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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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Mother-In-Law Ribs

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  • RAmorris
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 449
    • Winter Haven, Florida
    • Equipment:
      Thermoworks Chef Alarm Food and Smoker Thermometer
      2 Landmann 2 Drawer Vertical Water Smokers
      Backwoods G 2 Party Insulated Vertical Water Smoker
      Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition Offser Smoker
      Weber Spirit E-310 t Three Burner Gas Grill
      Char-broil Classic 4 Burner Gas Grill

    Mother-In-Law Ribs

    For the first 23 years I was married, my mother-in-law didn’t like or respect me, and she made it known to Kate and me. But now she is one of my biggest fans. How did I win her approval? With Meathead’s amazing ribs! Here’s the story.
    I was married to Kate on April 13, 1991 when I was 38, and Director of Fruit and Juice Procurement and Operations Planning for Tropicana. She was my third wife, and I had full custody of my two sons, Stephen (age 10) and Michael (age8) from my first marriage. Kate, 33 years old, had never been married. Her focus had been her career. Several years before I met her, she had been the Senior Economist for PepsiCo’s international supply operations in Valhalla, New York. When I met her in 1990 at a business conference where we were both speakers, she was an Agricultural Economist for the USDA, with responsibilities for the situation and outlook for US fruit and tree nuts, and the economic analysis of international trade agreements such as NAFTA and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Her father, Bill Buckley, was retired from a 30-year career in the US Navy, and her mother, Mary Kate, was an internal auditor for the US Library of Congress.
    Kate’s mother thought that it was a bad idea for Kate to marry a man with two young children and two ex-wives. And abandon her promising career with the USDA to move to Bradenton, Florida and help me raise my sons. She didn’t think the marriage would last. But in April Kate and I will celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary. Click image for larger version

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    For our honeymoon, I took Kate to Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas, where I had rented a cabin and boat. After our first weekend together, she told me that she wanted just the two of us to be alone on a tropical island, and this was my way of granting her wish. After Kate and I returned from our honeymoon, I overheard her talking over the phone to her mother about it, then I heard Kate reply, “Allen wasn’t too cheap to take me to a resort where I could be waited on and pampered. Mother, our honeymoon was incredibly romantic, like my dreams come true! On one side of the small island we were on was the ocean with large crashing waves, and on the other side, only about 150 feet away, was the calm crystal blue bay. He rented a boat and we ate in rustic waterside restaurants, caught fish and cooked them over a fire on the deserted beach. It was wonderful!”
    In October, six months after Kate and I were married, I had citrus by-product sales, an $85 million a year in sales profit center, added to my responsibilities. My salary was increased by 20% and I got a bonus that was 35% of my new salary. I took Kate to Café L’Europe, a gourmet restaurant in Sarasota, to celebrate, and presented her with a set of diamond earrings as dessert and coffee were being served. When she called her parents to tell them about the raise, bonus and earrings, her mother said I was just trying to show off and that I should have saved that money for our retirement.
    In January of 1994 we went to visit Kate’s parents before I flew on to Boston where I would be presenting a paper that I had written about risk management in the citrus business at the Harvard Business School. At dinner, Kate’s mother asked, “How much is Harvard paying you to present your paper?”
    “Nothing, mother, Kate replied. It’s an honor to be invited to present a paper at the Harvard Business School.”
    “Well, at least you will get to stay and visit while he goes to Boston,” Mary Kate said
    In September of 1996, I was offered the number two position at Cutrale Citrus Juices USA. This company was created when the Coca-Cola Company took my advice as a consultant (I was no longer at Tropicana) and sold their citrus processing plants in Auburndale and Leesburg, Florida to Sucocitrico Cutrale, the largest citrus grower, processor, and exporter in the world, based in Araraquara, Brazil. Cutrale had also been Coke’s orange juice supplier since the 1960s. With my much higher salary, in January 1997 I bought a one-acre lot on Lake Ruby in Winter Haven and told Kate she could build her dream house on it, which she did. Her parents had recently retired and moved to Savannah and built their dream house. When they came to visit after we had moved into our new house, her mother said, “I bet the mosquitos and other insects are terrible living on a lake. You should have insisted that Allen get a lot in a golf course community.”
    “Mother the mosquitos and other insects in this area are controlled by aerial spraying. We have lived here for five months and I haven’t been bitten once.”
    “Well, I still would have preferred a golf course community if I were you.” I finally gave up on winning my mother-in-law’s approval.

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    On New Year’s Eve in 2014 I was in our driveway smoking ribs and chicken for a party that night with our son, Stephen, daughter-in-law Beth, and Kate’s parents. Stephen and Beth were inside and Kate’s parents dove up while I was tending to the meat on the smoker. Mary Kate walked up and said, “I didn’t know that you knew how to barbecued on a smoker.”
    “I’ve been doing it for 30 years, but my knowledge and skills have recently increased substantially as a result of what I have learned from the amazing ribs website about barbecuing, and from the Pitmaster Club, which I recently joined.”
    “Well, I’ll let you know what I think when I try the ribs,” Mary Kate said doubtfully.
    At dinner, she tasted one of the ribs, and exclaimed, “Oh, Allen, these ribs are marvelous! My father barbecued ribs and they were excellent, but not nearly as good as these.! Kate, you better not let this wonderful man get away.”
    The next morning around 7:00 I went to the kitchen to fix coffee for everyone, and Mary Kate was having reheated ribs for her breakfast. When I walked in she said, “Allen, I just can’t get enough of these wonderful ribs!”
    “Tell you what,” I said. “I’ll fix two slabs for you and Bill to take home with you when you leave.”
    “Really, that’s great! You’re the best son-in-law anyone could ever want!”
    The Saturday before this past New Year’s Eve, Kate’s parents were coming to visit for a few days. They’re 85 years old now, and we all know this will be their last visit to see us because they are getting too old for the six-hour drive from Savannah. So I smoked a pig on my Lang smoker. After they arrived, while they were relaxing, my son, Stephen, came out and helped me take up the pig, which had been on the smoker for about seven hours. Then I came into the house and said, “Mary Kate, I’ve been barbecuing all day just for you.”
    “Ribs don’t take that long, what did you fix, a brisket?”
    “Come see.”
    “When she saw the pig, tears came to her eyes.”
    “I fixed this especially for you,” I said. She hugged me and said I was the best son-in-law in the world.

