My mom and dad are both professors at the Southeastern Louisiana University. My dad is also a member of the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. As a result, they know many, many college boys. And because my parents are good people with generous spirits, they invite said college boys over several times a year for dinner, and perhaps some singing afterwards. After all , it is a music fraternity, and there's poetic justice in making them sing for their supper.
For some, it's the only home cooked food they get all semester and they all bring their appetites. We're talking an average of 20 college guys...they are like locusts. So Mama and Daddy plan big, usually with several pots of gumbo or chili or maybe a few large pork loins. Whatever the meal, it fulfills two qualifications: large quantities of food and high quality.
This time, they decided to serve the guys Texas BBQ. And let's be honest...if you're going to serve real BBQ, it needs to be from Texas. What this means is brisket....lots and lots of brisket. I have a friend who specializes in smoking briskets, so she and her husband cooked two for my parents. This meant that my dad made a flying trip over here to pick up the meat, which worked out really well for me because he left a flat of strawberries in my refrigerator.
Which I have eaten my way through quite nicely, I might add.
Here is a picture of the fruity goodness I prepared the way I love them best...cut up with sugar sprinkled on top. For you city girls out there, a flat of strawberries is 12 pints. I've eaten 1/2 a flat all by myself in 3 days. You do the math.
It's strawberry season back home. The Strawberry Festival is this weekend, and it's one of my favorite times of the year. A flat of berries goes for about $12, so all of you poor souls paying $3.99 or better for a stinkin' pint are in my prayers.
Once I've had my fill of berries (oh, I kid), I take the rest and slice them, add sugar and freeze them in big gallon bags to defrost at a later date and pour over Blue Bell ice cream. Seriously people, I am blessed. I come from Louisiana with her gumbos, etouffees and creoles, but I am blessed to live in Texas with her BBQ, Tex-Mex and Blue Bell ice cream. It is truly a gift, yea, verily verily.
But I digress. Mama called me after the dinner was over and I had to laugh at the Louisiana boys who had never seen real BBQ. When Mama set the brisket down in front of them, they were confused, bless their hearts.
"What's this?" they asked.
Poor, deprived children. It's sad really. They've gone 18-20 years without experiencing the heaven that is a piece of perfectly smoked, beef brisket.
After a few tentative bites, my understanding was that there was a veritable stampede to get to the buffet for more of this strange, tasty meat. Mama had to convince them to take pickle slices and onions along with the meat to complete the experience. In spite of their initial hesitancy, nary a scrap was left after the hoard descended. Mama and Aunt Gail had to secretly whisk away a few bites so they would have something to eat.
So, in conclusion, I have the very best of both worlds. I need to get back to my bowl of strawberries now.