July 23rd 2008 5:06 am
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All dis chasin after Isabella has made me all svelte and fit. I went from 26 to 23 pounds! Plus when de weasel Isabella came Ma decided it was all dry fud fur us, no more canned Wellness except on speshul occasions, so maybe dat is why I got skinnee too. We hab been creatin quite a hullabaloo, lemme tell ya. We roll and tumble and root and sprint. I take off in de yard and she tries to catch me, course she cant cuz shes little so I try to double back and get her and usually I trip over her and she does a 360 degree roll and I fall! It is quite a commotion, and usually Kelsey is in on the action too. She gets caught up in the roll and its one big wad of tan, white and black fur rolling round the yard in a ball. It is very entertaining and has had Ma laughing out loud outside many many times.
May 26th 2008 1:00 pm
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Sometimes in life we meet a friend who inspires us. Pugsident Irving was that friend to me. From our very first day on dogster, he mentored us, showed us around, and even helped my sister, Kelsey find Love with her BF Barney.
His leadership was outstanding. He went the extra mile to bring us all together on Pugapalooza and helped us not only have fun, but learn more about each other and become closer friends with each other. He was a true leader and he is missed every day.
Godspeed Pugsident. We love you, man.
*pouring one out for his pal*
April 16th 2008 6:47 pm
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We researched good old Pulled PORK BBQ! We like it Memphis style! It is a little chunka heaven, lemme tell ya.......
In the United States, especially the southeastern region, barbecue (also spelled barbeque or abbreviated BBQ) refers to a technique of cooking that involves cooking meat for long periods of time at low temperatures over a wood fire; often this is called pit barbecue, and the facility for cooking it is the barbecue pit. This form of cooking adds a distinctive smoky taste to the meat; barbecue sauce, while a common accompaniment, is not required for many styles.
The barbecue traditions originate from the southeastern region, where the culture is strongest, but have spread out to the rest of the country. Often the proprietors of southern style barbecue establishments in other areas originate from the southeast. In the southeast, barbecue is more than just a style of cooking, it is a subculture with wide variation between regions, and fierce competition for titles at local barbecue competitions.
The barbecue region
The origins of American barbecue date back to colonial times, with the first recorded mention in 1610, and George Washington mentions attending a "barbicue" in Alexandria in 1769. As the country expanded westwards along the Gulf of Mexico and north along the Mississippi River, barbecue went with it.
The core region for barbecue is the southeastern region of the United States, an area bordered on the west by Texas and Oklahoma, on the north by Missouri, Kentucky, and North Carolina, on the south by the Gulf of Mexico, and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. While barbecue is found outside of this region, the thirteen core barbecue states contain 70 of the top 100 barbecue restaurants, and most top barbecue restaurants outside the region have their roots there.
Barbecue in its current form grew up in the poor South, where both black and white cooks learned to slow roast tough cuts of meat over fire pits to make them tender. This slow cooking over smoke leaves a distinctive line of red just under the surface, where the myoglobin in the meat reacts with carbon monoxide from the smoke, and the smoky taste essential to barbecue.
These humble beginnings are still reflected in the many barbecue restaurants that are operated out of hole-in-the-wall locations, by individualists with shady reputations; the rib joint is the purest expression of this. Many of these will have irregular hours, and remain open only until all of a day's ribs are sold; they may shut down for a month at a time as the proprietor goes on vacation. Despite these unusual traits, rib joints will have a fiercely loyal clientèle.
The origins of barbecue tradition
The first ingredient in the barbecue tradition was the meat. Pigs came to the Americas with the Spanish explorers, and quickly turned feral. This provided the most widely used protein used in most barbecue, pork ribs, as well as the pork shoulder for pulled pork. The techniques used in barbecue are hot smoking and smoke cooking. Hot smoking is where the meat is cooked with a wood fire, over indirect heat, at temperatures between 120 and 180 F (49 and 82 C), and smoke cooking is cooking over indirect fire at higher temperatures. Unlike cold smoking, which preserves meat and takes days of exposure to the smoke, hot smoking and smoke cooking are cooking processes. While much faster than cold smoking, the cooking process still takes hours, as many as 18. The long, slow cooking process leaves the meat tender and juicy.
The next ingredient in barbecue is the wood. Since the wood smoke flavors the food, not just any wood will do; different woods impart different flavors, so availability of various woods for smoking influences the taste of the barbecue in different regions.
Hard woods such as hickory, mesquite, pecan and the different varieties of oak impart a strong smoke flavor.
Maple, adler, and fruit woods such as apple, pear, and cherry impart a milder, sweeter taste.
Stronger flavored woods are used for pork and beef, while the lighter flavored woods are used for fish and poultry. More exotic smoke generating ingredients can be found in some recipes; grapevine adds a sweet flavor, and sassafras, a major flavor in root beer adds its distinctive taste to the smoke.
The last, and in many cases optional, ingredient is the barbecue sauce. There are no constants, with sauces running the gamut from clear, peppered vinegars to thick, sweet, tomato and molasses sauces, from mild to painfully spicy. The sauce may be used as a marinade before cooking, applied during cooking, after cooking, or used as a table sauce. An alternate form of barbecue sauce is the dry rub, a mixture of salt and spices applied to the meat before cooking.
