Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Smoke on the Water

Southern folks will tell you straight up that the thing they miss the most when they move to the nether regions is good old slow cooked BBQ. Pork is best..tenderloin, whole hog or Boston butt. The closest I've ever been to heaven was eatin' ribs at Charlie Vergos place tucked away in an alley in Memphis. I think they call it The Rendezvous. The ribs are just the right mix of wet sauce and dry rub that calls for an empty belly and a good clean up afterwards. Memphis is also the home of a BBQ cookin' contest on the Mighty Mississipi where good old boys and girls vie for the grand champion title. It's serious business, ya'll. Finalists from preliminaries all over the dang world show up and strut their snouts. That one is held in May, often times in the mud.

This one is coming up on October 22nd in Lynchburg Tennessee. I went there once on my way to the Ocoee River for whitewater rafting. We took a tour of the distillery where the sour mash is stirred, watched over and patiently waited on. You can't get a nip of it there's a dry county. Southern states are funny like that sometimes in their cross between commerce and religion. Prior to the tour,we had lunch at Miss Bobo's boarding house. It was a delicious meal served home style all OVER the giant table that dominates the dining room. We sat on the porch in rocking chairs and rested before we moved on to enjoy the Cherokee National Forest and the surrounding rivers. Hiwassee, Nantahala...Ocoee. The Smokies are just a few miles north too!

Pass the sauce, please and thank you. And kiss my grits.