Bill & Nichol Visit

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BILL & NICHOL VISIT

Our Son Bill Jr., gave me a call about a week ago asking what our itinerary was for July 7th and July 8th and I advised him we did not have any plans since my bride's hair stylist was on vacation of which July 8th being a Friday would normally encompass a couple hours at The Permanet Solutions Salon.

Bill stated that Nichol would be in Virginia Beach, Virginia the week of the 4th closing the sale of her home, getting the furniture, appliances, household, etc., packed and shipped to Las Vegas, Nevada to her Mother's new home and he would be flying out on a "Red-eye flight" being in Norfolk, VA  early the morning of July 7th. 

After the closure of the home sale, they planned to drive down in Nichol's truck for a visit staying overnight at the Dream Inn Bed and Breakfast here in Wadesboro, NC and should arrive after 6 PM depending if the home closure was on schedule. 

I advised Bill not to have dinner aka supper, that I would prepare a meal for them and looking forward to seeing them again. 

Bill and Nichol arrived at our home sometime after 6:30 PM on Thursday, July 7th and it certainly was great to have the opportunity to visit with them again.  Bill and Nichol have made plans to get married in November of this year with a private ceremony at the place where they first met.  I believe Bill might be somewhat of a romantic for sure...........grin if you must!

Bill and Nichol are great for each other and he first met her when they were in Illinois attending a Class A Electronics school and I am guessing the year was 1986.  Bill has two sons from his first marriage, William III age 20 and Jake age 17......time sure does go by quickly!  Nichol is a Commander in the US Navy and wants to advance to the rank of Captain before she retires.  Bill retired from the US Navy as a Command Master Chief with twenty-two (22) years of service in March of 2008 and is a Defense Contractor.  Nichol doesn't have any children from a previous marriage.

I had a new recipe I wanted to try out and it was Crock-pot Wild Turkey Breast in mushroom gravy.  I cut the turkey breast into several large sections, applied meat tenderizer and a heavy coating of Wild Bill's Meat Rub and let it rest in a zip-lock type bag in the refrigerator overnight to allow the meat tenderizer and rub to do their magic.  The turkey breast were placed in the crock-pot with a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup, can of Chicken Broth, package of Onion Soup mix and about a pound of sliced dark mushrooms.  It was allowed to slow cook about 10 hours and served with Cajun style rice, steamed broccoli with cheese sauce and Texas style garlic toast.  It was pretty tasty even if I do say so myself.  For dessert, I had baked a persimmon pudding a couple days ago and resting covered in the refrigerator and served with a dollop of Reddi wip.  

I normally take pictures of some of my recipes but didn't do so this time....my bad!  After catching up on things and a very good visit, it was time for Bill and Nichol to head back to the Dream Inn here in Wadesboro, NC and come over the following morning after checking out continuing the visit and enjoy another meal with us.  I invited Bill's Sisters Laura and Lisa over for lunch but Laura wasn't able to attend due to a work conflict schedule and could not get off early.

BBQ TIME - JULY 8TH

I advised Bill and Nichol that I had planned a good ole Southern style pulled pork BBQ and had a couple Boston butts resting in my game refrigerator that had a coat of French's Yellow Mustard and a heavy dusting of my Wild Bill's Meat Rub chilling out until the early morning of July 8th.  The meal I had planned was going to be pulled pork with Lexington style BBQ sauce, baked beans, slaw and hush puppies and for dessert, a homemade peach cobbler and French Vanilla ice cream.

Pulled Pork normally takes around 8 to 12 hours to get the internal temperature up to 190 degrees F. so the fat and cartilage will more or less melt down and the cooking time is determined by how hot you have the smoker aka cooker and several other variables.  Old timers use to slow cook their pig at around 225 degrees F. and made their own embers from burning hickory wood in a 55 gallon barrel that had iron rods criss crossing to have the hickory wood suspended and collecting the embers that would fall below.  However, the Ugly Drum Smoker technique runs at around 275 degrees F. and makes some wonderful pulled pork and/or BBQ.  There is plenty of moisture contained in the ugly drum smoker which doesn't allow the meat to dry out as it does with other cookers and cooking techniques.

