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In this issue

While the sun blazes, and my sweat glands are working overtime, I decide to make it even hotter by making this month’s theme all about smoking. The magical combination of wood, fire, smoke and meats plus hours and hours of tending results in the best eating you can do this summer. While grilling is an easier, quicker way of cooking outdoors, the flavors and textures that hours of smoking bring is just incomparable. I’ve always been a fan of smoking meats. It seems that I am not alone as more and more shows on TV and on YouTube feature smoking recipes, smoked meat restaurants and barbecue joints. While I haven’t made the “pilgrimage” to the Southern US states famous for barbecues, I have tried versions in the US and here at home. The use of smoke to cook food has a long history. Salting meats or fish and then smoking them ensures longer shelf life and less bacteria. The delicious by-product we now all enjoy are the various cured and smoked meats, fish and seafood. Cooking with fire is something primordial and instinctive to us. Controlling the fire and the smoke, as well as the seasonings added to food is something humans have perfected over the centuries. While grilling is a quicker way of cooking with wood and fire, smoking provides a deeper flavor and the long hours involved results in the juiciest, most tender morsels of meat you can have. In this issue, we smoked all sorts: chicken, duck, pork and fish. Seasoned simply, rubbed with spices, cured quickly or marinated overnight, each recipe all benefited from hours of low and slow cooking, all the time enveloped by smoke. We intentionally kept things simple but for those of you who like a bit more of a challenge, there are many recipes and videos online. Smoking is ideal during the summer but can be done anytime of the year. All it takes is some patience, a bit of care and a bit of wood. So get your meats and fish seasoned, your wood chopped and light it up!

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