So how was your Christmas and New Years Holiday? Did you have good times with family and friends? The holiday season (starting with Thanksgiving) is such an unrelenting whirlwind that it is typically the first week of the new year when we are finally are able to breath and reflect. We packed more than normal into that period of time, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

And on that note, last week I wrote about our trip to Knightstown with a group of guys to visit the “Hoosier Gymnasium,” the location where the iconic movie “Hoosiers” was filmed in the mid-80’s. One of my readers, Norm Darling, a 1958 graduate of Knightstown H.S., reminded me that it was Muncie Central, not South Bend, who was defeated by Milan. He actually listened to the game on the radio. South Bend was defeated by the fictional Hickory team in the movie itself, which is where I got crossed up. Thanks Norm. I stand corrected.

So on the materialistic review of the holidays, Santa obviously knows we are foodies. We received two “food oriented” gifts, but I will start of with something Liz picked up prior to the holidays on sale, a Crock Pot branded express Crock Pot. It’s really cool. It can saute, slow cook, quick cook, brown, pressure cook, etc. On New Year’s Day we made corned beef and cabbage. The corned beef only took 90 minutes to cook and it was delicious, moist and tender.

The crock pot acts like a pressure cooker using this process. The veggies only took 15 minutes. This is a cooking product that we will use many times for years to come.

One of the two things we received as gifts was a GoWiseUSA Air Fryer. For the Colts game last weekend (where the Colts kicked some serious Tennessee Titans rear ends) we “air fried” some buffalo wings. I had always wondered how well these things worked, and we were presently surprised. While it took longer than the directions stated to air fry, which could have been due to me overloading the air fryer with wings, they came out crispy and delicious. We then made two batches, once tossed in an Evan Williams sauce that Maddie brought with her, and the second with a hot sauce that Emily got for Andrew as a Christmas gift. They were delicious.

And, I’m not superstitious, but guess what we are having on Saturday during the Colts versus Texans wildcard game? Yep. Air fried buffalo wings.

The other gift that we are really excited about is an authentic Anova Nano Sous Vide precision cooker. A lot of professional chefs use this tool as a way to cook proteins to the perfect temperature. This “precision cooker” is THE heat source and the max temperature it can reach is 197 degrees. Here’s the principal behind it. Let’s say we want to cook a steak to medium rare, which is an internal temperature of 130 degrees. You set the Sous Vide to 130 degrees and zip lock or seal your steaks and submerge them in the water, allowing them to cook for one hour to as much as four hours. Since the water temperature never exceeds 130 degrees in this case, the internal temperature of the steak doesn’t either.

We were going to cook the corned beef this way on New Year’s Day to 197 degrees until we learned it would take 48 hours using this method. We used the pressure cooker Crock Pot instead. I’ll let you know how the Sous Vide turns out. We will probably prepare steaks this weekend.

In the meantime, take stock of the holidays and acknowledge what you are thankful for. Besides many other things I am thankful for all of you all over the country who read this column, send me emails and frankly, give a darn about my “foodie” ramblings via BBQ My Way. I hope 2019 rocks. Drop me an email for ideas you would like to see covered in 2019.

Dave Lobeck is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Jeffersonville by day and a BBQ enthusiast on nights and weekends. Liz is his wife. You can contact Dave with your BBQ, cooking or grilling questions at davelobeck@gmail.com. You can also visit their YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/BBQMyWay .

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