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Archive for April, 2010

Posted by Chef John Berry of MenuMagic
May 2010 Edmontonians

Heeee’s back! Smokey Joe Goldfedder, the master of southern BBQ has returned to his roots. After several years of retirement Joe decided to help new owner Jenny Morris resurrect his namesake diner on the corner of Stony Plain Road and 152nd Street to its original glory. Several previous owners tinkered with the recipes and it just didn’t work, according to Joe.
There is nothing quite as unique as the flavour of Oklahoma Pit BBQ. Since the 1980s, Joe and his family served up the best BBQ for lunch or dinner I have ever tasted. Bear in mind, the style and cooking that we call BBQ/barbecue/barbeque is not the American way. Our version involves grilling our meats, poultry and fish over charcoal briquettes or natural gas/propane burners and closing the lid on the cooker. Oklahoma Pit BBQ involves low temperatures and plenty of hickory smoke for a long period of time. You can use whatever type of wood you’d like for smoking but, to my palate, hickory is the best.

John and Joe

Joe brines some of his meats before smoking and, let me tell you, the meat just falls off the bone. Smokey Joe’s, which has had several previous locations—the most notable at Meadowlark Mall—uses a huge commercial smoker, especially designed by Joe. Hundreds of pounds of beef, pork, chicken, turkey and ham can be smoked at one time. For blocks around, the sweet aroma of hickory smoked meats wafts through the neighbourhood.
The house speciality has to be Joe’s very popular beef ribs. Best have a good appetite, ‘cause these are not wimpy beef bones. Billed as “brontosaurus” bones, they pack plenty of meat. Or, if your preference is for pork ribs, you can’t go wrong with these St. Louis-style succulents.

John helped Joe and Jenny re-launchSmokey Joe's

Joe also serves up an excellent BBQ beef brisket that’s very tender and flavourful. Then there’s the chipped beef on a bun: essentially the ends and leftover chunks of the brisket, chopped fine in a food processor and served on a sesame bun. Top it with Joe’s homemade BBQ sauce (mild or hot) and you have an irresistible sandwich, which just screams bring on the baked beans, fries and coleslaw.

Seanna Collins of EZ Rock & Global, Tara Lopez of CJCA The light, with Edmontonians publisher Sharon MacLean and the legendary Joe.

If it’s chicken you’re after, Joe’s smoked wings simply can’t be beat. And when the menu says “mild or hot”, ask for a sample—here, “hot” means southern USA hot, not the kind that’s slathered on the wings at the neighbourhood pub. And, the smoked turkey and ham are equally delicious.
Can’t decide? Consider the “Big Oh” meal that gives you plenty of everything, including sides. Just make sure you bring three friends to help you devour the 10-pound platter.
The other thing that is unique to Smokey Joe’s is Joe himself. He’s indeed a piece of work. Always ready to greet new customers and old alike with a smile, he quickly follows with a barrage of redneck heckling. He makes any redneck comedian on TV today look like a nursery school teacher. Yet, after decades of this abuse, people keep coming back not only for the food but to be insulted. It just wouldn’t be the Smokey Joe experience without the octogenarian making the timid run for cover.

Maria and Graham Hicks of the Edmonton Sun with owner Jenny Morris

The decor is still back-road diner… the tables are still covered with trademark brown butcher paper… and crayons are still provided for the little and big kids. And usually the good artwork finds its way to the walls.
There’s a whole new generation of Edmontonians who have yet to discover what real BBQ tastes like. But, after their first bite, the look on their faces is one of discovery and delight.
As Joe would say, “What’s stopping ya? Git on in here and try some.” It gets busy mid-week and on weekends… “So y’all best be callin’ ahead.”—780.413.3379. √

The Smokey Joe's team for Media Night: Lucy Noble, owner Jenny Morris, Chef Claudio Ergui, Smokey Joe, Chef/MC John Berry and Emy Almeria

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Posted by Linda Bodo of Absolute Bodo 
May 2010
Edmontonians

" A Friend is one who knows all about you and likes you anyway." - Christi Mary Warner

An oxygen machine pumps a line of air through a slender tube. He rests on a sheepskin-covered chair with a heating pad on his legs and an afghan on his shoulders. He is perpetually cold yet craves icy cold popsicles. An IV hangs above him, filling his veins with hope. Med bottles line the counter and a box of disposable gloves is nestled in a reserve of needles. I look into his shiny blue eyes and see him a year ago, when we worked on DIY projects together, shared secrets and clinked our way through happy hour. I remember how he loved to slow-cook dishes and the fab meals we prepared together. Now, he has lost his taste for food. I give him a hug but my heart is filled with guilt. Why has it taken me so long to reconnect with my dear friend? 

We can have a bad hair day, spill our guts over a break-up, forget a special occasion, or embarrass ourselves routinely; yet true friends remain loyal and compassionate. They make us laugh when we feel like crying, hug us when need sympathy and make setbacks temporary. Much like pets who offer unconditional love, these dermis-clad two-legged relationships are often regarded as the thread in life’s fabric; an extraordinary gift to be respected. Companions, buddies, pals, soul mates… no matter how you phrase it, there is nothing as comforting as the company of a friend.
Friends lower our stress levels. They enliven our days with humour, answer us honestly and keep embarrassing secrets to themselves. They celebrate with us, encourage us, support us; but can enjoy a silence that means more than words. Friendships get better with age and good friends go that extra mile—even when wearing heels.
Unfortunately, the same daily demands that make friends necessary, also infringe on our time to spend with them. When our lives include a partner and a job, young children and aging parents, a house and a yard, a car, pets, and the need for a little solitude, friendship seldom gets the ranking it deserves. So why do they do it? Why do they stick with us and continue to offer companionship? The reasons for giving vary as much as the people who do it. Compassion, duty, love, guilt, all motivate us to share time, money, and energy. But what they get in return as the giver reaps the biggest payback.
Time zones, hectic schedules or pressures from the daily grind should not take their toll on our relationships. The friends we hang on to—the ones we visit even if it requires a prop plane or a four-wheel-drive vehicle… the ones we call first when something goes slightly or tragically wrong—are absolutely priceless.
Make the time to call, text, e-mail or visit a close friend soon. Friendship. Where would we be without it?

Surprise a chum with these über-cool gifts
on Friendship Day, the first Sunday in August. 

"A friend is omeone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else." - Len Wein

Moët & Chandon’s ‘Bucket of Bubbles’ set includes four mini champagne flutes (simply place on opened bottle for sipping) accompanied by four mini bottles with a carrying case that doubles as an ice bucket. Perfect for celebratory get-togethers. Available at www.luxist.com

Digital Photo Frames are the
perfect gadget to reminiscence with friends. A picture frame wrapped around an LCD screen displays multiple photos in a slideshow format to recapture shared memories. Available at electronic or photo suppliers. 

“It is the friends that you can call at 4 A.M. that matter.” – Marlene Dietrich
“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Share this new generation of greeting cards with a fellow green-thumber. These magic beans sprout in two weeks with special messages for that unique friend. Simply add water. Available at www.wrapables.com 

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