TAO and The Art of Backyard Living Part I


TAO and The Art of Backyard Living Part I

I was a young green horn selling and designing computer networks back in the hay day before the internet pop….Was sitting in my back office cube, lights dim (as I always undid one of the two bulbs), …1970s Sears radio with a loudness knob instead of volume, I had found in the warehouse playing a little John Coletrain, and Thelonious Monk around 7 am, getting my head straight and having a cup of coffee….

Had been married only 8 months, just bought a house, was still semi nieve although I had been through college and military. Thought I knew what was good in life and certianly thought I knew how what tasted good…

I heard the boss talking to someone and they walked up the hall towards my cube, and he brought a new sales guy in. Introduced me to him, and he showed him his new cube across from mine. After the boss departed to let him get set, he hollered across the cube man its pretty early for the monk,… but I like it…As he forgot about straightening his new desk up he grabbed his coffee and came over to the corner toating his coffee. Introdiced himself again, and looked around my office covered in Jerry Garcia Ties hanging off a sword fish I had found in the warehouse as well. He looked at me and said to me normally I wouldnt say this but I got a feeling you and I will become very good friends.

Within minutes our conversation moved across, music, family, towards the ineveitable….Food…He said do you like to cook out….I said sure I just in fact had bought a new gas grill this last weekend, and spent 8 hours putting it together….Took so long to put it together only has time to burn some hot dogs on it….

He looked at me with the compasion of a older brother and mentor and said: Again this is within 10 minutes of us meeting: He said Man, if there is one thing in life I could tell you and you would listen and trust me, even though we just met, have I got something for you. I know we just met and you dont know me from adam, but if you trust me Ill share with you one of the best things Ive learned in life… With dead certainty and seriousness he stated You need to go buy a Big Green Egg…….

WTH is an egg I said…Oh Oh Oh… he said with a french twist to it, and said it with a smile as true as a Childs at Christmas, and a gleem in his eye as if he was walking in the garden of Eden. He said: It was a ancient oriental form of cooking second to none, based on the simple principle of air flow in the bottom and air flow out the top creating radient heat on clay walls…

WOW, sounds simple and cool… The Tao of outdoor cooking ran through my head…As he continued to describe the history and the various makes through the years I was brought deeper into the fold. He said, have you ever had chicken pop in your mouth, nervously I said no….Have you ever had a steak that actually grew in size from the juices….No…But now I hooked and Im hungry…

We forgot about selling, and work, and continued to talk for hours, covering our pasts, pets, family, music, hockey, hobbies and more and more about this Big Green Egg till finally lunch came around…

I told him man I just bought a 400 grill last weekend…My wife would kill me if I bought something new. He said why dont you and your wife come over tonight, we will have a few beers on the deck listen to some tunes, let the she wolfs meet and get to know each other and I will show you the Big Green Egg…

Little did I know that day, I would made what was to be a life long best friend, and be told one of the most wonderful things about enjoying life, the Big Green Egg.

That day on our way home, as my wife and I worked together, I had told her of the new sales guy, or commonalities, his invitation and of course the big green egg and his statement of guarantee.

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