Re: [gardeners] Allen/MRI

Penny Nielsen (
Wed, 7 Jul 1999 16:06:47 -0300

Hi Diane

I've forgotten what an MRI is.  Care to explain.


>>> Diane Birmingham <> 07/07/99 01:46PM >>>

Gosh Allen, a three hour MRI!! I wasn't crazy about the 45 min. ones I had
to undergo before, during and after my surgery.  I ulmitely ended up
having two surgeries, two weeks apart. It zapped the heck out of me but I
am recovering nicely.  Went to work 1/2 day yesterday.  Good to be out of
the house after 8 weeks.  I don't do too much, however. Taking it nice and
easy.  Hope your problem is not too serious and that you will have either
some relief or a speedy recovery.

Diane in CT

On Tue, 6 Jul 1999, Allen and Judy Merten wrote:

> Penny,
>     A oil drum will make an excellent BBQ pit. I will message tomorrow with details. Have to get to bed now. Tomorrow I have a 3 hour  MRI of my back scheduled.
>     Allen
>     Bastrop Co.
>     SE Central Tx.
> Penny Nielsen wrote:
> > Hi Allen
> >
> > An interesting read.  Even tho I've had lunch I'm drooling.  We have an old oil drum with a lid on it.  Not sure now why agreed to take it free.  Anyway, I was wondering if there is any way we could make a BBQ, similar to what you describe from it.  Not sure how we would do the vents.  Have thought about roasting a pig for a party.  Could just  make a pit in the ground, but it would be nice to be able to better control the heat, etc. with vents.
> >
> > What do you think.
> >
> > Penny in Halifax, N.S. (the other Penny)
> >
> > >>> Allen and Judy Merten <> 07/06/99 01:11AM >>>
> > Hi Penny,
> >     One of the things that I love to do and talk about is BBQ. It's a
> > family tradition.
> >     You asked how to slow cook a brisket over coals.
> >     My pit is like a horizontal barrel. It has 2 vents on each end. The
> > vents are located at the top and bottom of the ends of the barrel. The
> > bottom vents control the air intake and the top vents control smoke
> > exhaust. The manipulation of the vents control the heat. I always have
> > more air coming in than smoke going out. I open the bottom vent on one
> > end of the barrel and partially open the top vent at the opposite end.
> >     The heat is from coals of oak, hickory, mesquite, or pecan wood that
> > I begin burning with the barrel open. Once the wood is burning well, I
> > close the pit and open the vents. This slows down the burning process
> > and starts making hard coals that will last and produce heat at a steady
> > rate.
> >     I begin preparing the brisket before I start the fire. I buy "packer
> > trim" brisket in heavy kripac bags. The weight is usually from 12 - 15
> > lb.. Some of this is fat that needs to be trimmed. (Suet for bird
> > feeders). I trim most but not all of the fat. I sprinkle soy sauce or
> > Worcestershire sauce and concentrated lemon juice over both sides of the
> > brisket. Next I heavily season with garlic powder, salt, paprika, onion
> > powder. You can substitute steak seasoning or ready mixd brisket rubs
> > for the other dry ingredients. I don't care that much for the steak
> > seasoning. It is mostly salt and not much else. You can add red or
> > cayenne pepper if that is your taste. I cook for mixed crowds of kids,
> > women and men so I go light on the pepper if I use it at all. I always
> > have hot peppers on the side anyway. One alternative to all of the spice
> > application is to use Italian dressing as a marinade. Place the brisket
> > in a large rectangular cake pan covered with foil, or double or triple
> > wrap the brisket in foil. Place it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350*.
> >     The fire should be just about right by now. I take the brisket out
> > of the pan and reserve the drippings to baste with. The fire was laid at
> > one end of the barrel as much as possible. I light the ends of the wood
> > nearest the bottom vent that will be open. Place the brisket on the
> > opposite end from the fire, nearest the top vent that will allow smoke
> > to escape. The meat will be cooked by the hot smoke passing by not by
> > direct heat from the coals. If you have flames flare up when the pit is
> > open shut the vents completely and let the flames suffocate. This
> > creates intense smoke inside the pit which will flavor and color the
> > brisket. Turn and baste the brisket every 15 to 20 minutes or sooner if
> > it looks dried out. I cook brisket for 2-4 hours depending on the weight
> > of the brisket and the heat of the fire. I cook all my BBQ using this
> > same method. Only the oven is omitted for lighter weight meats like
> > chicken, ribs, Emu, venison, etc. I use the same method to smoke
> > turkeys. The best BBQ chicken is split at the breast but not at the back
> > and cooked butterfly fashion.
> >     If you are going to BBQ brisket away from home and oven, triple wrap
> > the brisket and cook wrapped for 1-2 hours. Unwrap it and finish cooking
> > until done. Don't over cook brisket. If you wait till the meat is all
> > gray it will be tough as a boot, maybe a boot heel. Brisket is a juicy
> > meat. When you cut a little slice to test if it is done, you want to
> > quite cooking when it is still faintly pink, not rare. After the brisket
> > is sliced most of the juices will drain out of the meat taking that pink
> > color with it. Keep in mind that the smoke will color a "rind" on the
> > outside of the brisket. This is where the flavor is. Pecan wood will
> > give you a redder and deeper rind than any other wood that I have cooked
> > with.
> >     Like Jimmie, I can cook out side in all kinds of conditions and be
> > just happy to be cooking outdoors. I can make homemade biscuits and
> > sunny side up eggs on a campfire. I shocked 3 of my sons by cooking
> > sausage over a open fire one rainy day using a shovel for a grill. We
> > were clearing dead brush and dead falls from the area for our house. I
> > have cooked stews, chili, beans, soup, wild game, fish, fowl, etc. on an
> > open campfire. I enjoy doing it. It is such a kick to have people think
> > you're some kind of wizard 'cause you can cook the way the old trail
> > drivers, hunters, pioneers, and travelers  did it.
> >     If you are going to cook that way you have to have cast iron. Teflon
> > and that fancy stuff won't get the job done.
> >     I have rattled on enough. I told you I enjoyed talking about BBQ.
> > Allen
> > Bastrop Co., 98* w/thunder and a rainbow, but no rain.
> > SE Central Tx.