Crouton’s Fortress of Smoke™

I’m starting an equipment & technique section on this blog. This post is the first entry for the new section … the subject is Crouton’s Fortress of Smoke™; specifically some techniques for setting up and using a Weber Smoky Mountain cooker.

In the past Ditalini and I have smoked and devoured salmon, turkey, chicken, duck, […]


Thanksgiving 2016

Sorry, no recipes this time, just a few notes and photos.

L to R: Escargot, Pesce, Baguette, Truffle, Ditalini

The deMenthes enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving. Number one daughter Escargot was here, along with number one son Baguette, number one daughter in law Truffle, and number one grandson Pesce. Number one granddaughter Biscotto had to […]


deMenthe Thanksgiving 2013

We were all here for Thanksgiving: Crouton & Ditalini, our son Baguette, daughter-in-law Truffle, and grandson Pesce, along with our daughter Escargot and her boyfriend. Underfoot, of course, were Mortadella & Ubriaco, along with Baguette’s dog. Our poor old cat spent the day hiding in a closet.

What a great feast we had! Relishes, turkey […]


Year-End Wrapup: More Holiday Gluttony

Ditalini and I drove to Las Vegas with our daughter Escargot and doggies Mortadella & Ubracio to spend Christmas with our son Baguette, daughter in law Truffle, granddaughter Biscotto, and grandson Pesce. All the deMenthes together again!

Of course the holidays are all about eating. Baguette activated Fortress of Smoke™ Las Vegas, and when we […]


Thanksgiving 2012: the Gluttoning

Green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, smoked brisket, turkey & gravy (cranberry sauce, alas, forgotten), Mandarin orange salad

And I’m not even going to mention the deserts: Truffle’s lovely cheesecake, pumpkin pie, apple pie. Nor the appetizers: beer-boiled shrimp, cheese, olives, crackers, homemade giardiniera relish (thanks again to Truffle). Let’s just say we […]


Best Smoked Brisket Yet

Twice now, I’ve smoked beef briskets, describing the process here and here. Each time I used a slightly different approach: first with a dry-rubbed brisket, second with a combination of dry rub and mop.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving at my son Baguette’s house, I went back to the first technique: dry-rubbing the brisket and […]


Smoked Turkey Breast & Brats

What, more turkey?

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was going to smoke a turkey breast Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Since I still had a good bed of charcoal going after the turkey breast was done, I decided to throw some brats in the smoker.

Smoked turkey breast & brats

Turkey […]


Smoking on the Road: Cookblogging on the Installment Plan

Crouton and Ditalini are in Las Vegas, visiting our kids, Baguette and Escargot. Baguette and I are smoking turkey breast and sausage today; we’ll serve it with Swiss chard, sautéed with bacon, onions, and feta cheese. We think it’ll be a hit with our daughter-in-law Truffle, but the grandkids, Pesce and Biscotto, will probably turn […]


Weekend Followup

In a previous post, I discussed preparing brisket and spare ribs for smoking. In the post after that, I described my smoking routine. If you’re into smoking, you’re probably curious as to how it all turned out:

The brisket, straight from the smoker

The ribs, ditto

Brisket, ready to serve

The […]


Weekend Countdown

The kids and grandkids are coming for the weekend; possibly my niece and her boyfriend; maybe even some Aussie friends who’ll be in town. I’m planning a cookout for Sunday, and I’ve already started. The menu? Smoked pork spareribs, smoked beef brisket, baked beans, corn on the cob.

Peeling the membrane from the ribs