Friday, June 19, 2009

The Gift of Bar B Que

My 86 year old father has been smoking meat for longer than many people have lived. He knows how to choose a brisket, the secret of the best dry rub, the premium kinds of wood, and how to build the fire and sustain it in a way that makes the sweet rich smoke bathe the meat, transforming it from mere beef to sacrament.

A couple of years ago, he gifted my husband Denny with a BBQ barrel and helped him condition it for use. Then he taught him all the secrets.

Mom and Dad are coming to visit for Father's Day weekend. Denny will fire up the barrel and make the world's best smoked brisket. I'll make Mom's original recipe BBQ sauce. We'll serve the meat with slow-cooked pinto beans, cole slaw and jalapeno corn bread made from Aunt Flossie's recipe. Then I'll bring out the home-made Coconut Cake, rich in butter and eggs, like my mother used to make when my father was young. We'll tell stories and laugh. It will be a good day.

Dad doesn't have much use for store-bought presents now. He already has everything he wants. But you can never have too many good days.


  1. I know you know this: you are a lucky woman. What I would give, to have my Dad in this world.

    We'll think of you all this weekend, as you share the sweet sacraments.

  2. Thanks, Beth, and a good weekend to you and Buck as you celebrate his Father's Day. His children are fortunate too.

  3. That BBQ looks delicious. This dad is probably having chili burgers and onion rings for father's day, but I sure miss Central Texas BBQ.

  4. Wonderful post, Kathleen! My dad is 87 and we're spending the day with him and my mother, along with 2 siblings and their spouses. Very grateful to have them all.

  5. Would your dad consider sharing his recipes? If not, thnaks at least for making me absolutely ravenous with the picture and for your, as usual, delicious prose. The coconut cake didn't look shabby either. Are you guys down there familiar with a hummingbird cake? Now that would be a worthy breakfast item. I had a tomato sandwich. My dad always ate sliced tomatoes with his breakfast of eggs, sausage grits and biscuits.


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