Experiencing Barbecue and Life

We left Texas almost a year ago and I have tried numerous times to find a decent barbeque brisket since leaving, with great disappointment.  Neither the meat nor the sauce have been satisfying as they seem to cook the brisket too quickly and the sauce has been full of vinegar, which is the standard for this part of the country.  Of course, barbecue beef is outside the norm here to start with as the Carolina style barbecue of choice is pork.

I met my nephew for lunch yesterday and he introduced me to a restaurant that I had never been to before.  Based on 11 months of negative experiences, I had just about given up.  Yesterday, though, the advertisement on the menu said that the brisket was smoked for 15 hours.  That’s right; contrary to another local restaurant that brags on six hours of cooking which is about like eating a bad roast beef.  So based on the promise of possibility, I ordered the brisket and started wondering if they might mess it up with vinegar based sauce.  I found that they had six sauces to choose from; everything from Memphis, Kansas  City, Carolina and what they claimed as “SW Texas.”  There was hope.

So the brisket came out, it looked like brisket, smelled like brisket and tasted like brisket!  The sauce lived up to its Texas tag as it was very good, as well.  So, after all this time, the pleasure of enjoyment in the familiar flavor of a well prepared beef brisket accompanied by a legitimate tomato based Texas sauce was a refreshing, joyful experience. 

Now this topic brings out the regional passion in some people.  Some would defend the vinegar sauce with great passion and conviction.  Others would shake their head wondering how I could be so wrong about preferring beef over pork.  It’s all a matter of what we are familiar with and have grown to love.  For those of us that love barbecue of any kind, the style and preferences we have developed have come from various experiences.  It wasn’t simply from reading about it or hearing about it; our passion developed from our first hand knowledge of how it smelled and tasted. 

Many of us have attempted to simplify Life down to a head knowledge of opinions based on what we have read or heard.  We rationalize the depth and nuance of a relationship with Life with limitations based on our intellectual capacity.  In doing so, we remove the intimacy and Wonder of the Supernatural.  If, in our limited capacity, we can’t make sense of the Power of Life, we discard it and miss out of the full flavor of the Offering. 

We know in two different ways; intimately through experience and/or intellectually through the transfer of information.  While both have value and purpose, the intimate experience of Life through Eternal relationship is ultimately what we are wired for.  The transfer of information supports the experience of Living.  No amount of learning can replace the Power of an infusion of the Breath of Life where we know from the inside out.

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