging the temp with the “How long can you hold your hand by the rack” needs to improve. I suspect that sucker went hot way too quickly but you and I recovered well.
Love the Bark (the dark crust) on that
You got some smoke ring in there. Like I told AC(Not Wharton) on text. The first one is in the books. So we learn what we like and what we don’t like and we do it again.
I am open on Sunday by the way…..
Yeah I boast that I am not on a BBQ Team but I am grooming AC for WCBCC.
Not sure how we can do that with Shabbat but we can figure something out.
So AC(Not Wharton) BACK STORY ON YOUR BLOG NAME – AC Wharton was a former Mayor of Memphis and I am having writers block coming up with your Blog nickname.

When I was down in Belize one year I organized a BBQ Sauce Contest all via a Message Board. I had one of the owner’s of a Bed and Breakfast get me some whole Chickens and I borrowed her Grill that is an old Butane Tank. We did Beer Can Butt Chicken. When the other owner and partner asked me if I had ever done this before I admitted to her –
Nope, I was flying by the seat of my pants. Thankfully it turned out great.

The faces were courtesy of Shuffles.

So Congrats AC(Not Wharton) we smoked a Brisket and didn’t burn up your backyard.

Welcome to your new addiction.

Just make sure we do this in the summer because that sucker is going to be a beast getting it to temp in the winter.

Oh and AC(Not Wharton) you have to name your smoker now. Its a Pitmaster Tradition.

I am proud of our Sunday Cooking project.

17 Hours In Memphis

You recall the Bourdain show called “The Layover?” This post is nothing like that.

So Ba (that would be my mother) celebrated 70 trips around the sun back in December. Ba decided that she would celebrate her party in 2020 as there was a bunch of stuff going on this past December. It was decided that they would do a joint party and have it in late February.

That was great in theory but we had already committed on attending family Christmas up in Northwest Arkansas the week of Valentines day. We explained to Ba that we could only make one event and we agreed to meeting at family Christmas. Ba sent us the invite to the party and it sat on our table for a couple of days. We decided that we would try to make a trip down for the party by rolling that Non-Rev dice and get in and out flying stand by.

Long story short, we got in town Saturday late afternoon, went to the party, went to bed, flew back to New York some 17 hours later after arrival. Now you may be wondering what was the big deal and why didn’t we stay later or longer. You see Geranium was in the middle of a in town/out town trip and we agreed that we would make this trip brief as possible. Also and one of the tricks to flying non-rev standby is that you have to take those early/late flights that nobody likes to fly unless they have to.

Anyway here are some pics and don’t get your noses our of joint Memphis folks. We will be back, we promise.

Flying out of EWR makes one have to take Mass Transit
Given that it is a quick trip we only had to pack the overnighter
So Far So Good, We got on the flight to Memphis. Thanks TQ!
When it is the same temp in NYC and Memphis one can break out the warm pants.
Do I see a box of Caviar on the Tarmac? Sorry Sam.
They were happy and mad at us that we didn’t tell them we were coming in town. She showed us, she ordered a couple cases of Geranium’s Maintenance wine.
The Birthday Girls
I didn’t take any pictures of the party. Anyway we missed the first return flight and were able to get on this sucker heading to LGA
Home with enough time to get Geranium ready for Miami on Monday
Happy Birthday Ba!

Like I said, it was a little painful but you only circle the sun 70 times and you have party to celebrate it.

Happy VD Folks!

Or as my friend SDS would say about February 14th. “Today is the only day that girls can dot their i’s with little hearts.” Anyway Happy VD to those of you who are standing on line for chocolates or flowers. Next to the rear entrance to our building is a European Wax salon. I wondered why that place was packed Thursday night.

Me I am waiting on Geranium to land so we can go have that fancy dinner at Eleven Madison Park. Anyway here are some pictures from the past couple of weeks.

They killed the Grease soundtrack!
Bowl from the Seattle Trip – That sucker cost a pretty penny
I got my fill of Mango and all kinds of other blended love
If you could read the mind of Maya it may say “if it is raining one more fucking time…….”
That Space Needle Thing!
Like I said the Chihuly Gallery is pretty freaking cool!

