Homesick Pitmaster 01.1


Elder, thimble and blueberry. Maybe it was the week spent in the vastly open Montana wilderness. Maybe it was eating too many wild berries that I knew with 80% certainty were edible. Or maybe it was the fresh mountain air and glaringly bright sun. Whatever it was, I might be a little loony-swoony after our vacation because I really took to heart my dedicated dream to be a womanly beast pitmaster. You heard me right: womanly, and beastly, and most importantly, pitmasterly.

Everforward. I have been saying to my husband for the last year that I think it would be fulfilling to build life around the table with friends and family – as a way of life and as a profession. The two blur together very nicely in my head. The trouble is I let money keep me from buying that first smoker. I have a do it yourself attitude that makes building one possible and I keep waiting until I have a legitimate toolshed and yard for my dream to materialize. I don’t want to wait any longer and this is my testament! I grew up tasting all the BBQ from the Texan pitmaster gods as my family would drive to obscure places in order to taste greatness. Literally, an entire roadtrip centered around eating – that was our traditional pasttime and way of spending quality time. That is unique to the Texan and Holly side of me that many here do not share or quite understand. That side is a story worth telling. The essence of life to me is sharing a meal with the ones I love because it brings me the greatest joy. Sharing my kitchen and eats with kindred spirits is what I like most and how I spend my free time – which brings me to our Northwest move and new home.

Texan blood. Seattle has a serious shortage of decent BBQ and southern hospitality. I think to myself on this Montana trip that I need to take steps towards my dream and did so by purchasing SMOKE in Portland on our way back home. Photographed by a friend of ours, Jody Horton, I couldn’t resist after its release earlier this year. I got the only copy at Powells and read it front to back on the drive home after eating here. I had some recipes to concoct and a new found drive to experiment. Tonight was a first – with my fresh garden produce picked this morning – I had green beans, squash and way too many tomatoes. Everything fit together just right. I even had 2 ears of corn to roast!


Fire roasted tomato salsa from my giant and ready to burst tomatoes


Spicy BBQ Paprika rub


Pork steaks in orange-lemon-beer droppings. Say what? AND paired with one of these babies?

The flavors melded together like a spark of excitement and danced on my tongue. Very bold and very vibrant.