Monday, May 26, 2008


My friend Jai asked me last Friday what I had planned for Memorial Day weekend.

"Agatha and I are driving to Wisconsin for International Smoke Day."

"What's that?"

"It's the one day each year that all owners of Weber Smoky Mountain smokers are supposed to fire up the pits and surround the earth with a smoke ring. A guy that I kinda know is having a cookout for the occasion."

"Have you met this guy?"

"Not really. I just sorta know him through the Internet."

[Snorts] "You've never met him? What if he kills you and chops you into pieces."

[Pondering for a moment] "Well... for sure he'd make me taste good."

Quite honestly, I wasn't worried. I have so far had proper, non-virtual, sight-unseen encounters Mr. and Mrs. The Big Finn, Ang, Nerd and Michael--and all have been most pleasant and cuddly.

So when Agatha and I met our host, The Headless Blogger, we were not surprised to find that he greeted us with a pair of bbq tongs--rather than a blood-encrusted chainsaw.

And he not only has a head, but also a name: "Boney Dog."

Boney put on an unbelievable spread. A master class of Q. He had (I think) three WSM's chugging away, plus three Weber Kettle grills.

In the dead flesh category, he served spare ribs, babyback ribs, brisket, burnt ends, chicken thighs, chicken breasts, a smoked turkey and Atomic Camel Turds (i.e., an almond stuffed into a date, stuffed into a jalapeño, wrapped with bacon and then smoked).

All world-class Q.

Approximately forty other guests converged on the Boney Dog compound--hungry for Q.

Boney Dog and Agatha--he, taking a break from smoking; she, taking a break from gorging.

This is a mere fraction of the side dishes that accompanied the Q. There was pasta salad with tomato and basil, black bean and corn salad, an outrageous macaroni and cheese ('s Wisconsin, yah hey der'!), baked beans, creamy cole slaw, an assortment of fresh fruits, a selection of Q sauces, and hey! What's that thingee at the bottom right corner of the table.

Why, my god! It's a durian! How in the name of G. Gordon Liddy did a durian appear on the fruit table?!!!
Boney Dog eats a durian, and wow! He likes it. Actually, probably a dozen of the guests tasted the durian, and most liked it.

To quote Boney's brother, "That smelly stuff was pretty good."

Slicing a perfectly smoked brisket.

Boney's wife, Bobbi, is a way talented dessert cook. To spice things up, she prepared a wide assortment of Jello shots. Choices included mojoto, piña colada, tequila sunrise, root beer float, chai, pear, and...oh, I don't know. About a thousand others.

For dessert, she offered a "Build your own Tart" bar that had everyone's heads spinning. I dove into the rhubard mousse and didn't come up till morning.

I beg to differ. White men can, indeed, smoke.

The day after, Agatha and I stopped at a few roadside joints to stock up on cheese ('s Wisconsin, yah hey der'!). I've never been able the resist the kitsch-o-liscious allure of roadside dives. Here we see Bobby Nelson's. Alas, Bobby has left for that great wrestling ring in the sky, but the dive that bears his name still dishes the goods.

Well...Ok. Perhaps just a wee bit more cheese, please. It's not for me. It's for Venti.

UPDATE:  To see Boney Dog's report on the event (and more pix, including food porn), go HERE and HERE.