Hello everyone. My name's Mark. I've been a member here about six weeks now. Have never officially posted a roll call. I enjoy reading through the many posts and appreciate what the interaction here on Smoking Meat Forums. And wanted wanted to introduce myself following reading the 'When You Want Help' thread but have been failing to do so. I thought it a good time now that I'm taking a week or two pause from smoking.
My first experiences with smoking were growing up. Our local town barber used to do quite a bit of smoking and would smoke turkeys for my family mostly for the holidays. Gary familiarized us with brining that we would do ourselves prior to him smoking meat for us. Later, I converted an old old "ceramic" oven into a smoker for our own use implementing several different electric heating elements. In those days we used we used mostly hickory, apple and cherry to smoke with. That's pretty much how it got started.
During high school I worked at Dowd's Steak House in Alda Nebraska just outside Grand Island with a long time friend. There I worked mostly assisting the cooks and bringing out trays for the waitresses as well as stocking the salad bar. They were known for their dry-aged steaks and a good share of my time I spent turning steaks in the cooler, changing ice on the chicken that was chilled and a fair amount of time slicing bread for croutons.
My Dad and I worked together for the same farming operation in Nebraska for over twenty years where I grew up. I continued there for five years after he retired from farming forty five years. I've also sold seed for a few years during that time. On occasion I fill in as a doorman at a club for a friend or help out the disc jockeys. Two years ago I started working with a neighbor and long time friend following the death of his brother. We participate in a foreign exchange training program teaching students. We grow both corn and soybeans and produce a good share of seed corn in cooperation with another neighbor. Kenny, his father and brother collected and restored tractors together. He continues to show them at farm shows and our local county fair here. And is also a train enthusiast.
Some of my fondest memories barbecuing was when my uncle "Red" would vacation back home to Nebraska usually during the month of July. We'd always have at least one cookout during his visits and barbecue is always a part of our family reunions. Our family did quite a bit of grilling at home as well as on camping & fishing trips.
In September I bought a GoodOne Marshall charcoal barbecue/smoker that I now use. Aside from doing a little bit on my grills I hadn't done all much smoking again till within the last five months or so. Most of my smoking experience is with turkey, chicken, prime rib and pork ribs. Here and there I've been sharing quite a bit of food with family, friends and a few others along the way. I do quite a bit of cooking for my parents either having meals here or taking meat that I've smoked to them for a weekend super or for their use. I've been asked to smoke for a graduation celebration next spring. So, we're still in the process of getting my act together so that it's just right.
I enjoy camping and fishing as well and do quite a bit of reading in addition to cooking activities.