I got up around 0315 on July 8, 2016 and started a Weber brand chimney full of Kingsford Original charcoal and had at least 10 to 12 pounds of Kingsford charcoal in the expanded metal wire basket destined for the Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS).  It took about thirty (30) minutes to get the charcoal in the chimney turned into amber colored burning embers to place on top of the unburned charcoal in the fire basket.  This technique along with controlling the air intake, allows the charcoal to slowly burn providing a regulated heat source without the usage of high technology.

Below pix of the two Boston butts on the grill of the Ugly Drum Smoker:

While the Boston butts were slowing making their transformation into some pulled pork and/or bbq, Bill and Nichol arrived sometime after 9 AM.  They told me what their menu was for breakfast at The Dream Inn and it sounded awesome.  I will have to get the details since it went in one ear and out the other!

I prepared the slaw and hush puppy mix yesterday afternoon letting them rest in the refrigerator to marry their flavors.  I basically had it all planned out time and sequence wise but our youngest grandson, Xander McKnight Gonzales and his Mother Lisa were visiting and the little man was off the chain as far as being hyper which apparently derailed my plans.....grin if you must again!  While getting the baked beans ready; first frying out the bacon and letting it drain on paper towels, I was to sauté the chopped onions in the rendered bacon fat but forgot that part and just mixed all the ingredients instead.  I let the cooked baked beans rest in the oven after the normal baking time to allow the onions to caramelize and they were still wonderful!

While keeping check on the temperature of the Ugly Drum Smoker by a mechanical thermometer and internal temperature of the Boston butts provided by a digital thermometer, Nichol was re-arranging things that she had previously packed in her Nissan truck.  I advised Nichol, I planned to give Bill a 1965 vintage Orvis split bamboo impregnated Battenkill fly rod that came with an extra tip.  This was one of Orvis premium fly rods back in the day when purists enjoyed that type of slow action split bamboo impregnated fly rod for trout fishing that flexed all the way down to the handle.  This particular 8 feet length fly rod is designed for fishing rivers using a nymph type fly and uses a heavier 6 or 7 weight fly line but a 5 weight fly line works also for dry fly fishing.  I have fished with in it the creeks, ponds and Pee Dee River and there is nothing like landing a fish on a well made tapered split bamboo impregnated fly rod.  New carbon and boron fibers have taken over where split bamboo was once King for the manufacture of fly rods.  It all boils down to production cost and profits! 

I also planned to give him some knives that I had made and collected over the years and only keeping the ones that I actually use which are not in the pix below. 

The third knife from the top on the right belonged to my Father-in-Law, Henry Adcock and my bride purchased it from the Adcock family auction after the passing of her Dad.  Henry used that knife for skinning catfish and at one time there was a scabbard for it.  The two top knives on the right were fabricated from a Buck seven (7) inch length Bowie knife that I cut into two pieces and fashioned the handles on them from deer antlers.  The fourth knife from the top right is an Old Timer that I reshaped the tip into a drop point and Bill field dressed the first doe he ever harvested with it.

I inlaid and cut finger grooves on a Buck Duke lock back folding hunter knife model 500, fifth knife from the top on the right and inlaid mother of pearl into both sides of the knife. 

The Buck lock back blade knife below it was inlaid for my Dad and Mom gave it to me when Pop died in August 2007.....I sure do miss him!

Bill, Jr. with the Porter inlaid Buck folding hunter lock back knife.  Below a couple close-up pixs of both sides of the inlaid mother of pearl knife.  Pop was really proud of that knife and I got great satisfaction doing the inlays for him.

There is a good patina on the brass since this knife is well over forty (40) years old.  Back in the middle 1970s when I was doing custom musical instrument inlays on a daily basis, "Porter was considered the source for accurate pre-war reproduction inlays" to quote David Nichols of Custom Pearl Inlay.

Bill was given a special knife I inlaid back in the mid 1970s.  Information archived from my Biography blog and a copy and paste below.  Click on thumbnail pixs for a larger screen view:

       

Above pixs of a custom inlaid Smith and Wesson skinning knife that I did for myself around 1975.  I retired that knife to my show case in the early 1990s.  The mother of pearl inlays are from a copyrighted pattern of mine titled “Flaming Claw” and my standard pattern I used on banjos and Dobro aka resophonic guitars.  The inlay work on the knife handle was all free-hand if I remember correctly due to the curvatures of the handle on all sides.

Bill sent me a pix of the knives on 07-14-16 and plans to get a more permanent display case for them.