    When nothing I did for 23 years would win my mother-in-law’s approval, we accidentally discovered that we shared a love of great barbecue. And that brought us together. Thank-you, Meathead, and thank-you to the staff at Amazing Ribs for all that I learned from you.

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  • AmosMoses01
    Club Member
    • Jun 2018
    • 187
    • Round Rock, TX
    • New Orleans born, Mississippi raised, empty nester, living in Central Texas for 20+ years - looking to buy my first pellet smoker. Awed by the info on this site already!

    What an awesome story! Thanks for sharing! BBQ as a love language, Gary Chapman is going to have to add that as a sixth love language!


    • jecucolo
      Club Member
      • Nov 2015
      • 1246
      • Schertz Texas
      • Pit Barrel Cooker
        Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
        Weber 22" Kettle (Craiglist)
        Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
        Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
        Maverick ET-732
        Kingsford Original Charcoal
        Kingsford Competition Charcoal
        Anova Sous Vide

      A great story. Your patience and perseverance won the day. Congratulations! And that pig looks amazing!


      • NapMaster
        Club Member
        • Jan 2019
        • 589
        • Denham Springs, LA
        • WebberSummitGold6burnerLP, ShotGunSmoker

          Avid Armor Vacuum Sealer

        Great story and congrats on 28 years. Sometimes it is tough winning them over. As the late Chief Dan George said in the movie The Outlaw Josie Wales, "Endeavor to Persevere".


        • Errol Wayne
          Club Member
          • Oct 2017
          • 27

          Don't get no better than that! Make sure you pass that onto the kids.


          • mrteddyprincess
            Club Member
            • Sep 2018
            • 329

            Enjoyed reading your story! Congrats on a successful marriage and finally cracking one very tough nut!


            • Steve B
              Club Member
              • Jun 2016
              • 2899
              • Rockland county New York
              • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
                Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

                22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

                Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

                1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
                1 maverick et-733 - gray
                1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
                1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
                1 thermoworks thermopop - red

                Pre Miala flavor injector
                taylor digital scale
                TSM meat grinder
                chefs choice food slicer
                cuisinhart food processor
                food saver vacuum sealer
                TSM harvest food dehydrator

              As mentioned above. Great story. Funny how good food can bring people together. Glad you have a happy family now.


              • Skip
                Founding Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 3135
                • Blue Earth, Minnesota
                • MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

                Allen and Kate, Congratulations on your upcoming 28th Anniversary! Glad that you have the in-laws on your side now. Good Job. Smoke on!


                • RonB
                  Club Member
                  • Apr 2016
                  • 12364
                  • Near Richmond VA
                  • Weber Performer Deluxe
                    Pizza insert
                    Smokenator 1000
                    Cookshack Smokette Elite
                    2 Thermapens
                    lots of probes.

                  Wow! What a wonderful story. I'm glad things finally worked out. Great looikn' pig too.


                  • scottranda
                    Charter Member
                    • May 2015
                    • 1694
                    • Charlotte, NC

                    My MIL likes her steak done to about 190 degrees...


                    • FireMan
                      FireMan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Dead and kilt. 🕶

                    • RonB
                      RonB commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Just serve her some charcoal - she won't be able to tell the difference...
                  • FireMan
                    Charter Member
                    • Jul 2015
                    • 7502
                    • Bottom of Winnebago

                    Isn’t it Amazing? Congrats on your anniversary! Great story, keep the smoke a comin!


                    • JPGators17
                      Charter Member
                      • Jan 2015
                      • 450
                      • Orlando, FL

                      What an awesome story, thanks for sharing! I don't live too far from Winter Haven, so you might want to chain lock that Lang down.


                      • gcdmd
                        Charter Member
                        • Sep 2014
                        • 973
                        • The Republic of Texas

                        It's always good to see you on the boards, Allen. Thank you for another great post. Keep 'em comin'.


                        • Hulagn1971
                          Charter Member
                          • Dec 2014
                          • 996
                          • NC, The Triad
                          • WSM 22.5", Pitmaster IQ110, Weber 22.5" Kettle with SNS, Weber 14" Smokey Joe.

                          Fantastic story!


                          • Troutman
                            Club Member
                            • Aug 2017
                            • 7200

                            • OUTDOOR COOKERS

                              BBQ ACCESSORIES

                              WOOD & PELLET PREFERENCES

                              SOUS VIDE

                              INDOOR COOKWARE

                            Thanks for sharing your life's story/adventure. I love the fact that you came to terms with you MIL as a result of good barbeque !! BTW I love your Lang, nice cooker !!!




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                            Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Space is limited to 400, secure your spot by booking early!
                            Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis)
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