Crawfish Boil Family Feast

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Let me tell y’all how I get my family involved helping me do shit I need help with, I feed them afterwards, and provide them with plenty of frozen margaritas. What did they do for me to deserve such a royal feast? Well, the five male helpers who ranged in age from 20 to 62 helped me manually clean the edges of my 3 acre pond, meaning they cut, chopped, whacked, stacked, hauled, and prepared a burn pile of 8 years of under and over growth material to reveal my yard underneath. For 12 hours I saw nothing but assholes and elbows because the were aggressively attacking the pondskirt for increased access. I wonder where all the damn catfish will hide now.

The prize? A huge crawfish boil prepared by my son and me. The picture does not do the close to 50 pounds of food justice. When we dumped the basket onto the picnic table I thought I was going to lose a limb because the feeding frenzy had commenced. It took 6 adult males shy of 30 minuted to make the mountain of food disappear, that and around 6 1/2 gallons of frozen margaritas. For those of y’all who have never had crawfish all I can tell you is maybe you live to far up north. Its a popular meal down here in the gulf coast. Anyway, I just wanted to share because I know most of y’all reading this right now did not have this for dinner and that’s a crying damn shame.

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Bourbon Cajun Barbeque Pork Loin

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My regular visitors might remember that I cook, or grill, or smoke on a very regular basis, like daily. On occasion, like today, I share what I am doing, giving the recipe and instructions. Now, I am not anywhere near a professional in any sense of the word, however, over my life I have mastered a large handful of recipes and dishes I I really enjoy preparing. I also enjoy feedback from people who try my recipes at home so I know how it worked out for you. The recipe I will share today just happens to be what is for dinner tonight. I have made this a dozen plus times but this will be only the second time using this particular bourbon. The first time, just after Christmas, left me wanting more than I actually prepared so I decided since I had half a bottle left to have a repeat. Coincidentally, I received this bottle of bourbon as a birthday present so I haven’t actually ever purchased it myself. I know it tastes great straight, served over one ice cube. Anyway, here we go.

Bourbon Cajun Barbeque Pork Loin

  • 4 pounds unseasoned pork loin
  • 4 cups Texas Bourbon Whiskey (82.4 proof)
  • 1/2 cup Cajun blend spices
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cub brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper blend
  • 1 cup unflavored apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard powder
  1. In a large mixing bowl blend all ingredients until texture is smooth.
  2. Place pork loins fat side up in a 6 quart crock pot or slow cooker.
  3. Pour 1/2 of mixture over meat and using your hands massage the meat covering all sides of meat.
  4. Pour remaining mixture over the top, making sure it settles into all the crevices.
  5. Place the lid on.
  6. Put selector on low for 8 hours.
  7. Remove from slow cooker and place on serving dish. Wrap with tinfoil and let rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Slice to desired thickness and serve with your selected sides.

Yes, it is exactly that easy. Those of y’all who cook know that the portions can be reduced to yield a smaller meal if feeding less people. I hope y’all enjoy this recipe and look forward to hearing your personal results. If you like it share it with your friends and family.

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Finally I Can Make This Announcement

2014 Diablo Scorpion

I’m very pleased to be able to finally announce that the Diablo Scorpion 2014 Houston Rodeo Cookoff Team has been accepted to compete 27 February 2014 to 01 March 2014 in the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que cookoff in the 2014 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. That is right, y’all heard me correctly, my cookoff team will be participating in 2014. This will be the 3rd year I have brought a team to the cookoff, not in a row, and never winning, but it’s always fun to be in the midst of the world’s greatest cooks. I am but a pup in this competition amongst some of the biggest dogs known worldwide. It takes allot of work to get here, it costs allot of money to get to this point, and luckily the Diablo Scorpion Team has great sponsors. However, if y’all want to contribute to the cause then all y’all need to is contact me, find my e-mail address in the Contact Scorpion Sting tab above. Our team is unpaid, we are not professionals, and all proceeds after costs go straight into our non-profit organization 501c3 fund and is donated to our local Boy Scouts of America troop to help fund activities, provide supplies, and send them to camp.

So, if y’all will be in the Houston area on the dates listed above and plan on attending the 2014 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, then stop by the Diablo Scorpion booth and mention you saw this information on The Sting Of The Scorpion and we will provide you a plate of bar-b-que on the house. We will be selling t-shirts with the above logo at our booth where they will debut. We will not be selling alcohol but there are plenty of booths that will have it available. I look forward to this year’s competition with all the new people I will be meeting. This will be a perfect opportunity to meet me and my family in person. For those of y’all un-able to make it I will be providing plenty of pictures and a breakdown of the competition when it is all said and done. Wish us luck!