Have a good weekend folks!

A Trip to the Chihuly Gallery in Seattle

First off, I really suck at this blog thing in 2020 don’t I? Here we are VD week and I haven’t really done much on this thing. Well we have been kinda busy at work and if it wasn’t for damn RJ and Mal-o-rie making us go to Mexico last week I would probably be better. Who am I fucking kidding? I barely shower on the weekends when I am in Brooklyn….

So back when I was in the Pacific Northwest seeing Geranium we decided to get some culture on Sunday since we were kind of low key on Saturday. We decided to try out the Chihuly Garden and Art Gallery. If you are like me it sounded like Charlie Brown’s teachers voice because I wasn’t really sure who the fuck Dale Chihuly is or what medium he uses.

Let me spell it out for a coupe of you guys who are like me and don’t have room in your brain for this information. It is The Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas lobby glass chandelier guy. Now you know who I am talking about? Well apparently home slice lives in the Pacific Northwest and he has a gallery and garden with his hand blown glass pieces.

I am going to stop now because after we walked around the corner and saw the first piece it was amazing.

I Mean this thing is over 20 feet tall and is HUGE!
Close Up of the Intricacies. Like I said I was impressed
Some Type of Wild LSD Tripping Exhibit.
Again this place is great
Now I was a little impressed by this one!
Boat full of Glass!
From what I understand the ability to make this isn’t easy and almost impossible to re-create
The Outside Garden
Like I said it was some cool shit. Oh and that is Sunlight you see as it stopped raining for us on Sunday!

So if you have the chance to get to Seattle you need to give Chihuly Gallery a look. We did reward ourselves after the gallery and got some beer and food.

Trip to Rhode Island To See EGP

When we were in Memphis for Thanksgiving we ran into EGP, Cali-Sab and the Waffle House Girl. Since EGP and Cali-Sab had visited New York a couple of times we figured that it was only fitting that we return the favor and check out their University. Mind you I had tasked CS with letting us know when was a good time in the fall to visit but she saw something shiny and forgot. #OneJob

We decided that their Senior Swim Meet would be a fun time and we promised not to paint our chests and embarrass them. “You know you got to support the team” *David Puddy Voice It was a fun trip, we got to catch up before EGP graduates and then has to get her a RJ or grad school. We took Amtrak and let me tell you, that is the easiest way to travel. No security, All the seats are big and roomy and you can’t beat it. By the way that part of the country is very nice and we need to plan a trip up there in the warmer months. It was a tad chilly on the coast to say the least.

EGP’s Roomates and Dude in a Patriots Toque
Senior Speeches.
Momma Bear and Peanut
Pre-Match
EGP in action
Cali-Sab in action.
I felt safe knowing that the swimmers were safe with a Life Guard.
Geranium and I scored a Table in the Café for the return trip.

It was fun and great to see EGP, Cali-Sab and Waffle House Girl.

A Trip to the Pacific Northwest to See Geranium

Geranium finally got on the road and made her way back to the home office in Seattle for a week. This trip she had to work late on Friday so we decided I would come out and hang with her and some work peeps. I got into town Friday at lunch and made my way over to her office and confirmed it. They don’t work they eat Bon-Bon’s out there and that’s about it.

I am kidding and it was nice to put faces to all the names that I have heard over the past couple of months. Since I was there for only a couple of days we were planning on doing the traditional Seattle tourist spots. aka; Pike Market downtown and maybe a museum. It was a fun trip and we had a great time. I dig’d Seattle, it has a cool vibe to it and it rained everyday.

Us at the Iconic Public Market Center Sign
Where they Throw the Fish to and from
Hey KLC Man I think that you can get a cheaper price right?
What is this? This line is for Cheese? Stand On Line Geranium!
Mac and Cheese? Oh Hell Yes!
I will just stop here.

Like I said, Seattle is a cool little town. Sure it sucked because it rained but we will be back.

2019 in Review – What Did We Do Again?

