Here is another good deal from Amazon: Crochet Hook Set For $3.65, including shipping. You get 12 crochet hooks ranging from 2 mm to 8 mm. Given how much one crochet hook can cost in the store, this seems like a steal.
Check it out, Hogwarts from Harry Potter made out of gingerbread. The gingerbread castle was made by Jessica at Cherry Bay Cakery in Michigan. It’s made with gingerbread, ice cream cones, Rice Krispies treats, and 50 pounds of fondant.
It took 100 hours to complete. Wow.
Here’s a how-to on making your own, more attainable gingerbread Hogwarts. In theory, it should look like this, right?
First of all, why should you smoke a turkey? A couple of reasons:
1. It’s faster than cooking the turkey in the oven. The last time we smoked a 14 lbs turkey using the below method, it took a little over 2 hours. It would take twice that long to cook it in the oven.
2. It’s more likely to be moist. Between the steam and smoke and constant temperature control, it’s hard to dry out a smoked turkey.
3. It has a lot of flavor. Smoke penetrates throughout a turkey, even down to the bone, in a way that a rub on top of the breast will not. If you’re one of those people who thinks turkey is bland, this method is for you.
To smoke a turkey, you will need a smoker. I recommend getting one. You can do all kinds of cool things with it, like make smoked salmon or your own bacon or kickass ribs or a host of other impress-your-guests dishes.
We use a conversion kit that turns a Weber grill into a smoker. Here is what it looks like after you convert it:
For the heat, we use a combination of charcoal briquettes and wood. You can use any fruit wood to smoke a turkey, such as apple, almond, or cherry. We used pecan wood. For a more smokey flavor, you can use mesquite or hickory.
As for the briquettes, Mr. Savvy recommends a briquette that doesn’t have any additives, like Kingsford Competition Briquets.
How To Smoke A Turkey
Salt/Pepper, or rub of choice
A thermometer, preferably one that allows you to monitor temperature remotely
A pan for water
Thaw the turkey as you normally would.
Apply the rub of choice to the turkey. We used salt and pepper.
Put one or two Chimney starter’s worth of briquettes in the smoker, along with a few chunks of wood.
Put about a dozen briquettes in your Chimney Starter and light them. Once they are red hot, dump them on the unlit coals and assemble your smoker.
Add the turkey, breast side up. Put a thermometer in the deepest part of the breast.
Put a pan of water in the bottom of the smoker. This allows you to collect drippings for gravy, but more importantly, it adds a steam element that both speeds up the cooking, adds moisture to the bird, and helps regulate the heat.
Let your smoker’s reach between 325-350 degrees.
Monitor the temperature of the turkey carefully. When your thermometer says the turkey breast is 160-165 degrees or the thigh is 175 degrees, it’s done.
Let rest for 20 minutes.
Below is an image that shows how 10 companies control almost all the household products and packaged food we buy. Kind of crazy, don’t you think?
Click on the image to see a larger version.
In continuing my fascination with free knitting/crochet patterns, here are 5 free crochet patterns for kids hats shaped like animals:
Owl Hat (Free log-in required to access pattern.)
Tis the season of pumpkin, apples, and pears–all of which go great in cocktails. Here’s a round-up of fall cocktails I have made with DIY Cocktails.
Pumpkin Flip. Pumpkin, bourbon, allspice liqueur, and egg white.
Hot Buttered Pumpkin Rum. A Hot Buttered Rum with pumpkin and spices added to it.
Pumpkin Spice Bourbon. Infused bourbon with pumpkin spices.
Harvest Highball Cocktail. Apple cider, rye whiskey, and ginger.
Apple Brown Bourbon. Apple dessert in a glass.
Pearaschino. Pears, ginger ale, bourbon, and maraschino liqueur.
Following yesterday’s post about DIY Natural Branch Coasters, it occurred to me that there are a lot of projects you can make with a log or sliced wood. For example:
Another Wood Slice Side Table.
And of course, Log Cabin.
I am tempted to make these Natural Branch Coasters. All you do is cut a log to coaster-sized wood slives and paint with varnish. These wood look great on the backyard patio set. Great idea.
We bought two bottles of this 100% juice at Costco, thinking it would be a nice thing for the baby to drink, but he doesn’t like it and neither do we–it was too sweet. However, it says it’s 100% juice, so we decided to try fermenting it.
Using the method we use for making apple cider, we have it in a carboy, bubbling away.
It will either taste good or taste like someone tried to make alcoholic cider out of Kool-aid. Only time will tell. Stay-tuned for the results.
Here’s an interesting article on 5 Reasons Packages Get Destroyed, as written by a former UPS worker.
Apparently writing “fragile” on a package might mean postal workers treat it more roughly, but it might work to “Camouflage It as a Heartwarming Gift.” From the article:
My default is to curse every package that comes down that slide. Anything that sticks out is going to brighten my day. So if you want your package handled a little more tenderly, give it to your small child (or a friend’s child — anyone’s child will do) and let them write on it in crayon.
See, I’m not about to smash a package that belongs to some kid. I see all the crayon scribbles and poorly spelled adulation for mom, or grandpa, or whoever the hell, and all I can picture is a toddler sending his beloved teddy bear to grandma on the raisin ranch because she only has days to live. And I’ll be goddamned if I’ll let anything happen to that teddy! Maybe you aren’t allowed within a certain distance of small children. That’s fine; just make the package look like a gift. Some stickers, “Happy Birthday” written on it, whatever. As long as it’s enough to create a heartwarming story to make us care a little more.
Got it. Write the address in crayon, maybe avoid this?