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Poor Snobs

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  • Karon Adams
    Charter Member
    • Feb 2015
    • 1515
    • Chattanooga TN
    • Karon Adams
      Consort of the Flame
      Cooking is a Sacred Endeavour
      Big Poppa's Drum conversion
      Maverick wireless meat & grill thermometers
      Thermopen Instant Read Thermometer
      Pit IQ blower

    Poor Snobs

    I’ve been thinking about the title “Poor Snob” which is one I have also bestowed upon myself, and what I really mean by that.

    I’m not a socialist, in any way. I have NO problem with rich people in and of themselves. I am a firm believer that a man who does nothing but bathe in champagne all day gives a job to a grape stomper. No, poor people would have no one to buy their offerings if rich people had no money. I watched a historical romance once and the rich boyfriend offered to buy his new love everything a store had on display. She demurely tells him her tastes are more simple and she would prefer that he merely buy the one small, simple item. I never saw that scene the way it was intended. Oh, isn’t the guy generous, oh, isn’t the girl so virtuous, I saw a shopkeeper, standing in the back going, “SHUT UP WOMAN!”

    When one considers true craftsmanship, one realizes that only those who HAVE wealth can afford a hand inlaid wooden box, a chest covered in fruits carved from semi precious stones or the famous paintings of the old masters (remember, when they painted, they weren’t the old masters but relied on wealthy commissions to feed themselves).

    So, rich people have their place in the art and craft and even economic world in that they, too, help to drive things.

    But, I think that when you make something, and you make it special, you resent it being taken and remade and thus called “Better”. There is no doubt that a piece of wagyu brisket will be a better piece of meat in the end than your average Sam’s meat counter cryovac. Some things, no matter what you do with them, you can’t ruin them.

    Poor Snob, in my case, is more about looking at the craftsmanship that goes into taking something that is lesser and making IT better. And that is where I make my case. I don’t have a problem with good equipment. I do want to use that whenever I can. I’d LOVE a really good, even heating oven that can be relied upon to always turn out the very best of baked goods and so on.


    I think my snobbishness on this topic is less about the money involved than the changes in purpose. We all want a great meal and heaven knows there are many ways to make one. This, however, is ours. The thing that we poor people (or those of us who grew up “Poor”) created. It’s our invention, our adaptation.

    I read a mockery of one of these buy & renovate shows on TV and the writer was mocking the moment in each show where they turn up the carpet and “WOW, yes, we’re in luck, there are hardwood floors under here!!”He actually makes the comment that NO ONE would ever cover a beautiful hardwood floor with ugly green shag carpet. But, to say that is to ignore truth and real history. The fact is, what we value today, in this case, beautiful hardwood, was once considered something ONLY poor people would have. People with money in the 60’s & 70’s ALWAYS used a rug or carpet of some kind because wood floors were cold. And, frankly, if you can’t afford a rug, who are you? the REALLY rich had “Wall to wall carpeting” oooh . la. La. Those my age or older will remember that phase in America.

    When I was a child, only poor people slept under quilts. Shoot, those things were made of scraps, you know. People of quality had blankets or down filled duvets. But, poor people, in an attempt to make their poor nice, made them with craftsmanship. And because they COULDN’T live in a throw away world, they made them quality. Today, the quilt my grandmother was ashamed of is one of my prized possessions. Only one panel remains but it is beautiful and, as I understand it, a pretty rare design. Today, it would be displayed on a wall. (one of my gripes with the TV program “The Americans” is they display a gorgeous quilt on their bedroom wall and NO ONE in the 70’s or 80’s would have done that)

    But, that brings me to how this connects to BBQ and cooking. Because we didn’t have other people to do our research FOR us (in the form of creating and making the very BEST cookers ever) we had to learn chemistry, and physics (in the form of how to preserve, how to slowly cook for the effect we wanted and how to manage airflow) and we created “Quality” (I say “we” but, of course, this was LONG before I ever entered the picture)

    I think we need to respect the way things came to be and why they came to be and what they represent. There’s a reason that the American Indians sold so much of the land for a few handfuls of beads. To them, and to most hunter gatherer people, beads represented long winter nights by a fire, slowly rolling and shaping stone or wood into what was a very unnatural shape. Then carefully drilling them and stringing them. None of this coud be done without the tribe, as a whole, having enough food gathered and put by to keep the winter nights warm and comfortable enough to do this kind of work.

    Understanding that value, what something actually represents, is the real key to understanding why some people do things. A wealthy person displays his wealth by buying the time of a craftsman. That is not to say he has no purpose. The wealthy person, by virtue of whatever he has done to create his wealth, is also displaying the fruits of his craft. Whether that craft be fixing a toilet or designing a golf course or curing a disease.

