Sunday, September 12, 2010


I bought a beef brisket, sealed in plastic at the store and decided to slow cook it in the oven.  I applied a store-bought dry rub to both sides of the meat put it on a  pan that allowed the grease to drip through.  This could have been my mistake, but when you see folks doing a brisket on a grill, the drippings fall straight through.

Anyway, I put the oven on 225 and let it cook for 90 minutes.  When the timer went off, I hit it for another 90.  After the initial 3 hours, I turned the meat over with the fat side down.  I let it cook another 90 minutes and then upped the temperature to 250.  After this time around I basted the meat on both sides with my homemade BBQ sauce, which amounted to what was left of 2 different kinds I had in the fridge, added a few drops of liquid smoke, some red wine vinegar, and a generous helping of Ring of Fire hot sauce.

I cooked the brisket another 90 minutes, for a total of 6 hours cooking time.

My wife cooked some canned green beans her sister gave us with a few pieces of thick bacon in them.  She boiled and mashed some potatoes, cooked a pone of Southern cornbread, and we were ready for a great BBQ brisket meal!

Unfortunately, the four slices of brisket I cut off the hunk was tough.  I was heart broken!

I guess this is what I get for watching BBQ Pitmasters on TLC!  Those guys and gals make it look so simple and the meat just makes my mouth water!  I was so ready for good tender BBQ meat.  I was so ready to brag on it too!

So, yesterday I did a little research on "how to save a tough brisket", and came up with the idea to slice the rest of the meat, against the grain, put it in a baking dish, added some beef stock, and cooked it covered for another hour at 300 degrees.  I then let it cool, put it back in the fridge to be reheated the next day.

Well, I popped it into the oven today at 300 degrees for 30 more minutes, while Judy reheated the beans, and potatoes.

When the timer went off, I lathered some Miracle Whip on one side of a whole wheat bun, and layered on 5 or 6 slices of the brisket.  On the other side of the bun I put a slice of American Cheese.  Before closing the bun over the meat, I squirted on a generous helping of the BBQ sauce I made originally.

Wow!  The brisket was tender and delicious!  I saved my brisket!

Monday, August 30, 2010


It seems I've been talking about pizza a lot lately, but, hey, it has all the food groups!

Judy and I love a breakfast pizza, almost as much as left over pizza and scrambled eggs.  However, it is a little more trouble to make, but worth it all, and, if I can do it, you can do it!

Start with you pizza pan, spray it lightly with your favorite cooking oil and then spread out the dough.  I use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.  There seems to be just enough triangles to fill the center of the pan.  Then take a small rolling pin, or glass, or anything that will flatten the dough out evenly.  Be sure to close the gaps between the strips of dough, and to push the dough all the way up to the edge of the pan.  I even create a little lip up the sides to ensure the beaten eggs do not get under the dough.

It takes at least 4 eggs to fill the top of the pizza, so in a bowl crack 4 eggs, add salt and pepper, and sprinkle in a some diced jalapeno peppers.  It depends on your taste as to how much, but I love the taste it gives my coffee!

Next I put pepperoni all around the pizza in two rings.  Between the pepperonis I layered on fresh spinach leaves, washed with the stems broken off, and some sliced tomatoes.  I then sprinkled on bacon I had fried and crushed earlier.  I made sure some bacon bits got on top of the spinach leaves and tomato slices to ensure the juice helped cook them.

Finally I generously spread shredded cheese over the entire pizza.  I put the pie in a oven according to the cooking directions on the crescent roll package.

When if came was looking might good and the taste, with my coffee, was terrific!

This usually makes 8 to 9 slices, which is enough for us to enjoy two mornings!  Reheat what's left the next morning on a cookie sheet for about 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I can't remember if I've ever mentioned this on this blog or not, but I tell my family and friends that they must save some pizza for their next morning's breakfast!  It is simply wonderful with scrambled eggs!

Last evening, my family had a "goodbye" gathering for our granddaughter Katie Bug.  Today is moving in day at Tennessee Tech and we are going to sorely miss her!

Anyway, we saved half our Big Ed's Pizza for this morning's breakfast.

I sprinkled the pizza with jalapeno chips and put the pie on a cookie sheet and placed it in the oven for 10 minutes on 350 degrees.  That seem to be the right amount of time to crisp up the crust and get everything just hot enough.

