Here is a true story from the other day…
First, I wanted to make some shredded pork to take on a campout with the boy scouts. I was cooking for the adults and shredded pork sandwiches sounded like just the stuff. So I bought a smallish pork shoulder, brought it home and looked up how to do this, since I clearly did not have a smoker. Well, I could throw it in the crock pot all night. I was leaving the next afternoon though and wanted it to chill first. Then I had an epiphany! My pressure cooker! I hardly ever use that thing but it should be just what I needed. So I got out the pressure cooker, popped in the meat, poured a can of dr. Pepper over it. (now any soda might do, but the recipe specifically said, for whatever reason, dr. pep. So I sent Paul to the store just for a can, since he drank the last can we had.) and added some diced onion. How easy is that? Then I let-er rip.
In the meantime, I had thursday nights dinner to take care of. We had just gone shopping and Dave had picked up steaks. I got some corn on sale so I am thinking ‘barbecue time’.
I soaked the corn in my canning pot, the only one large enough to accommodate the huge ears of corn, still in their husks. The plan was to put them on the barbecue husks and all. The last time I did that they came out the most delicious corn ever. And everyone could clean their own corn as they went to eat it. I am all about making it easier on the cook. Just soak and grill.
Now its time to warm up the ‘cue. Phil and I got it started. I went back a few minutes later…cold ‘cue. Whats up with that? Oh, out of propane. “Phiiiiiiiillllll! replace the propane”. Make it so.
Oh, is that my phone? I grab the phone just as the flames start and I put the corn on one end of the barbecue, popping down the lid. It’s a friend who needed to talk. We had important issues to discuss. As I am listening I am also preparing the steaks.
Wow, that seems like a lot of smoke coming from the backyard.
I am still listening and commenting.
Lots of smoke.
Do I hear a fire truck coming?
I really can’t get off the phone at this time. The conversation is too intense as I glanced out at the barbecue.
Flames were leaping out of every part of the barbecue. From the back, out the openings in the side. Without a break in the conversation I calmly go out with a misting bottle and start squirting inside the little openings. Oops, that is my homemade bug spray made with soap, baking soda and pepper. It makes the flames foamy. Try again. Water this time.
It does not seem to be making a difference. Time to get the big guns.
I explain to my phone friend that my patio seems to be on fire but not to be alarmed, so we keep talking as I quickly go into my older sons room and grab his arm, pointing in the general direction of the backyard and making urgent facial expressions without interrupting my friend. He kicks into high gear, runs out back and assesses the situation. Using a potholder he opens the lid of the barbecue.
He grabbed the fire extinguisher and for the first time since we bought it umteen years ago, it actually got used.
Boo-rah! Flames all gone.
Now the patio is a mess of smoke and white extinguisher dust. The corn is charred black on one side. I find a place in the conversation to graciously (I hoped) end our talk and put down the phone.
So remember children, always have a fire extinguisher on hand when you have barbecue.
And how come none of my neighbors were concerned? There was enough smoke here pouring off the patio, you think someone might have been concerned!
For that matter, where was my DH all this time? Upstairs in his office. He comes out the garage door, looks around and says something to the effect of “What is going on here?” Well, where have you been mister?
Oh, now what about the steaks? By now it was 7:30 and we were getting hungry, past that, we were starved. Should I bring out the cast iron skillet? heck no, I just dusted off the corn and turned it over, I cleaned the grill, had someone sweep up the debris and started over. We kept a close eye this time. So we did eat late, but it was wonderfully delicious. Rib eye steaks with blue cheese butter, corn on the cob, tender and sweet, steamed yellow potatoes with a garlic dill sour cream over them. Yum-yum!
I think the halogen or whatever is in that extinguisher, just added to the flavor.
Just kidding, we did clean it all up first. Thats why we didn’t eat until after 8.
Oh and the shredded pork? it took a couple of hours in the pressure cooker and came out utterly soft and tender, fell into shreds with a stern look. That worked great. My pressure cooker has moved up a rank in the home cooking equipment hierarchy. It is now in the kitchen instead of the garage. A place of honor. It has made beef stew with success, cooked beans beautifully and now shredded pork.
Which, by the way, worked out great at the campout. I brought buns, barbecue sauce and coleslaw with a homemade sauce to moisten it. Delish! Now to make it for my family. Or make it for carne asada nachos…ohhhh yeah.