I came from a family that didn't have a lot of money. Self-employed carpenter with 4 kids to feed. My mother used to buy the cheapest Round steak, and fry it! I used to come home from school, and ask what was for supper. If she said "hotdogs", or meat loaf, I was happy. If she said "Steak", I was sad.
Then when I went to Vietnam, I found out that steak was good. My unit had a couple of cases of steaks allotted to us each month. We caught our Mess Sgt selling our steaks in "My Tho" to the locals (he was very apologetic---LOL--
). We got a new "less bruised" Mess Sgt a few weeks later. We made a deal with our new Base Camp Mess Sgt to keep our steaks in the freezer until we had enough for the whole unit. Then on a certain day, once a month or so, we would all come in from the boonies, and have a blow-out. We would fill a Jeep trailer with ice & beer & sodas, and we had a couple of 50 gallon drums cut in half (agent orange residue burned out of them first). We filled the drums with charcoal & wood scraps, laid some racks from the kitchen ovens on them, and had us a high old time. Most of my black buddies liked chicken better than steak, so there was more than enough steak for us steak lovers. There was always a mess of chicken to be had for those who preferred it. We ate & drank, and played softball, volley ball (rough game the way we played it), and horseshoes. The next day----it was back out in the boonies, but our bellies were happy!
I grilled great steak & burgers ever since.
Then years ago, I tried smoking meat-----before there was an internet---I failed, and didn't have a lot of time to play around & nobody to teach me, so I gave it up. A few years ago my son made a huge smoker, and did some whole pigs, turkeys, and some Salmon. It was good stuff.
Then last year I found this forum. I couldn't take it anymore. You guys made it look so good & so easy, I went out and bought an MES. So far all I did was Belly Bacon, Canadian Bacon, Buckboard Bacon, Smoked Salmon, and changed Fresh Venison Sausage into Smoked Venison Sausage, by curing it & smoking it just like I do bacon. It has all been great.I could not have done any of this without you guys. I got a grinder from Northern, so I will soon do a "Curley's" Venison Bacon. Eventually I plan to try brisket and pork shoulders for pulled pork. Maybe even some snack sticks!
Thanks to all of you,