I also had coffee ready and then scramble us two eggs for the side.

It's wonderful how jalapeno taste blends with the coffee, giving a fantastic taste combination that becomes addictive!  I usually have two cups!

So, the completed breakfast includes the pizza, eggs, and coffee.  Just the right start for the day!

I'm sorry to say that breakfast reminded me that Katie on her way to the "real world"!  I'm sure going to miss her.

Monday, August 16, 2010


We love pizza about once every two weeks at home, but we like more vegetables and "stuff" on it than you usually can get on a "store bought"!  We especially like fresh, unfrozen, ingredients and a little more "kick"!

I take one "cheese stuffed crust" DiGiorno and layer on extra pepperonis, and sprinkle on some hot pepper flakes and chopped jalapenos.  
Then I chop up some red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (maybe some of all of them), some onion, a slice or two of tomato, and then hold it all together by sprinkling on extra cheese!

You have to imaginative and fearless, 'cause you really can't hurt a pizza.  Anything that will add more flavor and texture is free game!  Maybe some bacon, or fresh cooked sausage!  Just try's delicious!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Every year I get a Southern hankering for some fresh garden vegetables all fried up in cornmeal! Yum, so delicious, regardless of how bad it may be for you. Hey, we used vegetable oil!

You can go back to THIS POST and see a similar meal prepared for me by my mother in 2008. It was ‘bout time for “fried fix”!

As Judy and I walked through the grocery today, intending to only “buy a few things”, I spotted the fresh squash, okra, and green tomatoes in the produce section. Immediately we got the same idea...let’s fry something!

I cut up the vegetables, including some golden Idaho potatoes for “mashed taters”!

Judy rolled the squash, okra, and ‘maters in egg, and then shook them up in a plastic bag containing cornmeal, salt, and black pepper. With everything well coated, she begin to slowly fry.

By the time everything was ready, the meat loaf was coming out of the oven, along with her special cornbread! My mouth was watering and I could hardly wait!

It was worth the wait, so now maybe I can resist until next season...or not!

Oh, by the way, that's a dollop of mayo in my potatoes! I love the taste it adds. Hey, it's like eating pot-salad to me!

Saturday, June 05, 2010



Three times before, my family has planned and had "
low country boils". Each of them, from what I heard, was a great success and delicious. Once I even got to sample some leftover shrimp, but I had never been to one.

Each time one was planned I got sick on that day and had to send Judy on without me.

I've written before about "one less set of feet" being under the table and about what it would be like after one of us had passed on. It's not a happy thought, but there are things that remind you, once in a while, about that inevitability - things like when someone gets sick and has to pass on a family gathering.

My wife has four sisters and a brother (he lives in Atlanta and is not always able to come) and we are always together on holidays - it's tradition! Judy and I will be married 30 years this coming June 12th, and family gatherings have been a given on holidays from the beginning. Actually, it started long before I came along, but for me it's been 30 years of pure enjoyment and something I anticipate like Christmas itself!

We get together more often than on holidays too. Sometimes we just can't wait and someone schedules an evening out, or a weekend or vacation retreat together. It just makes life more enjoyable when you can share it with family. Friends are okay, but family is just special!

The times I've missed, and I've missed more than anyone, was an event I sulked over for days afterward. So, you can imagine how thankful and how wonderful it felt when I realized I was not going to miss this Memorial Day's "low country boil"!

The family loves being together, even though the boys and girls always segregate themselves, each finding their own corner. It has to be that way, especially for us guys, if we intend to communicate with each other. You see, we can hardly hear each other over the voices and laughter of the women folk! If you want a sample, just scroll down my sidebar (on Mushy's Moochings) until you see "Dragons Cackling" if you dare. This is not an unusual's typical...believe me!

So, I broke the jinx, finally, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I even drank more than one beer and had two cigars! First cigars in almost a year!

There are specific and timed steps to a "low country boil", as you know if you've ever had the pleasure, so there was a lot of yelling, "Is it boiling yet?!" Then there is the long awaited, "Start the timer!" Each question is followed by multiple people shouting an echo and more laughter!