    I guess, in the end, the “Poor Snob” in me isn’t about money, it’s about respect. The respect to remember that BBQ, like a lot of other things, grew up out of necessity and innovation. Sadly, with technical advances, it become more available to the masses but loses its history in the process. Perhaps that is where I was headed.
    Last edited by Karon Adams; September 14, 2017, 12:32 PM.
  • JohnInLA
    Club Member
    • Sep 2017
    • 28
    • South Louisiana
    • At my age, it's perfectly acceptable to start a sentence with, 'At my age...'

    #2
    Your post deserves a more thoughtful reply than this quickie.

    One of the points you raise is one I mention often myself: the concept of "value." Many people I run into conflate "price" and "value" and, in the end, it often is linked. But that's at the consumer level -- the person trading a price (their money or effort or labor) for what they value (product or service.) It's popular for some to criticize folks with large sums of money for some of the choices they make, but (and I'll be charitable) I find that's often born out of distant observation, which divorces the opinion of personal experience. I like your examples because they point out fair exchanges of value for value, whether it's money or labor in exchange for an item.

    Comment


    • HouseHomey
      HouseHomey commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes sir.
  • BigCountryQ
    Club Member
    • Jan 2017
    • 352
    • Grand Rapids, Michigan

    #3
    Good read and very interesting perspective!

    Comment

    • customtrim
      Former Member
      • Dec 2016
      • 1119
      • stow ohio

      #4
      The world needs a few more Karon Adams

      Comment

      • Pirate Scott
        Club Member
        • Mar 2017
        • 1339
        • Clay, New York
        • - Plain old Charbroil Charcoal Grill
          - 26" Weber Kettle
          - Jack Daniels No7, Four Roses

        #5
        Thank You, I enjoyed reading that.

        Comment

        • bardsleyque
          Club Member
          • Oct 2015
          • 639
          • Snoqualmie Wa.

          #6
          always a pleasure to read your thoughts

          Comment

          • 6th Borough BBQ
            Former Member
            • Feb 2017
            • 411
            • Jersey City, NJ

            #7
            Is bathing all day in champagne the same as drinking bud light all day while attending to the smoker? I totally get it!

            Comment


            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              If ya' got th' wherewithal to do either one, than, yeah, it places ya' in a higher socio economic class than I grew up in, so, Yes would be yer answer....
          • ComfortablyNumb
            Club Member
            • May 2017
            • 3411
            • Northeast Washington
            • KBQ C-60
              PK360
              Thermoworks Smoke
              Thermoworks Thermopop
              Thermoworks Dot

            #8
            Originally posted by 6th Borough BBQ View Post
            Is bathing all day in champagne the same as drinking bud light all day while attending to the smoker? I totally get it!
            I'm still trying to make sense of this comment. Did you by chance transpose 'drink' and 'smoke'??

            Comment


            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              PO'd that there was no invite, if so...
              Jus sayin'
          • Brewmaster
            Charter Member
            • Oct 2014
            • 588
            • Santa Rosa, CA

            #9
            When and if you find an oven that holds temp, please let me know, I to have a quilt that was made to keep us warm, not hang on a wall, a lot of love and work went into it and there in lies the beauty of it.

            Comment

            • kmhfive
              Club Member
              • Mar 2017
              • 2988
              • Northern Illinois
              • Weber Kettle -- 22.5" (In-Service Date June 2015)
                Slow-n-Sear/Drip-n-Griddle/Grill Grates (In-Service Date March 2016)
                Pit Boss 820 (Retired)
                GMG Jim Bowie WiFi (In-Service Date April 2017)
                Maverick ET-733
                Fireboard
                Home-brewer

              #10
              Great work Karon Adams. I think you set a lot of nails in their place with your essay. I remember sleeping under several quilts at Gradma's in Union, TN as a boy. They wouldn't have helped hanging on a wall! BTW, those walls AND floors were hardwood and built to last generations!

              The Craftsman became such out of necessity. I'm content, however, for the rich to finally recognize that quality and pay extra for it. I just wish we spent more time in the 70's and 80's learning from the Craftsmen rather than listening to liberal artist "intellectuals" in College.

              In 2001, I was writing a speech for the Secretary of the Navy and he told me his "back-to-reality" story. He was newly married, managing an engineering team designing a navigation system for long-range bombers. At his FILs for Thanksgiving, he thought he'd impress his new family with a description of how long and hard his team worked to develop a way for this system to view and track stars in full daylight. His FIL said something to the effect that he'd done that all his life -- you see, digging water wells in Dallas required a really deep hole and it was cooler at the bottom than the top. So, his FIL are his lunch at the bottom. And, once the hole was deep enough, the aperatue at the top was so small that he could see stars passing overhead!

