Food and Fellowship: How BBQ Could Save The World
A thin-blue smoke pillared from the old bullet cooker as a bandy of black birds sang from the pond’s edge. It was mid-afternoon, mid-summer, and mid-week come to think of it, and all the world seemed on the bustle today, and busy, and hurried to get along. Well, save for yours truly that is. Nay, I had other plans this afternoon. To smoke up a rack of ribs, for one, and also some chicken wings to take to some friends who could use a good meal these days. A BBQ care package, I guess you could say. People just like barbecue.
Something For Everyone
Barbecue. Have you noticed ever when you go into a BBQ joint that there is just something in the air, something besides the most succulent aromas known to mortal man. That’s right. There is an abiding sort of gastronomic appreciation there. A universal reverence almost, for what is smokey and good. A joy for BBQ scattered in unbiased fashion across the social cross-section. Your class or zip code makes no bearing in BBQ. Doctors and lawyers, I suspect love BBQ. So do teachers and garbage men. Clergymen and atheists. Pig farmers and even vegetarians, I bet, tho they won’t eat it, deep down admire BBQ. Even people from Iowa! Indeed, black, yellow, white or brown, your skin matters not in BBQ. Every one is free to tarry on it’s savory shores.
That’s the beautiful part about good BBQ. People from many walks of life coming together in food and fellowship. No matter who you are, or where you’re from, if the BBQ is good, you will gladly slurp it off a paper plate, and wipe your face with your sleeve.Whether you’re a grease monkey from Queens, or the Queen of England herself, everybody is equal where fine smoked meat is concerned. And say what you will on this, but that is no small thing. For BBQ is oft times regarded as a fickle, and snobbish pursuit. One of the most opinionated subjects in the free world, just behind politics and religion. Yet, and somehow, we all come together in fellowship for some good BBQ.
It’s a childish notion, I know, but what if all the leaders of a world gone mad, conspired together for lunch some day, and had BBQ. All sitting around a big table, with make-shift, paper towel bibs, and tall drinks at hand. Communing and dining on perfectly executed BBQ. I bet they’d be in a pretty good mood for the most part. Well as good a mood as you can be, I suppose, being a world leader and all. There’s just something about BBQ that makes it all okay.
And so they would eat and feast and look around the table at each other, everybody sporting a little BBQ sauce wayward on their face, and a pleasant, satisfied feeling deep in their bellies. For a while at least, and maybe even longer than that, I hope they would notice that it’s not all bad having lunch together. That if they can get along well enough for an hour or so, maybe they can do it some more, and maybe even become friends, with a plate of good food in front of them. Childish notions for sure, but hark, the working model of this, of course, has already been perfected -a little something your local BBQ shack has known for many years. BBQ brings people together.
A Time to Share
As the mallards milled about on the pond’s edge, and the breeze mingled sweetly in the trees, I glazed up the wings with some more Blackberry BBQ Sauce, from the kindly folks at Joe Joe’s Hog Shack. On the other pit, the ribs had just come out of the foil, highly pampered there in brown sugar, butter, and a squirt of honey. Smoked with pecan wood. Oh buddy! They were almost, but not quite, falling off the bone. Time to deliver these spoils for whom they were intended! And time to make time, for what is good. And what is right.Barbecue may never save the world, but I’ll tell you this, it sure is a better tasting place because of it. And that’s a start at least. Amen.
Yes! Church weekly BBQ nationwide. Invite the cops, the BLM, Israelis Palestinians, Repubs and Dems, Stones and Beatles fans and we all get heart attacks together. This sentiment is true in Korea.
July 21, 2016 at 9:35 am
There ya go!
July 21, 2016 at 9:43 am
This has got me drooling!
July 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm
Me too! Dang food blogging!
July 22, 2016 at 7:53 am
Amen! In these most unsettling times, to find such joy in your writings, and in gathering ’round the grill to share good food and good drink with good camaraderie, is such sweet respite indeed!
Your recipients of your real neighborly BBQ care package are lucky to call you friend. We all could use, and be, a good friend like you are with your buddies. And like you are with your PoTP readership, which I sincerely appreciate.
July 21, 2016 at 10:21 pm
Well thank you, Mr Smokie! Like wise we appreciate your most active readership and kind words. Yup, every one needs to eat, so why not eat together. And eat good!
July 22, 2016 at 7:56 am
Mary and I are fixing to deliver thrity or forty blankets to some needy folk living in tents along the beach today. It has been dipping down into the mid-sixties here at night and, with the wind off the ocean, it has been a bit “frio!” It would be so good if we could get you to come along with a few racks of ribs and “alitos” to make the people warm from the inside as well as the out.
I believe that you are right about food bringing people together. It is just about impossible for a person to argue with another when their respective mouths are filled with barbecued meat. Keep up the good work, my friend.
July 23, 2016 at 7:02 am
Thanks John. Mid Sixties! That’s paradise to a Minnesotan. We’d be getting into our designer swimming trunks at those temperatures. It’s all perspective I guess. But yeah, I wish I could deliver blankets and ribs with you. What a combo! I’ll have to google alitos and see what that is tho. You always use your big words on me!
Blessings John and Mary
July 23, 2016 at 11:20 am
I think you just wrote the prologue to your book on BBQ. Well done, sir. Your sentiments have set my mind spinning about ways to bring BBQ to my work colleagues, or, rather, to bring them to my pit side for food and fellowship. Cheers!
July 24, 2016 at 6:04 pm
Wow, I hadn’t thought of this piece that way, but now that you mention it, it kind of would make a nice way to start a BBQ book. I’m glad you pointed that out. And its only now that I see I misspelled “fellowship” in the title! I’ll have to fix that with all due haste. Crikies. Ain’t that how it goes. Yeah if I ever cobble a book, it will surely need a talented editor to make it palatable, that’s fur sure. The readership here puts up with a great many grammatical boo boos with a covetable grace, it seems. I guess they’re used to it by now.
Thanks Todd. Good luck on your BBQ mission!
July 24, 2016 at 6:17 pm