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If you have a question for Doctor John, send an email to moc.oohay@nevarkeerc

May 2, 2010

The merry month of May has arrived. When I was a lad, May meant the time of the "May Fetes". They were an old tradition brought over from Europe that celebrated the coming of good times. The Fetes required spacious grounds and a large dance floor. They were an all-day family affair. Everyone showed up straight from church. There was a big barbecue dinner and plenty of the "pop with foam on top". The crowning of the King and Queen and introduction of the royal court brought applause from relatives and behind-the-hand whispers from non-relations.

Now May is celebrated by going to the lawn and garden department at the local tractor store.

Let us get to the business at hand.

Forest is cooking for a crowd: Hello, Dr. John. I have decided to smoke 40 pounds of Boston butt, the meatloaf and vegetables recipe you sent to me months back, and a bacon-sausage patty. (I'm using red oak.)

I have purchased some bottles of BBQ sauce, but I want to change up the sauce this time, I would like to use the fat that drips off the butts while smoking, I hear that this is the best way to make killer sauce, but I also was told that Memphis sauce is better. I have not made sauce for a while.

This is going to happen in May. This will be my son's birthday and wouldn't you know that my wife invited the whole family! It'll take at least 40 pounds of butt to feed this crowd, so I got to do the butt smoking' the day before and smoke the meatloaf and snacks the day of the party. There will be some here for the first time, so I need to impress these people. Any input you have on the butts, making the lump charcoal fire smell its best or anything else would be really appreciated! Thanks, Forest

Forest: Decorate the butt. Get a can of sliced pineapple and stick the slices with a cherry in the middle all over the visible part of the roast. Add the pineapple juice to your sauce. Skip catching the drippings unless you want to remove the fat before using it. If you do, stick it in the icebox overnight and the fat will set.

To get a good cooking smell, throw a handful of onion peelings on the coals. Not a lot, just enough to get the smell. Have the sun shine and the weather be nice. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

John barbecues a chuck: Esteemed Doctor: Your recipe of the week for Barbecued Chuck Roast looks fabulous and I must try it. I want to cook it on my Weber gas grill with some hickory chips in the smoker box. Recommended temperature?? Thanks, John

John: I would start the roast at 400°F for about 20 minutes and then cut back to about 300°F until you get the doneness you want. If you really want to tender it up, wrap it tight in foil for about last 30 minutes of cooking time. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

There’s irritation in Taos: When will Yankees learn how to pronounce guacamole? They keep saying "gwak-a-mo-lay." Gwak? What is gwak? When will they learn? Can we say "wah-ka-mo-lee"? Everybody now: "Wah ... wah ... wah-ka-mo-lay."

I was watching a food feature on the Travel Channel and this guy kept talking about his "gwak-a-mo-lay." I watched as he constructed it, just to make sure he knew avocado was the main ingredient, and to make sure he didn't do something stoopid like put celery in it.

Which is another thing. We all know, celery is a weed. It has only one use and that is to be chopped up and baked into dressing, as in turkey and dressing. Otherwise, it should not be considered as a valid ingredient for any dish. Am I right about this, or in your experiments have you found other uses for the aforementioned weed. Signed: Irritated in Taos

Well gosh, Irritated, we just have to make allowances for Yankees (anyone from farther north than Wichita Falls). They have so little romance in their lives that they are not familiar with the romance languages. The northerner you describe could have committed a real sin like putting mayonnaise in the guacamole mix. We will forgive him this one trespass.

He could have been reading a Texas map and encountered Mexia, (Muh-HAY-uh), or Refugio (Re-FUER-ee-oh). He could have also messed up Llano and/or Lajitas, (YAN-oh and La-HE-tas).

I bet when he got to Santone, he said "San Antonio in Bexer County" (with the "x" left in). I heard Rush Limbaugh say that one day. Everyone around here who has ten fingers and ten toes knows it is "San-tone in BAY-ar County".

We are not all perfect. I have some trouble with my Mandarin Chinese.

As for the celery, you are correct: Only in poultry dressing. For a long time there was a fancy dish that got hauled to all the celebrations. It was called Stuffed Celery. It was a chunk of celery stalk with strings attached filled with a mix of yellowish stuff said to be cheese. In the feeding line everyone took a piece, but it soon disappeared under the chicken bones.

Enough fun for now. See everyone next month.

If you have a question for Doctor John, send an email to moc.oohay@nevarkeerc
end article

Traditional Texas Food Articles
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