BBQ Sliced Pork on Toasted Garlic Bread Candles

On Saturday I received an order for a barbecue candle fragrance. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the BBQ candle oil actually smelled like a real barbeque sauce. I could smell tomatoes as the base with a touch of lemon, brown sugar, and perhaps the merest hint of hickory smoke. The barbeque sauce inspired me to make the barbequed slice pork bruschetta candles pictured above right. The simulated pork was paired with toasted garlic bread which smells as good as it looks.

To simulate the texture of sliced meat, I used a plastic steak mold. After melting Golden Soy Wax 444 with just a touch of yellow and brown candle dye and mixing it with bacon, baked ham, and BBQ candle fragrances, I poured it into the same mold that I used to make this steak candle.

Since I wanted to simulate the texture of sliced pork, I only filled the steak mold 1/3rd full of wax. After the wax cooled and set, I popped it out of the mold and used a hot knife to cut it into strips. To hide the fact that the sides had no texture, I slathered them with a simulated BBQ sauce made from melted soy wax mixed with medium density candle gel.

To add some color, I garnished these candles with simulated green onions prior to coating them with a gloss enamel spray. The use of candle gel and gloss enamel spray will help to keep the barbeque sauce looking moist.

If it wasn’t for the fact that today’s high is likely to hit 117°F and that NV Energy has again called for residents to conserve electricity, I’d love to barbeque a pork shoulder. As it is, I don’t want to use a wooden pellet smoker on such a hot day. Since I continue to lose weight while on a Keto diet, I’m also staying away from garlic bread and other carbohydrates.

This morning I read that some “heat enthusiasts” were out at Death Valley where they said they recorded 135°F heat. Death Valley is a National Park that lies in the Mohave Desert of California to the west of Las Vegas.

One of these participants allegedly fried an egg on the road’s black asphalt but wasn’t able to finish since a park ranger made her clean it up. Although 135°F should have been a record temperature, the park rangers insisted that the temperature never rose above 129°F.

Although it was interesting to read about this, I have no interest in visiting this area just to say that I was out there during a record heat wave. Can you imagine having your car break down in the middle of this desolate location?

Death Valley

When it gets hot, cell phone batteries overheat and shut down. Black asphalt can heat to 140°F. As I know from having lived and worked as a teacher at an American school in Saudi Arabia during the 1990’s, if your tires aren’t properly inflated, the added heat from the friction of rolling over black asphalt can cause tires to shred. This actually happened to me on the road to Ras Tanura. I lost a rear tire and veered off the road to land in a sand dune. The soft sand made it impossible for me to change the tire since I didn’t have a stable foundation for the jack.

Desert highway, Saudi Arabia

Since the highway was just as desolate as Death Valley, I broke out the emergency kit that I kept stashed in my car. Included with my supplies were a floppy hat, sunglasses, sun screen, and a canteen of water. After abandoning my car, I backtracked five miles and walked to a gas station that I had passed thinking that I could phone for help.

Although the gas station had soda fountains with lots of ice, it didn’t have a phone. I trudged out of the station to stand in the middle of the highway. The highway stretched to the horizon. Aside from the gas station, there was literally nothing in the area. Since I didn’t have a cell phone, how was I supposed to get back home much less call for help to retrieve my car?

As I stared overhead at the blazing sun, I silently thanked God for having delivered me from harm. If a front tire had blown out, I could have easily flipped the vehicle and died. As it was, the loss of a back tire had sent me skidding off the road and into a sand dune.

“Do you have any plans for getting me out of here?” I asked God as I stood in the middle of the highway.

A horn blared.

I turned around to see a taxi that had seemingly come from no where. The driver happily took me back to my home in Dhahran where I then arranged for a tow truck to retrieve my vehicle.

I lived in Saudi Arabia for seven years and after leaving I promised myself that I’d never again live in a desert environment. It’s somewhat ironic that employment has brought me to the scrub desert of the American Southwest. I have now spent the last 14 years living in either Arizona or Nevada while working as a Culinary Arts instructor.

I miss living someplace that’s green and temperate.

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