The Burnings Continue

Pastor Terry Jones, Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida and Future Book Burner

Book Burning

The only censorship that I can support is for a person wishing not to be exposed to something they find objectionable is for them to simply avoid it. Censor their own access to the objectionable book, movie, TV show, artwork, idea or whatever.

Religions have a long history of burning what they object to – from witches to books to music recordings.

Christ Community Church members burn Harry Potter and other books

Even as an atheist, I find it disconcerting that an American Christian group is intending to burn the sacred text of another religion. But not really surprising.

Which makes me wonder why any religious person bothers atheists at all – surely it must be easier to convert a believer of one religion to another than a non-believer into a believer of one or another. It’s the other religions that are competing for same pool of believers, after all; atheists don’t recruit.

In many ways, becoming an atheist is very much like coming out queer.

The culture that any of us have grown up in has a majority of heterosexuals and believers in one religion or another. It can be a difficult process to realize that you are not in the majority on either or both counts and it is a difficult process to come out as either or both.

Easier now for people since there’s more people who are publicly atheist or queer. Overall, you have to have a self awareness and be strong enough to be honest about who you are to people who reasonably need to be in the know.

It’s funny to me that in the US, an atheist stands are far less chance of being elected to public office than a gay or lesbian politician.

But I digress…

Book burnings are not an effective means to eliminate ideas – largely because the publicity around the burning event draws the idea into the public sphere. People who would have been indifferent now become curious what’s so offensive about the book, movie, music – and hopefully, will seek out the objectionable material to decide for themselves.

Aside: I own many gay and lesbian books just because they were banned by Canada Customs. It’s not likely that I would have bought many of them had they not been placed on a shelf near the front door of Little Sister’s with a sign that read “Canada Customs doesn’t want you to read these books.” Tabooness is tasty.

Much like the way that protesting a movie increases the box office, book burnings are more likely to increase sales and discussions. If only for the copies bought to burn.

Nazis cleansed "un-German" thoughts into a roaring fire on the Opernplatz in Berlin. May 10, 1933

More than helping spread the “objectionable” idea, the burning of books should be intolerable to anyone not stranded and lacking any other kindling for a fire.

Ideas that are accessible to the masses is an important measure of freedom and rights in any civilization; even bad and offensive ideas. Maybe even especially bad and offensive ideas.

It’s important for people to be exposed to a variety of information, if only to allow a person to defend their beliefs against that information.

That we are in a time period where uneducated amateur opinion repeated often and loudly is deemed on equal footing with educated professional opinions is disturbing. There’s a place for them in public discussions – heck this blog is full of amateur opinions – but not on equal footing.

Aside: This is why Intelligent Design shouldn’t be taught in biology any more than Holocaust Denial should be part of the history class.

But more than the access to ideas and drawing awareness to the material being objected to, is the larger message of hypocrisy.

Any religion or it’s sub-versions demands special consideration and even reverence for their own sacred texts, dogma, rituals, symbols and hierarchy of authority — even from non-adherents. Most religions include the concept of “doing unto others”.

For one religious group to burn the sacred text of another religious group demonstrates the selfish, delusional and hypocritical nature of religion and it’s adherents. Or maybe they believe in “doing unto others before they do unto you.”

Quoran burning is permission to Bible burn.

These same people would be infuriated if any group or individual decided to have a bible bonfire.

Burning Beatles records in Waycross, Georgia. 1966.

As appalling as book burning is to me, I recognize that sometimes people can only understand why an action or behaviour is bad when they are the target of it. Although that’s still not a guarantee that they can turn it around and see why others object to being so treated.

I regret not having a Bible to BBQ for filming and uploading to youtube – but perhaps someone else might and send in the link.

No size spoonful of sugar would help that medicine go down.

Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina burnt non KJV Bibles last Halloween

Plank BBQ – Chicken

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

With the weather being so gorgeous, it was really impossible to not fire up the BBQ. But, certainly weather doesn’t stop me, I’ve BBQed when there’s snow on the ground. We had planned to BBQ Turkey parts, but the store … Continue reading

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BBQ Smoked Turkey

BBQ a turkey.

My most ambitious BBQing ever – and we didn’t even do a practice run first.

We were cooking an 8.5 kilo bird, just under 20 lbs – and it’s not recommended to BBQ a bird bigger than that – you need about 25 mins at 250 degrees to cook the bird fully and much more than 7 hours and you’ve got a smokey turkey jerky.

Preparation

We started the turkey the day before in a delicious brine solution from Hazelwood Herb Farm – make sure the bird is totally covered in the brine solution for max absorption!

spices, lovely spices

For the thanksgiving dinner, we used the regular turkey brine mix – and I dunno what was in it but it sure smelled like Christmas – very allspice, sage and cranberrish! – on a recent trip back, we bought 2 more of the same standard brine, plus the Tex-Mex mix. Can’t wait to BBQ again.