It seems after each of the 7 steps (see large numbered photo) there is a 15-minute length of time before proceeding to the next step. So, after a couple of drinks, the yelling gets louder, and the comments get funnier! I could see exactly what I'd missed by being puny on the previous occasions.

Once I almost rolled in the yard when Gary, who's basically retired, told us about a day he had relaxed with one too many Miller Lites and went to the dog lot (he trains Labs) to pick up the day's dog business! He didn't think it too strange he didn't find any droppings until he got back to the house and looked down at the mess on his shoes! You had to be there to hear Gary tell it!

Let me tell you...the food was super great, but the company was beyond compare, as it always is. I was very glad all our shoes were still under the table once again.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Mmmm, makes your mouth water just saying those words!

My wife decided it was time to cook up some pinto beans, so I was smelling that all day as they cooked. Then she asked me what I wanted with them, besides the obvious - cornbread, so I started digging in the freezer and came out with a brick hard pork tenderloin.

I let it lay around all day while the beans cooked, and finally, just in the nick of time, it thawed enough for me to slice it into 1/2" pieces.

I decided to put the slices in a bowl, dump in some minced garlic, liberally sprinkled it with salt and pepper, and just touch of cayenne, and then threw in some self-rising flour to hold all of the ingredients together.

About 10 minutes before the timer went off, signaling the cornbread was done, I dropped the coated slices into some hot olive oil. I fried them to a golden brown and the let them drain on paper towel.

We chopped up the cornbread and poured the beans and juice over it, laid about 6 slices of tenderloin on the plated, and I just happened to have a jar of pickled okra in the fridge. Man, it was sure tasty!

You should try it...if you have some slaw...that would be yummy too!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Judy and I took Lily to the Gondolier Italian Restaurant, in Midtown, TN, last Monday for lunch. She had a great time dipping her fresh baked roll in the delicious marinara sauce. I think it was her first time at trying that trick, and I think it caught on.

I say all this because, while Lily had children's pizza, Judy and I shared one of the best Italian Subs we've had in some time. It was seasoned with Italian dressing and just hit the spot.

So, after a little driving tour of the surrounding country side Wednesday, we had to make a stop at the grocery for staples. While there Judy asked me what I wanted for supper, and I still had that sub in my mind, and probably a little taste in my mouth as well!

She was ecstatic when I told her what was on my mind, and she pressed me to put one together just as good.

I bought a fresh loaf of sourdough Italian bread, some honey baked ham and turkey, a red onion, an orange bell pepper, some provolone cheese, an Italian green long pepper, a tomato, and a bottle of Italian dressing. I knew I had some pepperoni in the fridge, so I was set!

At home I prepared the vegetables by slicing them thinly, and opened the luncheon meat and salad dressing.

I then split the loaf in half, sprinkled it with olive oil, and toasted it. I then removed the bread and put the provolone on one side and the cold pepperoni on the other side. I put it all back into the oven until the cheese melted and pepperoni bubbled!

I pulled the bread from the oven and liberally spread on the onions, peppers, and meat. I then sprinkled the salad dressing over everything and closed the bread. I cut the bread, on an angle, into 4 generous pieces.
It was better than we had on Monday and we had the left over pieces you see in the photo today! It was still delicious after a light microwave touch and more dressing!

Of course, the Fat Tire I had created a wonderful battle of taste sensations in my mouth. I'm hungry again!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Supper is over and Judy is watching the Golden Globes, so I decided I'd rather be posting something on Mushy's Cookings for you to enjoy!

We've been trying to hold down the calories, like everyone else this time of year, but it has to have great taste or I won't like it.

Tonight I chopped up a red and yellow bell pepper, a large onion, and put them aside.

In a large skillet I sprinkled some olive oil and turned the heat on medium. I then placed 6 or 7 frozen chicken tenderloins. As the oil heated it began to thaw, so I flipped them over and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I then turned them again and seasoned the other thawed side.

I continued to flip the pieces to ensure they were not burning, and when the meat was about half cooked I sprinkled on some fajita seasoning, and added some minced garlic. I then flipped the pieces again and seasoned the opposite side.

When the meat was cooked to a nice brown color, I removed them and allowed them to drain on a paper towel.
I then dumped the peppers and onions into the same skillet, sprinkled just a little more olive oil and added the remained of my fajita seasoning packet. I continued to stir the vegetables until they became limp and added back in the meat and cut off the heat.

