Beef Brisket Day

Saturday was shopping day. Costco was my destination.

Ibuprofen was the top of my list. Out for more than 12 hours, I needed the discount box.


Next came some of my favorite sausages and Atlantic salmon for Linda.

As I rounded a corner in the meat section, I spied something I’d been wanting to cook ever since I acquired my Traeger barbecue – a beef brisket. 14.7 pounds at $3.99 per pound.

Immediately I was aware that I might have trouble finding enough eaters. What the hell, I thought, Linda and I will eat what we can and we’ll figure out what to do with the leftovers.

I snatched up the fourteen pounder and headed home.

Called my dad and invited him over. Tried my brother, but he had plans already.

Looked up the Beef Brisket recipe in the cookbook. Beginner’s brisket. That’s me.

Immediately I saw my challenge. It would take somewhere between 8 and 12 hours to properly cook the brisket. Oh well, start early.

At 7:30 AM I plopped the fourteen pounder onto my grill – properly smothered with beef rub from Lockford’s Meat and Sausage. Good stuff.

Signed the final disclosure docs on my Vacation home purchase and watched Fox News Sunday.

With the Traeger temperature on smoke, 185 degrees F I grabbed Lola’s leash and headed around the block for a walk.

Arriving home, I sprayed the beef with the mop sauce and turned the heat up to 225 after four hours.

The meat temperature was now 142 degrees – a little low with only four or five hours to go. I told my dad I’d call him once I knew when the meat would be ready. Then I made arrangements for a conference call to take place on Monday.

With that task completed, I sprayed more mop sauce and turned my radio to the Giants vs As.

At 2 PM, the meat temp was barely 150. The Traeger guide said to be patient and don’t rush the process. I was getting impatient. At least the Giants were ahead.

About 3:30 PM, the meat temp was only 160 and I needed it to be at 180+ plus in order for the brisket to be done by five. Called dad and uninvited him. At his age, he needs to eat on a schedule.

Linda and I sat down to chat while the Traeger continued to smoke. I told her maybe the meat would be ready by 6 PM. She said OK. I opened a bottle of zinfandel and began to sip impatiently.

Continuing to spray the mop sauce periodically, I decided to raise the temp to 250 and began to see improvement. My two temperature gauges were now at 170 and 183 degrees.

I finished half the bottle of zin and the Giants lost. I looked at my iPhone and the time was 6 PM. One temperature gauge said 193 and the other said 180. I elected to cut the brisket in half and put the thick part in my cooler to keep cooking. The thin part of the brisket went to the kitchen where I cut it up appropriately.

My plate was covered in fantastic looking beef. It was fantastic. I over-ate so much that it’s now 10:25 PM and my stomach is still bloated. Oh well, I confirmed that beef brisket is awesome.

A quick internet search confirmed that there are many recipes for left over beef brisket.

IMG_5526 beef brisket



Today – Buyer’s Remorse

Yesterday’s win is today’s remorse. I awoke at 3:30 AM with a serious case of buyer’s remorse as I began re-thinking everything bad about purchasing a lot in Modoc County.

The biggest issue is the $195 per year payment to the county on behalf of the Last Frontier Healthcare District (LFHD). I’ve read all about it and there is nothing one can do to escape this annual “Special Tax.”

On the other hand, I’m bound and determined to figure out Modoc County Real Estate and there’s only one way to do it – join in. The LFHD may single-handedly be the demise of the current recreational property fiasco in Modoc County. And, that would be a good thing. I think it’s a clear case of unintended consequences.

While laying in bed, I couldn’t stop wondering if there were a reasonable way out of this financial conundrum. The more I thought about it the more I realized my sleep was over.

Out of bed by 5:00 AM, I felt a knot in my stomach. I hate being stupid, but that’s how I felt – and still feel as I write this. However, this is an educational experience and that includes a full understanding of buyer’s remorse.

At least I didn’t pay more. The value of Modoc real estate is taking it in the shorts, not that it was ever a good deal.


