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Chef's Hat: A tribute to the ultimate guinea pig

A tribute to the ultimate guinea pig

Wednesday would have been my husband’s birthday. I said “would have” because last fall he lost his battle to pancreatic cancer.

Like me, he enjoyed food and enjoyed trying new dishes. He was willing to try any new dish that I came across on a TV show, magazine or new recipe book. Not only was he willing to try my new dishes, but he would chop vegetables (especially onions) for me and even clean up after our meal.

From the big flops, such as the double dipped, baked onion rings (that made one huge mess in the kitchen), to what he called my world famous deviled eggs, we experimented and tried hundreds of recipes. He would occasionally cook and would always ask my advice on seasonings to add. And believe me, we have a whole cupboard full of herbs and seasonings that we used on an almost daily basis.

His specialty was smoking ribs, brisket and dog bones in his Cookshack smoker (of course, not all at the same time). This was a pretty expensive smoker and I’ll always remember the day we arrived home and there was a tag on the door that UPS had been there with a package that needed a signature before they could drop it off. He immediately called them, got their hours and then drove to UPS to pick it up.

The smoker is now my domain. I have pretty much figured out his smoked ribs and I am an expert at smoking dog bones. But beyond those two things I have not ventured too far into the world of smoked meats.

So this column is a few of his favorite recipes. While going through paperwork I found a “favorite recipes” of the boys and girls of his fourth-grade class. This was one of those things I never knew we had and I have no idea if he actually made this recipe when he was in fourth grade. But all in all, the recipe looks quite good.

The good recipes we called keepers, and there were (and still are) a lot of those recipes around and most that I still put together. I hope my readers will enjoy these recipes as much as we did.

Take it from someone who knows, preparing food and sitting down and having a good meal will give you a lot of good memories.

Enjoy some of our favorite recipes and happy eating.