Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Big Apple BBQ

All too often, backyard barbecue goes wrong, especially in New York. People often mistake grilling, when you toss some meat on some coals in your Weber (direct heat), for true barbecue, which should be prepared with some form of smoke (indirect heat). People around here just don't get it. Arguably, the most disturbing image that has repeatedly appeared in NY is the sight of a group of men with pink sweaters thrown casually over their shoulders, huddled around a small grill on their fire escapes, holding Heinekens, purring with manliness. Something about that just doesn't sit right...

But if you are good, brush your teeth and clean behind your ears, then once a year the stars align, time stops, and the Barbecue Gods bless this barren Yankeetown with the rural fixins of the lands below the Mason Dixon line. That's right people - it's BARBECUE FESTIVAL TIME!!!!

Join me this SATURDAY, JUNE 13TH at 1PM in front of the Flatiron Building (23rd and 5th) so we can stuff ourselves to our heart's content.

Some of the best pitmasters from Kansas City, Memphis, South Carolina, and of course, TEXAS, will be in attendance to treat our stomachs with everything from fatty, juicy brisket to fall off the bone ribs.

The festival only takes cash, so please keep some in pocket. I have a Fast Pass, so if you give me money, we can just skip some of the lines.

See you Saturday!

-The UE

PS - Southern Style Medicine (aka Bourbon) will likely be provided :)

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Love and the Food Lane

Love is more than just a word. It is a tangible expression of an emotion. Some would argue that emotion is simply electrical, instinctual fight of flight reactions, but there must be something more when the word “feeling” is a synonym for our emotions and actions.

I believe love has a symbiotic and inspirational attachment to us. We cannot live without it. From the moment we are born we seek the loving embrace of our parents. We spend a lifetime and millions of dollars searching for the perfect love, our soul mate. Love drives us to be foolish, to move mountains, and to create unforgettable works of art.

I once met a man who said the sum of his grandmother’s love could be understood by watching her in the kitchen. A silent woman, this mans grandmother made statements through her food, meticulously preparing every detail of the meal, from dawn kneading bread, chopping vegetables and simmering meats, until dinnertime was upon her and she could bask in the satisfaction of knowing she filled the tummy of her grandson with the best food she could. A love so pure, that only hours upon hours of work in the kitchen would be good enough for her loved ones.

I remember love like that, a love so enveloping that you can't put it away, you can't stop kneading once you start, and you can't help watching the pot boil. Not being able to relax until every garnish looks absolutely right, because you are giving a part of yourself. The self you pour into this dish, the self who tirelessly slaved to create the perfect something for that special someone. The self that says “please like it, I really tried for you”.

Love and food often go hand in hand. Love is expressed through food, whether it’s trying to impress a hot date, or just ensuring your child will live another day. I often contemplate just how much this world’s relationship with food can differ from place to place, culture to culture. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But who actually believes this? Can you actually make someone fall in love with the flick of a whisk?

-The UE

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