Well, I guess I’m not making a cake tonight. I’d been planning one, and couldn’t make it today because I had a brisket in the oven all afternoon, so I thought about making it tonight (a spice cake with caramel icing, suitable for breakfasts). However, it turned out to be an … um, unusually aggressive brisket. We make them in baking bags: throw in some beer, tomato sauce and seasonings and cook at somewhere around 250-300F for 5-6 hours. This one apparently decided it didn’t want to be confined in a plastic bag. I put it in a bit before 2:00, and I thought I’d gotten all the air out, but an hour into the cooking, I checked the oven to find the bag had leaked and the pan was full of the brisket source. Since it hadn’t been in all that long, I decided to rebag it – in fact, I double-bagged it, and once again I was careful to get out as much air as I could. A few hours later, I found that the bag had exploded – not only was the pan full of sauce, but it was splattered all over the oven. This time I removed the bag and just covered the pan with foil, and the brisket came out as tender as moist as usual. But when I went to preheat the oven for the cake, it turned out that the difference between the 270 I’d had the brisket at and the 350 the cake needed was enough to char the remains of the sauce and send up smoke.

I guess I’m cleaning the oven tomorrow. At least this time turning on the fan and opening the window provided enough ventilation, and the smoke alarm didn’t go off.

On a happier note, the logging year just ended for Concept II. It’s alwas interesting to see how much I’ve rowed in a year.Counting both erg and water meters, here’s data for the last several years:

2013 (which is what they call the one just ended): 1,388,850 meters
2012: 1,144,296 meters
2011: 1,051,641 meters
2010: 1,181,688 meters
2009: 1,863,169 meters (this must be the last time I went all the way through marathon training and did a marathon)
2008: 640,559 meters (I think I might have been injured that year)
2007: 1,417,328 meters
2006: 1,669,092 meters
2005: 1,360,557 meters
Before that I only logged test pieces and the Holiday Challenge on the website, so the rest of my data is buried somewhere in old paper logbooks.