Southerners will use any excuse to sit down and talk over old times, discuss current world problems and solve them, and plan for better times. When I was growing up in the south listening to adults-children were seen and not heard then-these three concepts permeated the lively conversations. Listening to a conversational tapestry being woven by interchanging these three threads between 5-8 adults was the foundation for my listening skills today. Each person knew the rules of conversation: the older people usually said less, but kept the conversation in balance between time spent on a topic and validating credible input. The younger you were, the less you said because your life experience had little relative value. Putting in your time as a living soul gave a person additional credibility and still does in an interdependant society.
Cooking gave a family, or extended family a reason to invite friends over and “chew the fat” as idle conversation was commonly known. Now there was no reason to rush the cooking because the talking was why everyone was there. The cooking took hours sometimes and though I can’t prove it, I suspect people found ways to slow the cooking down so the conversation would last longer.
Green Beans were a great indication of how cooking was slowed. Green beans would be “cooked to death” I learned later. The were soft and flaccid and they tasted wonderful with cornbread. Of course there was no real danger of foodborne illness in a bean even before it was cooked, but those beans got cooked for a couple of hours regardless and as I grew up eating them, naturally I think they taste better.
Bar-B-Queing Meat is another area where cooking could be slowed. The talented grillmasters could make cooking meat similar to a religious experience-just the right meat, in just the right weather, in the hands of just the right person. That person prepares the meat hours before it is cooked and prepared the seasonings even before the meat is prepared. Then at just the right time, the grill or smoker is prepared. Normally the grillmaster performs these functions alone, usually in the early morning. Now I’ve been told that the reason for this system is so the secrets of the spices, meat preparation and source of the fire would remain the secrets of the grillmaster. From my own grilling/smoking experience, it gives the grillmaster a chance to “secretly” recover in the event he screws up!
The guests are told when to arrive. I remember the smoker was always closed when we arrived. the meat already being cooked and a long trail of smoke touching the noses in an increasingly irresitable way of all present before it reached, ever broadening skyward to touch God for His Blessing. No one ever asked “when it will be ready” or “is it done,yet”. It seemed that only the meat knew when it would be ready to melt the taste buds of the chosen. The grillmaster had made the preparations and set the ulitmate event in motion. He could now only “listen” for the meat to indicate it had turned to the delectible preparation: Bar-B-Que.
When the grillmaster got the signal, he removed the meat ever so carefully and prepared it for “rest.” So we waited…some of us by talking…some of us by listening. Occasionally, a football was tossed. We all knew why we were there. We were there for the fellowship and for the anticipation. As the hours moved in a slow dance with the smoke, the smell made us all aware the time was getting close. Silverware was set. Ice put into glasses. Children gathered around and sat down and mouths watered. And then the moment…the moment of which I have never grown tired. The moment of tasting the succulent, tender, tastebud fulfilling Bar B Que was upon us all. Suddenly, there was no more conversation. Only the silence that comes with the quiet enjoyment of a special moment. It is always the first bite I enjoy the most. I have always enjoyed some of the grillmaster’s handiwork before adding any sauce….ahhh the sauce. The sauce is…well…is for another time!
When you hankering for Bar B Que in Columbus, Georgia…you will enjoy the handiwork of any of the grillmasters at these restaurant. Try them all, but don’t rush, solve a few problems, talk about better days… and remember…the grillmaster probably worked alone early in morning, to prepare the meat that will be served to create a mouth-watering memory for you.
BJ’s”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/b-restaurants”>BJ’s Brew & Cue
Geno’s”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/g-restaurants”>Geno’s BBQ Stand
J.T.’s”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/j-restaurants”>J.T.’s Brennan Road BBQ
Macon”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/m-restaurants”>Macon Road BBQ
Mike”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/m-restaurants”>Mike & Ed’s Bar-B-Q
Shanty”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/s-restaurants”>Shanty Shack & Rib Shack
Smokey”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/s-restaurants”>Smokey Bones BBQ
Suthrn”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/s-restaurants”>Suthrn Kumfrt BBQ
Thirteenth”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/t-restaurants”>Thirteenth Street BBQ Restaurant
Thornton’s”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/t-restaurants”>Thornton’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant
Wynnton”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus/w-restaurants”>Wynnton Pit BBQ Restaurant
Find directions, phone numbers, health inspection reports for all the restaurants in Columbus Ga at Columbus”>http://www.greatercolumbusga.com/restaurants/Columbus”>Columbus Georgia Restaurants – All you need to know