Let it Rest

20110830-062837.jpgLet it Rest
You’ve heard me say it before… “Let it rest”. When you grill a piece of meat (if you are from the west coast… barbecue a piece of meat) you HAVE to let it rest to get the best flavor and texture of the meat.

Remember the last time you burned your hand and got a blister? What actually happened? I’ll tell you. You seared your flesh and your body’s response was to send it’s best cooling agent to the surface of your skin – H2O. That’s right. Your body is made up of 75% water and it can control most of that! Since your body doesn’t have and ice maker, it sends water to the most needed places. In this case, that means your seared flesh.

Well, when you cook meat you are doing the same thing. Hopefully, you haven’t been eating your own flesh. What I mean is you want to sear the outside and “seal” in those juices. Imagine the piece of meat, through osmosis, sending the water at the center of the meat to the outer surfaces to cool it down. Not too hard to imagine, right?

Now imagine cutting into the meat while the meat has all that water at the surface. Kinda like popping a blister, yeah? The water all runs out and so does the flavor leaving a dried out piece of meat behind for you and some very sad guests.

What if you let the meat rest… Let it sit and cool for a moment. As the temperature decreases or becomes more even from outer surface to inner core, the juices (a.k.a. the water) returns back to the center of the meat. That does 2 things. It helps to finish cooking the inside and keeps it moist and tender.

How long do I let it rest?
Great questions. 5 minutes is usually good. Try it and come back and comment to let me know if your grilled, hehem, barbecued meat comes out.

Restored Faith

20110823-050645.jpg Today my faith in the youth of America was restored a little…

As I was walking Gabby into school at Cedar Ridge Elementary in Grovetown, we passed the flag pole and two young kids holding flags. I listened keenly to them with one ear as an eves-dropper while I tuned into Gabby’s question with the other.

Gabby asked, “What are they doing Daddy?”
I told her they must be really good students and very responsible, because it is an honor to be chosen to raise the flag of the United States of America. Gabby agreed and her eyes widened at the thought of it for just a second.

She held my hand and turned over her shoulder to watch as I kept that other ear on the two kids raising the flag. I kissed Gabby goodbye and opened the school door. She shuffled in and turned back with that cute little wave and smile.

As I walked back by the kids, another had joined them. The boy that was there before said to the girl who had just arrived,
“Careful… Don’t let it touch the ground! This flag can NEVER touch the ground.”

He wasn’t being mean nor did he say it meanly. It may look that way when you read it. What I saw though, was a young honorable man passing on the respect our Great Nation deserves to another citizen.

That gives me hope. Indeed he IS an honorable soul.

Little River – Spend Your Saturday Outside

Gabby is adventurous. Her imagination is and amazing thing. That’s why when I passed the Little River on my way home from a Leaders Retreat I got the idea to take her canoeing.

Part of my Life’s Manifesto is to “Never Spend Saturday Inside“. Does that mean I spend every Saturday outside for the sake of not being inside? No. Of course not. In fact, this canoe trip was on a Sunday. It means don’t let the days you have available to PLAY slip through your fingers.

For that reason I planned a little trip for Gabby and me. Just a little Daddy and Daughter time. She was excited and a little apprehensive at first. I think she thought she was going to get eaten or something.

The cool, quiet morning. The stillness of the water when it’s early. The animals letting us pass through. I love all of that. Gabby loves it too now. We did see a lot of animals, including 3 wild turkeys, Egrets, Blue Herrons, Huge Fish Jumping, a 4′ Alligator, a Beaver, and lots of Turtles.

As we were leaving there was a fisherman getting ready to spend the afternoon out there. We chatted about the river for a minute and his fishing. The last thing he said to me was, “Better than spending the day in front of the T.V. ain’t it?”