Tao And The Art of Backyard Living Part II
We packed up the cooler that night with our staples and vices. Ive always been fond of good beer as it is one of my enjoyments.
Chilled beer packed, we head out across the suburban sprawl of North Dallas, heading to the outskirts and fringe of the metropolitan area. My thoughts abound as to meeting someone amungst the millions that I already knew I would become friends with.
Our last turn invokes a smile as we head up our last street and make a right on Abbey Rd. For any Beetles fans out there…
As we near the home from 5 houses away I can smell the smoke. The smoke that through the years will make an egger salivate on spot, grow weak at the knees and lament if we dont get to smell it often enough in our daily lives.
We pull up in a small community of zero or small lot line homes. Tikki torches lit in a path up through the flower garder to the gate. Coming out through the side gate on this hot summers eve in North Texas I see a gentle pillow of smoke lightly floating out of the gate towards us. The allure of the smoke was not as appreciated as much it would be from that point forward.
Were greeted at the fence door as is we had been part of the family for years and years. My new friend, with a big smile and a cooler glass filled with wine in tow, HIs wife and a wonderful Pug dog assuming what I will from now on reffer to the “Position” and two children out playing on the swing which took up most of the backyard except for the 12 x 20 deck nestled between both houses.. The position I mentioned above is what I call a perfected art or poise of relaxation.
I Always reffered to this PIcture as “Whos Who”
Sounds of Music wafting through the air wrapping itself around the blanket of smoke I can now see a Big Green Egg. With its soft shape sitting flushwith the brick wall sitting atop a pillar of cinder blocks it throws a non imposing shadow as it billows smoke with such little effort. Wow that is something and I see why it gets it name. He doesnt say much just lets me take it in. Matt he says, this is the big green egg.
There it was an odd shape indeed. It subtle green hue, its unobtrusive shape, its flowing curves. She was beautiful.
As I gaze lightly around the yard I see other shapes, another with a subtle line of smoke ascending from its small and unobtrusive shape. I see that Tims chair is even with and sits against the same wall as the egg and is only an arms reach away both facing the portable TV which was always muted with a baseball or hockey game on it while the outdoor speakers filled the place with the sounds needed to fill the gaps in time.
How many do you have I asked? How many he say, well lets go on a tour…Weve got the big green egg here, and over here hidden by the coy fish pond and plants is Suzie (his bullet Somker) Over here by the gate you just came in at is the Giant Webber Kelltle, back over here is my sons small simpson hibacci, on the opposite side of the deck is the mini BGE, and over here is what started it is a Grill Dome I bought some 15 years ago at a yard sale. (mind you this is on a 12X20 deck) Wow…..Is that all I said in jest, well actually Tim thinks no, I forgot to show you Brutus and he leads me through the myriad of grills to the back fence door and opens it up and here sits his 500Lb Drum Smoker on wheels.
As we admire the line up and head back to where the she wolves have taken it upon themselves to get aquatinted as we set off on our tour accidentally forgetting to introduce them and start the conversation, typical men were told…
He begins what will be hours of conversation with something I will always remember. He hands me a chair, tells me to get another beer as he refills his faded red liter size cup. And says come sit lets enjoy there is no hurry.
I said well the grills are going do we need to do anything, no his retort, they will take care of themselves. Hey said to me Matt if your going to get an egg and learn to cook on it your going to have to learn one thing….He turns his gaze from the baseball game and looks at me and says…..Slow and Low my Brother, Slow and Low, cooking and Backyard living is about enjoyment.
I felt like grasshopper on Kung fu.
That night were were treated to a myriad of foods and flavors one of which is still our favorite. Very very Terriyaki made by Soy Vay. He did a pork loins, Chicken Thighs, Legs, Steak some sausages, and boudin and more. All of which was eaten at leasure with finger dipping bowls and dipping souces and spices. All was cut up on a large butcher block on the outdoor table and any and all we welcome to sample any and all.
As we sat and ate neighbors walking around and more of their friends started showing up. If you walked by and looked in you were always invited for a drink and a taste of good food, music, wine and most importantly, friends.
We had a wonderful night, and I could write more about it. As we left my wife turned to me and said when are we getting one of those with a smile. My fear of her being mad from the 400 I had spent the weekend prior was gone. She said a I dont care what you spend on that thing as long as you make it taste like what we just had. We were hooked, on it and the life…
We went out the next morning and bought our first Big Green Egg.
Thanks BGE, for being at the center many good times spent in mine and others back yards and the many others weve brought into the fold over the years.
Simplicity, relax, good friends, good drink, good music and assume the position, and most importantly
Slow and Low…….
God Bless All and have a safe and Happy Holiday