Yesterday – Modoc Tax Sale

The Modoc tax collector closed the Modoc tax sale yesterday. Over 200 parcels were offered to the public at auction via a web-based auction on

I watched the last couple of hours of the bidding as blocks of offerings closed at a rate of 20 or so parcels every fifteen minutes. I noted that, on the last day of the sale, the tax collector lowered the minimum bid on some of the parcels..

When the minimum bid on two of the lots dropped to $500, I decided to make a bid. Immediately an auto bid offered $600. That was enough for me on that one. The two lots offered for $500 ended up selling for $700 each. Both were in Modoc Recreational Estates.

The minimum bid on a few lots was lowered to $800 each. The highest bid price I noted was $1,500 and another sold for $1,300. Both were in Modoc Recreational Estates.

The minimum bid on about five lots in Pit River Recreational Estates, out of about fifteen,  was dropped to $800 and two of them sold. I couldn’t quite pull the trigger.

Eventually it was down to one lot and I planned to buy one, so I pulled the trigger on item 188 – after the minimum bid was lowered to $800. But, somebody had already bid $800. I figured there might be an auto bid. Sure enough the price jumped to $1,000 after I bid $900. Now I would be forced to bid $1,100 – which I did.

That ended the auction for me. I put my blinders on and went to the bank. When my $535 credit was applied (deposit and admin fee), I owned $601.65 for a total acquisition cost of $1,136.65.

The bank teller asked me if I was certain I wanted to send the money by wire transfer as it would be final and irrevocable. I said yes, and gulped.

For better or worse, Lot 29, block 80 of California Pines Unit 3 will soon be in my name. I laughed when the email from congratulated me for my “win.”

From where I sat, it appeared that about ten percent of the 200+ lots offered were either sold or withdrawn.



How to cook a roast so it is done rare and medium at the same time.

Roasts are great, especially a prime rib roast, but I can never satisfy everybody. Mostly the guys, like their meat rare or medium rare. The ladies, especially my wife, like their meat cooked to at least medium if not well done.

Until yesterday, I could never solve the problem. In an effort to keep half of the roast from over cooking, I cut the roast in half and put the rare portion in foil. The remainder portion, I left on the Traeger grill to cook longer (thinking it would be more well done).

After a about 20 minutes I removed the portion intended to be medium from the grill and opened the foil on the half that was intended to remain rare.

To my surprise, the half that was in foil was medium and the portion on the Traeger was medium rare. Exactly the opposite of what I was trying to do.

So in failing, I succeeded. And, I learned how to solve my problem.

Pretty simple solution, but not intuitive.

Trash Night

5 PM, time to feed Lola. Linda is all over it.

“OK, I’ll do it,” I say as she stares from across the kitchen.

Lola is ready and waiting, staring hard at the bowl I have in my hand.

Half a cup of dry dog food and half a cup of wet, along with a couple of so-called lubricants.

Sitting across from my bow-killed Impala ram, I’m sipping on a glass of red wine as I watch Tucker Carlson argue with a gun control fanatic. Doesn’t get much better than this at my house.

Then Linda begins her Monday night theatrics. “Trash night!

“Ugh,” I respond as I turn up the volume on the TV set.

“I’m tired of Tucker, is there anything else we can watch?” she adds.

How about “American Pickers,” say I.

“OK,” she responds, “But don’t forget it’s, it’s TRASH NIGHT!”

“Ugh,” says I.

The pickers are kicking butt on some great unusual stuff and Linda announces she’s ready for a shower.

“Don’t forget. Trash night!” says Linda as she heads down the hall.

“I won’t forget,” I respond wondering why she makes such a big deal about trash. It’s not like they won’t be here to pick it up again next week.

The National Championship game is on and soon Michigan takes a significant lead. I’m thinking this could be a big-time up-set.

Both teams are playing great, but Michigan is maintaining. Then some white guy comes out of nowhere and scores about nine points in a row for Villanova. Then he throws one in from about 30 feet.

“Trash night!’ I say to myself at the half. Time to go break down some cardboard boxes and rip them to shreds.

American Idol is recording.