Some time back a friend of mine who resides in the Center Square neighborhood of Albany informed me that a portion of a large tree (I think it was a maple, should have looked at the leaves at the time) had fallen in his yard. He had had it chopped up and was simply going to dispose of it! Heavens no, I said. I hate to see good, mature hardwood go to waste... So I hopped in the truck and headed into the heart of the city in which I was born and bred and grabbed me up some native Albany hardwood.
After curing the two large pieces of wood for some time I decided on a couple of courses of action for using it. The first thing I made was a little stump table. I removed the bark, sanded the wood extensively, and then used a couple different stains and some poly. Now it is in the corner of my foyer by the window and we use it as a stand for vases of flowers and such. Even my wife who was initially aghast at the thought of stump furniture in the house came around to liking it...
I had some nice big chunks of the wood left over from leveling off one of the stumps so I immediately thought it might be neat to do some smoking with it. The concept of sausage smoked with indigenous Albany/Center Square hardwood just appealed to me as sort of a neat idear... So I did just that. I took two chubs of all-beef Göteborg style summer sausage and some coarse sea salt and smoked them up.
From the scent of the smoke and the final flavor I am almost certain it was maple wood (can't check as the rest of the tree has expired and my buddy doesn't remember). By the way, I have sort of hacked my Bradley smoker rig. I have found that I can just put large-ish chunks of soaked hardwood on the heating element and I can avoid buying their proprietary hockey puck thingies. Works great for cold smoking with the cold smoke box I have for it.
I have been up to no end of wood-projects lately. Look at this one-
This will eventually become the grinding wheel of an apple crusher I am constructing for the purpose of making apple cider. That wheel of wood is part of the great big maple from my backyard.
OK, I am done now... Just what you wanted to do, eh? Read me prattling on about wood and trees... I can be frightfully droll sometimes. It is part of my charm.