The first day of our working vacation was a smashing success.
Linda and I cleared out various sections of the backyard of leaves and weeds and put down landscape fabric and pine straw. The pine straw is so that things look nice, the lansdcape fabric is so that the weeds realize that their place is underground, where they can't pervert the sun's rays for their foul purposes. We got a lot more done than I expected so tomorrow is nothing but pine straw spreading fun, with just a smidge more fabric installation.
I was also able to make a most tasty brisket while we worked. When I first started smoking, I was pretty dang anal about making sure that the temperature of the smoker didn't get outside of a particular range. Since then I've learned to be far less anal as the taste ends up being the same, there's just a lot less work. Oh sure, if the smoker gets up to 300 degrees, you'll probably want to do something about it, as I had to today (the water pan was running dry) but other than that, I'm all for just letting it do it's thing and just make minor adjustments if things are getting too hot or too cold. The brisket is much spicier than I imagined so the kids won't want any part of it, but other than that, it's pretty damn tasty. Makes me long for the joy that is pulled pork. I just don't think I'm up for an overnight cook any time soon. Them shoulders take a hell of a long time to cook.
Soon Linda and I will be deep in the heart of Texas on our vacation and I can have some authentic Texas brisket. At that point, my joy will be unbridled.