Lemon Tree After the Rain

All day it poured, far sooner than was expected.
The sun came out to offer some love, garden grew greener in only a few hours.
One should leave their guarded perch to view and experience what’s going on.
It’s pretty darned spectacular and to say the least, it’s pretty and makes you feel good.
xo, Biggles

Love you Beansprout, most awesome puppy of all time.

Pets, members of the family, many times you love them more than your family. It’s the unconditional love, inspiration and attention they crave from you and give back even more that draws you in.
Years ago, I ran across Cookie’s web site, I’m mad and I eat. I remember telling someone that I was so excited that I found someone else who was upset, mad and willing to lay down the goodness in food. Time went on and through exchanged comments, emails and meetings and parties and grillings and whatever else it was, we’d found some common ground to have fun on.
It wasn’t until I showed up in person more than a few years ago and my boys paid a visit a few years ago that I got to spend some time with the ‘sprout. The little dude raced from here to there corralling us all, never stopped. Quiet, yet you could see he had intent and direction. Once he was done, he took watch to make sure we didn’t stray, keeping us huddled together. There wasn’t a moment he wasn’t engaged, happy and not being a yappy little dog like most people believe.
I remember the first time I left, after meeting Sprout, I’d have to ask Cookie who he was. Because, if I was going to have the most awesome dog of all time, I wanted that one.
It was too soon little buddy, rest in peace.

nude bather

woodland bather 2.jpg
Hi Everyone! I know I’ve been missing in action for more than a long time. Meathenge is not going away, but have been so terribly busy with home and business that I absolutely don’t have any time to cook and or post here.
My brother inlaw bought a fancy drawing tablet, he’s a college degreed artist an junk. Anyhoo, he’s been learning how to use it and has been doing “paint by numbers” to see how things lay. Personally, I don’t care how you slice it, this drawing rocks. Not only does it remind me of something from the past, but it’s so nicely done that I had to share it with you.
It may not have anything to do with food or what I’m up to, but you can surely see why I chose to post it. What do you think?
xo, Biggles

A Tuesday evening, what’s in your smoker?

Been spending some time on the net reading what others are up to, mostly it seems to be “The Heat” and or humidity. Or at least it seems that way to me, mostly because it’s 66 degrees with fresh ocean breezes here near the bay.
Even though it’s a work week, there’s plenty of time in the evening to stoke up the smoker for a short little jaunt through smoked fowl land. Today we have smoked game hens from Diablo Foods in Lafayette. I can’t remember where they were raised, but it sure as hell has nothing to do with the major players usually available (read: I paid dearly).
Rubbed with butter, salted and trussed up to a 217 degree smoker for a little over an hour (honestly can’t remember how long it took). Sure it took an hour to get the fire right, but it was worth the wait. All 3 of us remarked at the juicy tenderness of the breast meat, sorry it wasn’t dry and mealy.
Cheers to you and yours on this fine Tuesday evening,

Meathenge to Fatted Calf to the sharing of meat between father & son

Editors Note: Yeah, confused? I didn’t know how to title this one either. I received this email the other day and was really blown away, I did tear up. We all make jokes, tell “stories” and enjoy the Meaty Lifestyle. But how many of you, and raise your hands, where meat has come in to your life and given you a venue to share the last life & times with a loved one before they pass?
I asked for permission to post this email and to post an image. Please read on and dare to keep a dry eye.

