anniversary weekend

13 years – traditional gift = lace?!  I was stumped, so I decided to buy a smoker.  A Brinkmann charcoal smoker that doubles as a grill.  Jeff assembled it Friday and we used it twice over the weekend (actually, three times, but once was to “cure” the equipment.)  I think we just might be addicted, or shall I say up to a challenge?  Our neighbors have a smoker and they teased us last weekend with a sample of smoked chicken wings.  I knew then we would have to buy a smoker.  Tender, juicy and flavorful chicken wings, finished on the grill to a perfect level of crispy char.  omg. 

So, the first thing we made were the chicken wings.  I bought a huge bag of them at Costco.  Had our neighbors send their recipe and I thought they were wonderful.  I think we have some learning on the charcoals and wood chips, but otherwise, everything went well.  We were invited to their place for dinner, so we brought our wings, grilled potatoes and veggie mix and watermelon.  They served smoked ribs and salmon, coleslaw, bread and some wonderful dips.  Complemented with a crisp and cold Toad Hollow chardonnay on a hot spring evening on the deck.

We also tried smoking a beef brisket for the first time.  Not so successful.  Wonderful flavors, but the meat was a little on the tough side.  Even after smoking the 1.5 lb. brisket for about 3 1/2 hours.  A little disappointing, but we’ll try again sometime. 

Regardless, a wonderful weekend with my family.  Perfect weather, delicious food and backyard fun.  Happy Anniversary, Jeff.


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