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HCA: Memorial Day beckons

Begin with remembrance, end with food.

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Smoked meat. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Memorial Day has arrived, which means it’s an opportunity for me to do three things:

  1. Take a moment to remember those who gave up their lives in military service.
  2. Marvel at the lack of actual Washington State Cougars news.
  3. Smoke meat.

So, let’s walk through each of these one at a time.

WSU’s Jason Krump started a Memorial Day series about 12 years ago, and he added to it over the years. Since this holiday is first and foremost about remembering those who have died, each story is still worth reading, and you can find them all here, on this thread.

While I know this holiday isn’t specifically about living service members, I still want to say thanks to all of those serving in the military, and offer particular thanks to those of you who have served and/or continue to serve in combat areas. Your courage is noted and commended.

Not much going on in the WSU universe, other than baseball’s season (mercifully) coming to an end yesterday with a sweep at the hands of the Arizona Wildcats. The Cougars finished with 11 overall wins ... as did the men’s basketball team ... as did the football team. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

On a much brighter note, track and field added three qualifiers over the weekend for the NCAA championships: Peyton Fredrickson and Mitch Jacobson in the high jump, and Nick Johnson in the 110-meter hurdles. Thrower Brock Eager had qualified earlier in the week. They’ll all travel to Austin, Texas, and begin competition on June 5.

SMOKED MEATS. Perhaps the thing most associated with Memorial Day is eating, and since I have the day off, that means I have the opportunity for a long cook — an opportunity I rarely pass up during the school year. (There aren’t very many summer break weeks that go by without a day or two spent smoking meats, too.)

As you can see from the picture at the top, I’ve a had a pork butt on the smoker for a while now — got up at 5 a.m. to get it going. I’m not a big fan of shortening the stall with a crutch (I like my bark crispy), so I gotta get it started nice and early to be ready for dinner.

I also put this in an our hour or so ago:

That would be the beginning of pork belly burnt ends, the most delicious thing that has ever entered my mouth. Here’s the recipe. If you hurry, you can still do as part of dinner!

And for the fellow meat smokers out there, I dry brine the pork, put Meathead’s Memphis Dust rub on it, then roll with my Pit Barrel Cooker (which I absolutely adore). If you’re not yet a meat smoker, I can’t recommend the PBC enough — its cost is fairly modest and it’s pretty foolproof. I like my results better than what my dad gets in his Traeger for about half the price.

What’s your favorite thing to cook on Memorial Day? If you have a great recipe you want to pass along, share it below.

UPDATE: Three hours of smoking later ... getting ready to head into the oven for braising.

UPDATE: All done.


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