I told Bill, Jr., that I hope this was not a premonition of myself kicking out anytime soon, but felt like he would give those knives a good home and some of them has special meaning.  On the other hand, we are not promised tomorrow either and time waits for no one!  "Live today, the best that you can."

Bill was also given my circa 2008 prototype NC Limited Edition Turkey Box Call.  Archived pix from this webpage:

PULLED PORK AND BBQ TIME

When it was about time to remove the two Boston butts from the Ugly Drum Smoker, Bill took a pix of them using his cell phone aka Obamaphone and emailed me the picture below:

Notice how the bone is sticking out from the Boston butt indicating those bad boys are about ready to yield some wonderful pulled pork and/or BBQ!

When the internal temperature of the Boston butts got to 190 degrees F., I smothered the air supply to the ugly drum smoker and let the meat rest until around 1 PM and the Boston butts internal temperature had cooled down to 175 degrees F.  They were transferred to a large roaster pan and brought inside where one of them was pulled aka shredded using a couple forks.  The shoulder blade bone pulled easily from the Boston butts and there was at least a 3/8 inch smoke ring at the outer edge of the meat with a dark charred outer crust aka bark to the skin.......can you say "beautimous" out loud?  After shredding the pork, I added a little salt and mixed in some of my Anson County City Slicker BBQ Sauce (some call this a finishing sauce) to give the pork a Lexington aka Piedmont Style flavor.  Folks East of here use a Vinegar based sauce, whereas no ketchup is allowed; peppers and sugar only.  However, a person can use whatever BBQ sauce he or she likes!

The addition of 1/2 cup of aged select dark rum really takes baked beans to the next level of taste enhancement in my humble opinion.

The Hush Puppies ended up being Hush Dogs as Bill called them since I placed the batter into the hot oil by the tablespoon full instead of using a teaspoon.  No time for messing around with a teaspoon; must have been hungry for sure!  Nevertheless, they were excellent. 

As I stated earlier about forgetting to sauté the onions for the baked beans, I continued on the negative biorhythms theme by forgetting to do a peach cobbler but those that wanted a dessert opted for some persimmon pudding topped with Reddi wip.  The persimmon pudding had a much more intense flavor after resting in the refrigerator covered overnight and you could easily detect the spice Clove that was used.

After that meal, Bill had fun rough house playing with Xander and wore the little man down which is a feat in itself since Xander has a ton of energy to burn.  My bride heard Xander tell Uncle Bill, "Please, I have had enough" and they got a good grin going out of that one.

Another pix of Nichol below, taken before we started pulling the pork as evidenced by the roasting pans in the foreground:

CALIFORNIA BOUND

Bill and Nichol have reservations in Ashville, NC and wanted to leave around 3ish or so in the afternoon and got a couple pixs of them doing the final touches of packing things into the truck.  Before loading up, I had Bill take Nichol to our basement and let her pick out a custom napkin holder box of which I will have Bill take a pix of it when they return home to California.

In closing, it was wonderful to have Bill and Nichol for a visit and pray their cross country road trip be safe and they take in new sights and adventures along the way.  Both of them have had the opportunity to visit various places around the world but as the ole saying and song goes, "There is no place like home."

Looking forward when my bride and myself can visit with them again in California.  As I post at every opportunity on my blog, "Two of the Greatest Ships that ever Sailed, Friendship and Fellowship" of which we had a wonderful time together.

It is my prayer Bill and Nichol enjoy a safe trip to California!  It is to my understanding, they plan to stop off in Flagstaff, Arizona for a day or two and enjoy a mountain trail bike ride and then head to Las Vegas to drop off some things at Nichol's Mom's home, help arrange the shipment of furniture from Virginia and swap vehicles.  They plan to head back to their home in Vista, CA.  My bride has followed their trip across country via their Facebook posts and they really had the pedal to the metal on Interstate 40 between Little Rock, Arkansas and Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Reminds me of a ride to the airport from Bill's home in Nichol's Honda traveling at around 93 MPH and folks on the freeway were passing us......grin if you must!

PSALMS 121:7 “The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.”

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 07-09-16 and updated on 07-13-16, 07-14-16.

NICHOL'S NAPKIN HOLDER BOX

Bill sent the above pix of the napkin holder box that Nichol picked out.

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 07-23-16.

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