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Smoked Wild Turkey For Thanksgiving 2013

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Y’all can consider this to be part two to Our Family Thanksgiving Tradition which was published on 25 November 2013. I provide the link only if y’all need to catch up, refresh, or both. Whichever y’all decide to do, just hurry up, we have allot to discuss. When I left off last time I mentioned that we dressed out our wild turkey and set it to soak in a magic recipe. But, before I give y’all those details so y’all might try it out some day for yourselves, y’all must make sure you have one very specific item, and that is a 5 gallon bucket with a tight sealing lid. I prefer to get mine from Home Depot because, to date, they have yet to ever, and I mean ever, fail me for having a leak proof tight lid. But, y’all make that call when I’m not looking. Also, for the meat haters who love to hate it when I write about meat I just want you to know, specifically you, yes, a wild turkey was harmed (killed) to complete this recipe. There, I said it, now get over yourselves and either turn tail and leave or read on. Now, wash the 5 gallon bucket and lid real well, scrub it good. When it is clean and dry place it on a chair and make sure it isn’t going to fall off of it. Place one dressed wild turkey in the bucket, neck up and tail down. Pour two 750ml bottles of Wild Turkey into the bucket with the turkey. Y’all can use the basic run of the mill Wild Turkey if you please, I had a case of Rare Breed leftover from a party when I worked at the club, so I used it, well, two bottles of it anyway.

Open two large cans of whole berry cranberry sauce and pour those in as well. Wash 4 good sized oranges and slice them into 1/4″ thick slices leaving the peels on. Take all of the slices and slice them in half then put them in the bucket. Wash and cut 1 each red, yellow, and green bell pepper. Put those in the bucket now. Wash and cut 4 jalapeno peppers and place those in the bucket. I also added 1/4 cub Tabasco Sauce, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce,  1 cup (packed) brown sugar, and 1/2 cup (finely chopped) mint leaves. Whatever space remains in the bucked fill with cool water until the liquid level is about 1 1/2″ from the top. Securely put the lid on and I mean make sure it’s on tight or you will have a mess to clean up. Carefully remove the handle from the bucket and set it aside for now. Lay the bucket on the floor on it’s side and roll it back and forth until you think everything has blended well. As tempting as it may be do not, under any circumstances, take that lid off until you are ready to smoke it. Now, I happen to have a refrigerator that I have taken the bottom shelf out of so my bucket fits just fine, you’ll have to see what works for you as it needs to sit this way for a few days. Mine sat like this for 96 hours (4 days).

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After you get your smoker up to temperature it will be time for the turkey. I began my fire with red oak until the smoker would maintain about 500F, then I added some hickory and mesquite which had been soaking in a bigger bucket for a few days that was filled with water. When you are ready for the turkey just pry the lid off the bucket, reach in there barehanded, grab the turkey, and slap it on the smoker. Do not discard the remaining contents in the bucket, some of it will get smoked and some of it will be used in a bit. The remaining contents need to be strained so all of the liquid is removed. One can also “dip” everything out as well. Split the solids in to equal portions. Take one portion and put it in a blender or food processor and puree the snot out it. If it is really thick, add a little Coke. It should come out the consistency of ketchup. Set that mixture back in the fridge. The remaining portion can be placed on a cookie sheet, covered with something, and placed into the fridge. Those will be put on the smoker when there is only about 2 hours remaining. Now, do not open your smoker to look at the turkey because it is doing just fine without you looking at letting the heat and smoke out. Mine cooked for 12 hours. At the 6 hour mark I took the puree mixture and slathered it all over the turkey. Close the smoker. Discard all remaining puree.

Now that you have around 2 hours remaining of cook time, put that cookie sheet of peppers and orange slices on the smoker uncovered. They will be removed when you remove the turkey from the smoker. When the time is up, carefully remove your smoked turkey. Use “hot gloves” so you can grab the whole turkey and keep it together. Place the turkey on your selected platter, leave uncovered, and let it “rest” for around 1 hour. The peppers and oranges can be used as garnish, ground up and put into something, or just eaten, the choice is yours. We cut ours up and make a salsa concoction out of it. Your turkey will slice very easily and should have a deep smoke ring as well as a nice crust on the outside. Now has come the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Making a turkey this way is time consuming and requires quite a bit of patience. Unfortunately there are no short cuts if you want it to come out right. I hope everyone enjoyed this information provided here today. Feel free to share it with family and friends. The more people smoking means the more opportunities there are to explore the best ways to come up with great creations.

