Saturday, December 10, 2011

Comparing the 9mm, 12 gauge, and .50 S&W

I'm very liberal. You'll find me on the very far left of the political spectrum. I do have a hard time with the American political system however, I find it very binary. It's expected that one tows the party line on all issues, the more dedicated you are the more you agree with the issues. For a lot of issues it's true, I may be more liberal than Ralph Nader. Gays in the military / gay marriage? Sure, why not. Hell, if a guy wanted to marry a chair, what do I care. Universal healthcare? It should be a constitutional right. But gun control? I believe that felons and those adjucated to be dangerous to themselves or others (such as involuntarily treated mental illness) should not have access to any firearms. But, that's about it in my book. If a law abiding citizen wishes to walk around with a .45 in a shoulder holster - why should I care? Every recent domestic massacre would have turned out very different if one of the victims was armed and capable of using it. Suddenly history would have been very different, one less victim and one more hero. But, I digress. Today we're going pumpkin hunting.

I love Halloween and love pumpkins as decorations. My wife bought several small, non-carvable types this year. She decorated them with a Sharpie and they brightened our home. After Haloween they were turned around and became Thanksgiving decorations. How versatile! But after Thanksgiving, I couldn't think of a use for them. My wife could. "Why not take them shooting?"

So we have four pumpkins to introduce to you. Pumpkin number one volunteered for the 9mm test. This is about 20 yards away using standard ammunition. We have examples of the entry and exit "wounds", both are about 5cm with a 1cm puncture. Head or chest shots would appear to be incapacitating.

Pumpkin number two wanted to meet the "zombie gun". This would be a standard 12-gauge shot gun using a target load. The stock was removed, replaced with a pistol grip. While this looks "cool", it's difficult to aim and took me four shots at 20 yards before I hit. The hit is serious, however. The entry wound covers the entire face of the pumpkin with a 5cm puncture. The exit wounds are small, pellet-like. Damage is substantial, anything other than an arm-hit would appear incapacitating.

Pumpkin three met someone a little more serious, the Smith and Wesson .50 caliber magnum. The S&W .500, as it's generally known, is the current largest production handgun in the world. I know, Dirty Harry said that about the .44 magnum - but that was a long time ago. Things have improved. The entry wound is an innocuous 8cm wound with a 2cm puncture. The entry wound photo does give away some hint of the devastation which is clearly seen as the exit "wound" is simply not measurable. The entire half of the pumpkin has been ripped away. A hit anywhere is obviously incapacitating.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Bacon Explosion

Oh, joy. A holiday weekend. Most people have a three day weekend except some shlubs in health care. So, instead of going out tonight I will cook something. It'll also give me something to take to work tomorrow. But what? I was fuddling around with Wikipedia when I stumbled over their "bacon portal". They have a section dedicated to bacon, that's a joy. Ooh, the recipe currently featured is the bacon explosion. Sounds good. Let us try it, shall we?

It begins, simply enough, with two pounds of bacon and two pound of sausage meat. Pay attention, it's sausage meat not sausages. Obviously you can use any sausage but if you're buying links you'll have to remove the casing. See the photo to get an idea of what four pounds of pork looks like. The chips and guacamole are not part of the recipe, but it makes for good snacking while you're handling all this meat.

First thing is to go cut up some wood. Luckily I seem to have a spare piece of old, dead mesquite. Don't friggin' go cutting down some live tree just to have a BBQ. If you don't have a tasty, old piece of tree (or don't know what's good) then I'm sure you can buy some smoking chips or whatever. Soak them in a pan of water while you're making the rest.

Now weave a mat as a bed for the sausage meat. You see here a 7x7 grid I've made. I've seen recipes that say 5x5 - I guess it's whatever floats your boat. Make sure the bacon is thick cut. Get it from the butcher, no nasty "maple flavoured" liquid-smoke crap you get in plastic packages.

Now take the sausage and cover the bacon bed with it. Ensure it's even, spread it out completely. That's not quite four pounds of meat though, is it? What happened to the rest of the bacon? Excellent question.

The bacon is cut into two inch strips and is sitting in a skillet as we speak. I have no idea why people cut up bacon after they cook it, it turns to a crumbly mess. Cut it before, dufus. And make sure it's cooked all the way through. No chewy bacon, we eat beef rare - not pork. I don't understand numbnuts who don't cook bacon until it's properly crispy. Let the fat liquefy, at the end you're actually deep frying the bacon. That's a good thing.

Drain the fat out. No need to blot it, a little bit of extra fat will not matter greatly in this recipe. Keep that aside for now.

Back to our sausage, cover with a film of BBQ sauce. Be a man and make your own, it's friggin' easy. Not too much, see photo for an idea. Dust with your favourite dry rub, I've sprinkled some crushed chillies on it as well because my lovely wife won't eat anything unless there's chilies hidden in it.

Fetch the cooked bacon and sprinkle it on. You have uncooked bacon weave as a bed, uncooked sausage as filler, BBQ sauce and dry rub making the glue and the holy center of crispy bacon. Nice.

Carefully roll that bad boy up. Get your fingers in there and ensure the two sausage half meet and the seem is sealed well. Ooh. That's tasty.

On the BBQ we have the container with wood and water. Fire it all up until it's warm then turn off the burners over the section you're going to cook the beast. In this photo it's actually sitting on a cedar plank I use for grilling. Baste with very thin film of BBQ sauce and close it up. No peeking. Just get the temp set for around 225. You get to peek every half hour or so. Ensure the container still has water and wood so it's smoking, not burning. Baste quickly another thin layer of BBQ Sauce. You'll be doing this for about two and a half hours.

At that point stick a thermometer into the middle of it. You want 160-165 degrees. It's done. For the love of all that's holy, do not take out the thermometer. It's just a port for all the juice to come out. Take it out and let it be the showcase for 15 minutes or so. No cutting until it's settled - again, all the juice runs out. Never cut a freshly cooked piece of meat. Ever.

And, there it is. Four pounds of artery-clogging pork. The Bacon Explosion.