Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Virginia is for Lovers

You might be too young to remember this slogan. But it was a popular bumper sticker in the 70's, when Bill and I first met in Bristol, Virginia.

So here we are, empty-nesters and we find ourselves back in Virginia. The drive home from N.C. turned out to be a long day of scenic intentional detours, stops at peach stands and a BBQ lunch to die for at The Galax Smokehouse.

Galax, Virginia. Home of the huge fiddlers convention. And of delicious BBQ. The Smokehouse's head cook, Earl, was helping wait tables and proceeded to school us on BBQ (beef brisket or pulled pork) and BBQ sauces. Out came the bottles: the plastic squirt-type: red for hot, yellow for sweet, and the rest opaque, of which "Mountain sauce" was my favorite. We learned that this concoction had been created by Earl himself, with the help of his co-workers. They mixed, tasted and seasoned until it was just right. And just right it is. yummmmmmmm.

Now, I know Earl had us pegged as purebred Yankees. However my palate still yearns for the heavenly flavors of true southern BBQ, since after all I was born and weaned on the fabulous BBQ of Memphis, Tennessee.
And, my Yankee friends, BBQ does NOT mean "meat with bottled sauce poured over it." As Earl pointed out, "barbecue is a process, not a product." How eloquent. Smoke it slowly, to tasty perfection. Then gently lace it with your sauce of choice. But only after it's on the bun, sitting on your plate.

One other thing. Earl's accent. It was as rich as the smoke rising above the restaurant. Though there are as many southern accents as types of BBQ, most any southern drawl comforts and draws me in. It speaks love. And it just feels a little like home.
p.s. this post should be dated Friday, August 22. But there we go again: I'm tech-challenged.

No comments: