The New Smoker: Smoked Babyback Ribs

Now that I am enjoying the country life (temporarily) I decided to embrace the moment and buy a smoker.  I’ve always loved true BBQ, and if you factor in my wife’s lust for smoked salmon, a smoker is a wise investment.  For $130 I ended up getting the smoker.  The initial assembly of the Smoker was relatively painless and within 30 minutes it was ready to go.  From that point all I had to do was connect the propane tank, load the smoker box with wood chips, start the fire, and let the “seasoning” process begin.

Now that the smoker is properly seasoned, it’s time to kick off some real smoking.  The first recipe?  How about babyback ribs for the 4th of July.

Step 1:  Prepare the Rub

In this instance I used the following (all measuring is APPROXIMATE):
4 Tbsp Sweet Paprika
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Dry Mustard
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp ground black pepper

Mix all together and apply to the ribs.

Step 2:  Apply the rub.

Step 3:  Load the smoker box with wood chips (soaked for at least 20 minutes), fill the water tray, and start the burner.  Allow the smoker to warm up and begin smoking.

Step 4:  Place the meat on the racks, spacing evenly.

Step 5:  Keep heat as low as possible.  I cooked at about 200-225F for about 5 hours.

Step 6:  Once meat is at least 160F, remove from smoker and grill.

And the final product on the grill:

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An Epic Scotch: Gordon & MacPhail Macallan 37 Yr. – 1970

Every once in a while a great Scotch will cross my path and I consider myself a lucky person to have had the opportunity to taste it, let alone own an entire bottle.  My father and I decided to put our money together and buy a bottle of the Gordon & MacPhail Macallan 1970 when it was on sale for $199.99 (currently on sale for $299.99) back in December with the idea of having a dram on special occasions.

It is incredible.  Earthy, a bit of smoke, some caramel, and some salt.  We opened it with a few drops of water.  The high alcohol content (53.3) leaves a nice warm feeling in your mouth and the texture is like silk.  Overall, I am completely happy with this purchase and I think it was worth every penny.

Vacation

The last time we took a vacation was in 2008/2009 over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday.  That 14 day stretch was spent in Germany, and as you can imagine, it was far from balmy at that time of the year.  With that in mind, we decided it was time to celebrate the completion of the LL.M. program and the end of the journey that was ‘law school’ by going on a Caribbean cruise.

The Itinerary:

Day 1:  Depart NYC (early evening) and head to the open ocean.
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: At Sea
Day 4: Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos
Day 5: Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Day 6: Nassau, Bahamas
Day 7: At Sea
Day 8: At Sea
Day 9: Arrive NYC, early morning.

Here are some photos:

Leaving NYC

The Verrazano Bridge

Our Balcony

Grand Turk

More Grand Turk

Nassau, Bahamas

Flower in Nassau

Old Tree

Old Building

Little Lizzard

Parliament

Another sweet Government Building

Old Cannon

Lighthouse