Hurray, that time of year has finally arrived when all the snow has disappeared, the temperature has risen to an acceptable level, and rain has held off. All of the backyard Chefs and grilling enthusiasts can once again demonstrate to their families and friends their proficiency in culinary arts. Out goes the cry “Come on over were going to Barbeque today”. Oh the joy of gathering all your friends to come over and watch you huffing and puffing trying to get your briquettes to finally reach the stage of readiness so you can begin your yearly ritual.
To many the Idea of barbeque is to take some hamburgers, hotdogs, or brats and offer them on the altar of the Barbeque grill. Constantly turning and checking for doneness, until the mighty Chef declares that his work has been completed, to a perfection. However in some cases the charred Hamburger, and the burnt Brats are often undone in the middle, But we eat them anyway grinning and nodding at how good they are. Occasionally you will find some steaks on the grill carefully tended, and watch very carefully, Now steaks don’t need to be done clear through, no matter how soon you take them off or let them cook, you can always proclaim, “That’s how I like them.” From rare to well done, and depending on the closeness of your relationship with your host, how enthusiastically you proclaim it.
The best barbecue I ever had was in Arkansas, across the river from Memphis Tennessee. We were living in a little town of Gilmore, which was 90% black. I had established a friendship with most of those citizens and was the township clerk. When we resigned the church, and was preparing to move back north, one of the families, who lived across the road from us, invited us to a barbeque in our honor as a farewell dinner. He started the barbeque early in the morning and had the meat on the grill all day long. At about 2:00 in the afternoon he proclaimed that it was ready.
All of the neighbors brought food to pass, and we sat down to the best barbecue I have ever tasted. The meat was so tender you could cut it with a fork, and the taste was out of this world. He would not part with his recipe, for he said it was what he used at the barbeque cook off in Memphis each year. I have diligently sought good barbeque ever since, and have tasted hundreds of ribs but I cannot find any as good as I had that day.
I learned the difference between Grilling out and Barbequing. A distinction that will last me all my life, and will always keep me thinking, whenever I am asked to come over for a barbeque, do they mean grilling out or a real genuine barbeque, with tangy, smoky barbeque sauce, and the meat is cook slowly over a low heat until it falls apart. You can keep on grilling, but if you can really barbeque let me know, I would love to join you..