On the back of the door in our apartment we have one of those old school calendars. We use it for scheduling shit and to make sure that we keep the dog alive with our schedules. I took a look at it this morning as I was getting the Black Eyed Peas and Greens on the stove and here is what we had to show for with Trips;

  • Geranium was away 151 days in 2019. Mind you 31 of those days were when she was in Switzerland/France. That actually made us both appreciate our time together more and take stock in our relationship which made it stronger.
  • We saw Elton John and his Farewell Tour at The Barclays
  • Got to experience The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. That was a killer event.
  • While Geranium was away Mr. 3 First Names & Lady Lawyer and I went to see Jose Andres at his book signing.
  • Got our Southern Redneck on thanks to BK and saw Hank Jr and Skynrd at Forrest Hills.
  • Rang in the New Year at the Barclays Center with The Strokes.
  • Oh and we had dinner at Per Se too.
  • And so that I am not a complete prick I am going to end this list that we also did some horse gambling at Aquaduct Race Track.

Regarding Trips Away, I am kind of embarrassed to divulge this to you dozen readers. I mean this list is somewhat obscene. Mind you we were able to take advantage of Geranium’s international trips and my ability to fly stand by.

  • Hung with PNG Mike, Ellie & JD in London and watched 6 Nations Rugby with them.
  • Visited Northwest Arkansas for Family Christmas
  • Made a trip Upstate with Vivian and Stone
  • Made warm weather trips to; Cancun, Belize, Fort Meyers, Gulf Shores, and Dale Hollow Lake.
  • Went over to Philly for a BBQ at Pepe’s house.
  • Got to experience Barcelona for the First Time. (Got to go back)
  • I did 48 hours in Switzerland to see Geranium and imagine that..it was raining!
  • Made it to Memphis for Thanksgiving and for a work trip in September.
  • Got to eat some low country cooking with the ChoHo’s in Charleston South Carolina.

All in all it was a good year for us for doing the fun shit. Granted I wondered why our bank account has been low but now I know why I haven’t been able to see my feet in months.

Photo by Toria of Blue Water Grill down in Belize
Charleston South Carolina with these two!
Thank God Geranium is Fluent in how to Speak Randy!
We got to go back one of these day!
I booked a whole week with these knuckleheads and I loved every minute of it!
I love this man!
Lausanne Switzerland and the snow topped alps
The rain does happen in Spain!
Oh Maya had a blast while we were away too!
Thanks Viv and Stone!
Rain in London….how odd

It was a good time for trips and shit that we saw in 2019.

Pics of the Week Live From Belize!

Too Many Good Pictures not to post somewhere.

You Coming or Going? The Old Veteran Jet Holland!
Oh He is getting Bouchy!
Slow Your Role Tropic! It isn’t even the 15th of November and The Tree is UP?
Such a great addition to the island. Great Staff and Owners!
If you have to have a sign then there must have been an incident.
Over Achievers!
Good to See the Bronx Representing!
Note To Self – Only get on Boats that Have Bars on them!
View North from CV
The Famous Shrimp Sticks from Blue Water Grill!
Catching Up with CNN Belize Felipe!
Geranium – Please take a picture of that for me.
Me – Ok, I will but may I ask why?
Geranium – I want to make that my signature on inner office emails.
Me – Good Call
Did you know it was his birthday?
And that he is the same age as Belikin only makes it better!
View of the Pool from CV

It was a great trip!

Would the Alumni Members of the Ambergris Caye Message Board Please Stand Up (if they can)

I have to start out by giving mad props to Otteralum (I know that is a rather strange code name but he gave it to himself) because that magnificent bastard just pulled off one helluva ACMB Reunion. Pugwash quit swearing at the laptop, your time will come….

So, we just returned from a trip to Belize, but let me go back in time for some of you younger stalkers of this worthless dribble. Before Tic Toc, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, even Myspace and Friendster there was a thing called a “Message Board” Here people could come to it and ask questions about a vacation place or rant about their favorite sporting team. In this case the Message Board was for Ambergris Caye down in Belize.

For those of us who had visited the island a number of times we would chat on either threads or in mini chat. Like I said, Social Media hadn’t launched yet and there was not a lot going on. As with any group of child like adults (much like on social media) you had some ball busting, some fights, some got kicked off and so on.

