After many summer years of mowing lawns, weeding, edging, pruning, working in the garden, power washing and painting the decks, washing cars, etc. I understand as well as anyone about how hard we all work. Many think that this type of work somehow serves to fill the void of “Working Out”, and because we take on these household chores, somehow that serves as an exchange for working-out…so we take the summer off and then get back to the gym in the fall or winter to try and get back into the shape we got out of doing the summer work around the house.
If your only goal is to simply work and your bouts at the gym are nothing more than a casual stroll on the treadmill then you are in good part correct on the exchange. If however your idea of working-out includes maintaining and strengthening your muscles, and toning your core, or throttling your heart rate up and down in a controlled and purposeful fashion, or stretching to maintain/improve your range-of-motion, or perhaps doing some body toning of your shoulders, arms, legs, etc. then I will tell you from firsthand experience that working around the house on summer chores will not do it.
Work is work and it is not working-out. Sure you have to get those things done around the house and I understand this all too well. That does not mean however that a good workout has been replaced by work around the house. In fact a good workout before or after working around the house reminds one of the importance of working-out. Personally, and especially as I age, I find that the sore back, neck, arms and legs are not so sore from doing regular work…because working-out keeps my muscles flexible, limber, and ready to do work, regardless of what the work is.
So just because it is summer does not mean you can/should forgo “working-out” just because you are “working” around your home. Enjoy summer activities even more because you are fit and ready to tackle regular chores in and around the house. Speaking from experience…in the long run you will definitely thank yourself for working-out and not just working!
Weekly tidbit about me – My personal best on the Bench Press was 365 lbs. I did it back when I was in my early forties and weighed around 240 lbs. Those days are far behind me…now I’ll look to set some personal bests on my bicycle…targeting my weight at around 190 lbs…I got about 20 more pounds to lose.
Summer Salmon Smoker
For those of you who have never used a smoker let me tell you that it is way easier than I had envisioned before I got one and did it myself. With that I’ve gotten quite proficient and preparing and then smoking Salmon. In this I’ll share with you a few things I learned along the way.
For starters I should mention that I have a Weber torpedo-looking smoker that has a diameter of about 18”. With this I can smoke up to two large filets that one would get from Costco. I prefer the Wild Caught Salmon filets, which are a bit smaller, but either the wild caught or farm raised will work.
I rinse the filets off and depending on how big they are I might have to use a couple of 9” 13” glass dishes for applying my brine…I prefer to get them both in a single dish if I can. Once cleaned and in the shish I squeeze approximately ½ of an orange on each filet (make it a big orange or use two if they are small). I do the same with a lemon…try to get a good sprinkle across the entire fillet. I then sprinkle on enough brown sugar to again get a modest covering across the filets. I then sprinkle on some sea salt and finely diced red onions and garlic. Finally I sprinkle on some Zatarain’s creole seasoning, cover the dish(es), and put them in the fridge for 2 hours.
After they’ve been in the fridge for 2 hours rinse them of and put them on a flat pan to dry. Optionally you can get your Grill top ready (cover with aluminum foil) and put them on there…just be careful as the grill top does not have sides and excess water may drip into your fridge. Anyways, you’ll want to let the filets dry out in the fridge, uncovered, for about 4 hours. Then you are ready to smoke the filets.
While you are waiting for them to dry you’ll want to get a small container for soaking your wood chips. I prefer the Applewood chips but honestly that is just a minor personal preference. You’ll also want to get your charcoal ready and I like to soak mine with a good covering of lighter fluid about ½ hour before I light them. I use Hardwood chips as I’ve found they provide my most even smoker temperature for the duration of the smoking process. You’ll want to light the charcoals about 20 minutes before you put the filets on the grill. This will burn off all of the lighter fluid and get the charcoals good and hot.
Now coat the foil on the gill with a light covering of olive oil, place the filets on the foil covered grill top, and sprinkle again a light coating of the creole seasoning on the filets. Put your first handful of wet chips on top of the hot charcoals to get the smoke started. Put the gill with Filets on, cover the smoker and watch the temperature go up to a target of about 200 degrees. You can adjust the air holes on the top and bottom of the smoker to adjust the temperature. Over the course of about an hour, give or take 10 minutes depending on the size of the filets, you’ll want to add in some additional wet wood chips to keep the smoke pouring over the filets.
And that is it…within 50 to 70 minutes in the smoker and you have excellent smoked Salmon. For an added treat have the smoked salmon with a bagel, some cream cheese, and topped with a tomato…then with some of the left over salmon you can make a smoked salmon spread…I’ll provide that recipe another time.