“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace but it’s a start.”- Anthony Bourdain

Greetings and Happy New Year!

Shortly before the New Year I experienced/celebrated/suffered/endured another birthday. Numbers don’t matter…I’m told they’re relative. I have several friends and acquaintances with whom I share the day and roughly 21,096,000 whom I’ve likely never met. One of the numerous lavish gifts (all of which I so richly deserve) that I received for Christmas was a DNA kit for Ancestry. The point of mentioning the two (my birthday and the DNA kit) is that I think this will prove conclusively that I am genetically linked to one or more species of dinosaurs that once roamed the banks of the inland sea that is now NE Colorado/W Nebraska. Should some future scientist try to put the whole Jurassic Park thing to the test I could make another appearance?

Some time ago I started writing a piece that began “If darkness is defined as a lack of light and cold can be defined as an absence of heat…” Then maybe success can be defined as a lack of failure. With that in mind…and based on the screaming success of fried turkeys for Thanksgiving…we took another run at it for Christmas. Except for an inexplicable inability to get it to 400⁰ F we didn’t burn down the garage, no skin grafts were required and all three birds were fried to crispy deliciousness. It just took a bit longer than expected.

I got a text and photo from the fine folks at Proud Souls Barbecue on Federal informing me that they were in need of more Uncle Tom’s Seasoning. Being the “People Person” that I am I chose to deliver (plus my fledgling enterprise decided it would be more cost effective to deliver than to ship). The picture, by the way, was a prime rib that had been sprayed with duck fat and got a liberal application of Uncle Tom’s with the caption “Excellent on Prime Rib”. A heck of a compliment and endorsement from the cooks on one of the competition teams.

So, after that rather lengthy into, the whole point of mentioning it is the idea of cooking with duck fat. My exposure to duck fat is what didn’t show up on the skinny ducks we brought down on the South Platte River when I was a kid…and was ambitious enough to get up in the frosty, before-dawn hours of Western Nebraska to trudge down to the river.

To continue, apparently duck fat isn’t a commodity that’s stocked by everyone but I did find it at one of the “healthy food” stores…Whole Foods, Sprouts…not a store I normally frequent. If you are one who routinely cooks with duck fat this will be somewhat non-revolutionary.  If, on the other hand, you are one who is intrigued by the idea of cooking with duck fat I’ll let you know how this turns out.

Other than that not much going on at Uncle Tom’s Corner. The National Western Stockshow and BBQ Throwdown is this weekend and I’m anxious to get back into the judging thing and, unlike the first time I was involved (at -14⁰ F) the weather is supposed to be a balmy 50+⁰.

And that, Happy Cookers, about wraps it up for this time. Hopefully I’ll have some great stories to share after the Stock Show contest. Be careful out there and keep on smokin’.

See you next time at Uncle Tom’s Corner.