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Now, I feel inclined to add some things for the meat haters and the anti-alcohol people. First, this isn’t the only way to make a turkey, it is however, my personal way, one that works for me. First, a note about alcohol content in the meat. Since the meat is smoked at a temperature well over 172F (the boiling point of alcohol) for pretty close to 12 hours the remaining alcohol contained in the meat is way less than 5% if any at all. You will be, however, left with all the flavor that the Wild Turkey provides when used in smoking. Don’t believe me, just look it up and the answer will be revealed to you. As mentioned, yes, a turkey was killed, in fact it was killed by my 12 y/o son using a compound bow. You may not think so, but bow hunting has become a lost art with very few in the next generation being taught the skills and techniques. It’s a way of life in my family, we are not city folks, we live in the outskirts of society where being able to provide meat for the table is a gift not a curse. I’m sorry that so many people are against killing animals to eat because it makes it hard for people like myself and my family to enjoy a passion which we have all grown up loving. Unfortunately, you bastards attacked me when I published a post about the hunt, and unfortunately some of y’all will feel inclined to bitch at me and lecture me once again. Well, make sure what you say is worth a shit so I have something worthy of writing about, because if it’s not than you’ve just wasted both of our time. I’m not writing here to offend anybody, I’m just writing about a big aspect of my life, hunting and smoking meats. I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a safe holiday and had an enjoyable time, I know we did. Until Next time, remember to eat it every day.

Our Family Thanksgiving Tradition

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For as long as I can remember I have went hunting on the weekend before Thanksgiving in an attempt to provide one, if not more, turkeys to prepare for our Thanksgiving feast. Even before I was hunting myself, I was tagging along, learning from my father, my grandfather, and my uncles. I was very excited when I turned 12 because  it was finally my time to join in on the hunt with my family. As the years passed on the tradition was carried on with my own children, it started with my oldest daughter (23 y/o now), my middle daughter (17 y/o now), and most recently with my 12 y/o son. He has accompanied me for many years and after turning 12 this summer he knew it was going to be his turn to bring home a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. My family has a “secret” spot where we bow hunt for turkey. I was entrusted with the location years ago and 3 years ago the ownership of the land was transferred to me when my uncle passed away. This is one location friends never get to go, this is one place that is for family members only, and that tradition has been in place since the 30s and I don’t see it changing on my watch. For the last few years my son has been practicing his bow hunting skills and proved himself recently during bow hunting season when he had a very clean kill of a 10 point whitetail buck from 35 yards at ground level. A technically challenging shot for seasoned bow hunters. Lets just say he nailed it after a long road of education, patience, and dedication.

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The first part of the hunt always starts a few weeks before the season actually opens up. We set up stalks to see where the turkey are running so we can calculate the best places for us to set up later. As I stated before, we have been bow hunting this land for many, many years, and for the most part the turkey pass through the same spots by the river year after year, so that is where we start, year after year. There is no need to bait or place decoys because they have a healthy population in this area and a relatively easy to find if you actually know where to look. Granted, there have been seasons so stricken with drought that there were no turkeys, but they always come back sooner or later. My son has mastered the art of the stalk, he has mastered the art of taking pictures in the wild, flagging trees, and mapping out locations with and without using a gps. He like to spend time in the woods without a weapon as well, he likes the connection, and he appreciates that mother nature is willing to provide a great bounty to see that our family eats all year long. He learned early on that in our family we do not buy meat from the store, we hunt, and we provide 95% of the meat that is eaten by our family.

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This year, with my work schedule, the rest of my family went out opening weekend and have not returned because they hit their limits already. But, my son and my daughters have yet to go, until yesterday. The way it all ended up working out is my son and I drove out to our location late Saturday afternoon. With just enough daylight left we had time to set up our tent, get a campfire going, and get some food prepared. It was an anxious night for my son, I don’t think he slept at all because he was so excited, he has been waiting a very long time to be able to be the one who brings home the turkey we will eventually eat for Thanksgiving. With the exception that it was 40 degrees overnight, I slept just fine. At 4am I start feeling the jabs from my son, with a dad, dad, dad, dad. Is it time to get up? Is it time yet? Dad, dad, dad, dad. In the distance we could already hear the songs of the turkeys, it was time to get up, eat real quick, and disappear into the woods. At first light we were surprised to see many large turkeys feeding at the edge of the trees. It was very hard to move through the trees and brush because the leaf litter was very crunchy. As we came closer we started getting into the wet litter so we would arrive undetected. We were in place for about 30 minutes when my son was ready to take his first shot. Deep breath, release, breath again. He had made the perfect shot, the turkey dropped immediately. It was the perfect textbook shot from 30 yards. He quickly ran to his bird, assessed his breathing, there was none, so we knew he was dead. My son kneeled by the turkey, put his hand under his limp body, and offered a prayer. “Lord, thank you for this beautiful turkey as this turkey will feed my family and provide happiness for everyone. We thank you for providing this turkey, in your name we pray, amen”. It took me a moment, I was a bit choked up, as I wiped the tears from my eyes I realized my son understood his connection with the land, the animals, and mother nature. It was a beautiful moment to witness.

