December 2005

Well here’s a good sampling of BBQ reviews from Mark Delashaw aka “QN” on the BBQ Forum. Mark had the opportunity to recently visit several famous BBQ restaurants in different parts of the country. Most of us know Mark as a CBJ on the BBQ Circuit. I’m sure you all will enjoy reading Mark’s reviews as much as I did. Thanks Mark.

Old Hickory Pit Bar-B-Q
(270) 926-9000
338 Washington Ave
Owensboro, KY 42301

Owensboro claims to be the “BBQ Capital of the World”. Don’t know that I would agree with that, but it is what they claim. There are a couple of BBQ joints in Owensboro that have been there quite a while. The locals I was with said Moonlite was not worth going to and the the Old Hickory was far and away the best. We went for lunch and while all my companions went for sandwiches I jumped in for the three meat combo plate. My choices were mutton (grown up lamb) served sliced, sliced brisket, and sliced pork butt. BBQ mutton was a first for me and was not bad though I would probably not order it again. The beef brisket was over cooked and sliced thick to compensate for the roast beef texture; falling apart. The best was the sliced pork, something we don’t usually get here in the south. It was sliced about 1/4″ thick and lightly sauced. Very tender, moist and good flavor. If I go back to Old Hickory I will probably just go for the sliced pork sandwich. The sides were basic mayo slaw and baked beans; nothing outstanding. Overall probably a 6; I would eat there again if with a group that wanted to go there, but would not go back on my own.

J & J B-B-Q
1306 Texas Ave.
Lubbock, TX 19401

Downtown Lubbock behind the federal courthouse. The sign in the window says they are open till they run out of meat and the locals tell me they usually close in early afternoon so don’t plan to go there for dinner. I had sliced brisket and German sausage with slaw and beans. The brisket was excellent. Competition quality slices with nice smoke ring and bark. Tender and moist. I will definitely go back to J & J if I get back to Lubbock. The sausage was a local made product and good, but the brisket was much better. The slaw was a good mayo slaw and the Texas style pinto beans were very good. They also make their own desserts daily and we had to try the apricot fried pie and brownies. Both were excellent. Overall J & J is good BBQ; probably at least an 8 in my opinion for the brisket alone.

Sonny Bryan’s
Original Location
Dallas, TX

I will just say I was very disappointed in the brisket and that is why I went there. No need to go back.

Arthur Bryant’s
Original Location
Kansas City, MO

Great brisket. Sliced thin and piled high on the bread. One sandwich can feed two people. I will definitely return next time I get to KC.

Fireflies BBQ
235 Old Connecticut Path
Framingham, MA 01702
phone: 508/820-3333

Great BBQ in Massachusetts. Recommended to me by Andy King, NEBS President so I had to fit in a trip to Fireflys in Framingham on the way from Worcester back to Boston. I got there for a late lunch and had to try the four meat combo platter. This is a whole lot of meat with two sides and cornbread. The meats were pulled pork with a North Carolina style vinegar sauce, St. Louis ribs, baby back ribs, and sliced brisket. Far and away the best was the brisket. Sliced and presented on the end of the plate like competition slices. Moist, tender, and great flavor. If I get to go back I will have a plate of sliced brisket. It was a 9 all the way. The St. Louis ribs were also good; I got them without sauce so I could experiment with the 5 or 6 sauces they offer. They were definitely better than the baby backs. The pork was moist and the vinegar base sauce was really tasty. Might have to go to the two meat combo so I can at least have pork and brisket next time. The slaw was a good, basic mayo slaw and the beans were pintos, but a little sweet for my taste. They also offer several other sides including collards and sweet potatoes. They said they run a scratch kitchen and even the collards are prepared fresh every day. I did not know people in Massachusetts knew what collards are. Overall a great BBQ restaurant with full bar and table service. Harpoon winter ale on tap was also very good. They also have a location in Marlboro.

I know this will sound crazy, but it really works. AND they are good!
Wife said we now have something new for breakfast at BBQ contests and won’t have to dirty alot of dishes.

What you need:

2 eggs, per person
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 oz. grated cheese
Your choice of fillings such as green onions, green peppers,mushrooms, ham, etc..
1 quart size, ziploc freezer bag per person

Crack two eggs into the bag. Shake and squeeze to combine the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Add other ingredients of your choice. Shake and combine the fillings with the eggs. Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip tight. Place the bag in a large Dutch oven full of boiling water. Boil for exactly 13 minutes (set your timer). Open the bag and your omelet will roll out easily.

