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There are few things that bring people together than these three:  Work, Need, and Food.  Few (by that I mean the minority) churches get the opportunity to built their facilities together or help rebuild houses.  And few suffer need.  (We might be better off if we grew closer to our brethren who are in dire need, as in Haiti.  But that’s another story.)  Many churches are recognized for their eating ministry efforts.  Pot luck dinners are always a favorite.  I’ve found this especially true in our fellowship where one Columbian family regularly brings a distinctive corn dish while a woman of Hindu/Indian descent makes the most wonderful curry chicken.  The Americans bring mashed potatoes and pizza.

I think American food can be a disappointment.  We like easy cooking.  And we men like to let the women do it.  (This why they were created in the first place, isn’t it?  But, again, that is also another story.)  So here is an option for the men:  Cook something special yourself.  Here is something you can do that will thrill teen or college boys and girls, takes little effort (though a lot of time),  and will make you the hero of the pot luck dinner.  It might even be a cause for getting your fellowship to begin a pot luck eating ministry.

The solution to your problems is:  Smoked meats.  You can do it year-round.  Winter, spring, summer, or fall.  All you gotta do is call.  (Oh, no, I’m channeling James Taylor.  Yuk.  But at least it wasn’t Tailor James.)  It works for chops, roasts, ribs, port or beef, as well as for brats and other sausages.  In the winter it’s a 4-hour project for a roast or country-style ribs.  About 2-3 for cops, brats, and other thinner items.

We’ve found the best taste to be a Memphis dry rub.  The basic recipe is:

8 tsp paprika
4 tsp salt
4 tsp onion powder (substitute garlic powder to taste)
4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper

But I’ve found that capsicum is much better tasting than cayenne.  Add a tablespoon of brown sugar for an accent of the flavor that comes with sauces, but avoid the mess.  And a tablespoon of vinegar makes pork items much more tasty.

Just mix the dry ingredients together.  One batch for about 2 lbs.  Rub it on the meat.  (That’s why it’s called rub, folks.  You gotta get your hands dirty.)  One batch covers about 2 lbs of meat.  Multiply as needed.

To smoke, we have a gas grill with a two-sided burner.  I turn one side on the lowest possible setting, set a pan of wood chips over the burner & coals, put the meat on some foil on the top rack (turn the edges up to keep moisture in), with a tent piece to hold smoke in.

Today’s pork roast not only smells good as I’m typing this, but it makes me very happy that I can practice Acts 10 without reservation.  It applies to both evangelism and eating, which is very good thing.

The wood chips — I poor water over them.  This allows some evaporating water carry flavor into the meat.  And when the water boils off the chips will smoke and add that pink edge to the meat.

Ok, there is no goose.  Unless you want to smoke one of those ever-present flying rat Canada geese that make a mess of parking lots.  They are, strangely and sadly enough, protected.  Why, I have no idea.  I’d like to protect one with the lid of my grill.

Oh, but you want something you can take home with you?  Well, stay away from my meat.  Got it?  Leave the pork.  Take the recipe.  Take the recipe and show your wife what a man can do with a chunk of pork.  It might impress her.  Maybe.

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