Sunday, June 10, 2012

The BBQ King

I ventured down to the Big Apple BBQ Block Party in Madison Square Park this morning to pick up as much good old' southern barbecue as my to-go containers could carry and my wallet afford. It is a swell event.

Award-winning BBQ establishments from around the country set up huge cooking drums, light the fires, throw on the meat, and wait for thousands and thousands of BBQ-starved New Yorkers to pay $8 a plate to indulge their pig-eatin' yen. It's sort of a throw-back to the annual Kiwanis BBQs when I was growing up, where $8 would get you enough BBQ, slaw, corn on the cob, baked beans and loaf bread to feed a family of 12 (OK, it's the South, what can I say?).

It was fitting and proper that I should track down barbecue today of all days because this is my dear daddy's birthday. He would've been 92 today (he died in 1999). As far as I'm concerned, Clayton Frazier was the BBQ King.

Once or maybe twice a year, Daddy would barbecue enough pig-meat to feed a small army. His style was a cross between North Carolina vinegar-based barbecue and his own Tennessee farm boy twist. His was not the kind with thick, sweet sauce smothering the meat. It was thinner, lighter, and with a bit of a hot-sauce kick.

He made too much to be eaten in one or two sittings, so he'd bag it up for you to take it home to throw in the freezer and eat whenever the mood struck. Believe me, that barbecue fed me many a meal during some lean-earning years.

Daddy was so proud of his barbecue. I'm sure he loved the process of tending it for hours on end as much as he loved the tasty results. Let me add, however, that the results were not to some folks' liking, but for Daddy and me - mmmwah! It was delicious.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate the life and barbecue-legacy of my daddy than to chow down on smoked pork smothered in hot sauce. Happy Birthday, BBQ King.

1 comment:

Liz said...

What a fantastic event!

And my mouth is watering as your describe your family barbecue fare.