I met the bulk of the ACMB (Ambergris Caye Message Board) on one of the Boogie’s in February. I want to recall it was a poker run that TacoGirl put together and IsleNutt made bracelets with everyone’s name. Needless to say it was a great trip and then Myspace moved to Facebook so sadly the message board lost steam.

So about 2 and a half years ago Otteralum put out a “Save the Date” for his 50th birthday in Facebook. I saw it was in early November and went to put it on the calendar. But something wasn’t kosher. First of all I thought that he and I were closer in age. Then I noticed that the dates didn’t coordinate with the days of the week. Did he start drinking early and forget his birthday? Nope he sent out the invite 2 and a half years in advance. Talk about an over-achiever.

Anyway a total of 42 folks came down from the US and a good number of them were from the ACMB. It was good to see some faces that I haven’t seen in a couple years. Even as Pugwash and I spoke at breakfast about todays agenda he remarked that it was probably the first time we ever were civil to each other. I told him it was because we were both still sober but Tim knows I don’t have a beef with him. He is just a big ole hairy Teddy Bear. But with a funnier accent other than mine. Love ya Pug and Jane!

I must have been in the bathroom when they took this picture. Pretty much the whole gang!
Me and Reaper (who technically doesn’t live in the States but in Costa Rica)
Me and Tia Chocolate – (the nose above picture is a staple Carbunkle Trumpet Selfie method) Nobody wants to see my whole face.
Me and Travel Queen
Me and Muppets Go Wild
The Birthday Boy aka Otteralum (his handle is a mix of his college and that he is an alum)
Fucking Spurs and Mr Spurs! – This picture automatically put a smile on my face when I saw it. It was so great to spend time with you and Bobby. Love ya Kid!
Yep even he was amongst us too.
For those of you wondering that is a shark vertebrae anklet and it was worn by KC Jayhawk. It was gifted to me by his wife because we lost Colin 4 years ago. Oh and we all still miss the big goof he was one in a million. I am not crying, you are crying.
I got you Bro!
Travel Queen and Dita
Two Former Memphians sit at the same table on a Sunday night. What are the chances.
For those of you who don’t know this is Elbert Greer and he owns the White Sands Dive Shop. Every morning he posts the weather report for San Pedro. It keeps my sanity when we are having Cold Ass Nor’easters.
She wasn’t on the island but as I am having my last beer I notice the picture of SweetJane with Jet. We got to throw her into the mix!
Love these two! Isla this summer?
Who has two thumbs and has two beautiful women by his side as we are heading in?
This Guy!

Like I said, This was a magical trip and I am so thankful that Otter invited Geranium and I to this event. Between this group of malcontents along with Otter and Mrs. Otter’s group of friends it was one helluva party. To those who couldn’t make it, you were missed.

A Trip To Charleston With The ChoHo’s

A while back the Fab 5 (Baby Fine Hair, OTB, Dance With Me, Geranium and Not B) were talking about doing a trip to Charleston. They invited Weed (even though she was in a much younger class) and at some point and time the Fab 5 + Weed decided that spouses would be welcome also. Since Geranium was on a work trip once again I flew solo to Charleston. We rented an Air BnB downtown and flew in on Friday night.

I won’t bore you with details (Pretty much all we did was drink and eat) but I have to be honest. I really enjoyed Charleston. If you have a chance get there. They have tons of bars and neat food joints.

Always take a picture of your room number in a hotel or in this case your address. You need to take care of Drunk Person
I like the Crap/Better Beer Descriptions
God Bless Bloody Mary and the appetizers you get.
That is some great hair there Not B
Private Chef Made Dinner. We ran close to running out of butter
I posted this picture so that you know that Geranium attended because this is the only picture I have of her this weekend.
Baby Fine Hair fiddling with the Music
The Chef Made some good food! *Disclaimer – I actually remember eating it and it was good. Some of the group….not so much.
We Didn’t drink any beer this weekend
Hush Puppies (God I love the South)
Oysters on the half shell
Fried Chicken That was as good as Gus’ Fried in Memphis
As Compared to Shitty Chicken
Last Pic before I took my ass to the airport

Like I said, it was a good trip and we had some fun down there. I later found out that Charleston was the town that Bourdain ate at the Waffle House.