Monday, April 20, 2009

Beautimous Brisket

Our late spring favorite: Beef Brisket! I've loved having brisket in bbq restaurants, but not 'till this year have I made an attempt to cook one. I've found them to be VERY easy...they just take time. It's the kind of meat that's best cooked LOW AND SLOW. I've bought the brisket at Sam's and have been very pleased. The smallest one I've found there was 6 if you do not have a ravenous horde at your house like I do, you can freeze the leftovers. I went crazy with the foil in the pan so I would not have any difficult clean up. I cook it in a 9x13. If the brisket is very large, I cut it in half and cook it in two 9x13's. Cook the brisket with the fat down on the bottom. When it is done cooking, flip the brisket over and lift or scrape the fat from the meat and discard. Slice against the grain. We bought whole wheat rolls to serve the brisket on this past weekend. Deee-licious! Also quite yummy on the sandwich: cheese and jalapenos and additional bbq sauce. The following are a couple of recipes we've tried and liked a lot.

Also, oh, happy day, here is a link to a study that points to the possibility that the fat in beef brisket is GOOD FOR YOU!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BBQ Beef Brisket

5-6 lb. brisket

2 t. Worcestershire sauce

1-2 t. pepper (I used the 2 t.)

1 t. garlic salt
BBQ sauce:

1c. ketchup

1/3 c. Worcestershire

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 t. lemon juice

(I did not make this sauce....I used Cookies BBQ Sauce from the store.)

Sprinkle brisket w/garlic salt, worcestershire, and pepper. Bake uncovered 30 minutes at 450 degrees in shallow pan. Remove from oven, cover w/foil, bake 7-8 hours at 225 degrees.

For BBQ SAUCE, remove 2 c. of meat juice from fiinshed brisket. combine with BBQ Sauce ingredients.

Chill brisket. Slice thin against the grain. Pour sauce over it. Cover and return to 300 degree oven until hot. (an hour, maybe? the recipe does not specify...)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Brisket Marinade

1/2 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. canola oil

1 1/2 c. beer (12 oz.)

2 T. liquid smoke

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 T. salt (this is not a's really one tablespoon!)

1 T. brown sugar

1 t. cayenne pepper

1 t. black pepper
Combine in a shallow dish or ziploc bag. Add meat and marinate for a few hours to a couple of days.I was expecting this one to be really hot & spicy. I marinated it for a day and a half. It was NOT spicy...but it had great flavor. Cook it as above in a 450 oven for 30 minutes uncovered. Then cover w/foil and bake for 7-8 hours more @ 250 degrees. Can't wait to have it again tonight for dinner!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

For, lo, the winter is past...

Winter lays bare a lot that is normally hidden. And it's been a cold, dark, long, windy winter. Now that spring approaches, it seems the right time to do some maintenance, clearing the dead sticks that have dropped to the ground...and dealing with some branches that have broken from the trees, but have not yet fallen. This is true with the outdoors and seems to be true in my heart.
This winter season has exposed to me that much of what I do is out of fear - and not the good kind of 'don't touch the stove' or 'don't walk in front of a moving vehicle' type-fear. I've been fearful of walking away or 'growing away' from Jesus. I'm afraid of not being a good wife. I'm fearful that I'm not mothering our children well (that's fear supplemented by a generous dose of [false] guilt...) General anxiety about 'getting it right' accompanies me.
I've been reading Jan Karon's Mitford Series (AGAIN.) And the main character is dealing w/a paralyzing fear. As he admits his fear, his cousin's wife says, "Fear is not from God..." Obviously, I've read this before, but this time as I read, it was an arrow straight to my heart.
Newsflash to me: getting it right is not my job! It is God's job.
I've mentioned this before, because it means so much to I'm reminding myself yet again: the Christian life was lived successfully once, by our Lord Jesus. I'm not expected to live that life again....I'm expected to plug into the 2:20 (Galatians) and take up my cross and die daily and give myself fully to Him. FULLY. My thoughts. My words. My actions. My desires. MY FEARS.
And why should I fear anyway? Don't I know that the Maker of the Universe cares deeply and attentively for me? Don't I know that He supplies all of my needs? Haven't I realized after knowing Him since 2nd grade (that's forty years this year, folks...) that what He allows, He allows for my good? Hasn't it sunk in yet that He has great plans for me?
I'm convinced that fear = lack of trust. And lack of trust can be from a lack of knowing someone's character. And it's not like I've never studied the Character of God. But what have I studied lately? The wandering Children of Israel gathered manna daily (Exodus 16)...any that they saved got wormy and nasty. I'm thinking that's part of my issue. I need to be knowing Him more, not resting on what I've learned in the past.The manna that I'm thinking is feeding me stinks and may have maggots...
My fearfulness is also the result of my 'needing' to be responsible for so many things that are not really my responsibility. (for example: keeping my family "happy", the sins of past generations of my family, how others perceive me, and etc.) The Lord knows that this is not my conscious intention, but I often find it 'sneaking in' is a tendancy of mine. Some would call it 'control'.
I've been trapped by "What would Jesus do"....I am caught up in DOING. (human doing or human being...?) I've been caught up in the unbiblical "You are the only Jesus some will ever see..." Alas, I tend toward the typical first-born performance orientation. Ew. I hate that.
So as spring 'springs' in our region, and hopefully inside of me, I pray,
'Lord, allow me to let go of all that holds be back from knowing You more, of trusting you fully. I open my hands and give You the things I see, like the busyness of life and my habit of being 'responsible' in a wrong way (control). And please show me what I'm not seeing that holds me back, so that I can repent and ask for Your help! Thank You that You are not silent. Thank You that my struggle is part of the process You have ordained. Thank You that there is no condemnation for this struggle because I am in Jesus. Thank You for this changing season. Thank You for the death of winter and the new life of spring. Thank You for Easter and new life in You.
Is being born-again AGAIN (afresh, over again) Biblical? I'm not sure if there is a chapter and verse to support that concept. I need an overhaul. I could use a new start...