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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Guard Shack Cooking



One of my fine friends suggested that I write a cookbook or start a blog about "Guard Shack Cooking."  
Now, there's really not a whole lot of cooking you can do in a guard shack, so all the information I have at this point can be written in one article.  Maybe one article can lead to many others, but for now, this is what I have to offer.


A guard shack is a tiny building where security guards spend up to 16 hours.  They never have a kitchen.  If you're lucky, the one you are working in happens to have a microwave.  Usually because some other guard got tired of not having one, and scored a used one from goodwill.  Don't count on there being one.

So if you have no microwave, then you have to figure out how you are going to feed yourself for 16 hours, because you can't leave.  Most guard shacks are in an area where pizza will deliver, but not always!

Some people don't mind eating nothing but room temperature sandwiches, but I can't stand them.  So, I had to learn how to "cook" in a guard shack, with no means to cook.

How on earth do you "cook", if you have no means to cook?  You have to bring your own means to cook!  Of course, you won't want to lug a microwave to and from work every day.  You need something small.

I used to bring a 1.5 quart crock pot, and a 1 quart hot pot.

The crock pot was used to heat up whatever I want to heat up, whether it's leftovers or a can of soup.  It takes about 20 minutes on the high setting.  If you are busy, you can switch it to low, and eat whenever you need to.

There are slow cookers smaller than 1.5 quart, but I would not recommend them.  The 1.5 quart is the smallest size that has a removable stoneware pot as well as different heat settings.  Smaller sizes do not have those features.

At first, I would wash the crock pot after each use.  Eventually, I discovered that a pint sized ziploc twist n' loc container fits perfectly in a 1.5 quart crock pot, so I can heat up my food without having to wash the pot.

The hot pot was used to heat up water, for hot cereal, noodles, or hot chocolate.  Usually, the guard shack will have running water.  If not, you will need to bring some bottled water.   The hot pot can heat water to boiling in about a minute.  

If a microwave is available, you can bring a pyrex measuring cup to heat hot water in the microwave.  Use a pyrex measuring cup instead of a coffee cup, because it has a spout and won't spill all over you.

If there happens to be a coffee pot (usually not, unless another guard brings one), you can heat hot water in a coffee pot.  Just don't put anything in the filter, and it will make hot water.

One guard shack where I worked had a toaster oven, which was brought by another employee.   In the toaster oven, you can heat up various items on aluminum foil.  One time I brought hot dogs and buns, and toasted both in the toaster oven.

At another guard shack, I brought a grilled cheese sandwich press, and a loaf of bread, and made hot sandwiches to eat.

So, there you have it.  Guard shack cooking!  If I ever come up with any more ideas, then I will start a blog or maybe even write a cookbook.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Coca Cola Baby Back Ribs, finally done right

A few months ago, I tried my hand at coca cola baby back ribs, and I did it wrong.

So I tried making them again, the right way.

I used a rack of baby back ribs, cut in half.

Seasoned the baby back ribs with salt and pepper.  Put them in a crock pot.

Mixed a can of coca cola and a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce in a bowl.  

Poured half of the sauce mixture in the crock pot with the ribs, and set aside the other half.

Cooked on high for 4 hours.  Poured the rest of the sauce mixture over the ribs, and turned off the crock pot.

Good recipe!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I made poor man's prime rib

I love prime rib, but as you know, it can be very expensive.

I found a recipe online for "poor man's prime rib".  It's not exactly the same as prime rib, but if you put au jus and horseradish sauce on it, you can't tell the difference.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Take an "eye of round" roast.  Rub it on all sides with sea salt, cracked black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and thyme.  

Put it in a cast iron skillet with the fat side up.

I also coated it with corn oil, but the recipe I found did not say to do that.

Once the oven is preheated, put the meat in the oven and reduce the temperature to 475.

Cook 7 minutes a pound.

After the time is up, turn the oven off, but do not open the doors.  Leave the roast in the oven for another 2 1/2 hours.

Slice and serve.  Awesome!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My first fresh black eyed peas

Black eyed peas are easy.  This was my first time making fresh black eyed peas.

You need 6 cups chicken broth, 1 pound of dried black eyed peas, 1 vidalia onion, some cubed ham, a few strips of bacon, 3 teaspoons minced garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.

Cut up the onion and the strips of bacon.  Put all of the ingredients in a crock pot.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Yes, it was that easy.  Fresh black eyed peas are much better than canned.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Finally tried white corn meal mix, after all these years

Years ago, I made cornbread with yellow corn meal mix.

I said that eventually, I will try white corn meal mix... and I finally did.

Because the recipe on the back of the white corn meal mix bag was completely different, and contained NO flour or sugar, I just used the recipe that I had used for the yellow corn meal mix, and substituted white for yellow.

Corn meal is corn meal, whether it's white or yellow.  They are just different colors.

It was a fine tasting cornbread, although I did not increase the amount of sugar, so it was not very sweet.

I used the cornbread in my recipe for wonderful cornbread dressing.  Of course I think the dressing is better with sweeter cornbread, but still a tasty dressing.