Barbecue Brisket Baby!

Over the past few years, I have been perfecting my ability to make a smoked bbq brisket. I usually only end up making three or four of them a year. That way it keeps the family desiring more and doesn’t overdo the enjoyment of the meal. Last night was the largest one I have ever made.

We do not have a smoker, so I have become resourceful in using our bbq. I put a smoker box on the side burners and place the brisket on the opposite side. I keep the temperature between 200° and 250° allowing the indirect heat to slowly cook the meat over the course of a few hours. Every hour or so, I add some more water soaked hickory wood chips. But before the meat goes on the grill- I have to prepare it.

We have found the best cut of meat for the price is down at the Costco in the USA. Once I open the meat I give it a quick rinse and pat it down with paper towel. Sometimes I’ll trim some of the larger fatty bits if it’s over an inch thick. Then I salt the entire thing, followed by pouring some soy sauce and brushing bbq sauce all around it. Next I add a dry hickory seasoning on the entire brisket to create a crust once the meat is cooked.

As the brisket smokes, my entire neighborhood smells heavenly for hours. (It’s amazing how olfactory senses can add to the enjoyment of a meal.) Last night I also made a different type of potato salad. I roasted some cubed potatoes tossed in olive oil and covered in garlic, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. I baked the potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes turning them every 10 minutes so as not to burn the bottom.

Afterwards I allowed the potatoes to cool in the fridge before adding some chopped up fried garlic sausage, a bit of mayonnaise and two mashed avocados. The meal turned out beautifully. We shared our dinner with a couple of friends and only ate about half the brisket. That means leftovers for lunches!

I love making brisket.

Berry Good

Living in the countryside means fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available. There’s a place I stop at throughout the summer that has cheap hothouse peppers in red, orange and yellow that are extremely tasty. I love to sauté them on the bbq with a bit of garlic or red onions.

We are also close by to not just one, but two berry farms. I love eating Fresh Berries in the summer. It means that I’ll be making more waffles, smoothies, putting berries in my sparkling wine, toppings for yogurt and ice cream or just eating them straight out of the bowl. Juicy, healthy treats.

Today I stopped by both berry farms. Mainly I wanted to see the difference in quality and price. Krause is all flash with a winery and food available. While Driediger is mainly just berries. Both have U-Pick available which is nice for a morning out with the family. Honestly, even though most people love Krause for its high end look, Driediger has better quality berries that are sweeter and lower in price as well. I do enjoy Krause for a bike ride to sample wine with fruit.

Whichever you choose to hit up, just remember that you’re supporting a local business. Which always adds sweet karma to your meals.

Breakfast of Champions

On my days off, I love to make a big breakfast. Eggs, bacon, potatoes, waffles, pancakes, sausages, etc… My family loves it as well. In fact, my eggs seem to be just as happy.

Scrambled eggs are one of my favorite breakfasts to make. First I cut up a couple of slices of bacon into small bits. Then I fry them up in my Cast iron pan. While that’s cooking- whisk up two eggs per person with a bit of milk. Once the bacon is cooked- gently add the eggs. I leave the grease from the bacon in the pan to help prevent the eggs from sticking. After a couple of minutes, I carefully slide my spatula across the pan making sure the egg mixture gets evenly cooked.

Did I mention that I preheat my oven to 225°? I do this so as to warm the plates and bowls for breakfast. Once the scrambled eggs have been flipped and there’s no more liquid left, I begin to remove them into a serving bowl. I put a small layer of eggs then shred some cheddar cheese on top. Layer, repeat; layer, repeat. Then into the oven to melt the cheese.

Big breakfasts are the best. Oftentimes we make it a brunch because I enjoy sleeping in on my days off. What’s your go-to big breakfast? Let me know in the comments.

The healthier choice

For the past week as I’ve driven home, my neighbor on the corner up the road from me is always outside.  At around 07:25 each morning he is standing at the end of his driveway.  At first I nodded acknowledgment as I drove past him, now I wave my hand and he waves back.  He’s around my age, but clearly not healthy.  Not saying I’m a pinnacle of health, but he is having his morning cigarette standing in his pajamas hiding behind the bushes.


I’m not one to judge why people smoke still in this day and age.  There are many factors that play into this.  I’ve noticed in certain cities, there is more smoking than others.  Most of the West Coast is smoke free- from Vancouver to San Diego, but Alberta has clouds of cigarette smoke that people need to walk through.  I remember Europe being like that as well. Some places are fully smoke free, while others still encourage a comforting nicotine fill.

2002. I looked thrilled to be a smoker.


I smoked steadily from 1994-2004.  I started in my grade 12 year of school.  I thought it was the cool thing to do (underage drinking was also). In BC at that time you had to be 16 years old to buy smokes.  What teenager didn’t think it was a right of passage to do adult things like drink, smoke and get tattoos?  Maybe it was just the people I hung out with then… But nearly everyone I knew smoked.

Western society snubs smokers and has been for some time now.  It’s no longer associated with a casual good time with friends.  Those ads and commercials ended in the 90’s some time.  In Vancouver, Benson & Hedges sponsored the fireworks every summer.  Not gonna lie, I enjoyed smoking B&H cigarrettes for a while.  Their marketing did work, at least on me and my friends.  Once Canadian laws started jacking up the prices and limiting the presence of tobacco companies, many people were feeling the effects of society telling them it’s not healthy.

Need help to blow out the candles? Maybe put away the cigarette first.


When my wife and I got married, we did our best to not have our pictures taken while smoking or even holding a cigarette.  We both knew that we wanted to have children, and that we wanted to be perfect role models for them.  We wanted them to be able to look back on mom & dad and not see unhealthy choices.  I have a couple photos of birthdays with my father having a cigarette next to a birthday cake.  Not an image I want my children to remember me by.

My wife and I both quit smoking around the same time.  I remember the exact day I quit. It was after a Halloween party at our house.  I had smoked nearly a pack and a half the evening before.  November 1st, I couldn’t breathe.  It felt like I had crushed my chest and punched out my lungs.  I couldn’t quite catch my breath for almost the all day.  I quit that day cold turkey.  I threw away the last of my pack of cigarettes.  I was done.

I’m glad I quit.  I haven’t had a craving to smoke again.  I know most people can’t do it the same way I did.  I also know that many have struggled for years trying to quit and just say forget it and keep smoking.  That’s just the way it is some days.  It’s not easy to quit.  Personally, I wish I had never started and hope my children never do.

Food

In our home it feels like feast or famine.  We just did our big shopping trip for the month.  Thanks Costco.  Our fridge and freezer is so full, that I don’t want to disturb it by eating any of it.  It was like a game of Tetris fitting all the food in.


We will be prepared for most of the month, if not the summer for the base of our meals.  The only food we will continue to buy will be milk, bread, fruits & vegetables.  Two days ago, the fridge was so empty that all we had was condiments and a can of beer.  It was like living the bachelor lifestyle all over again.  Except that we didn’t have Mr. Noodles in our cupboards.

Having three kids home during the summer means they graze.  Snacking is common place, but they also pig out during dinner.  The biggest hurdle is to make sure that we only buy healthy(ish) snacks.  Fresh fruit vs “fruit snacks” or water vs colas.  It’s not really a difficult battle if we don’t buy the junk food.

However… I love potato chips and ginger ale.  Buttered popcorn and deep fried cheese sticks.  Fried eggs and ham inside a grilled cheese.  I love unhealthy foods.  I do eat vegetables, fruits and yogurt, etc.  and 5 out of 7 days we eat a balanced diet. 

But my go-to is salty junk food.  Wrapped in bacon.  Deep fried.  With a side of ranch.