Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Now our team is cooking up more than food...

I am taking a break from cooking tonight, so I thought I would sit down and catch up with "Mostly Sunny's" blog here, and share some observations. I also want to explain why I have been absent - except for a few comments here and there.

Those who know me personally, and some of you who have followed The Beer Garden from the beginning know why this blog was started. You know that we did this partly as a healing tool for our family. The gardening brought Sunny's side of the family together in tough times, and you folks got to witness that as it played out on this blog. Over the course of a little more than year we have over 108 posts focused on all sorts of family activities, but as Sunny picked up the pace with her posts, I have slacked off. I have been busy with house projects and another hobby I decided to jump into with my brother Bobby.

Bobby has been following this blog from its beginning as well and he said it inspired him to start blogging about his new hobby: BBQ. He started his blog, The Smoker Pit, in January. As some of you know, I used to post a few BBQ pictures from time to time, so he asked me to join him in getting his blog going. I did that and that's when our adventure began!

If you made the jump to Bobby's blog, you can see that we made a pretty good attempt to get that blog moving and then all of sudden it trailed off and just sort of died in February -- with one post in April. That is not because we lost interest, it is because our interests intensified. We decided to enter a professional Pitmasters BBQ competition that will be held in Coeur d'Alene on Father's Day. It is the first one ever held in our area, so we decided to make it happen, and since it was Father's Day, we invited our dad to join us -- plus we know our dad is a killer cook and he does nothing in half measures. We figured at the worst, we all might just learn something... and we certainly have done a lot of learning.

At the time, we knew we had committed to something big, but we didn't realize how big. We have been researching and testing recipes. Reading countless books, and seeking out online resources to help us learn what we need to know. We have practiced cooking until our family and co-workers are sick of BBQ (if you can imagine that). We've invested countless hours of of time and large amounts of money into forming this team ... and somewhere along the way we became competitive.

Sunny wrote about our first success in the post below, so I won't bore you with that. But, I will tell you that when my dad, Bobby and I marched up to collect all our ribbons and trophies, I saw something changing in us as we glanced back and forth at each other in amazement... I could literally feel space in our lives opening up for each other, and I could see priorities begin shifting. I realized just then that we are onto something bigger than BBQ here, my side of the family is sort of healing now ... instead of growing distant, we are starting to grow together again and I like that.

I am convinced none of this would have happened without this blog and the effort our family and friends put into making it successful... So I felt it was time to thank you folks for stopping by to read and support us in our endeavours, and I am now committed to posting a little more frequently again. Well at least until you get sick of BBQ and beer... (like that is going to happen :-)


  1. I love BBQ. Like, I feel like I'm having a religious experience when eating it. The vinegar-based is my favourite, that's what's mostly made here in NC. But I like the saucy one too...

    BBQ is... *drool*

  2. I think it's great that your family can share a common interest. I can only imagine what it would be like to have that experience....BBQ rules, and i'm partial to the "Memphis style"

  3. Kyna, when it comes to pulled pork, I agree with you -- especially the eastern North Carolina sauces. I order Scotts Red Hot BBQ sauce online and I use it to baste my chicken and ribs as well.

    EG, I use Memphis style sauces on my ribs and chicken... and I use Texas flavor profiles on my Brisket.

    I think Northwest BBQ is a mish-mash of all the other regional flavors...

  4. Whoo! I love barbeque, the real thing, as opposed to cook outs, which people confuse around here. I can't wait until my dad starts smoking meats again.

  5. dietplaid, we love bbq too! The real deal is always the best : )

  6. Thanks for all of your work! It really was fun seeing you and your family. (and my wife thanks you for giving me tips on how to make HER brisket:)

  7. It features the gardening and brewing experience with everybody on the team. A must read and a helpful blog.