Hey Biggles,
First, I have to say a huge ‘Thank You’ for telling me about subscribing to Toponia’s weekly newsletter for the Fatted Calf a couple years before she and Taylor took the leap and started their operations in Napa. I *so* looked forward to reading her updates and although it wasn’t convenient to hit the SF Farmer’s Market, I knew that one day, I’d get to taste their their products.
Move ahead to a year ago. The Fatted Calf has been running at the Oxbow Public Market for a while, and my dad, who was living in the Yountville Veterans Home was talking to me about Charcuterie and stoking the fires of meat love. I made a promise to create a nice Cheese Board lunch the next weekend, and so, finally stopped by the Fatted Calf for sausage.
Bailey was working the counter, barely two weeks into her start with the ‘Calf. I sampled my way through just about all that was available that week and ended up buying more than a pound of some of the most wonderful sausage I’d had in many, many years. I was sold.
Stopping at the ‘Calf on my way to visit my father became a habit very quickly.
Sadly, my father passed away on April 21st. I thought that I might not head over to Napa so much, but then, I got the heads up from Toponia about their first ever, up-n-coming Basic Pig Butchery and Sausage Making class. Lemme tell ya, I grabbed the phone so fast it set records in three states. I thought it would be a nice way to keep fond memories of hanging out with my dad over exceptional food.
The class was wonderful. Taylor, Toponia and the rest of the crew are fine people indeed. I had such a good time, I’m tempted to volunteer for them sometime.
Thanks so much for sharing your love of meat.
Best to you and yours,
Eidtor’s Note: Please take a moment and hoist a cool refreshing beverage to CM and his father, a moment of silence and respect.

Sleepy Summer Mornings

Hi Everyone!
Wanted to stop by and say hi to everyone, Hi! While I do have a few posts in the wings awaiting some inspiration, we’re not up to much here at Meathenge Labs. Cooking for me these days consists of burgers, a red sauce sphaghetti dinner and calling Mountain Mike’s Pizza. Sad, yet true. In any case, the boys and I are doing fine, I’m not driving nearly 500 miles a week (until school starts in a few months).
Here’s Tiny E’s feet as he’s sleeping, right now. Sleepy Summer Mornings, ain’t they grand?
xo, Biggles

Fishy says, “Happy Birthday Meathenge!”

That’s right folks, Meathenge is 6 years old as of 3 weeks ago! A few times over the years I’ve gone back and have been able to trace my life through Meathenge. The fads, times, people, meeting new friends, learning, being plastered all over the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Food Section. I’ve enjoyed nearly every moment this web site has brought to my life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. I mean comon, how often do you get Toponia emailing you in desperation to see if you’re available to work the Fatted Calf Stall at the market? A chance to sling some of the West Coast’s best charcuterie ever? Pure heaven.
Happy Birthday to Meathenge and thank you everyone for making it a purely enjoyable way of life. You’re the best!
A toast to Meathenge! A toast to another 6 years !!! mmMmmM, toast.
xo, Biggles

Meat Alert !!! Prather Ranch Meat Co. Comes to Danville and Campbell Farmer’s Markets

Wahoo! This is hot off the presses folks, just rolled in a few minutes ago. One of our favorite meat providers for the San Francisco Bay Area is going to be at 2 new farmer’s markets this coming weekend. Rain or shine, all year long, you’ll be able to get fancy meat at the Danville and Campbell markets. If you’re not familiar with the Prather Ranch name, visit their web site and check it out, they good people.
Here’s the email I received:

Spring greetings from the PRMC gang. We hope you are enjoying the arrival of asparagus and strawberries as much as we are. This Spring also brings a new arrival from us. Starting this weekend, April 18th and 19th we will be attending the Danville Farmers Market (Saturdays) and the Campbell Farmers Market (Sundays) year round rain or shine. We invite all conscientious carnivores living in either neighborhood to come on by and introduce yourself.
The Danville market occurs every Saturday year round in downtown Danville from 9AM to 1PM at the corner of Railroad and Prospect Streets. This market has a quaint small town feel yet hosts some of the best produce and prepared food vendors the bay area farmers markets have to offer. This market is conveniently close to the communities of Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Alamo, Diablo, and Lafayette. It also happens to be located just behind Danville’s own Sideboard cafĂ© which features a now famous Prather Ranch Cheeseburger. Sounds like a nice Saturday to me.
The Campbell market is a sight to behold. This market takes place every Sunday year round on Campbell Ave. between Central & 2nd St. and seemingly everybody in the South Bay goes there. This market rivals The Ferry Building in its variety of vendors and overall vastness. Just about anything can be found there…that is now that we are filling it out with tasty meats. This market also serves the surrounding areas of San Jose, Los Gatos, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, and Cupertino. Come on down and see what a bustling farmers market really looks like.
We at the Prather Ranch Meat Co. sincerely appreciate your support and we hope to honor that by continually striving to provide you with the best tasting meats from animals raised and fed with the most care.
The PRMC Gang


Happy Easter !

