Do you know a prankster? A jolly joker? You know, the person who likes to play tricks on people? Good-naturedly, of course, but still taking advantage of ignorance to cause unnecessary alarm or angst just for a laugh.
I know one: my hubbie. Over the years, he has played a good number of pranks on me and others. He watches and waits for opportunities to play practical jokes on friends, family and co-workers. I found a beer named after him.
Of course, we had to sample it so I could get a “better” picture of the bottle. LOL.
I have learned over the years that he is prone to this behavior and so I am more alert to the telling signs to avert his “fun”. But he has thwarted my attempts to be exempt from his naughtiness on many occasions and so I have been the unfortunate recipient of such shenanigans.
Finally, I was able to turn the tables on him. Let me share my story.
He wanted to host an event up at our cabin for some colleagues. They had scheduled a business retreat in the area and so it was decided that they would all come over for dinner after the day’s meeting. My hubbie, Doc Kitchen, is a KCBS certified BBQ judge and also enjoys preparing BBQ delicacies himself. He had decided on making pulled pork sliders as the main entree. He loves to feed people, but also to show off his cooking finesse.
Since he wouldn’t be home all day, he spent the night before getting all his ingredients and equipment ready and set up; the smoker, the electronic probe and monitor, the special spice rub, the juice for injection into the meat, the oven probe, aluminum tray with foil, BBQ sauce etc. That way, he could just get up early in the morning and get the charcoal going and put the meat in the smoker.
Yes, that’s right. Just like anything else, good, no make that great, food takes effort.
This is where I come in. You see the meat was only going to stay in the smoker till it reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees and developed a beautiful, delicious crust of smoky flavor on the outside of the meat. Then I was to take it out of the smoker and finish it in the oven to bring it to the properly cooked temperature of 195. As I said, he had carefully prepared everything and had it all ready to go. He gave me explicit instructions on what to do regarding the sauce, tenting the aluminum foil and even how to operate the oven probe.
He made it all very simple. All I had to do was take the lid off the smoker, take out the thermometer probes, transfer the hot meat (11 pounds) with special oven gloves to the already prepared aluminum tray with its foil, pour the BBQ sauce over the meat and get it into the oven with its special probe and turn it on.
When he left in the morning, he said he would call at lunch to check up on me. What he meant to say was: to check up on his precious meat. In fact, he called at his mid-morning break and had me go look at the outside probe. It was doing well; in fact, cooking faster than either of us anticipated.
He told me to keep a close eye on it and he would call later. Well, the appointed 160 degrees was met earlier than expected but I did what needed to be done. This is a picture of him transferring meat at an earlier time in the summer (aluminum tray on left side whited out).
Don’t worry; when he gets a break from his “real” job (LOL), he promised to do a full post on how to make great pulled pork and one on brisket.
Anyway, back to my tale…
I performed all my duties as directed and everything went off without a hitch.
As it had all been taken care of before his phone call at lunch, my mind turned devious.
After all, I had been under the influence of the Master of Mischief all these years…
I decided to play a trick on him.
I waited until around the time of his break and then I sent him a text.
“Can you talk? What if I dropped it- what should I do? Only a little bit of crust fell off but lots of needles.” “Waiting to hear…”
Usually, it takes him awhile to answer texts or call me. This time, he responded with alacrity. Within a minute or so the house phone rings. By caller ID, I see it is him. So to make it real, I put all my acting skills to work and I answered the phone with an anxious voice.
I have to admit, despite all the heart palpitations I knew he was having thinking about his beloved pork butt having fallen to the ground and rolled into oak leaves, pine needles and gritty dirt debris in general, his voice was surprisingly calm. He was ready to deal with the disaster.
“That’s okay. Let’s see, can you wash it…?
Not being overly mean and nasty, I decided that was enough. I wouldn’t draw out the suffering.
Gleefully I exclaimed, “Gotcha!”