These are really good and easy.

Care to share?

Here is another recipe sent to me by Hayden Powers.
Thanks again Hayden


2-Cups Shredded Sharp Cheese at room temperature. The sharper the better.

1-stick butter or margarine at room temperature

1-Cup All-Purpose Flour

1-Cup Rice Krispies

2-Tbls. Hot Sauce or to taste.

Garlic powder to taste.

You can also add nuts (Pecans, Walnuts). Best to toast nuts in oven first then add to dough mix.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together by hand or spoon. Form into a ball.

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least a couple of hours.

Remove from fridge and use fork to break in half.

Break off small pieces and roll by hand into small balls (small marble size).

Place on ungreased cookie sheet and using a fork press out dough into quarter size cookie. If dough sticks to fork use flour to coat fork.

Bake in 375 oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes enough to fill two cookie sheets plus.

For a “kicked up” version add 2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ Rub. You can also add horseradish, pecans, walnuts, garlic, etc. The options are endless.


Care to share?

Here is a recipe sent to me by Hayden Powers from the
Says it has been in his family for years.
Looks and sounds GREAT. So give it a try.
Thanks Hayden


Here’s a great recipe for reduced sugar Pecan Pie. Uses ½ the amount of sugar then the normal recipe but still has all of the flavor.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together in a bowl the following 7 ingredients:
½ cup white sugar
½ stick butter or margarine
Mix well until blended.
Beat then add 3 large eggs
1 cup White Karo Syrup
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup chopped Pecans
1 10” pie crust

Pour filling mixture over bottom of pie crust.
Sprinkle chopped pecans over top of mixture.
Bake for 45 min. to 1 hour.
Pie is done when you can insert and cleanly remove a knife from the center of the pie.
NOTE: If crust darkens or browns place a loose sheet of aluminum foil
over the top of the pie as it cooks.
Let pie rest for 30 minutes then serve.
About 6-8 servings


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The BDS is a 16 gauge drum that is approximately 38 in. tall and 23 1/4 in. wide. It has a high heat resistant paint and the color is black. It comes standard with one cooking grate that is 22 1/2 in. wide, a good thermometer, and a heavy duty charcoal ring that measures 6 in. deep and at least 13 in. in diameter. The ring is mounted on a grate that fits into the bottom of the pit and easily holds 12 lbs. or more of charcoal. The distance from the charcoal ring to the bottom of the the drum is about 2 1/4-2 1/2 in. for ash build-up. Distance from the bottom of the charcoal ring to the cooking grate is about 24 in. The lid is very tight fitting, plenty heavy, and has eight 1/2 in. vent holes precisely cut at even intervals. The bottom of the drum has three 7/8 in. air intakes with a plug for each one to regulate the draft. Pit weights about 72 lbs and comes in a shrink wrap. Lid is super secured. There was no damage (dings or dents) to my pit which was delivered by Fed-X. Pit can be easily transported from place to place by one person.

Within 15 minutes of the first cook, I knew this pit was a winner. The smell was absolutely what I look for in a first class cooker and NEVER have I achived this quality for the price and cooking capacity. I call it that ol’ time “Grandpaw smell”… when many years ago men cooked meat over hardwood coals and the smoke from the wood and the drippings from the meat fell down into the fire, creating an aroma that was unforgetable. It was a lot of work. Not saying that some folks don’t do this today, but they are a dying breed. This pit accomplishes this ol’ time flavor with little effort due to the fact that the cooking grate is located about 24 inches from the bottom of the charcoal ring which allows direct cooking over the coals, plus the well thought out design from Mr. Richmond. There’s a lot more to what he has created than just cutting a hole in the bottom and top of a barrel and calling it a good cooker.

