So Frank Bruni, the now former restaurant critic for The New York Times, confesses in his new memoir Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater (Penguin Press, 2009) that he had an unhealthy childhood obsession with food including years of being a fat guy, overeating, and bulimia. Well, he got over it and got the most coveted job in the food world. And now that he’s stepped down, boom! a memoir that gets great media coverage in his own newspaper (surprise!) and everywhere else we’ve turned.
This reminds me of R.B. He became obsessed with fire and smoke as an over-achieving Eagle Scout at 13. Years of grilling everything. Fire pit this, smoker that. He got over it too. It’s all in his memoir cookbook (co-authored by me) Cheater BBQ. No longer a barbecue purist, R.B. now includes all-natural liquid smoke as a high quality convenience for smoky flavor. Even better, just like Mr. Bruni, R.B.’s life and relationships (like with me) are happier and stronger.
It is funny to think that a guy like R.B. wrote a book called Cheater BBQ.
Mister “Let’s make a fire. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a fire? Let’s go outside and make a fire. Man, that’s a really nice cord of wood. I really prefer pecan over hickory in some applications. I think I need another grill. Yeah, that’s my maul. Min, I’m really considering a big green egg. No, I can tell that piece of hickory is bitter. All you really need are a good pair of welding gloves and some tongs. It’s all about the coals. I really love my rectangular Coleman fire pit. I think I’ll order a spare. There’s this great guy who makes smokers out of old hot water heaters…”
R.B. still takes his smoke seriously.
Aah, the journey. Hey Frank, now that the expense account is gone. Come on over for some barbecue. Reasonable portions, of course. And plenty of fresh seasonal side dishes. Maybe we’ll cheat, maybe we won’t. We’re free in so many ways.