Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Eve Dinner

My family and I usually try to do a big Christmas Eve dinner every year.  There are usually delusions of grandeur during the year as to what we'll make, but when it comes down to it it's usually a much simpler dinner that is still enjoyed by everyone.

Not this year.  I decided to buy a whole pig and roast it in a pit in the ground.  No, I've never done it before nor have I ever seen anyone do it.  How hard can it be? Right?

Digging the pit was the toughest part.  Especially since my back yard is mostly clay.  Ufdah!  Anyway, I lined it with pavers to help keep some heat in.  

On to the pig.  A beautiful 46lb hog fully dressed and hanging out with my daughter.  

After a good amount of seasoning I wrapped it in banana leaves and some serious aluminium foil.  Don't want any of that dirt to get in! Some chicken wire made it easier to transfer the pig around.

Time to start a roaring fire in the pit!  At some point the flames went up to several feet.  After a couple of hours all there was left was glowing embers.  Time to place the pig. We lowered it into the coals, covered it with a soaked cotton tarp and burried it under all that soil you see in the back.  See you tomorrow pig!

The following evening, after forcing my family to dig the pig out --after all I did move all that soil twice already-- it was time to retrieve our prize!

removing the wire

Now that's dinner!

Never having butchered such a large animal, I did pretty good!

Off with his head!!

My brother in law challenged my son to eat one of the eyeballs for a $50 prize.  He popped it in his mouth... then immediately spat it out... Better double the money next time!

Dinner was served as tacos with all the usual trimmings.  We all had a great time and enjoyed our meal!

Alas poor Yorick!  I knew him Horatio.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

New Brewing Toy!

After collecting parts for over a couple of years I finally put together a eRIMS system. For the uninitiated, this tool allows me to mash at more precise temperatures and do multiple rests at different temperatures.  I tested it by brewing a Bavarian Hefeweizen.  The system worked great right off the bat!  Can't wait to fire it up again!

The main box houses the pump, switches, PID controller...

The tube has an electric element and temperature probe that heats the mash as it flows through it...


The liquid flows out from the bottom and back in at the top...

Here's a look at the pump side...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki Sauce
cucumbers, grated
mint leaves, minced
dill, minced
garlic, minced
Greek yogurt
salt to taste
Peel (optional) and grate the cucumber and squeeze some of the liquid out. Combine with the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Enjoy!
Servings: 20
Yield: 2.5 cups
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/20 of a recipe (2 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe's ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (5%)
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.1g
Saturated Fat 0.03g
Cholesterol 0.49mg
Sodium 19.61mg
Potassium 107.1mg
Total Carbohydrates 2.65g
Fiber 0.25g
Sugar 2.31g
Protein 1.61g