Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What to get the que’er on your list .....

......(or yourself) for Christmas

Wow, I blinked my eyes and its Christmas again, seems like the older I get, the faster they come around. Of course it doesn’t help that holiday displays have beeen in the stores since 4th of July or so it seems. If you ask me, it wasn’t all that long ago when what has become to be known now as “Black Friday” was the official start of the holiday season. Now it seems retailers are fighting to see who can open the earliest on Black Friday or Thanksgiving Thursday for that matter, but I digress; the purpose here is supposed to be to suggest a gift for that special pit master in your life not to rant about the current trends in the retail and advertising industries.

This season’s selections,as you will see, are all books. I have a particular affinity for the printed word for obvious reasons and am also a collector of sorts. My wife would say I was a borderline hoarder, but when I see a barbecue or cookbook in general that piques my interest, I grab it. In my ever shrinking mind, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, they are timeless. What better way to spend a snowy Sunday afternoon than relaxing by the fireplace sipping a beverage of choice and enjoying a book on your favorite topic? Short of firing up the ole smoker, I can think of nothing better.

The books below are just a few of my recommendations; several of the authors have other titles available, many of which could also be added to the list. I hope you will enjoy giving a few if not all of them a read, if you haven’t already.

Famous Dave's Barbecue Party Cookbook: Secrets of a BBQ Legend by Famous Dave Anderson. Written by a guy who operates nearly 200 restaurant locations around the Country and still has time to visit and sometimes compete or judge numerous barbecue contests, this guy is a walking talking que ambassador. Over 100 recipes are included.

Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint by Chris Lilly- In addition to a ton of great recipes, the book includes a lot of detail about the history of the Decatur, Alabama landmark as well as que in general. Chris even includes the recipe for Big Bobs famous barbecued chicken with white sauce.

America's Best BBQ - Homestyle: What the Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards by Ardie Davis and Chef Paul Kirk. Appetizers, breakfast foods, chicken, ribs, salads, seafood and desserts, you’ll find it all within these pages. Paul and Ardie plied the barbecue world and chronicled what many competition pitmasters prepare when cooking at home on their own grills and smokers.

Peace, Love, & Barbecue: Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue by Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe. One of the first que books I ever bought, this has become one of the “go to” selections in my collection. Clocked full of history, lore, stories, anecdotes and recipes, this is a must read by anyone who spends even a small amount of time watching the sweet blue smoke rise from their cooker.

Everyday Barbecue: At Home with America's Favorite Pitmaster by Myron Mixon.
Anytime you can get 150 recipes from the winningest man in barbecue all crammed into one book for your collection how could you go wrong? Myron breaks down the outdoor cooking experience and offers advice for everyone from the beginner to the most experienced pitmaster.

Slow Fire: The Beginner's Guide to Barbecue Hardcover by Ray "DR. BBQ" Lampe The good “Doctor” has done it again; Ray is the author of numerous barbecue books, all of which are well worn stalwarts of my personal collection. This, his latest offering, breaks down the art of slow cooking in a way that is the perfect guide for those wanting to learn the craft as well as those who would consider themselves ‘seasoned.’ The knock on this book as far as I am concerned is the photography, it is TOO GOOD! When flipping through I find myself becoming obsessed with the images, which then causes me to break out my cooker in a feeble attempt to replicate. I will have to admit though; it has been a lot of fun trying.

I suppose some shameless self-promotion is in order here. With that in mind, there is one more book I would like to mention for your possible consideration. Totally Q: An Insider's Look at the Crazy World of BBQ by George Hensler This is a collection of assorted BBQ facts, factoids, quotes, anecdotes and stories all about cooking in the great outdoors. The book is an easy read and is great for that barbecue cook on your list that knows everything, or at least thinks he does, just like the author.

Well, there you have it, my Christmas list for the upcoming gifting season. It is by no means complete, as I could go on and on and on but with your eyes, brain cells and schedule in mind, I reluctantly will not. I would, however, like to take a minute to wish all of my readers, their families and friends a happy, healthy and safe holiday season. Merry Christmas and God Bless us everyone!

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