My husband and I, along with our friends Kelly and Lori, spent Friday and Saturday scoping out a BBQ competition in Taylor, Arizona. I thought for sure I’d come back with a great story about how I knew I was on the fast track to Barbecue Widowhood. I mean I’m already used to guests asking what he is fixing for dinner. I’m used to the new rotund bullet of smoking metal on my back patio getting obscene amounts of attention, and I’m finally over the fact that twelve years ago he spent an entire week-end trapsing all over Oregon in search of his fantasy – a certain Oklahoma Joe’s smoker. I even knew not to be alarmed when he was hoping his new thermometer would come in the mail so he could “stick it in (his) butt.” You see, I also know that the butt he was talking about is pork butt, which is really pork shoulder. I guess “butt” sounds more appetizing than “shoulder?”
Despite all my “BBQ Issues,” I have to admit I came back from Taylor relatively unshaken. I think it helped a lot to have my friend, Lori, there for support. She knows a few things about husbands and their all-consuming hobbies. Kelly is a life-long avid hunter and outdoorsman, and is now very enthusiastic about being on the BBQ team. I think Lori and I will be able to encourage each other and perhaps even help keep the guys from going too “Q” crazy on us.
I think my BBQ plight was also tempered by a couple of other things. First is the fact that school has started and I’m increasingly becoming busier with those duties. Second is what has made the biggest impact on me lately; that is, the natural beauty of Arizona. Taylor, the town that hosted the barbecue competition, is about 100 miles east of Strawberry. (See my last posting.) It’s also just north of Show Low. Both Strawberry and Show Low are near the Mogollon (pronounced MUG-ee-own) Rim, an escarpment that stretches two-thirds of the way across Arizona, beginning just east of the New Mexico border. It was named for Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon, the Spanish governor of New Mexico from 1712 to 1715. I write all that for the benefit of those of you who may be as ignorant of Arizona geography as I was until recently. But really, “saying” anything about the view from the Mogollon Rim can’t compare to seeing it. I’m going to let the picture speak for itself.
I do have one final thing to say about BBQ. If you have yet to receive your baptism by barbecue you must check out this video sent to me by friends at “Our Haasienda.” You, too, will see the (smokey) light!