Tag Archives: FOOD

Tips on Makin’ Smoke

Most people know that the secret to turning tough cuts of meat into tender, juicy, and delicious barbecue involves cooking it in a smokey, low heat environment for a long time. Low and slow as the saying goes.

Over the years I’ve tried lots of different smokers and seen many more being used by others, including competition BBQ teams. Just about anything can be used if the temperature can be controlled while introducing smoke. At the Georgia State BBQ Championship I even saw a guy using the interior and front trunk of a VW Beetle for a smoker. You couldn’t see what was inside, however, because the windows were blacked out by layers of smokey residue.

Several years ago I got tired of tending to hours of charcoal and wood fires and began trying to create smoke with my Weber propane grill. The problem is, wood won’t smolder and smoke at the low temps needed to cook a pork butt slowly.

My solution turned out to be creating a separate “hot” fire for the wood chips, and a “low” fire for the meat. I took an aluminum pie pan, punched some ventilation holes in it, built a small charcoal fire in it, and once the coals got hot enough I piled on the chip. I then lit off the gas burners, adjusted for a temperature of about 225 degrees, and let it do the low and slow magic while the charcoal kept the smoke rolling.

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There’s a New Cookbook in Town!

Michelle Beatty Prater is a MHS graduate, resident of Leesburg, OH, and one heck of a good cook. Over the course of the past couple of years she has also become somewhat of an expert on eating a healthy diet and living a quality lifestyle.

As part of her life changes she has taken the time to author a cookbook of recipes and healthy tips on treating yourself better. The book, That’s Supper in the Burg, is now on sale at Amazon in digital format for an affordable $4.99.

In the past year, or so, Michelle has lost close to 200 pounds so I know there’s something in her book that can be of value if you have to lose a few yourself.

Michelle's Book

A Rose by Any Other Name is Still a Sub

sub-grinder mapSuper Bowl Sunday is just days away and the Mother’s Club will be assembling hundreds of sub sandwiches. As much as any single food, the submarine sandwich has become a Super Bowl staple.

In these days anyone in American can describe what a sub sandwich is. The most common fast food restaurant in today’s America is the Subway chain of sandwich shops. So, as the chain grew so did the use of the term sub to describe that pile of meats, cheeses, and toppings that get stuffed into a long bun.

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Bread wars

About the only time I favor drive-thru fast food is when traveling and having to keep a schedule. On our recent drive to Miami and back I took note of what seems to be a bread war between fast food chains. Hardee’s was touting their buns as being fresh baked and several chains, Wendy’s included, were featuring what’s becoming a food fad, the pretzel bun sandwich. Even aboard our cruise ship pretzel breads and bread sticks were served at every meal. Wraps seem to remain popular and McD’s has added several new versions to its menu.

Barbecue Heavens

For at least ten years I was in search of the world’s best barbecue and have driven countless miles and made countless out-of-the-way wilber shirley's bbqtrips following up a lead. One of the first times I had Southern BBQ was at Maurice Bessinger’s Piggie Park in Columbia, SC and for a short time it was my standard. Then my brother and sister-in-law turned me on to Wilber’s BBQ (Wilber Shirley) BBQ in Goldsboro, NC.

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Two corners in NOLA

What a difference a corner can make. If you’re in New Orleans and you decide to have a meal on the corner of St. Peter’s and Jackson Square in the French Quarter you may or may not be happy. On the NOLA - 2014 (1)other hand, if you’re looking for a corner restaurant to have lunch in,  where there’s little chance of disappointment, you may want to stop at the corner of St. Ann’s and North Tonti in the Treme neighborhood.

The French Quarter option is The Corner Oyster Bar and my grandson and I had supper there recently. I debated between boiled crawdads or shrimp and went for the shrimp. Cyrus picked chicken wings. While he was satisfied with the wings I could tell that they probably came from a freezer. Being within spittin’ distance of the Gulf I was pretty sure the shrimp would be perfect. What I was delivered, however, was a half pound of dead cold shrimp still bearing their heads (not a problem) and veins (problem). Furthermore, they had been boiled so long the flesh had become tough and stringy. The only good thing I can say is their cocktail sauce was great.

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Hershey, PA

Just noticed that one of my Facebook friends is on a trip out East and stopped for a visit at Hershey’s Chocolate World. We visited there several years ago with the grandkids and while they had a blast it was somewhat of a disappointment for me.

hershey barThe reason being, I was there in the early 1970s when visitors were actually given a tour through the entire Hershey Chocolate factory. You got to witness the entire process of making chocolate from raw beans to the molding of millions of Hershey Milk Chocolate Bars and

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HCCAO’s summer feeding programs

For the second year now the Highland County Community Action Organization has participated in a summer feeding program for school age children. The Greenfield program is held at the McClain Cafetorium Monday through Friday from 11:30 am till 12:30 pm and provides a free lunch for all children regardless of need.

Last summer about 100 Greenfield children took part and this year has witnessed a significant increase. The first day of the program was June 9th with 40 children. The number rose to 70 on the second day and 132 on day three.

In addition to the meal program HCCAO has also, for the second year, received a grant from the state to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to the children that can be taken home to their families.

This morning, June 11, 2014, a large truck arrived at the Fifth St. colonnades and offloaded palates of watermelon, bananas, pears, oranges, and peanut butter. Volunteers broke the palates down into individual shopping bags and what the children didn’t take was donated to the Greenfield Area Christian Center’s food bank for distribution on Fridays between 2-4 pm.

This distribution effort depends on volunteer labor and if you have a few hours on Wednesday mornings during the summer please consider helping out sometime between 9:30 am and 1:00 pm. Just come to the colonnades and lend a hand.

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I want my Snickers

I don’t eat a lot of candy but when I want to munch on a bar I most often reach for a Snicker. For decades this familiar rectangle of chocolate covered peanuts, caramel and nougat has been an American favorite. So what does a company with an icon in its lineup do? Well, it prostitutes the brand name by plastering it on everything it can.

candy gum (2)A recent stroll past a candy counter brought me face to face with a whole array of different flavored Snickers bars. There was the regular Snickers, the Peanut Butter Snickers, the Almond Snickers, and the 3X Chocolate Covered Snickers. Missing were the Snickers Fudge Bar and the Snickers Dark Chocolate.

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True stories about cops & donuts

cops & donutsI saw the included photo on Facebook and it brought to mind a couple of true stories about the love affair cops are supposed to have with donuts.

The first one involves a former chief of police in my hometown. We were having a private conversation once and I asked him about what he would be doing if he weren’t a cop. His response was, “I won a blue ribbon once at the county fair for my donuts. I think I’d like to open a donut shop.” Sure enough, several years after he got out of the cop biz he went in with his brother and opened a donut shop that, by coincidence or design, was directly across the street from the village police station.

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G3 & MHS FFA offering free garden plants

Greening Greater Greenfield (G3), with the McClain High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter. is offering a free garden plant package to residents of the Greenfield School District. This season’s package will include three tomato plants, three pepper plants, four onion sets, and six marigold plants. The packages can be picked up on May 8, 2014 at the Vocational Agriculture Building, corner of Fifth and Lafayette Streets in Greenfield between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:30 pm. A donation would be appreciated and all donated funds will be given to one of Greenfield’s food banks.

This is the beginning of what G3 hopes to become a community gardening program that will eventually include workshops on establishing a proper backyard garden and hands-on food preservation workshops teaching participants the proper methods of canning and freezing surplus vegetables.

Mike Sykes, MHS Vo-Ag teacher, FFA members, G3 representatives Brenda Losey, Shari Royse-Bellar and Ron Coffey.