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Howdy from Austin, Texas

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    Howdy from Austin, Texas

    I have to first say, thank you all for your willingness to share your experience and knowledge. It has already helped me make better 'cue and that has brought happiness to many people.

    I've been unconsciously grilling meat for a couple of decades. Only in the last few years have I really considered what I was trying to achieve and been more thoughtful about the cooking process.

    I have the privilege of being the son of a large family, in which every meal was a celebration. I've come to appreciate the joy of people sitting together, sharing a meal. (The french have something on us here.) The compelling thing is how every meal can create memories. Food is a primal need, but it's also a prop for relationships. That memory is a little harder as we recently lost my mother...a few years after my dad passed. That will hopefully drive my 5 siblings closer together.

    My wife and I are the parents of 2 beautiful girls. At this time, our oldest is a 14-year old freshman in high school. That comes with as much uncertainty and angst for parents as much as the kid. But she is a thoughtful, caring and lovely young woman.

    Our youngest is a 12-year-old girl. She's a Special Needs kiddo, with significant cognitive challenges. It's likely we will care for her all of our lives. And while that sometimes brings sadness about unfulfilled opportunities, we are blessed with a beautiful, joyful, loving daughter. Her perspective on life is simple and uncomplicated, but her love for her family and friends isn't distracted. She has the greatest sense of humor and keeps us laughing daily. The Lord blesses in ways that are hard to explain in our own system of values.

    I learn about barbecue by smoking and grilling on the following hardware:
    • Pit Barrel Cooker
    • Weber 22" kettle
    • Weber Genesis (gas) grill
    The PBC is my weekend driver, when I have time to smoke something with ample time. Historically, I used the gas Weber on weekdays when time was restricted. It is certainly convenient. But after learning how to manage heat better, I have been making the shift back to charcoal. I use the 22" kettle cooker on weekdays the vast majority of the time. I especially use it with fish, where I cook salmon and halibut over indirect heat. Come to think of it, I don't think I've used the Weber gas grill in the past 4-5 months.

    I've made a couple of not-so-brief posts since joining The Pit and have been humbled by the response. I appreciate you guys taking the time to consider my ramblings and responding. I'd be honored to share a meal someday...

    Great intro Bill.

    My heart goes out to you for your 12 year old daughter. We visit the Children's Hospital in Dallas a few times a year with my youngest step-daughter. Mainly check-ups now. Breaks my heart to see so many kids with special needs, you wish you could just give them a day to experience and express themselves like we can. Definitely helps you realize how much we take for granted.

    God Bless, JB


    • ATXBill
      ATXBill commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Jerod. Every parent would crawl through broken glass for their children, I have no doubt. With special needs kids we are compelled to moderate expectations but never moderate effort. Investment to payoff isn't 1:1..it's 10:1. But that's OK. Every step these kids make is progress and there is no limit on the effort we'd make to get a single step forward.

      Emory gives us joy every day. I'm humbled by the beauty of her point of view and unyielding simple joy. An example:

      I woke Emory and got her ready for school, as I do most days. We were at the kitchen table having breakfast with dawn rising...warming the trees with light. She was mostly quiet. From nowhere, she said: "I'm having a fun life here."

      My heart melted.

      God bless you and yours.
      Last edited by ATXBill; February 6, 2015, 11:10 PM.

    • Jerod Broussard
      Jerod Broussard commented
      Editing a comment

    Hello Bill, Welcome to the Pit. It is an honor to meet you.


      Very touching intro post Bill, pleasure making your acquaintance! Look forward to more from you!


        Hey Bill Welcome to the Pit, I ve been to Austin once (it was an overnight trip for the place I worked for) so didn't get to see much between the airport warehouse and airport again, but I hear it's real nice. Look forward to swapping some ideas in the future.


          Bill, I'm down in Oak Hill. Glad you're aboard, and looking forward to hearing how your grilling/smoking is going.



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