And I second that emotion, Happy Easter. Am hosting a small gathering today and expect to fire up the grill for a tri-tip, pork sirloin roast, some sirloin pork chops and a few other goodies. Nothing crazy, it’s more about the people and spending time together than making something out of the ordinary. Family, wine & meat day.
I’ve snucked away from posting for Easter since 2006, why? Because I couldn’t top what I did for that holiday. I pieced out a few fresh rabbits, marinated them in a Cuban marinade, then smoked the little darlings. “But Biggles, that’s no big deal, how come you can’t top that one?” Well, my good person, it’s because I used neon food coloring to give them the color of Easter Eggs!
Please visit Easter 2006 to read the rest of the story.
xo, Biggles

Napa Valley Blow By

Hi Everyone,
Oh where do the time go? I miss you guys and think about you on a daily basis. The daily doings here are just that, the same ol’. Big D and I haven’t been going out to lunch, so no new local places to review. Weekday versus Weekend meals couldn’t possibly be any more repetitive. This isn’t to say they’re not lip-smackingly delightful, but stuff I’ve posted here over and over. How many times do you really want to hear about a roast of pork sirloin? I don’t mind eating it, that’s for sure! We’re here and doing just fine, nothing post worthy has slithered past my eye nuts. Eye nuts. Really? Eye nuts? I just made that up, just in case you were wondering.
On Sunday, while going through my images I ran across the above. I never ended up posting it and thought it would be nice for today. I took this last Fall up in Calistoga while visiting a friend. Early Sunday morning, Jeffrey and I got up and headed out to see what kind of light we could hunt & kill.
The conversation meandered to our mutual friend Jack. Jack and I were roommates back in 1985 and it was clear his camera was a tool and nothing more. He’s an artist, the camera is only there to capture what his eye sees. At every turn you’d find Jack hanging out of, from just about anything. The entire time the zoom was being pushed in or out while jumping up and down or running. And sure enough, Jack would mention, “I think my camera is broke.” Jeffrey responded with a, “NO SHIT !”.
I was pondering through those times early Sunday morning while I set my camera. Manual focus, set lens to maybe 20 some odd feet out. Shutter priority to something dreadfully slow. Hung the lens out the window and grabbed this one. And get this, it came out of the camera like that. Go head, click on it for a little larger one. Just like that, POW. I did jack the contrast just a tad, but nothing else. Some day, this sucker is going on my wall.
xo, Biggles
ps – I found a few more that I took that weekend and put them up on my flickr page.

J. Lee Roy’s Dippin’ Sauce

On Saturday night I did another pork roast in the clay cooker, a pork sirloin roast this time. It was perfect in every way. I wanted to do a pulled pork sammich, seemed likely. Needed a sauce that was doable out of the jar, thought I remembered this one doing well.
You can quote me on this one, “This shit sucks.”
Combine a cup of ketchup with a cup of sugar then a huge dose of Chinese Five Spice. “This shit sucks.”
It’s going in the trash.

Where’s Biggles?

Just hang tight, in a holding pattern for the moment. All is good and well, expect spiffy things.
Whatchu lookin’ at Willis?
xo, Biggles
ps – 13 year old son took this a few hours ago

a citrussy thumb? non?

No. A few years ago I planted a little grapefruit tree and a little lime tree. My older lemon tree has produced a few good lemons, but mostly they look like the grapefruit you see before you. See the pith? It’s nearly all pith, just so you know. Not sure how it or I did that, but that’s okay.
Wanna know why? Well, last night was taco night! They’re simple little rigs and I buy all the stuff we need from Omar of Joya de Ceren, it’s my nature. While some ingredients vary, there are the staples that each trip produces. One of which being limes.
Yeah well, I unloaded my stash last night and realized I’d forgotten the limes. I looked up at Z standing in the doorway and he had this look of shock and dismay on his face. Omar is only 3 blocks away, but I’d just returned and didn’t want to go back out. I didn’t think so, but if that little tree had just 1 little lime, just one usable one, that’d do it.
Today my good people, I am sharing with you the very first lime off the little tree and it was perfect in every way. Ain’t life grand?
xo, Biggles