I placed a whole-wheat fajita wrap on to two plates, squirted a few lines of sour cream, and grated on a little cheese. I then placed one chicken tenderloin on top of the sour cream and then spread a generous portion of the vegetables on top.

The mixture was easy enclosed in the wrap and made a wonder hardy and nutritious meal. There was plenty left for lunch tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Got my second allergy shot of the week today and did a little stop and go photography on the way back home.

If you're local, you will be familiar with the Little Emery boat ramp. Well, I took a few shots out across the ice on the bay there and had flash backs of when I too threw rocks out onto ice and marveled at them sitting there on top. I wondered if anyone would be around when they finally sank beneath the surface.
As I stood there, I was also reminded of how ice will sing to you. Yes, if you've never heard it, it's a weird, almost wire in the wind, kind of sound. Eerily, the sound begins way down up stream, and you can hear it coming down the valley and then stops loudly right in front of you! It's the neatest, spookiest, thing to stand there and listen to it coming toward you. should get out more, especially on 20 degree days with a bright blue sky above.

Anyway, by the time I got home I was ready to cook something good for supper...something substantial and hot!

You're supposed to chop up carrots, onions, and garlic, but I am lazy, so I bought a bag of tiny carrots the other day to use. With them in a large skillet, I dumped in a carton of fresh mushrooms (any kind you like), diced onion, and about 2 cups of red wine. Whatever you have on hand, but the better it is the better your dish will be.

I cooked the carrots and onions until the wine had cooked away and then poured the mixture into the bottom of the crock-pot.

Back in the same skillet, I dumped two packages of extra lean stew meat that had been tenderized. I salted and peppered the meat while it cooked on one side, and then sprinkled crushed red peppers over the top. I lightly browned the meat on both sides...I probably should have browned it more, but it came out just fine. Note: If you don't brown the meat, at least add in soy sauce the get the same flavor.

I put the browned meat into the crock-pot, poured in a full box of chicken stock (yes, chicken), sprinkled a line or two of olive oil over the top, and then drizzled some Worcestershire sauce. I again added salt.

I then dumped in a small sack of red-skinned potatoes and half a large sweet onion cut into large pieces.

I cooked the meal for about 5 or 6 hours on high, then turned it to low for almost another hour.

It was absolutely delicious and very warming on a freezing day in Tennessee.

There is a distinctive hint of the wine in the taste, so if you don't like that particular taste, just use lots of soy and Worcestershire with beef stock.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Turkey Kielbasa On A Cold Winter's Evening

Judy and I were out and about most of the day, she had a dental appointment and I was staying with my mom whose heat had conked out! After mom was settled, Judy and I headed for the grocery. We were tired and cold by the time we made it back, so food, and something good was foremost on our minds.We had a double package of turkey kielbasa in the refrigerator that needed to be eaten or frozen, so that was chosen as the meat for our meal. I also noticed a green, yellow, and red bell pepper that would be too old in a few more days. The meal was complete!

I chopped up the bell peppers, into half circles, and a whole sweet onion, and set them aside. I then cut the kielbasa off in think rings.

In a large skillet, I sprinkled a few lines of olive oil and dumped in the meat on medium heat. I took out the scraps and some old fruit salad, left over from Christmas, while the skillet came up to heat. It was all sizzling nicely when I returned. I added about a table spoon full of minced garlic, and lightly sprinkled in some cayenne pepper. I began stirring the meat, not letting it stick, until each piece began showing a nice brown color around the edges.

At that point, I dumped in the vegetables and again drizzled a few lines of olive oil over the entire mixture, sprinkled on some salt and pepper, and a good amount of crushed red pepper. In the end, I almost got things a touch too hot, but the spices made everything taste wonderful. I may be cutting back in portions, but I don't like to cut back on taste or heat!

We each got a small portion, about saucer size, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with only water. There was plenty left over for tomorrow!

The warmth came back to our bones and we were once again very happy to be home.

Friday, January 01, 2010


For as long as I remember, my family has eaten black-eyed peas, hog jowl, and either cabbage or plain ol' spinach on New Year's Day. The question always asked when meeting a family member or friend was, "Did you have some black-eyed peas today?"
One difference in us and the tradition, was that the peas symbolized money to us instead of the greens, but we had both anyway.

