Are you in with the Ole?

I discovered Plain Ole Salsa Co. at Zest Fest this year. It is a new company started by a co-worker (Myron Callier) who was looking for a clean, fresh alternative to heavily processed food.


This cannot be understated. I have not yet tried a flavor that misses the mark. Smoke is rich with flavor. Chunk is sweet and the texture is great for scooping. Green T is tangy and perfect for anything. Smack has a secret ingredient (cinnamon) that will make you rethink your life.

Spivey-Q teamed up last night to cater the latest tasting event and is in the process of setting up a partnership to be part of future events.

Please check out Myron's site and order some of his products. You will not be disappointed.

Look for more information soon on upcoming events with this award-winning combination!


This I Believe

A good friend shared this with me several years ago as part of a project she was doing with her High School AP students as a writing project.

This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over 125,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, have been archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow. (credit for this text to

This specific piece is about the author's love of barbeque. It speaks to me as I share his passion for how barbeque is part of my upbringing and culture.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Get back to your roots

As I get older, I come more to the realization that history is important. I have become more interested in all types of history, but especially family history. My Dad, Curtis, is currently wrapped up in recording our family and hometown history. As I listen to the stories he tells, I understand how much about I didn't know (or forgot) about my roots. His stories root me to my family history.

I am so proud of my family's tradition of feeding friends and neighbors, especially BBQ. Dad would invite just about everyone to a covered dish dinner where the BBQ was the main dish (along with Walker's Brunswick Stew, but that's another story).

My fondest memories are the all night-ers, stoking the fire, shoveling the coals, and turning the spit that whole hams and shoulders were wired to. The pit was just simple cinder blocks put up earlier that day with a home-made rotisserie that would slide in. Dad taught my brother and me the patience needed to make sure nothing was rushed. The result was tender, juicy, smoky, and delicious pulled pork.

The next day would be spent going to local churches and funeral homes for folding chairs and tables to everyone would have a place to sit later that afternoon.

I try to carry on that tradition today by being generous with my hobby. I know Dad loves sharing his time and talent with friends and neighbors and he certainly passed that along to me. I get the most satisfaction out of seeing someone enjoy a rack of ribs or wiping sauce off their chins with a big grin. Food brings people together and everyone forgets our differences.

I am actively passing this same passion on to my son. The circle remains unbroken.

Thanks Dad. The family roots run deep.

Timing the Holiday Table

Cooking for a crowd can be stressful. Add impeccable timing to the mix and it can make you want to go out and get Chinese food! If you want to let the smoke roll this holiday season, consider this tip to help keep you sane.

BBQ is great off the smoker and can be a real centerpiece to your table. If your guests are arriving at uncertain times, consider the faux cambro or FTC (foil, towel, cooler) method. It sounds simple and it is! It's a trick that many backyard (and competition) chefs use to  get the timing right. Brisket is best for this method, but a whole pork shoulder or ribs would work equally well. After the food is done, wrap it tightly in foil, grab an old (but clean) bath or beach towel), and put it in a small cooler. This will allow the meat to cool slowly and let the juices redistribute through the muscle. Unwrap it when you are ready and pop it in the oven if you need to warm it up. This will give you up to two hours for your guests to get settled.

Grill, smokers, and tools reviews

If you are just getting into smoking and grilling or are an old pro, you likely look for sources of inspiration and advice. I have found to be a great resource for cooking tips, buying guides, and advice from other enthusiasts. They have posted a review of just about everything you would need to start or continue your passion with BBQ. Take a look at their site!