We packed up to head back to camp where we loaded the ATVs on the trailer, packed the tent, diluted the ashes of the fire, and put the turkey in the cooler in preparation for our travels home. Sunday night we dressed the 23lb turkey and set it to soak in a secret recipe of Wild Turkey, cranberry sauce, sliced oranges, a variety of mild peppers and seasoning, and just a pinch of my secret ingredient. This turkey will rest in this mixture in the refrigerator until late Wednesday night when he will be removed to join the others on my pit smoker for their 12 hour journey into smoked tenderness and bliss. Until then, this post will close.

The Annual Neighborhood Yard Sale

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No matter what I get involved in it always seems that I get asked to drag my smoker out and do what I do best. Some people cook, some people grill, but only the best can smoke. For those of y’all new to The Sting Of The Scorpion all I can do is recommend that your do a category search for “Smoking” and catch up. For everyone else this in just another day in my life. I’m not sure if I have ever posted pictures of the “other woman” (as it is called by my wife) so here she is. I have more smokers but this one is my oldest and my favorite. I built this trailer smoker back when I was in high school in the year 1985 based on a smaller project I had completed in shop class earlier that year. My smoker was built-in my parents garage using leftover metal from other projects. The trailer was bought at a yard sale and then modified and beefed up to make sure it was up to the task at hand. Since its conception and completion this smoker has been in my family ever since. When I joined the United States Air Force in 1988 I made sure this smoker went with me all over the planet, wherever I went, she went. Anyway, back to the present.

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This past weekend was the annual neighborhood yard sale. Around 200 houses and businesses participate and it is generally a real big deal for this community. My baby sister happens to live here in this small country town southwest of Houston and they participate year after year because she invites all of the family and in-laws to participate. I always have two specific jobs, I smoke and I play cashier. This year was a little different because I actually brought some big things to sell like a leather living room set, dining room table with 8 chairs and three 2 foot leafs, two different Arachnid (brand) electronic dart boards that I had restored (circa 1982), an adult go-cart, washer & dryer, and an ass-load of clothes. When I pulled up at 5am with my trailer-load and smoker in tandem tow I was greeted by my parents, my sister, and some early morning “shoppers”. In the end, the only thing that made it to be sold in the yard sale was the clothes. I had made $8800.00 before it ever began. I unloaded the trailer onto 4 different pick-up trucks and I was basically done. I wasn’t expecting it to be that easy, but it was, and it made the rest of the day a breeze for me. Over all, selling 90% of the clothes brought in another $413.50 making my grand total for the day $9213.50 which wasn’t too shabby in my book. I got a whole lot more money like this than I would have seen using Craigslist. So, I had a great day. The rest of the clothes were given to my mother to donate to their local Goodwill.

I would like to discuss the people who came here to buy “other people’s junk” because the range at the yard sale was better than I could ever find at the mall. There are three types of people I saw that really stood out. There were the “lookers and fondlers” that basically had to see everything, did through everything, yet bought nothing. Then there were the “hagglers” who wanted to get a better deal than the best deal offered. These are my favorite because they have the most money to spend and they are trying to get as many deals as they can for their buck. Luckily, for me personally, I only had to drop off my price for one item which was the adult go-cart, I was asking $3500.00 since I paid $3500.00 for it. It was ran hard and I know it, but it was clean and well maintained, we settled on $3400.00 and the old man thought he got a bargain on the 5-year-old cart. I guess it is time to go buy me more toys for Christmas. The last group was the “in a hurry” people because they move at high speeds hoping one won’t see something or something will get missed. Are they scamming, probably not, but if something was overlooked they wouldn’t say anything in my opinion. But, they never haggle, just pay how much they owe, which is super easy for me. When I price something I always go high with it because I know people will want to work the price down, which is the game we play, but everything has a bottom dollar they won’t budge from.

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Pictured above was load number two of the meat that was smoked, ribs, brisket, and sausage. Earlier I had smoked 80 sausage links and sold them for $3.00 a piece as sausage on a sticks. Since the meat was provided (donated) by my sister’s father in law, he wanted all proceeds to go to the “kitty” and divided up between the 6 families that were there, so we all got an extra $40.00 to boot plus I basically snacked on whatever I wanted all day long so I didn’t go hungry. In the end it was a good day, I went home with an empty trailer, a pocket full of cold hard cash, and a full belly. Anyway, that was my Saturday what did yours look like.