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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Smoking Aboard in La Paz, Mexico

I've brought you up to speed with the kids over the past year. Now for the parents.

Jim has always kept busy with the various websites he hosts, like his How To Fold Paper Airplanes site. Keeping up to date with Google changes and upgrades is a busy job. Living in La Paz and having fully accessible internet on the boat 24-7 is a valuable bonus.

Jim, a beer and his water weenie - Gonzaga Bay, MX 2009
And boat projects... I could rattle off a list but every cruiser knows the list just goes on and on. Although Hotspur is looking quite dapper now that her gaping holes have been patched and painted. Roll and tip method... worked like a charm and a fraction of the cost - and done in the water. I'll post more about that sometime down the wave.

Stuck fishy in watermaker makes just one more boat project - 2009
On a personal interest note, Jim delved into an area this past year that has long peaked his interest: Sausage making and smoking meat.
Living on a boat and having food storage concerns might be a logical reason to have interest in this area. Maybe it is Jim's Polish and German background - or maybe it because we have had a heck of a time finding decent smoked meat in Mexico. Perhaps it is in preparation for our future voyage wherever... that preserved foods are so much more convenient when you are sailing long distances and have limited or no refrigeration. But no matter. I am blown away! My husband's sausage rocks! (Yes, I know -  I'm opening myself up to juvenile humor in the form of sausage jokes) But his bratwurst and hot, red spicy knockwurst are absolutely fantastic. His Italian and Breakfast sausage would give Jimmy Dean a run for his money. I swear - the man has tapped into a valuable niche market!

THE sausage man - La Paz, Mexico 2013

Jim reminded me of the Little Professor when he began down this road and built his very own trashcan smoker - a smoker made out of an new trash can and utilizing an electric hot plate as its heat source. Yes, I know - he could have gone out and bought a smoker... but where, pray tell,  is the fun in THAT?

A few months after playing with his trashcan and having successful results, things began to get serious. Jim got rid of the hand grinder and ordered an electric industrial sausage grinder with a variety of cutting blades and a sausage stuffer. As word got around that Jim was a serious smoker, an informant gave Jim a tip-  a Bradley Original Electric Smoker (never used) awaited him at one of the Segundas (Mexico's word for a Second Hand store). For a mere $50US. Jim began smoking daily.
Breakfast links in progress - La Paz, MX 2013

Succulent hickory chicken breast, mesquite pork chops, oaky beef ribs and whole roasted chicken -
even the catch of the day... marlin steaks. Well, somebody else's catch of the day and when word got out that Jim was smoking meat the fishermen just appeared.

The juiciest ever!

I don't know if this is a potential money maker for us or not. We sure are enjoying the end results, though. Don't ask what is going to happen to the electric smoker once we pull away from the marina - I really don't know. But I can guarantee that Jim and his smokin' hot charcuterie talent will have our larder overflowing with salt cured and smoky goodness!


  1. Awesome. I think it is a bit of a potential money maker. How many cruisers paid really good money for some decent sausages in that fancy butcher near Bucerias before doing the puddle jump?

    Or have cruisers supply the meat, you turn it into super sausages for a fee. Borrow their Honda generator if you don't have one as part of the fee. :) -Ev

  2. Desperate is as desperate does, eh Ev?

  3. Meri, I feel the juvenile comment was aimed at me. Butt I'm not biting, the sausage that is. You are a bad girl.

  4. Very cool. That's the kind of smoking that I will get totally behind and encourage my children to try! I think Evan is right on. We spent all kinds of crazy money at that butcher in Bucerias... you have some anchorage earning potential here. I make very basic sausage here (when we can find pork, that is, not so easy in Islamic Malaysia), breakfast patties, but it doesn't quite satisfy the craving!

  5. Way to go, Jim! We had to throw out the canned sausages we bought in Mexico - Chris said they were disgusting! I am still a vegetarian :)

    1. Jesse, the sausage remark was definitely aimed at you and a couple others - "butt" mostly you. ;) Thanks, Behan and Rani. I remember that butcher in Bucerias and we were very inspired by his business and products- but didn't buy much because he was so expensive. Jim just smoked up a batch of marlin that a fisherman brought us... I don't like smoked marlin (too dry). But Jim's marlin is to die for!! Very moist and flavorful. I'm hooked!