Welcome to The Pauley Principle!

The Pauli Principle, named for Wolfgang Pauli, deals with atoms and electron-sharing that results in new, stronger bonds. Think 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen, a shared delectable (!) electron and VOILA! Water!

Similarly, when you prepare whole food to share with family and friends, especially foods you've grown, something amazing happens. Meals become tastier and healthier. Your soul, not just your stomach, becomes fulfilled. You live life more abundantly as a result. During a shared meal, the bonds that people create grow stronger and become something new: GREATER than the sum of the parts! I give you The Pauley Principle.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Achieving the perfect barbecued baby back ribs is an accomplishment!  These were spicy, juicy and with just the right tenderness. Read on and find out my method.
I wanted a rub that would give me all the goodness of baby back ribs that I see in televised cook-offs. We had had a family cook-off, and I did OK, but now I wanted a rub that I could actually offer in my farm market, something yummy with just the right blend of seasonings. So I experimented and watched what others were using. I finally got the flavors I wanted but still lacked the cooking style.

What I've discovered in my trials and errors is that it's not just the rub, it's the technique. Using a sugar-based rub requires using indirect heat. The meat does not come into contact with flame. Thanks to my grandson Tyler who took the photographs for this baby back rib BBQ step-by-step.

Sprinkle your ribs liberally with the rub of your choice. Then allow to stand for 30 while you start up the grill and prepare your hardwood for smoking.
  Choose well-seasoned hickory, apple, or other suitable wood and give it a good soaking in water.
Then, when the temperature (220 to 250 degrees F) and the smoke are just right, add the ribs. Loosen the seal of the aluminum foil to allow plenty of smoke to permeate the meat. Check occasionally without disturbing the meat just to see that the smoker is doing its job and that it's not too hot. Allow to cook without intervention as much as possible over the course of 2 hours. 
After two hours, remove the meat and try twisting a bone to see if it has any movement (it should be able to twist a little), and then finish the ribs off in a pre-heated oven at about 250 degrees F for another two hours. Then take it out and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. The internal temperature should have reached 160 degrees F a long time before this, but the extra time allows the flow of good juices to tenderize the meat and give the rub and good feel to the teeth.

Cooking ribs this way is almost effortless once you get into the routine, and the result I think will please you!!!
And yes, I now have Rockin' Rib Rub to sell at our Old Homestead Farm Market.

(Photos for this post were largely the work of Tyler Oyer.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hay Rake Rescue

Total dis-assembly was necessary because of neglect over the years. Layers of metal were encased in rust. Chris said that without intervening, "the equipment would continue to rot down". Once he had the hay rake apart, it was time to evaluate and inventory each piece and then order any necessary new parts. He cleaned up all the useable old parts by sandblasting, priming and painting. 
He replaced the worn-out bearings and seals and straightened the stripper bars, put in all new spring teeth and added a hydraulic lift. He replaced tires and tubes. He hurried to get it all renovated in time to try it out for the season's haymaking. After a few late, late nights of working, the restoration was complete.

When Chris took it out for a trial run, he said,
"It worked quite well, just like it was supposed to!" 
I listened to the old hay rake while Chris did a demo for me. He hooked it up to an older John Deere tractor. That vision and the gentle hum and whir of the rake brought back memories of a bygone era. I am filled with pride that Chris saw the potential and did this renovation. He recently raked with it to make nearly 400 bales of hay. 
Sorry to admit that, when he first brought it home, I couldn't picture what it should look like. What a mess! I regret that I didn't get the photo before he took it apart.