A New Smoker Recipe and Kingwood Center Gardens
Berlin, OH - Events of Saturday, July 16 to Tuesday, July 19, 2016
We continue to use our smoker almost weekly. Most of the time we don't mention it in our blog because we're making one of our favorites that we have written about before. Last Saturday, however, we tried a new recipe for burnt ends.
Burnt ends come from Kansas City, which is known for their barbecued beef brisket. Burnt ends were originally trimmings and oddly-shaped pieces (ends) of the crusty exterior of smoked brisket that were set aside when the brisket was sliced. Most of these pieces contained a good bit of juicy fat and were coated with plenty of caramelized (dark in color, but not really burnt) dry rub. The pieces were often put into stews or were given away.
When customers began asking for burnt ends, pitmasters realized they had been giving away little nuggets of flavor that they could potentially profit from so they devised ways to make burnt ends in larger quantities from whole cuts of meat.
The recipe we found was for burnt ends made from chuck roast rather than the more traditionally-used brisket. Although you could easily use the same recipe for brisket, we decided to stick with chuck. Chuck is generally cheaper than brisket and it was even more so this time because it was on sale at Walnut Creek Cheese. We get really spoiled over the summer when we are able to purchase our meat there because it is always outstanding in quality and price.
After smoking the meat until it was almost done, Paul cut it into cubes, coated the cubes with a little barbecue sauce and some dry rub, put the cubes into a pan and then put the pan back into the smoker.
Paul smoked the cubes another two hours stirring them every half hour or so. The fun part is the chef gets to sample a cube or two every time he stirs them. The finished burnt ends were tender, smokey little gems crusted with caramelized barbecue sauce and rub. They were yummy!
In our last post, we mentioned we had some sightseeing in mind. On Tuesday, we drove about 75 minutes to the west to Mansfield, Ohio, to visit Kingwood Center Gardens. We went there last year and were so impressed with the creativity of the plant selection with its rich displays of color and texture we decided to return this year. Not only are the gardens beautiful, but the admission price is very reasonable at only $5 per car or $2 per person for walk-ins.
Kingwood Center is the 47-acre estate that once belonged to Charles Kelley King, who made his fortune working for the Ohio Brass Company in Mansfield. King started working for Ohio Brass in 1898 as an electrical engineer and eventually became President and Chairman of the Board. He led Ohio Brass to success in the manufacture of electrical components for railroads and trolleys.
We entered the garden by way of a path that went up a set of terraces. The colors were different from last year so it was almost like visiting a different garden.
Mr. King built Kingwood in 1926. He was married and divorced twice, and he had no children by either marriage. Since he had no direct heirs, he left much of his fortune and his estate to a foundation which he established before his death. He endowed the foundation with sufficient funds to not only maintain the estate, but also to make future improvements. The sunken garden on the third terrace didn't exist in Mr. King's time. It was one of those improvements.
The 5th terrace is the site of the mansion's swimming pool. It has now been filled in and made into a garden.
Near the top of the terraces, we paused for a photo of Margery on a garden bench.
We followed the path down the eastern side of the property through daylily garden. The next composite photo shows just a few examples of the beautiful daylilies in bloom.
Interspersed with beds of daylilies are more annuals and more inviting garden benches.
We stopped for a selfie on one of the benches.
At the bottom of the daylily path, we stopped at the greenhouses where there are displays of herbs, tropicals and cacti. Between the two greenhouses is another attractive outdoor garden.
Near the greenhouses are the rose garden and the gazebo garden. The roses were pretty much done blooming, but there were plenty of attractive annuals surrounding the gazebo
We headed from the gazebo to the area in front of the mansion. Guided tours of Kingwood Mansion are available at specific times on weekends and by prior arrangement for groups. Self-guided tours are available any time, but we didn't go inside on this visit. Unlike the gardens which have a new color scheme every year, we knew the mansion would be pretty much unchanged from last year. Besides, it was getting late, we were getting hungry, and we still had more gardens to see.
We then followed a meandering path beside the lawn back to the parking lot. We enjoyed our visit to Kingwood Center Gardens. The colors and textures were as good as or better than the year before. The next two composite photos show just some of the many flowers we saw.
Last year after visiting the garden we stopped for lupper at Athens Greek Restaurant. They have three locations - one in downtown Mansfield; one about 20 or 30 miles south of Mansfield; and the one a couple of miles to the west of Mansfield that we went to last year. Although the one in downtown Mansfield is a little farther from the preferred route back to Berlin, it is closer to the garden so we decided to go the downtown location this year.
We each had a gyro plate, which is a de-constructed gyro with the meat, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce served on a plate with triangles of pita on the side. The gyro plate is a lot easier to eat than a regular gyro that has all the ingredients wrapped in the pita in the traditional way. Everything was yummy!
With our bellies full, we headed back to the 5th wheel for an evening of TV. We had more sightseeing planned for Thursday. Stay tuned.