Have you ever had a waitress look at you like you’re an alien because you ordered a hot dog? I have.
Have you ever gotten a terrible night’s sleep because the alarm went off every two hours to tend to the smoker? I have.
Have you ever ran out of space in your garage because you have too many grills? Oh, I have.
Have you ever had to pretend you didn’t know someone because he went off on a rampage about boiling? I have.
Barbeque and ___________ come together to create the perfect union. That space there is blank because barbeque is an equal opportunity union maker. So says my husband. It started with just a zest to fill his belly: going on a barbeque tour once a month to all the famous barbeque places within a 4 hour drive, not including a 6 day trip to attend the 3 day Memphis in May music festival. Why 6 days? Because Memphis has a LOT of barbeque establishments, silly. That’s known as the hot dog incident, when after 3 straight days of smoked meat, I was desperate for something else, and apparently committed treason against the great smoky Memphis connoisseurs.
obsession love has spread to creating the perfect smoked meat. Which has resulted in multiple grills, smokers, and a grill turned frankenstein’ed smoker. That’s the terrible night’s sleep part. Smoking meat with an old school smoker means tending to it with more care than you might show, say, a newborn baby. It means that the neighbors look at you with thinly veiled deceit due to the wafting odors of smoked brisket floating through their windows all night. It also means that when you kiss the man you love, you get a nose full of smoky cologne that sticks to his beard like super glue.
Last night we hosted the latest fantasy league draft. This one for baseball. And nothing goes better with baseball than, you guessed it, barbeque. Following the barbeque code that is being written with every passing day by this troupe of snobby barbeque fiends (you’re putting sauce on that?!), a new place must be sampled before it is recommended for a mass event like a draft. You just can’t risk subpar smokiness and sides that don’t equal the star of the show, the meat. (don’t you know a great barbeque place is made by the sides?)
Which is how I discovered we have reached a whole new level of deranged devotion to all things smoked (you best not say you boil a shred of meat – good ribs need a tug to get it off the bone, you peasant). We went to test out a new place the other night as a tryout for the catering order being placed.
Brian had a plate of brisket and pulled pork.
My five year old pink princess devoured a half slab of ribs.
Mommy had a salad.
They both pretended not to know me.