Update Dec 7: We did a second turkey with the Tex-Mex blend and it’ excellent! We also added a shot of espresso to the brine solution.

We bought a new container to do the brine – followed the directions on the mix package and made sure that the water fully covered the turkey.

When removing the turkey from the brine, we gave it a very good rinse to remove all excess salt.

The BBQ DAY

I started the fires at 10:30 in the morning – a using a java firestarter (compress coffee grind log) burning Tennessee Oak charwood (aka lump charcoal made from oak, no coal & no chemicals) and a soaked cherry wood log from my Mom’s tree – cut down last year.

fire

You get sooty handling the charwood, but the flavour is sooo worth it.

I got the fire roaring and then closed the dampers to maintain the heat.

The turkey cooked between 275 and 300 from about 10:30 to 5:30 – I add more fuel every 30 mins to half hour – I probably used about 10 lbs of charwood and 5 cherry wood logs of about 18 inches each.

I didn’t measure, but picked fresh herbs from the back garden – 2 kinds of rosemary, spicy basil, summer savory, 2 kinds of sage, 2 kinds of thyme and garlic put it in the chopper with vegetable oil and butter to make a thick green smooth paste.  We put it outside, and next time, it’ll go under the skin.

Dec 7 Update: To late to have fresh herbs, so we put a garlic butter under the skin – and it was certainly crispier – it also didn’t blacken the bird – which I guess was really the herbs we’d left on top – so definitely,  butter and seasonings under the skin. We also put an onion and a cut up lemon in the cavity – more flavour!

Smoke Dogs

Puppies in the smoke country – where the flavour is.

flavour

We also put a pan under the turkey to catch the drippings and filled it with water. This allowed the drippings to not dry out and adds steam to keep the bird moist.

We did accidentally let the pan boil dry – but I think this really enhanced the drippings with an undertone of deep smoke – we monitored the pan through a peep hole and added water twice during cooking.

You really don’t want to open the lid to let too much smoke and heat escape.

ring

At 4:30 we opened the lid to test and to baste. The first baste was melted butter, minced garlic and parsley.

Dec 7 Update: We basted the Dec Tex-Mex brined bird with the seasoned Hazelwood Herb Farm paprika and lime-chipotle butters  – super yummy!

Here you can see a tiny snip from the breast and inner thigh – look at that pink smoke ring!

bird of flavour

Here’s the turkey just before we took it off the grill. I had placed it on a BBQ roast rack, over the pan for water.

Here, it’s so cooked and tender that the legs are drooping – I had to pull them off before lifting the turkey, because they were about to fall off on their own.

tenting

Once inside, tenting it critical to letting the meat have a rest and the juices to settle.

Sorry, once the tent was removed, there was just carnage and no time for photos.

As excellent as the turkey was, the gravy made from the drippings was totally mind blowing.

I have never wanted to bath in anything that wasn’t water as badly as this gravy.

BBQ sublime

I am a big BBQ buff – I BBQ all year round in all weather.

As a teen, I used my parent’s hibatchi and cooked over coal – I had chicken parts to an art – 45 mins with a quarter turn every 5 mins.

Later, I got into propane and like how it was faster compared to coal over an open BBQ.

Last summer, we bought a new propane BBQ and a new coal BBQ – with a cover and all the bells and whistles.

This year I got back into coal – and the flavour was so much more intense, less chemically and very smokey – I was thrilled to discover I could get a pink smoke ring just under the surface of the pork tenderloin.

I also made some amazing chicken with just salt and pepper and wrapped with lemon grass.

But, reading my various BBQ books, I kept seeing the Pitmasters refer to charwood – not coal or charcoal – but wood that had been turned into charred bits.

I found a BBQ shop that would order some in for me – Tennessee Oak Charwood.

To say that there was a difference is the biggest understatement I could make.

Right from the start, the smoke from the charwood was mild and even pleasant to breath – no acrid harshness like with coal briquettes – especially the ones presoaked with lighter fluid.

I did chicken that had been marinated in coconut milk and herbed pork chops – fresh from the backyard 2 kinds of rosemary, 2 basils, oregano, thyme, summer savory and a good heaping of Herb’s Crushed Garlic all crushed in the mortar with olive oil.

Propane BBQ is tasty – especially if you use a smoke box to add some smoke flavor – coal BBQing with wet wood chips on top is 10 times better – but Charwood beats it all.

The smoke flavour didn’t overwhelm the meat and seasonings, it added a very silky texture and flavour – and the charwood lasted longer than coal – I didn’t have to add additional pieces to ensure the meat was fully cooked.

I only wish there had been room on the grill to do the veggies.

The last time we grilled over coal, we did a pan of small potatoes, yams, beets, orange and yellow bell peppers with a light dusting of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and it was another mind blowing taste experience.