Proud Member

Remembrances of Q Past

Texas Barbecue, the stuff of childhood memories

I received this e-mail letter from a satisified customer today. I have to say I was touched. I hope my kids remember me this fondly.

Smoking Turkey in the Rain

I am not a Texan but I love BBQ. I live in the Pacific NW (Olympia, WA to be exact). It rains a shitload here, and today I smoked a turkey in the rain on my cheap little charcoal smoker. It took 7 hours and it was delicious.

I have spent a great deal of my life in TX. Although I grew up in Colorado, my old man lived in Houston back then so I had the pleasure of doing “divorced dad” trips to Houston every August for a great deal of my childhood. And as you can imagine, Houston in August pretty much made me hate Texas. But one thing I always, always looked forward to—getting good Texas BBQ. One time, my dad drove me up to the New Zion BBQ in Huntsville, which you know and have written about. I hurt myself I ate so much. The proprietress (I think it may have been the woman that started the joint–she looked ancient) looked at me after I had eaten and said to me, I quote, “Darlin’, if you slide under the table, I ain’t calling 911.”

Experiences like that (and there were many) helped me realize that TX is a special kind of place after all, especially when it comes to BBQ. Now my old man lives in Austin, and he is getting on being a truly old man these days. I have a sister there too, with a great husband and three beautiful kids. My mom left Colorado a few years back and moved to Georgetown to be near the grandkids. Me, I look forward to visiting every year for a lot of reasons now, but one big one is that I know my old man and I will always hop in his truck and head out to the country for the day and that day will always include a stop at a BBQ restaurant, whether its Blacks in Lockhart or Coopers on Llano, maybe one of those “shade tree” road side stands you write about. And I know I will always hurt myself again because it is always so good, and so uniquely Texas, wherever we go.

My old man gave me your Texas Legends BBQ book a few weeks back for my birthday and I just read it cover to cover over the weekend. I loved it. It inspired me to smoke my bird in the rain today. The only point of this message is to say thanks–thanks for taking me back to TX on a rainy and slate grey NW weekend, bringing back some special memories, and providing all the great recipes. The book is fabulous and I have found your web site now too. So, even though I am far from Texas, you do a fine job of bringing Texas to those of us who are far away, if only in body.


Steve North
Olympia, WA

3 comments to Remembrances of Q Past

  • Lori Moffatt

    What a fantastic letter! So beautiful that you helped this guy and his pop make some memories. If you’re ever feeling low, you can whip this out to remember why you do what you do, huh?

  • Janet Foster

    What a wonderful letter! It touched me also just because I am a Texan by choice. But what a reward it must be to you that you can inspire someone to write something so nice.

  • Rich Marshall

    I’ve owned and/or read 5 of your books. I’d have to say this letter sums up my sentiments exactly…having lived in Portland, OR for the last 15 years, I’m almost on the edge of losing my Texas citizenship..I go through week long cravings for decent Tex-Mex or BBQ…at least there are a couple of BBQ places that have popped up…just found you video on Frito Pie today and got a big lump in my throat…..gotta have it…good luck in your new freelance venture….I look forward to you new book..keep on writing and telling me what’s happening back HOME!