Let Us Try Something New

“Someday” I will write that book or go on that vacation or try my hand at that new occupation. Someday is a thief that will swallow us whole. We have all been there and we are all there. It’s just a matter of what it is and when we are going to admit to ourselves that we aren’t getting after it.

I do this myself. “Someday” makes you feel like “someday” you will actually do something about it without having to commit. The opportunity to procrastinate is never ending and so there is no ending. I have done this with writing, cooking, traveling, work goals and the list runs on.

With my fun addiction of smoking meat, there are three that I have cooked so regularly that it is more of a routine than a challenge–ribs, chicken and pulled pork. It is fun to change up a few recipes but I am familiar with the routine. There was this little bug in the back of my head that kept telling me there was one more meat that I was avoiding. I knew it but avoiding it was a better answer. I could tell myself “someday.” Well the nagging in my head got louder and so I realized that it was time to smoke a brisket.

A couple years back, I did smoke a brisket–one time. I put it on the smoker and when the thermometer read 170, I took it off. Everyone liked it and complimented me well. After taking Rub Bagby’s Q’ School class and studying, I knew that it was much more complex than that. Nothing to do but avoid it for a time.

In March we were to get together with a couple whom we see a few times a year. She lived in Italy for a time and learned to cook fresh, authentic Italian food. It’s hard to measure up to her. I decided that that night was going to be brisket provided by us so I put it on the calendar. The Wednesday before, I purchased a prime-grade brisket. I had been studying Aaron Franklin’s method of cooking brisket for a month.

On Thursday we got a text that she was under the weather and wouldn’t be able to meet up that Saturday. It was the perfect excuse (and it was thought about) for me to put that brisket in the freezer and live to smoke it another day–someday.

I knew that this couldn’t be. If I was to learn brisket I was going to have to get in the game. I wanted it to be perfect before I started. Yet, not starting was keeping the perfection at bay. We did delay but only by one day. On Saturday I studied, trimmed, seasoned and got that brisket on the smoker. It was the epitome of an “I sure hope this works” moment.

There wasn’t much sleep that night as when it got through the stall, and hit 170 degrees, it was time to wrap it. After it hit 205, it was time for rest–both the brisket and me.

Did it turn out? Will they like it? Will they ever be back? Oh the emotional ego battle I was having. time came to carve and serve. As my swim coach would say, “it’s time to see what you’ve got.”

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