While the wide variety of barbecue styles makes it is difficult to break barbecue styles down into regions, there are four major styles commonly referenced, though many sources list more. Pork is the most common protein used, followed by beef, often with chicken or turkey in addition. Mutton is found in some areas, such as Owensboro, Kentucky, and some regions will add other meats. The four major styles consist of Memphis and Carolina, which rely on pork and represent the oldest styles, and Kansas City and Texas, which utilize beef as well as pork, and represent the later evolution of the original deep south barbecue.
Memphis barbecue is primarily ribs, which come "wet" and "dry". Wet ribs are brushed with sauce before and after cooking, and dry ribs are seasoned with a dry rub. Pulled pork, from the shoulder, is also a popular item, which is served smothered in a hot, sweet, tomato based sauce.
The Carolinas use primarily pork, both pulled and ribs, marinated in a peppery vinegar sauce before smoking. The pulled pork differs from Memphis pulled pork in that the whole hog is used in the Carolinas. There, however, the consistency ends, as the sauces used vary widely. South Carolina sauce mixes ketchup and mustard with vinegar to make a unique orange sauce. North Carolina varies from a clear vinegar sauce in the east, to a vinegar and ketchup sauce in the west.
Kansas City has a wide variety in proteins, but the signature ingredient is the sauce. The meat is smoked with a dry rub, and the sauce served as a table sauce. Kansas City style sauce is thick and sweet, based on tomatoes and molasses. This is perhaps the most widespread of sauces, with the Kansas City recipe K. C. Masterpiece being a top-selling brand. 
Beef is the protein of choice for Texas barbecue, primarily ribs and brisket. Texas sauces are tomato based, less sweet than Kansas City and spicier, and are not generally used during cooking, but are used as a table sauce. Texas also adds smoked sausages, adopted from local German and Mexican populations.
Other regions of the core barbecue states tend to draw their influence from the neighboring styles, and often will draw from more than one region. Oklahoma barbecue, for example, combines elements of Texas, Kansas City, and Memphis barbecue, in addition to adding its own unique elements, such as smoked bologna sausage. Good southern barbecue is available outside of the core states; while far less common, the variety can be even greater. With no local tradition to draw on, these restaurants often bring together eclectic mixes of things such as Carolina pulled pork and Texas brisket on the same menu.
There are hundreds of barbecue competitions across the region every year, from small local affairs to large festivals that draw from all over the region. Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest may be the largest, and there is even a contest dedicated to sauces, the Diddy Wa Diddy National Barbecue Sauce Contest. The non-profit Kansas City Barbeque Society, or KCBS, sanctions over 300 barbecue contests per year, in 44 different states. Despite the "Kansas City" name, the KCBS judges all styles of barbecue, which is broken down into classes for ribs, brisket, pork, and chicken. In addition to sponsoring competitions, the KCBS offers training and certification for barbecue judges.
Competition is not limited to professional barbecue teams, though many do compete. Amateur competitors with home-built equipment can be competitive, and even win world championships. Prizes range from trophies to US$10,000 in prize money for first place at some large competitions. The amateur teams run the range from blue collar workers to doctors. Competitions generally start Friday evening, with the meat smoking all night long, and judging happens around noon on Saturday. Competitors sleep on site so they can tend their fires, often staying up in shifts to keep a constant watch on the smoker. Competitors may sleep in their cars, or bring large campers, towing multi-ton, trailer mounted commercial smokers.
KCBS sanctioned competitions are judged based on taste, tenderness, and appearance of the meat, with taste being worth about half of the overall score. Each competitor provides six portions of each item for the judges, and the entries are submitted in a double blind fashion so they remain anonymous. Taste is the most important attribute, followed by tenderness and then appearance, each ranked on a scale of one to nine. Six judges score each entry, and the low score is discarded and the remaining scores are weighted and totaled to produce the rankings. In the case of a tie, the highest score in taste, then tenderness, then appearance, will be used to break the tie; if that is not sufficient, the low score dropped earlier will be used. Any remaining ties will be broken by a computerized coin toss.
List of notable barbecue competitions
International Bar-B-Q Festival
Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
Big Pig Jig
Burnt ends Kansas City-style barbecue
^ a b c d e f “A Sociology of Rib Joints” by P. D. Holley and D. E. Wright, Jr., (1998) in Mark Alfino et al.: McDonaldization Revisited: Critical Essayson Consumer Culture. Praeger Publishing Company.
^ a b c d e f g h i Raymond Sokolov (June 30, 2007). "The Best Barbeque". The Wall Street Journal.
^ a b c d e f Elane Smith (June 2007). "BBQ". Sacramento Magazine.
^ McGee, H (2004). On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Scribner. ISBN 0-684-80001-2.
^ Lue Park, Ed Park (1992). The Smoked-Foods Cookbook: How to Flavor, Cure, and Prepare Savory Meats. Stackpole Books. ISBN 0811701166.
^ "Flavorite" barbecue woods.
^ a b Pitstop Barbecue Smoker's Paradise.
^ BBQ Smoking Wood. Cook-N-Out LLC.
^ a b c Dena Kleiman (June 28, 1989). "Barbecue Sauce As Individual As Each Creator". The New York Times.
^ Laura Dove. BBQ: A Southern Cultural Icon. American Studies at the University of Virginia.
^ Kansas City BBQ Gets Its Due… In Chicago.
^ Quick Facts. Kansas City Barbeque Society.
^ Elizabeth Lumpkin. Your First Cookoff: How to Make the Jump From Backyard to Competition. Kansas City Barbeque Society.
^ Stephanie Wilson. How to Break a Tie. Kansas City Barbeque Society.