Alex and I have become good Southerners since we both moved to Jacksonville. The big ritual in this area is the weekend barbecue. It seems people in the South have taken cooking meat over an open flame to high art and I have to admit that when done right it does taste quite good.
Smoking versus grilling
The next step above barbecuing is smoking the meat over a slow cook flame. You can go high end and use one of those very expensive outdoor grills or traditional like us and use one of those heavy cast iron barrel smokers (there is a big dispute over which is better). Smoking the meat gives it the flavor of the wood you use and the slow cooking process makes the meat juicy and fall from the bone. Like I said, it is a Southern tradition and whole weekends can revolve around preparing to barbecue.
The Russian Barbecue King
Despite the fact he is Russian, Alex has become quite good at barbecuing with his own secret recipes and procedures. We love the smoker because there are all these steps involved in getting the flame just right: selecting the wood (oak is good but hickory is better), placing the firewood and coals in just the right manner to get the fire started, and finally fighting with the fire to keep the flame going to produce the right temperature (I secretly think Alex has a bit of pyromania because no simple flame is good enough).
A couple of weekends ago while barbecuing I did a video clip that bordered on the ridiculous and thought I would give you a look at "Alex the infomercial"
So... now that we have all that oak wood from the tree trimming we can go into summer fully prepared to burn down the neighborhood. And now that you have seen the show, send us $10.99!