Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Good Reads: Peace, Love, & Barbecue

IMG_0344As the December wind draws snowflakes from an ashen sky, I find myself repairing by the fireplace, hot cup of cocoa in hand, relaxing music in tune, and musing aloud over the soft intricacies of a winter’s day. I like how the snow falls on the spruce outside my window pane, complimenting each other in the perfect marriage. Heavy snow drooped on bended bow, with chickadees darting to and fro, and this fire that which warms my feet, well, it is all that I can ask of a winter day. A day so cold and so unforgiving, I am quite certain there is a third-grader in a school yard somewhere, with his tongue at this moment fused to a flag pole. You know it happens. Don’t ask me now.

Anyways, as I tarry here, quite content by this fire, I should like to tell you about a book I’ve been reading. A good read, as far as BBQ is concerned. Chalk full of recipe and technique; it is surely a treasure trove for that. But moreover, weaved amid it’s musty-scented pages, there are stories. And that’s what I find I am enjoying most. The stories. Stories of one man’s BBQ sojourn. From watching his Dad kneel over the backyard pit, to one day entering BBQ competitions and opening restaurants built on time tested Q.

51hjchnumel-_sx375_bo1204203200_Peace, Love, and Barbecue was referred to me by a once upon a time subscriber to this blog, and I took him at his word, and ordered myself a copy in a prompt fashion. We do not all that often review books, and nobody even asked us to review this one, it’s just that I’ve quite enjoyed this read, and thought maybe you guys would too.

Mike Mills, the author, has had quite the life in BBQ. As the owner of 17th Street Bar and Grill, in Marion Illinois, he has seen it all from his favorite stool down at the end of the bar. From serving ribs to Norm, from Cheers, to having his freezer explode into a cloud of hurling pig shrapnel. I found myself chuckling enough to slop some hot cocoa on my belly whilst reading this book. He even delivered his BBQ to Bill Clinton one time, aboard air force one. That’s the kind of stories I’m talking about here. And they fill the meat of the book like a good injected marinade. I’m not done with it yet, so I can’t tell you how it ends. But I thought I’d share with you that it looks to be a good one thus far. A fine literary compadre on a day so keen and so cold as this.

And so as soft music plays gently in stride, and the snow flakes continue to fall, I toss another billet onto the fire, and cozy back up with this BBQ narrative. Like a good brisket, or pork shoulder, like any worthy act in BBQ, I find that I am in no hurry to rush it along. Good things ought never to be rushed. We get hurried along enough in life as it is, so why cling to haste if we don’t have to. Yup, I’m taking my time with this one. Stretching it out. Savoring it. Slowly turning the pages to see what’s next. Something we all should do with good reads. Good people. And proper BBQ. Amen.

Peace, Love, & Barbecue: Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue

*Potp is an amazon affiliate with this book. We sincerely do appreciate your support.

Oh yes, and Merry Christmas also to our fabulous and esteemed readership.  Thanks for another year!

Grill on!


15 responses

  1. And a hearty (heart-felt) Merry Christmas to you and yours as well. The view from our window may be considerably different, but there is still symmetry in the way the morning sunlight filters through the leaves on the trees and wakens birds to another day. Life is good and remains that way through the grace and goodness of Him whose birth we laud this season. God Bless!

    December 23, 2016 at 7:05 am

    • Thanks John! Merry Christmas to you and Mrs Ecuador. Hope its a good one for you. I cannot imagine a green and balmy Christmas! Its all good tho.

      Blessings John and Mary.

      December 23, 2016 at 10:07 am

  2. I guess I know what I’m buying first if I should receive an Amazon gift card for Christmas. Thanks for the recommendation. It sounds like the kind of barbecue book I want to write, with decidedly fewer anecdotes about running a restaurant and meeting presidents. Even us backyard pit masters have tales to tell, donchya think?

    December 23, 2016 at 8:50 am

    • I suspect you’re right. Tales From the Pit! I keep thinking to cobble together some blog posts from here and produce an E book at least. Still learning how all that works tho. But yeah, a lay mans BBQ book. I like it. Yours would be better edited however. You have the edge there!

      December 23, 2016 at 10:05 am

  3. O’ Patrons. I read your lovely blog this morning. The same thought entered my mind as your other loyal readers; when whilst you write your own book of BBQ adventures? While an e-book is okay; it cannot claim it’s territory on your coffee table, with beautiful BBQ photos within it’s covers. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a bountiful New Year, tj

    December 23, 2016 at 10:46 am

    • Thank ya kindly, TJ. Good to hear from you my friend. Ah yes, photos…I have heard that E books with lots of photos don’t work too well. A band width thing, or something like that. I’ll admit, I struggle with making a good photo. The writing I can handle most days, and enjoy, but snapping a worthy picture is a skill I often fall short on. I don’t know if I have enough good photos to even fill a coffee table book. I am getting better tho, slowly.

      I’d love to get a book out however, and soon. One cannot deny his destiny for too many years, after all.

      Merry Christmas, TJ. Blessings dood!

      December 23, 2016 at 11:14 am

  4. If I may use the title of that book, I’d like to wish you Peace, Love and Barbecue for the Christmas season and the New Year drawing near. I don’t drop in nearly as often as I’d like, the world being what it is these days, but I always enjoy the sense of old-time hospitality and the feeling that the world is a slower, more delicious place as I read your well-crafted stories about barbecue.

    December 26, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    • Well thank you kindly Marlene! And thanks so much for sharing a parcel of your time with us today. We do appreciate the kind words. Much peace love and BBQ back at you this holiday season.

      Many thanks !


      December 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm

  5. Hauoli makahiki hou, Happy New year to you and yours at PotP!! This book sounds like something I’d like to read, I’ll look for it, for sure.

    December 26, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    • Hauoli makahiki hou to you too! Merry Christmas , Auntiedoni!

      December 26, 2016 at 7:52 pm

  6. Thanks for sharing your find. I will definitely be looking into it. Happy anew Year to,ya!

    December 29, 2016 at 9:07 pm

  7. Happy New Year my Smokie Brutha … and all the very best in 2017 🙂

    January 1, 2017 at 10:49 am

    • Hey, you’re alive! Great to hear from you. Been quite a while, seems like. I know how it goes. Life and stuff. Anyways, Happy New Year to you too. Hope there was some good meat on your pit this holiday season. And may it be a grand year for you indeed.

      Nice to see you, mate!

      January 1, 2017 at 10:58 am

      • You know … it HAS been forever since I pecked away at my Blog. Back surgery not withstanding … Spring turned into Summer, Summer turned into Fall and, … now here we are heading into the long deep freeze of the Canadian Winter … a chill I KNOW you are well aware of my Smokie Brutha 🙂
        It has been quite a self imposed hiatus … AND … I STILL HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO MUSTER THE MOTIVATION TO WRITE ANYTHING … until now.
        I WILL find my voice again my friend … thank you for your kind words.
        HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

        January 4, 2017 at 7:08 am

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