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Here's an off-topic topic.

For my birthday we dined at a great litle restaurant that seats only 14 folks.

The owner is the cook and the waiter. All vegitarian, reservations are encouraged.

One of my friends asked her where she learned to cook. Answer, "I read a lot", and she said she has over 10,000 hours actual cooking experience. She said that is a threshold beyond which one can call oneself a cook.

Now I was impressed. (BTW this cook completed a doctoral degree in physics 2 yrs ago) I am a cook, but have no idea how much time I have logged.

How many hours cooking time have the brethren here logged?

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If you spend 1/2 hr cooking a meal 2 times a day for a year, that is roughly 700 hours. So cooking your own meals every day for 14 years would be about 10k hours. You would have been allowed to go out to eat 440 times during the 14 years or 3 times a month.

Working in a restaurant is about the only way to get any real number of hours of cooking logged. 40 hr work week (2080 hrs a year) for 5 years and you have the magic 10,000.

Working at Subway for a couple of decades would not make you a cook, it would make you an old sandwich maker.

Have a buddy who temporaily moved to the UK for 3 years. While there he completed the Cordon Blu chef school. I like it when he invites the family over for a bite. Mmmm Really tasty stuff.

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Here's what I know about cooking professionally.

Anyone can cook a great meal; if one get's lucky, they can cook an exquisite meal.

Cooking an exquisite meal 300 times a night (or whatever the room holds), where everything is the same every time, is brutally complicated and hard.

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I smoke meat at least 2 times a week. By that I mean pork butts, brisket and sometimes clods. Pork butt takes 8 to 12 hours. Brisket 12 to 16 and an entire clod is about 18 hours. Been doing this for 25 years, rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow wind, extreme cold and heat and the ever present Kansas wind.Then there are all the burgers and steaks, soked chickens, pork steak and fatties. 10,000 hours? Went past that a long time ago. Love doing this stuff that I make my own smokers -- offset barrel types, converted commercial smokers into real smokers, drums and even file cabinet smokers. Now I am converting a fridge. No hickory here, just mesquite, apple and cherry, no charcoal, just oak lump that I used to buy, now I make my own.

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I've probably got a few thousand hours smoking meat and fish. I really like Cherry; it's a nice delicate touch. Apple too, although I wouldn't call it delicate. Hickory really is wonderful on pork and beef.

I remember one time in my experimental mode......I thought it would be a good idea to use Black Walnut........I was wrong.

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I'm a few years newer at it than you boys. Finally nailed the holy grail of smoke rings and understood how It happened, this summer. I like cherry too. I also like maple and oak.

I had a big plan to buy a couple of butts today for hunting camp. If my plan doesn't change, I'll post a "show off" pic.

Anyone care to share a good rub recipe to try?

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No idea how many hours, but I've been the only cook for our family since Ellen & I met over 30 years ago. When I grew up, Mom & Dad shared the cooking duties, so I never knew that home cooking was *supposed* to be done by women. When my kids grew up, they figured that only men cooked.

I've cooked on a grill forever, but I swore to learn how to barbeque after eating at Flint's and Everett & Jones' in Oakland. That was almost 20 years ago, and I'm now starting to get the hang of it. I took up smoking about 10 years ago and I feel that I'm starting to get the hang of that as well.

As for restaruant cooking, it's a whole different story. The skill set isn't the same. I think you learn that by doing it, not by reading or going to school.

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Anyone care to share a good rub recipe to try?

proportions vary by mindset at time of creation.....

fine ground coffee

ground mustard seed; sometimes whole mustard seed

ground habanero

little kosher salt/chunky

cinnamon

arbol chiles; heck, any kinda chile

Hungarian paprika

black and white pepper

turmeric

ground fennel seed

celery seed

dried onion powder

garlic powder

oh, oh....and garam masala......it's great by itself as a rub.

Pretty much empty the spice cabinet into a mortar and pestle, mess around with proportions; I change all the time. I never use much cumin, though....I'm not a cumin fan. A teeny bit of cumin goes a long way.

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I'm really good at answering that question, "You want fries with that?" and I've got the length of time it takes to nuke a hotdog or get a TV dinner nuked to perfection down to a science.

My wife on the other hand is a superlative cook. She spends the majority of her time when she's not out with me inspecting or watching her Korean dramas in the kitchen preparing food. When I tell her that she shouldn't spend so much time cooking she responds that she really enjoys preparing food and that it is her favorite thing. She should have been a chef. She routinely prepares food for 50 to 150 of her church members at a time and they constantly bug her to prepare food for their parties, events, etc. I'll bet that in the 33 years we've been together she's easily averaged 2000 hours a year in a kitchen either at home, at a friend's house or at a church.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I cook a lot. Likely more than most folks. For me cooking is a way of keeping myself sane. Over the last few years I've helped real professional cooks, consulted on a few projects, developed recipes.... blah, blah, blah. I'd say I have a couple thousand hours behind the apron. As such, I'm proud to say, I'm about halfway to being mediocre.

Cooking for a family is an admirable skill we should all possess. Cooking for paying customers in an artistic science that very few people will ever command.

-Brad

... looking forward to my late autumn pig butchering....

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I can't cook anymore because I've spent too many years cooking for one. So now, I'm the primary eater in the household, heh heh.

