Well, Pick Pickin’ has come and gone. All that good barbecue cooking has had a lot of mouths drooling. Just a week ago my brain trust was discussing the secrets of cooking good barbecue. There are secrets and things so simple anyone could cook a hog.
The real cooks come with fancy trailers and grills with built in gadgets that rival the finest kitchens on earth. Others seem to come with a little bit of heat and some kind of secret sauce. After all that, a big panel of judges gives a subjective guess at which one tastes better.
Back to the brain trust, my guys agreed on the best cook ever. “He could cook in a wash pot over an open fire in a 40 mile per hour wind and everything would taste great. Once he won second place in a barbecue contest with just salt and pepper and Texas Pete hot sauce. So much for secret formula sauces. The brain trust got side tracked with what to do if a lot of extra people showed up for the meal. The world’s greatest cook just added more pepper. This seemingly made the food hotter and people ate less. One of my friends just divided whatever she had into the plates. When you ate what was on your plate that was it.
If you press them for the name of the best cook, Jack Daniels, George Dickel and Johnny Walker all come up in the conversation. That may be why it is so hard to get an exact recipe for the secret sauce.
After an hour of barbecue tales we finally got around to the best barbecue ever. The best was cooked with almost no preparation at all. The cook put the hog on the fire. It cooked all day. Nothing else was put on the hog. No sauce was prepared. The people relating the story all agreed that the hog was being ruined and it would not be fit to eat. Finally, the cook proclaimed that the hog would be ready. Still no sauce had been put on. Finally, he put salt all over the hog. You couldn’t see anything but white salt. Then he put black pepper on the hog. The white changed to black. Then he put red pepper on the hog. The black changed to red. All that was left was to pour a gallon of vinegar on. Ten minutes later the best barbecue ever was ready.
After an hour of all these tales, I didn’t have any idea as to how you cooked an award-winning hog. You could do it with advanced chemical formulas or with something as simple as a little salt and pepper and vinegar.
There is also the part about how hungry are you? How much have you had to drink? One friend says if her husband starts to drink alcohol she can’t fill him up. He can eat and eat. When he quits drinking, he’s through eating. This doesn’t happen very often. He has the repercussions of the drinking. She says that the alcohol gives him the courage to tell her things he won’t say when he is sober. That leads to even bigger problems.
I’m trying to find out a real barbecue recipe. Not just one that merely adds more salt and pepper. Haven’t had much luck yet. Surely, somebody has written one down. Seems like they all agree that salt and pepper make everything taste better. In fact we had apple pie for desert and it had salt on it.