It is easy in Indianapolis (especially) to get wrapped up in the Indy 500 and race activities (whether you follow racing or not). This year was an especially rare May, as most of the world has been sequestered or at least somewhat limited across geographies from seeing some of their friends, extended families, and social events in general. Much of May's excitement in the midwest is getting past the rainy (and still cold) part of spring and getting into the nice outdoor season!
With all of that distraction aside, Memorial Day's purpose is to honor military members who have died, while Veterans Day recognizes the service of all America's veterans. I sometimes get Memorial Day and Veterans day confused. Pop over to the History Channel for an article covering some of the history of the holiday.
Memorial Day hits home more for some than others. I don't have any close family members that died while serving in wars, but young and old Americans have lost spouses, brothers, sisters, and parents that died while serving. Imagery on social media can remind us how this day can feel different to some.
I spent much of my Memorial Day weekend with family, outside, and smoking/grilling all sorts of meats and cheeses, which is something I tend to enjoy in my free time.
I've been grilling and smoking foods for over 20 years. I've owned a variety of grills and smokers, but split my time now between a Big Green Egg (kamado-style ceramic lump charcoal grill) for everything smoked, slow cooked, or seared and a Weber natural gas grill for the quick cooks, vegetables or anything that doesn't need a kiss of smoke.
My menu for the long weekend started fairly simple with pulled pork...
My personality (Enneagram 7/8) often motivates me to go "all out" with a lot of spontaneity (which no doubt can sometimes drive my much more organized and planful spouse a bit crazy.
First, I decided to make a cheese board... because, who doesn't love cheese?
One might think a couple blocks of cheese and some Ritz crackers might be sufficient. A quick trip to the Murray's cheese section at Kroger proved me to not be able to go with such a simple and relaxing option.
Then I decided to candy some bacon in a bourbon barrel aged maple syrup that I had picked up a couple weeks prior (I found it to be too rich for pancakes). I had not made candied bacon before but was pleased with the output and how the maple syrup caramelized into into a coating you would find on some high quality caramel corn or toffee.
For those that are fellow smokers, the smell of opening a foil pack or towel after resting the meat (the important period of time between pulling the meat off the grill and slicing or shredding it that makes it extra tender) is something of great awe and wonder. It never seems to get old.
If you are interested in getting into Big Green Egging - you might consider heading down to Chef JJ's downtown. This is where I got my start.
Sullivan Hardware over on 6955 N Keystone Ave has a recently expanded grilling section and has become a recent stop for me, since unfortunately Chef JJ's (JJ's Backyard) lost their lease in Broadripple near my house. Who would have thought putting a restaurant in a hardware store, but Sully's Grill in Sullivan Hardware is quite an epic idea. I have not eaten there yet, but it is on my list and looked amazing when I was in yesterday.
|I will try to share solid recipes when I use them, incase you want to replicate. This weekend was a bit unscripted and free style. I used Dizzy Pig - Dizzy Dust on the pork and BBQ Spot - Rub Some Butt (which I think I picked up at Ace Hardware in Carmel)
Hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day Weekend and got some rest, relaxation, and fun with your families and friends.
Until next time!