Why do we eat these things? Simply put, eating beans and greens, typically a poor man's food, on New Year's Day means you'll eat rich the rest of the new year!

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day was always thought to bring prosperity to our Southern home. The peas are typically cooked with a pork product for flavoring (such as bacon, ham bones, fatback, or hog jowl), diced onion, and served with hot sauce.

Judy soaked hers over night in clear water, then picked out the pea hulls, added some pork pieces from the hog-jowl, and cooked them for about 1 hour. They cook much faster than pintos. She added salt to taste, and that's it!

The traditional meal also features cooked cabbage, collard, turnip, or mustard greens, and ham. The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion. Some say the peas are coins and the greens dollars, and some even add sweet potatoes to represent gold! Cornbread always accompanies this meal.
I cut up the cabbage and onions and then sliced the hog-jowl. I slice across the thick skin in the opposite direct of my horizontal slices so that the pieces don't curl up while cooking. The real trick is to start them in a cold skillet, but the second and third additions to the hot grease will curl some, but not nearly as much as uncut slices! Click the meat shots to enlarge them enough to see the cross cuts.
Judy puts the cabbage in a little of the pork grease, adds about 2 cups of water, and then adds the cabbage. She salts and sprinkles on Ms. Dash's Hot and Spicy seasoning. When the cabbage cooks down some, she adds in a measure of this to taste.

After my cutting and garbage duties were completed, I was back in front of the Capitol One and Rose Bowls!

These "good luck" traditions* supposedly date back to the American Civil War. Union troops, especially in areas targeted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, typically stripped the countryside of all stored food, crops, and livestock, and destroyed whatever they couldn't carry away. At that time, Northerners considered "field peas" or "cow peas" and field corn suitable only for animal fodder, and didn't steal or destroy these humble foods.

The origin of the New Year's meal is not really known, but of course I like this one best, being a Southern man. The truth is, there is a large contingent of Scottish folks living in the south (a third of my genes as well), and their influence brought us things like our "good luck" meal, the "St. Andrew's Cross" in the Confederate Battle Flag (which is square and not the true Confederacy Flag - Stars and Bars), and even "Auld Lang Syne"!
"Auld Lang Syne" is an old Scottish song that was first published by the poet Robert Burns in the 1796 edition of the book, Scots Musical Museum. Burns transcribed it (and made some refinements to the lyrics) after he heard it sung by an old man from the Ayrshire area of Scotland, Burns' homeland. 
It is often remarked that "Auld Lang Syne" is one of the most popular songs that nobody knows the lyrics to. "Auld Lang Syne" literally translates as "old long since" and means "times gone by."
I suppose you can say the South never forgets - its family traditions and heritage anyway! A true educated Southerner knows the war was not about slavery, but about "States Rights", heavy, unfair taxation, and the right to secede. Slavery wasn't an issue in 1861, where 95% of the south was too poor to own anybody! That came along after the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
Anyway, Happy New Year everybody...ain't it grand that we have all that bad history behind us!
Last but least, I wanted to mention the cherry liqueur I attempted for the Holidays. I bought fresh cherries, removed the seeds, and put them in a quart fruit jar (Mason Jar). I then added one cup of sugar and poured in a full fifth of 90 proof vodka! I shook the mixture for a couple of days until all the sugar disappeared. On retrospect, I should have made that one and half cups to 2 whole cups. It wasn't sweet enough for Judy's taste. 
Anyway, I put the liquid away in a dark conor place for about 5 weeks. The cherries slowly sank to the bottom of the jar, and I shook the jar about 3 times during that time...mostly to get more cherries to sink.
So, I bought a cheap decanter and added the liquid first, and the spooned in the cherries. It was quite tasty to me, but the cherries weren't very sweet to the taste. More sugar may have done the trick. However, I do love to sip it slowly while's very soothing to the throat, and could be mistaken for cough syrup! 
*Other legends hold that the "good luck" meal has its roots in Hebrew traditions. Instructions found in Babylonian, compiled around the year 500, tells Hebrews to include gourds, black-eyed peas, leeks, dates, and either beets or spinach in their new year meals for good luck. 'Course these Hebrews weren't eating any pork and that's just a shame!
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