When loaded with 10-12 lbs. of charcoal, I was able to cook long cooking meats (brisket, butts, etc.) without refueling the fire, which could be a pain to some (taking off the cooking grate to add charcoal, wood etc.). With three or four good size chunks of wood (fist size or larger), I used three pecan “mini” logs about 2- 2 1/2 in. in diameter and 6 in. long, the smoke never ran out. I was skeptical about this aspect, but it kept on smokin. After the meat came off and the fire diminished, the only thing left was a couple of the pecan logs that were nearly burned up, but not completely. So the smoke keeps going for a long cook when done properly with no additional wood needed. The pit was still up to cooking temperature after my cook was done. I got about a 10 hour burn, or longer, on 10-12 lbs. of charcoal with wood chucks at an ambient temperature of 48-50 degrees. Summer time heat will bring longer cooks, if that’s important to you. One thing you need to remember when cooking this method…the meat will cook quicker due to the DIRECT and convection heat combined. This method of cooking does not reduce flavor…This is a good thing. I know how so many folks get hung up on super long cooking times, and I ain’t gonna get into that. That theory holds true in certain cooking situations, but it is not a constant.

Performance: This smoker created a good even heat over the entire cooking grate…not perfect, but close. Never cooked on a pit yet that the heat was perfect. The fire and heat control was a breeze. Easiest I’ve ever seen. It held steady for hours with an adjustment of putting in one or two plugs out of the three into the air intakes. You can go off and leave this smoker for hours once you do a few cooks on it and figure out how to use the plugs (or sleep at a cook off). Mr. Richmond sends the “how to” manual with the smoker and it is very easy to read and understand, plus accurate. Just read it. Easy as can be. If ones wishes to add a second cooking shelf, that is easily done. Since there are 9 inches from the cooking shelf to the lid, one could add a second shelf at 4 1/2 in. above the main shelf. This would give you a distance of 4 1/2 in. between each cooking shelf and the lid. This would work fine for chichen halves, briskets, sausage, ribs, and other items that aren’t too tall. However, if you are smoking tall items like butts, turkeys, beer can chicken, or using rib racks, either take out the second shelf and use the main one, or for high capacity cooking (12 beer can chickens, four turkeys, etc.) place the top cooking shelf eight inchs above the main cooking shelf and use a Weber 22 1/2 in. kettle grill lid for the main lid. This will give you a lot of distance from the top cooking shelf to the lid and about 32 in. from the bottom of the fire box. An extra cooking shelf (22 1/2 in.) can be ordered from for $16.99.

As the cooker comes with one cooking grate, it is a serious machine. You can cook a 10-12 lb. brisket and 2 pork butts, or 4 big butts, or 2 big briskets, or 8 slabs of ribs using the Cookshack rib holder, or 6 beer butt chickens. Figuring the most bang for your bucks…or should I say food…(briskets and butts) one can easily feed 20-25 people. Add the second cooking shelf and you can feed more people than I want in my house on one given day. If this smoker isn’t big enough for you, the man makes a Jumbo cooker that holds about 2 1/2 to 3 times the meat the BDS does. It sell for 525 American Dollars. If you want a stainless steel one, that’s avaliable also. I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had cooking on this smoker. I keep coming back to it day after day and it has become my favorite out of many. It is a joy to have in my back yard.

I’ve talked to a lot of pit makers and distributors in my 30 years of being in the BBQ business. This I can tell you for sure… Rocky Richmond is serious about his smokers and is a man of the highest integrity. He believes in his product and will do his best to see that you are a satisfied customer. Good luck with your smokers, Rocky. What a deal.


What in the world is a strong password? Simply put, a strong password is one that is very difficult to guess. Not just for a person to guess, but difficult for a computer to guess as well.

Everyone knows some of the simple rules for choosing passwords; don’t use your or your family’s names or birthdates, sequential letters or numbers like “abcd” and “1234”, your user name, etc. so a person cannot guess your password. That is a very simple thing to accomplish, and most of us have been doing it for years because people were guessing. Those times have changed. With so much information on-line and so much to be gained by breaking into systems, hackers have changed tactics. They now use sophisticated equipment to launch a new breed of attacks such as a “dictionary” attack.

A dictionary attack is just like it sounds. A computer will be used to try to guess the password by trying every word in the dictionary…not just the English dictionary, but other languages as well. It will also try combinations of words, numbers, common key sequences like adjacent keys on the keyboard such as “asdfghjkl”, etc. Sounds time consuming, doesn’t it? Well, it is, but if you consider the payoff from one timely, successful hack, a thief will gladly wait a month for his computer to guess the password. It is because of these types of attacks that you use a strong password – one with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Over the past few years, I’ve adopted the philosophy that there really is no such thing as a completely secure computer system. Given enough time and resources, a determined hacker can gain access almost to almost any password protected system. That doesn’t mean you should give up on protecting yourself. I just accept it and try to make it as difficult as I can for a hacker to break in. In doing so I am, hoping that they will move on to another less-protected computer. Using strong passwords is one of the methods I use in pursuit of that goal.