Truth is...my PR/Sicilian spouse cooks so well and enjoys it so much that I'm delighted to just eat and clean up afterwards. Besides, she preps some French-Canadian dishes better than I do and that hurts my feelings. [;)]

Marc

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... looking forward to my late autumn pig butchering....

Say what you want, but these Canadians really know how to celebrate the four seasons.

That's still done around here too. It's called a Boucherie and the entire extended family and friends all come. Haven't been to one in years though.

Marc

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"...a certain nobility in feeding my family..."

Also it indicates a well rounded person, a guy who can express that nurturing instinct that is definitely a feminine aspect.

It never occurred to me to log time, but then, if I were a scientist and wanted to operate a commercial kitchen, timing would be very important.

I've posted the link to her web page below. There are recipes posted there.

http://gymnopedie.posterous.com/blog

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It's one of the few civilized acts accessible to all. (The other is building one's home.)

I never understand it when I hear someone proclaim proudly "I don't cook". It's uncivilized.

Oh, yeah........Mr. O'.........maybe this explains something......

Great link btw.....sounds like a great place. Also, not just fine ground coffee.....fine ground espresso roast. It's a great addition to any rub.

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Worked in a few resturants as a teenager. I taught my wife a few things about cooking when we got married. She has since become a pretty good cook. I was the primary cook for several years. We now trade off depending on schedules. Youngest son is a great cook. He is willing to expeirment and falter. Bakes bread from scratch for fun and he had nothing better to do that afternoon.

As a Boy Scout leader, I often have the task of teaching the new scouts how to cook. I am amazed at how little most know about even the basics. I had to teach one lad how to crack an egg. He had no idea how to even begin. Our troop regularly holds cooking competitions which the boys really enjoy. Something very deeply satisifing about being able to feed yourself really tasty and well made food.

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As a Boy Scout leader, I often have the task of teaching the new scouts how to cook.

That's fun, cooking raw food on an open fire in an aluminum mess kit frying pan with no oil. Because you forgot or didn't know you might need some oil. Yeah, I remember that.

I can cook, but best if I stick to 4 or 5 basic meals, and if there's chopping or prep to do on the side, whatever's on the stove is bound to catch fire. My wife of 32 years rules the kitchen. I rule the BBQ, where burning is part of the process. [:)]

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I'm a few years newer at it than you boys. Finally nailed the holy grail of smoke rings and understood how It happened, this summer. I like cherry too. I also like maple and oak.

I had a big plan to buy a couple of butts today for hunting camp. If my plan doesn't change, I'll post a "show off" pic.

Anyone care to share a good rub recipe to try?

Gary I got a couple of rub recipes for ya to try.

Apple Rub for Pork

7 Tbsp Ground Dried apple

3-? Tbsp Brown Sugar

3-? Tbsp Turbinado Sugar

3 Tbsp Coarse Salt

1 Tsp Sweet Paprika

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

? Tsp Ground Black Pepper

? Tsp Cayenne pepper (optional for heat lovers)

Dried apple:

Take 3 apples (preferably a tart variety apple) , slices them VERY thin and place on a cooking sheet lightly coated in butter. Place the thin apple slices on the cooking sheet and lightly salt the apples slices, then add a little brown sugar to the apple slices. To dry them out put them in the oven at 150 degrees for 2-3 hours. They will not become completely dried out and crunchy in the oven, after it appears they are drying you can take them out and let them rest. I usually let them sit over night and they are very crunchy in the morning ready to grind up.

* * * * * * * * * * *

CAROLINA PORK RUB

3 tablespoons dry mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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As a Boy Scout leader, I often have the task of teaching the new scouts how to cook.

That's fun, cooking raw food on an open fire in an aluminum mess kit frying pan with no oil. Because you forgot or didn't know you might need some oil. Yeah, I remember that.

I can cook, but best if I stick to 4 or 5 basic meals, and if there's chopping or prep to do on the side, whatever's on the stove is bound to catch fire. My wife of 32 years rules the kitchen. I rule the BBQ, where burning is part of the process. [:)]

We held our annual Webelos Invitational last weekend where we invite prospective new members and parents to a campout weekend. The Troop leadership prepares a Thanksgiving feast for Sat nite. We cooked 5 turkeys in 5 ways plus side dishes and cobbler for dessert for 65 people. The 5 ways included charcoal smoker, electric smoker, deep fried, baked in trash can, and roasted in weber grill.

Electric Smoker

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Weber Grill Turkey

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Cobblers cooking

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Finished Cobblers

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Inside Trashcan cooker, Bird suspended from above in roasting bag. Charcoal in hardware cloth tubes heats the trashcan which becomes an oven.

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Trashcan cooker external view

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We also made Mountain man breakfast in a Dutch Oven. Diced potatoes, eggs, cheese, cajun seasoning, sausage in single pot allowed to bake for a while.

14 inch diameter, deep version Dutch oven.

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The scouts made pizza for lunch in box ovens. Box ovens are just a cardboard box lined with foil. A few coat hangers are cut up and pushed through the sides of the box to form a shelf about 2/3 the height of the box. About 9-10 charcoal briquettes are place in a pan resting on a few pebbles or wadded up foil so not indirect contact with box oven. Lid is closed up and you have 350 degree oven. Bake anything you would bake at home in a regular oven.

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