Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Picture a Day-Day 48

Why is it that the best of intentions are always the surest way to drive one mad; dribbling down the road clutching tightly to a newspaper mumbling something about having to fricassee a tire?

I got a smoker from my Dad (well okay he actually gave it to my hubby) a few years back but we haven't used it yet. I should probably preface this with some backstory, eh?

For a long time I was under the assumption that every family would routinely smoke ribs, pork loins, or even cheese for celebrations or even just randomly cause they could. Then I visited my in-laws and was shocked to find that no, they'd never even thought of doing something as radical as taking wood chips and putting some warmth to them to get a smoky flavor into meat.

So while my husband is the excited food scientist getting to play with meat I'm actually the one who knows more about different meat preparation techniques. This whole sausage thing was my nice way of trying to give him a little push.

Into our little outside storage shed I went to get the smoker. For those of you that were not as spoiled growing up as me this is what it looks like:
The top part is where you stick your tasty victuals and the bottom is where the heat coil and wood chips are stored (wood chips I might add that were also a pain in the ass to find):
So, we had all the equipment. The wood chips were ready to go, and the sausages had cured nicely overnight.

All that was left was to plug the thing into our little apartment outer outlet and wait for it to warm up. And wait. And wait some more.

After a quick tirade against our crappy apartment complex (I could write a small pamphlet on all the crap that is broken at our place due to shoddy craftsmanship) and how it can't even handle warming up a small coil we made a quick trip to get a nice extension cord so we could plug the thing inside while leaving it outside (something that makes smoke inside a small apartment is an equation for a hilarious disaster).

We got it all nice and plugged in and warming up quickly. Then we went about our usual chores on a "Sunday." Just as my husband was plugging in the vacuum (he's so sweet, braving the vacuum just because I'm sick) the entire place went dark.

That's right, our shitty apartments cheap fuses can't even handle a little electric smoker. We quit. Just completely gave up. I turned to painting to get out my frustration while he killed things in PS3 land (maybe I should have tried killing things too).

But I promised pictures of a cooked and edible sausage and I shall provide. For while the smoker idea failed miserably we at least still had our oven (God, don't let that die next).
It was pretty tasty inside, a bit too salty (which was mostly due to the recipe calling for 3 lbs of meat and us having 2.6) and the old preserved casings just didn't work at all (very chewy, very very chewy. Even the garbage disposal couldn't take it). When we try it again we'll probably use a bit less spice, get some fresh casings, oh and move to a damn house.

Good luck to all you out there braving the cold in Washington D.C. You're much braver than I.

And I promise no more long stories about sausages. It'll probably be a long while before we try another wild food adventure.


Cate Subrosa said...

Not bad for a first attempt, eh!

Linda said...

I'll add a smoker to our list of items to get when we move to a better place. We currently live in an apartment just like yours. I try not to tax the poor little fuse box.

Rachel said...

You know, growing up I think we did have a small smoker at one time. But Chris and I got a smoker last year and have used it bunches! He loves it.
But I've got to ask you... he puts the wood chips down on the lava rocks that surround the heating coil. Coincidentally, they catch fire once in a while. We use the pan for water... is that okay?? I told him I didn't know if that was right, but supposedly he read the directions... Sigh. Men.

Oh, but, I think I would just stick with the pre-made or butcher made sausage... ;-)

Rachel said...

But I can't believe that it caused your fuse to trip! I didn't realize they pulled that much power.