Day Off No. 3

Ok, at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, I wanted to murder. Everything. The sheets? Kill them. The doorknob? Must be slaughtered. The blades of grass? Shall be dismembered and fed to the flames of my all-consuming rage.

It took a couple of hours, but eventually the all-consuming rage was doused by a cup of coffee and a very patient boyfriend.

Pa came by at 8 to drop off the smoker, and CCB went right to work building the charcoal fire. The Brisket of Odysseus went in at 8:45, and then? We wait.

Before…

Lots of discussion about the proper way to smoke  brisket–this being our first. We went with fat-side down (protects the bottom of the meat from direct heat), smoker steady around 225 degrees. Eventually, when the center of the meat reached around 150 degrees, CCB put it in a foil pouch with a mixture of apple juice and apple cider vinegar, and sealed it to be braised.

Then it rained, and the braising was brought indoors to the oven.

With that meat situation pretty well under control, we pondered our options and settled on a quick trip to the bowling alley. Because frankly, if I’m up and outside in 90-degree heat at 8 a.m., I want to spend an hour or two in a cold, dark cavern–i.e. Bradenton Lanes.

As for fireworks, weeeell, let’s cut to the chase: It didn’t take long for me to set my shirt on fire.

Y’see, CCB’s created this ingenious little bottle rocket launcher out of a hollow composite hockey stick (no blade), with duct tape over one end. If the user, however, it’s not so ingenious, it’s a little too easy for the lit bottle rocket to get caught on the lip of the open end, so that its propulsion charge lands on your crisp white Siesta Key Rum T-shirt and burns a hole clear on through.

(To be fair, CCB also managed to burn his collar bone.) (To be really fair, though, that was also my fault.)

Our neighborhood is awesome for fireworks. It’s like an urban battleground. (Well, it’s alwayslike an urban battleground, but at least on the Fourth it’s all fireworks. Er, mostly.) Mortars in all colors going off in all directions. It reminded me of standing on the roof of an App State dorm in Boone, N.C. and watching fireworks going off across the mountain forests. You didn’t see the actual fireworks as much there, but the flashes lighting up the trees and sides of mountains in little valleys across the landscape made it feel like we were watching pockets of fighting in the Civil War.

Here, too, there’s this great feeling of so many different stories peaking all at once.

…after.

Oh, and the brisket? Sweet, tender and still MASSIVE. Seriously, want some? UFC at our place on Saturday. There’s plenty to go around.

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