While half of Boise’s citizenry seemed to be flocked around Jaialdi events a few weekends ago, I found myself at a backyard barbecue where our hosts put on a true Southern-style feast. Walking up to the house of our friends, Chris and Lisa Crawford, the first thing to hit us was the savory aroma of red oak smoke imparting its delectable flavor to about 100 pounds of pork ribs, pork butt and beef brisket on a custom smoker that is as long as a family sedan.
Then came the uncontrollable salivating. For nearly two hours we watched Chris’s two uncles man the deep-fat fryers in the back yard while Chris, who owns Clippers Hair Design and does a little barbecue catering on the side, kept an eye on the mouth-watering smoked meat that was fired up on the driveway in early morning darkness 10 hours earlier.
Visiting Boise from Lufkin, Texas were Uncle Oscar and Uncle Marshall, who both expertly fried batches of biscuits, okra, green tomatoes and pickle chips. Liberal taste-testing was an important part of quality control as I learned the finer points of deep fat frying as well as a few hints on barbecuing from Uncle Oscar, who Chris credits with teaching him everything he knows about smoking meats to tender perfection.
In the kitchen, Lisa acted like one part air-traffic controller, one part eight-armed cook as she sliced and battered a dozen green tomatoes, a big bowlful of garden-fresh okra and a large jar of pickle chips. She occasionally peered into an oven that contained one huge foil pan of gooey mac-n-cheese and another loaded with tender baked beans with peaches. In a spare minute she also whipped up a big batch of honey butter for the fried biscuits.
I wish I could contribute smell-o-vision to this blog post. You’ll just have to settle for a few snapshots instead.