              We've lost a lot of knowledge in our pursuit of technology!
              Last edited by kmhfive; September 14, 2017, 07:09 PM.

              Comment

              • JCGrill
                Club Member
                • Mar 2017
                • 1800
                • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
                • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
                  Gas - Saber
                  Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
                  Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

                #11
                BBQ is making lemonade from lemons. Taking a lousy cut of meat and making the best of it. And as we all know, that takes time. The value in BBQ is the time spent. The purchase of such a product is (hopefully) a recognition that the cost of the product is worth the exchange because the purchaser doesn't have to invest the time. And given care and time, you can make a great product with low quality tools and components. My frustration comes in when people simply don't recognize these concepts. There is nothing wrong with paying someone to do something for you. There is nothing wrong with saving money by doing something yourself. Ridiculing the opposite side of the coin is wrong.

                Comment


                • HouseHomey
                  HouseHomey commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yup!

                • Karon Adams
                  Karon Adams commented
                  Editing a comment
                  amen to that. I hope i don't come across as ridiculing. I think I simply look for reasons why things are done, one of the classic French dishes is Coque a vin which is simply a farm wife's method of not wasting meat. I like to recognize the origins

                • JCGrill
                  JCGrill commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Karon Adams you most certainly do not. I agree with you completely.
              • PJBowmaster
                Former Member
                • Dec 2016
                • 548
                • Black Hills of SD

                #12
                Thanks Karon Adams That was a nice read with a number of very salient points!

                Comment

                • Jon Solberg
                  Former Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 4819

                  #13
                  Personally I'm great full for advances in technology. It has kept many more of us alive. It allows us to live past the age of 27. With teeth no less should we choose. I'm greatful for flush toilets. Forced air heat. Electric light. Air travel. Motor vehicles. Chain saws. The internet.


                  Ill admit. I think I'm totally missing the point of this all togeather.



                  Comment


                  • HouseHomey
                    HouseHomey commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Just post food pics😀😎

                  • kmhfive
                    kmhfive commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Running water and indoor toilets were a great addition -- it was always a difficult decision at 1:00 AM when you had to go out the back door to the outhouse and it was below freezing...somethings you don't want to remember. On the other hand, I've found that some of the chemistry used to preserve food is not helping my health.

                  • Karon Adams
                    Karon Adams commented
                    Editing a comment
                    no, you are right. I would never want to go back to living poor BECAUSE i had no choice. advances make the enjoyment of pure craftsmanship more full. I can have my wonderful home baked bread AND my back surgery, running water and HVAC. and its great!
                • HouseHomey
                  Club Member
                  • May 2016
                  • 5437
                  • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
                  • Equipment
                    Primo Oval xl

                    Slow n Sear (two)
                    Drip n Griddle
                    22" Weber Kettle
                    26" Weber Kettle one touch
                    Blackstone 36” Pro Series
                    Sous vide machine
                    Kitchen Aid
                    Meat grinder
                    sausage stuffer
                    5 Crock Pots
                    Akootrimonts
                    Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
                    cast iron pans,
                    Dutch ovens
                    Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
                    The help and preferences
                    1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
                    KBB
                    FOGO
                    A 9 year old princess foster child
                    Patience and old patio furniture
                    "Baby Girl" The cat

                    Erik S.

                  #14
                  Karon Adams way to make me feel terrible about not listening to the pit cast yet. That was beautifully written and your grammer is flawless (I think???) as I mention to Greg in the pit cast "I have been chasing my grandmas beans forever." I hate the word "hate" and the term "Rich People." I am rich but have only a few bucks. I want everything I have.

                  You made our creating juices flow and our mind consider. Nice work on your part. I am proud to be associated with you. There are many "cans of worms" in your post.

                  I love it
                  Erik

                  Comment

                  • Danjohnston949
                    Former Member
                    • Dec 2014
                    • 4418
                    • 1410 9th. St. N, Fargo ND

                    #15
                    Karon Adams, Like Mr. Bones shared with Me We were both Raised To Poor To Pay Attention❓ As far as Running Water if We Kicked our Little Brother in the A--s He Would Run With the Water Pail ergo Running Water without Additional Expense‼️ One Final Word of Wisdom I'll Pass on Came from My Uncle in Seattle via His 2nd Son Ronnie! The Day Before He Died(Unexpectedly) Mel Shared This Bit of Wisdom❓ "Remember Ron All You Really Need in this Life is an Old Truck and a Good Hunting Dog‼️ Sorry Karon I May Have Strayed a Bit from what You're Saying? I'll ReRead It‼️
                    Eat Well and Prosper! From a Backyard Cremator in Fargo ND, Dan

                    Comment


                    • Karon Adams
                      Karon Adams commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I like that one.

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