The Joy of BBQ: The Fellowship of Food
As a February blizzard howls just past the frosted window pane, I tarry here in my writing den with stereophonic music in play, and a lovely beverage at hand, and reminisce now back over the previous season in BBQ. There have been some great victories pit-side to report. From Tri Tips over an oaken fire, to honey and maple glazed hams, to 14 hour slow-smoked Boston Butts that fell apart in your mouth. And all of those were delicious in their own right, not too mention biologically abiding. There is an extra hole drilled into my leather belt now to prove it. But furthermore, what I think I remember most about those cooks was not so much those things that satisfied my belly, but more, that which nourished the soul. And what I mean concerning that, by and by, is the people. The people. The more I delve into the BBQ arts, and the more I learn about making good food, the more convinced I am that these meals were never really meant to be ingested alone. One of our long time readers has been putting it this way for years now. “Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.” –Mr Dodd.
It’s Good to Share
It’s true. You can smoke the best rack of ribs on the planet, or produce the most tender brisket this side of Aaron Franklin, but if you’re not sharing it with someone, well frankly, you’re missing out on half the fun in BBQ. And tho you may even feel full eating it all by yourself, something still inside you remains empty. Hungry. Perhaps that is why someone invented the all important shin dig. That glorious slot of time, pre-ordained by the masses, to come together over a table of good food and fellowship, and for a while at least, set aside the concerns of man, and just be together. And eat. There’s something about this simple act of stability that resonates in the soul, as if we’ve been wired for such activity all along. Mankind has been doing it for a very long time after all. And I suspect that’s because it is inalienably good for us. As good as any medicine contrived by the smart people of the world.
Our wee one is learning how to party, as you can see. Amid our summer BBQ’s she has learned the joy of green grass between her baby toes, and how to work the lid on the communal cooler with great effectiveness. She is equally as well-versed in the art of mooching off a bystander’s plate, and I can tell already she will be a force in future BBQ’s and family shindigs to come.
Yup, everyone enjoys a good party as you can see. Even this pup appreciated a wayward morsel tossed her way, not to mention a good belly rub afterward. But then, really, who wouldn’t! Life is good at the BBQ!
The Joy of BBQ
There is a camaraderie in food. I think this is because no matter who you are, or where you hail from, you probably consider yourself fairly adept at eating. Let’s face it, you’re the boss at stuffing your pie hole. We all are! And with that kind of communal talent, it’s no wonder we all like to throw a BBQ and work our skill sets together. And beyond that even, for a while at least, most folk seem even to be happy with a plate of good food in hand. Momentarily content in life’s crazy race. Say what you will, but that is no small thing. And to lean back in your lawn chair, wiping the sauce from your chin, and to survey the folks residing all about, chattering and chewing, laughing and smiling, babies crawling through the cool grass…Telling stories, singing songs…Going back for seconds.. Even thirds…The faces of those you love and those who love you. Well, it doesn’t take much to realize that this is what it’s all about. This is why we do what we do. And further, this is what the joy of BBQ looks like standing right in front of you. Amen.
Now let’s get cookin!
Cooking for others is an expression of love. Why, at every party you have ever been to, do people congregate in the kitchen, even where nothing is cooking? It is the heart of the home, the source of both physical and spiritual nourishment. Thanks for your dissertation, in your trademark ornate prose, on the joy of communal BBQ. Nothing says lovin’ like some charred meat. Here in Southern California, we grill year-round, rain or shine. Keep those home fires burning, pitmaster. And keep warm.
February 26, 2019 at 12:23 pm
Edcol52, that was a beautiful, well-crafted comment! Thanks for putting in the time to do that. Couldn’t agree with you more!
February 26, 2019 at 12:32 pm
Agreed! The sharing in the communal partaking of food is universal, it’s global, it’s everywhere. It’s a joy, a chore of love, it’s delicious, no matter the weather or surroundings, just so long as we have our people around us.
February 26, 2019 at 7:41 pm
Aptly described Auntiedoni. Hows your 23 inches of snow doing? Man, still can’t believe you got all that. Quite the winter this year I guess.
February 27, 2019 at 9:07 am
QUITE! We still loads of snow all over the place. We’re headed South to warm up for a bit 😀
February 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm
Fun Times. just started soaking a bowl full of venison backstrap in a spicy italian dressing marinade mix. I suspect it will be a nice slow baste, smoke and grill in a mild snow storm but…yes it’s about the people and eating out of this world meat and fixins.
February 26, 2019 at 9:04 pm
Yum. Back straps are good eating. I like your marinade choice. I bet that’ll turn out just fine!
Good to hear from you Gary. Hope all is groovy on your side of the world.
February 27, 2019 at 9:04 am
Sorry I was a bit slow getting around to reading this post. We have been caught up in Carnival season down here, but the town is emptying out today and we will be able to return to the simple quiet life we have come to love.
You are so right that sharing food is the great binding adhesive that brings people of all nations and languages together. Ummmm, Ummmm! Means the same thing in Spanish as it does coming from the smiling face of your little English speaking tot! Stay warm for another month and Spring will come, my friend!
March 5, 2019 at 10:51 am
Howdy John in Ecuador! Long time, no see! It is very good to hear you’re having fun with the carnival season down there. I bet that’s something to see. But yeah, nothing quite so fine as the simple quiet life either. That should be a staple of everybody’s day-to-day.
Say hey to Mary!
Stay warm for us.
March 6, 2019 at 9:23 am
Great article! You have a knack with both wordsmithery & BBQ. I’m always pleased to read your content 😃👍
March 16, 2019 at 9:08 pm