Get in line. For more than two decades, first at Lew’s and now at Randy’s Bar-B-Que, the brisket and legendary stuffed peppers have had people lined up at the little stand at the intersecting corner of Spur 503 and Texoma Parkway in Denison.
At the Old Mining Camp, the brisket is smoked under a cloud of secrecy as carefully protected as the map to the mother lode. Owners Darrell and Rebecca Harris do not share their method of smoking or the kind of wood they use with anybody. This, they say, is the key to their success. Judging by the number of cars that pack the little stand’s parking lot most weekdays, they’re doing something right.
When Texas Monthly came calling and tried the brisket and ribs served by Wayne Ooten and his son and partner, Kevin at the OO Smokehouse (that’s OO as in Oh! Oh!), the magazine was duly impressed, and Texoma had its first entry on the Texas Monthly list of Top 50 barbecue spots in the Lone Star State. It was high praise indeed.
In the lands discovered by Lemuel Gulliver, the Lilliputians and the Blefuscudians went to war over which end of a soft-boiled egg to crack at breakfast time. Americans haven’t reached that level of passion over food quite yet, but standoffs over barbecue or barbeque or bar-b-q—even the spelling is in question—can produce disputes that fall just short of blows.
Not so long ago, if you had just finished off a bag of Barbara’s Burgers in Bells on a warm summer day, you might have topped things off with a snow cone from Melissa Perkins’ stand across the road. Her snow-cone stand, called Perk’s, became a landmark of its own in the small town.
The first true sandwich arrived when John Montague (1718-1792), the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, called for the kitchen at his favorite gambling club to bring him meat tucked between two slices of bread so he would not have to interrupt the game. (He probably was losing. When you are winning you want to interrupt the game and take home the cash.) Montague, whose middle name was not Reuben, tried to draw to an inside straight and was forgotten save for his gift to the sandwich noshing world.
Chili is always a treat. How do we enjoy this traditional southwestern staple without all the fat and calories?
“A bowl of blessedness,” that is what Will Rogers called chili, and the motto of the Chili Appreciation Society International insists that “The aroma of good chili should generate rapture akin to a lover’s kiss.” Chili is good any time, but when winter’s chilly winds blow, a bowl of red is of special comfort.
Whether it is green, black, white, or oolong, what makes it true tea is the shrub it comes from, Camellia sinensis. Legend says that in 2737 B.C. Shen Nunn, the second emperor of China, discovered tea accidentally when leaves from the Camellia sinensis bush blew into some boiling water. Others claim that Shen Nunn experimented with herbal infusions of many kinds.
Diaries from Maine in the late 1700s contain many references to tea in the afternoon, served with pie or cake, but it was not until 1840 that Anna Stanhope, Duchess of Bedford, introduced tea as an afternoon snack and social event in England. Teatime became a ritual that many in Britain still follow today, while in America, tea parties are an echo of the past.