When you think barbecued brisket, Minnesota might not be the first place that comes to mind. Okay — perhaps it’s about the last.
But we had a pretty amazing hunk of meat on Friday.
My family came for lunch on Friday, and we were going to start the brisket and a sirloin tip super early on the grill.
For the rest of the menu things were pretty smooth. I made a cake that morning, and I planned several side dishes including a salad cut from our garden, buttered and broiled potato wedges, baked beans, and fresh fruit my mom was bringing.
For the meat, we didn’t quite get the early start we should have. I won’t subject you to the full details, but between the beginnings of a honeycomb, acorns, broken parts, and various farm mishaps, we didn’t put the meat on until about 11:30.
Well, I shouldn’t say we, as I can’t take the credit for my husband’s cooking skills. He loosely followed this recipe and sauce and for the brisket to turn tender it needed 6-8 hours of low, slow cooking.
We had guests coming at 1:00, so as I tried to remain calm, we quickly thawed some steaks and decided the brisket would be supper.
Somehow things always work out beautifully for him, in spite of whatever. 😉
We had delicious steaks and sides for lunch, and my nephews had grand fun playing in our yard and chasing after the birds.
When everyone had gone, JR went back to tending his brisket.
One of his friends stopped over to sample it with us, and we were less skeptical as we cut into the brisket to reveal a beautiful, moist, deep pink.
The taste was even better, slightly sweet and smoky, with hints of cider and a nice kick of heat from plenty of hot sauce. I should never doubt his aptitude for preparing meat!
Did I mention this was all our own beef?
I think that makes it even better — to know that this meat was raised and then cooked by us for our family and friends.
It’s not organic or even all grass-fed, but it’s been raised by us since day one.
I believe in the process, but I want you to know it’s still tough for me to say goodbye to each animal. Seriously, I’m not some robotic individual that doesn’t get attached. My husband and I both know how hard it is to load up a steer or heifer for the last time. We’ve even started raising more cattle for meat than normal so we don’t get as attached to just one or two.
Ultimately, I firmly believe in the goodness and importance of animal protein. Everything becomes food for something, in one way or another, and I’m proud to say that we raise our own beef.
With that, did I mention I had a 10K planned for Saturday morning?
I know I ate way more than normal pre-race between my two giant Friday meals, and I hoped lots of beef would at least be good fuel!
This race is my little hometown’s running event, and one of my sisters and her fiancé, plus one of my brother in laws were all planning to tackle the 5K.
I showed up barely in time to register and hop on a yellow school bus to the start.
It was overcast and only in the 70’s, but the humidity was so thick it nearly formed a haze. It actually did rain a few drops here and there, probably because the saturated sky couldn’t hold it any longer.
I haven’t run a 10K in two years, and I definitely had something to prove. I went out fast, a 7:45 first mile, and just kind of got slower from there.
But it wasn’t a bad race — in fact I feel mostly good about my effort. I was just overly ambitious, and it definitely wasn’t my ideal weather day.
I was going after a time under 50 minutes, and I came through halfway in 25:07. For some reason I remember that exactly.
Given how I was feeling I knew I wouldn’t speed up the second half. But I would definitely beat my old best of 56:55.
They had three water stops set up for the 10K, and I thought that seemed like overkill. “I might stop at one,” was my initial thought.
Nope. I stopped at every single opportunity for water and was quite thankful for it.
The last mile is a straight stretch toward the beach, and it seems to take forever because you can see the finish for so long. It was unexpected and nice to hear shouts of “Go Lisa!” as I got closer and my family cheered. It’s not often I’m at a race where many people know me. 🙂
My watch said 51 minutes and change; I don’t remember exactly and I forgot to stop my watch.
I downed some more water and posed for this stellar picture as we waited for awards.
My parents wanted to stick around because my father was certain I’d won something. I was less sure, as quite a few women who looked to be in their 20’s had cruised past me at the start and I’d never caught up.
It was possible though, as I’m sure less than 300 people competed in the two races.
So we waited, and waited, until finally they started going through places.
Several times they gave the wrong award to someone and had to backtrack, but eventually they came to the women’s 10K, 20-29. They announced first, then second, and when they said third place it was me! At least my family hadn’t waited around to be disappointed. (Whew!)
I thought they said my time as 50:38, but I couldn’t hear exactly.
I meant to go and double check at the end, but I got to talking and never made it over.
At first I thought maybe they read it wrong, or worse, mixed me up with someone else. It wasn’t chip timed so they just wrote us down as we crossed. Then I remembered about a minute after we started we crossed a line that said 10K. We’d started by a cluster of balloons, but maybe the volunteer who started us had gotten bad directions?
It’s a little race and isn’t officially measured anyhow. The only reason I even care about the final time is so I can claim it as my PR. (I know, I know…)
Even if the distance is a little off, very few of the local 5K and 10K runs I do are official. I can’t worry about that every time, so I just take it for what it is.
For my final time, I’ll just have to wait until it’s in print. Yes, print. This race doesn’t post results online, but they do usually print them in the local paper. My parents will have to watch for it!
As for my award, the dogs had fun examining it later that day. Calvin was quite proud, while Boo simply wanted to eat it.
Hope you all had a Happy 4th of July weekend. In the midst of lots of working, eating, and fun, I think this will go down as a memorable one for me.