Sunday, May 24, 2009

For me, barbeque is something you eat. I learned in California, though, that barbeque is something you do. I might say, "We're having cooking out and having barbeque on Memorial Day." A Californian would say, "Come over to my house and we'll barbeque." Different strokes for different folks!

For me, barbeque is pork, but I reluctantly recognize in places like Texas and Kansas that barbeque could be beef--sacrilege.

For me, barbeque is best in West Tennessee around the Memphis area, but admit I've had some tasty ribs at Dreamland in Tuscaloosa and at Archibald's in the Tuscaloosa area. Some sauce is vinegar based as in North Carolina, sweeter in other parts of the country. Some meat is shredded, some is chopped; some is jucier, some is drier. Some ribs are wet; some are cooked dry. We all have our ideas about what is best.

Memphis has the best places to eat barbeque--other than home. There are the famous establishments: The Rondeaveau (spelling is questionable) in an alley off Union Avenue, the original Corkey's on Poplar and a place we recently tried (and loved), Interstate Barbeque on 3rd St. just off I-55; and there are the Mom and Pop neighborhood places where the natives take you. My first barbeque memories are from Aunt May and Uncle Barnard in Southeast Georgia. When they made barbeque, Uncle Barnard would dig a pit for the fire in the back yard, make a rack of small trees and fence wire and put the pig on the rack to cook. We're not talking about a small hole; we're talking about something about 10 ft. x 3 ft. It was a sight to see, an aroma to savor and a taste to remember! Now I rely on son Tommy to make barbeque for me.

There aren't too many foods that Tom likes better than barbequed ribs. Several years back when we were driving back and forth and all around the Southeast, we had a book, Southern Foods, that always traveled with us. In it are chapters on Blue Plate Specials, places where the best homemade biscuits are served, barbeque places and other chapters on just good old Southern cooking. We've eaten in as many places mentioned in the book as we possibly could, including the barbeque "joints." One we recognized by all the dogs out back waiting to be thrown a bone and the long line of people staning out front waiting to get in and another we found by literally following our noses. Oh, the barbeque memories we've made!

If your mouth is watering and you love barbeque like we do, rush right out and buy the latest copy of "Food and Wine" magazine. Our daughter Marty told us about a delicious hamburger recipe she had made from it, I told Tommy and when he was finding the burger recipe, he found a rib recipe that looked good to him. Honestly, I had my doubts. It has glaze made with apple cider vinegar, melted apple jelly and some other things that made me thing it would be too sweet for my taste. Boy, was I wrong! He fixed ribs Friday night to celebrate Sarah Beth's birthday and I have to say, they are the best I've ever had! In fact, they were so good, I have already bought more ribs for the freezer so we'll be ready when he's ready to cook them again.

Enjoy your holiday tomorrow and eat more barbeque!

Pastor Margaret

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