So how do you make a strong password? You feed it BBQ of course! (Just kidding) As I stated before, you will want to use a combination of letters (both upper and lower case), numbers, and at least one special character like these: “!@#$%^&*()_+”. The letters should not spell any word in the dictionary of any language, and the special symbol should be in the first eight characters. You also cannot simply substitute numbers and symbols for letters in words such as “S@nFr@ns!scO”. Hackers know those tricks too.

I don’t know about you, but I could BARELY keep track of all my passwords even when I was using simple, common words. How in the world can we now be expected to come up with something like “i8t#sor4s”? One way I’ve found that works for me is to use a “passphrase”. It is a phrase that I can easily remember, and then convert to a strong password. In my example, I started with the sentence “I ate two pounds of ribs for supper.” I then used all of the first letters to come up with the password “iatporfs”. That’s a decent password by itself, but I’ve made it stronger by using my own style of substituting the word “ate” with the number 8, “for” with the number 4, and “pounds” with the combination of “#s”.

That’s not too bad, but you probably have a dozen or more passwords to manage like I do and they are still hard to keep track of. You will have to decide how far to go with your efforts, but here’s what I do. I have a couple accounts that are critical to protect, like my bank account. I’ve made unique strong passwords for those accounts, and change them frequently. For the others, I use a couple different strong passwords that are a little easier to remember and type. Let’s face it…if someone breaks into my Club Photo account, I’m going to be inconvenienced at worst.

Those are the basics, and I hope you follow my advice. Everything you can do to make a hacker pass you up for an easier target will help. For more information, visit the following web pages:

From Microsoft:
Strong passwords: How to create and use them
Creating strong passwords

Other sites:
Simple Formula for Strong Passwords (SFSP) Tutorial
Choosing Your Password

Unfortunately, our ever-increasing use of computers in our life means security will be an issue we will always have to deal with. I recently read an article that explained why using passwords alone, even strong passwords, may not be enough. Sigh.

Safe computing and happy holidays everyone!

Gerry Schatte

This will go with anything. Give it a try.

Sweet Corn Cake

A Mexican sweet corn cake with a spoon bread consistency.
Servings: 6

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup masa harina
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. In a medium bowl beat butter until it is creamy. Add the Mexican
corn flour and water and beat until well mixed.
2. Using a food processor, process thawed corn, but leave chunky. Stir
into the butter mixture.
3. In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt, and baking
powder. Add to corn flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour batter into an
ungreased 8×8 inch baking pan. Smooth batter and cover with aluminum
foil. Place pan into a 9×13 inch baking dish that is filled a third of
the way with water.
4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven F (175 degrees C) oven for 50 to
60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop for
easy removal from pan.

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Sunday 4, December 2005

Page Skelton – Cackalacky

Page is the owner of Cackalacky, Inc. “America’s Original Burgundy & Yam Spice Sauce.” His sauce recipe calls for a host of sweet southern yams, secret spices, robust tomatoes, savory onions, gourmet mustard, classic burgundy wine, tangy key lime essence, aged fiery-chiles and much, much more!

30:07 minutes High Quality 30:07Minutes Low Quality

Rick Salmon posted on the bbqforum that his wife made some eggnog pie.

Here is the recipe I use. It’s fool proof.


1 (6-serving size) package vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (NOT instant)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups BORDEN® EggNog
3 tablespoons light rum or 1 teaspoon rum flavoring (optional)
2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, whipped
1 (9-inch) baked pie crust
Additional ground nutmeg
In medium saucepan, combine pudding mix, nutmeg and BORDEN® EggNog; mix well.
Over medium heat, cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in rum (optional).
Cool or chill thoroughly. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon into prepared crust. Garnish with additional nutmeg.
Chill 4 hours or until set. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Notes: Microwave: In 2-quart glass measure with handle, combine pudding mix, nutmeg and BORDEN® EggNog; mix well. Cook on HIGH (100% power) 6 to 8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring every 1-1/2 minutes. Proceed as above.


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