Thursday, January 05, 2006

Brisket

One of the odd things to come from this whole hurricane recovery bit is that I've been doing alot of cooking. Cooking is like playing music or songwriting or recording to me. It's a creative endeavor. I like to approach it intuitively. no recipe books thank you. Of course every person starts off not knowing much of anything about cooking. So if you don't get it from recipe books where do you learn? That's part of the fun. You find people who cook good. For instance my dad is quite good on the old barbeque pit so I've been picking his brain on how to make the ellusive perfect brisket. Hopefully I can learn from his years of trial and error.
The other great teacher is experience. This is one of the funest parts about cooking and playing music when you stumble on to some technique that brings your whole game up.
And like music you need an audience for cooking. Sure cooking for my self is nice. I enjoy it at least but nothing like sharing good food that you've put your love into with others. Here in Louisiana food is a huge part of experiencing community. And cooking down here is a man's thing. Whether jambalaya, gumbo, stewed chicken and even barbeque there is community in the making of the food and the partaking of the food. Right now I'm onto my third batch of briskets and I'm loving the experience. Sure I come home smelling like smoke but it's worth it. Today we will be feeding some folks in the neighborhoods and some teams staying in our church and hopefully there will be a little left over for some of the people working at the church. Of course they've been sneeking end and sampling the stuff all day. This is a good batch. As with music you can only get better at it, and my skills are improving a bit. I read about a ministry called blood and fire one time that reaches out to the poor in Atlanta. They do a whole lot of barbequing. One of the guys said about cooking for others there: "don't ever serve somebody something you wouldn't want to eat yourself in a restaurant." Good rule. You see good food gives people a sense of dignity. It ain't left overs and day old bread but the best you can offer that really shows some love. I know I may be getting a little too philosophical here. Maybe the smoke is going to my head. Well that's my brake from the pit and it's time to get back to work.

1 comment:

randall said...

Ha, I still have visions of you standing over the huge BBQ oven out back of the church trying to cook in a 30 mph wind! Cool post (I like the analogy between cooking and music) and I hope I get another chance to come down so I can sample your wares! Speaking of recipes, we tried to get one for the jambalaya and gumbo the ladies fixed for us and they said "mmmhmm" and never gave one to us even when we gave them one for some killer enchiladas. We were thinking it must be some sort of southern secret!