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Peace, Love, and Barbecue    by Mike Mills & Amy Mills Tunnicliffe order for
Peace, Love, and Barbecue
by Mike Mills
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The term Barbecue must be properly defined. It is not, as popularly believed, the backyard cooking that produces grilled meat. True barbecue is a 'savory and succulent slab of meat that has been ... smoked over charcoal and wood at medium low temperatures ... The mechanism used to do so is known not as a barbecue but as a pit, a smoker, or a cooker.' The resulting social affair, consuming the meat, would be called 'a pig picking, a rib-off and so on. If done on a large scale, it might be called a barbecue cook-off or festival.'

Now that we're straight about that, let's move on to the lip-smacking recipes in Peace, Love, and Barbecue. The pages of this satisfactorily thick book look as though they have been brushed with what the authors call Magic Dust which can be used on 'anything but ice cream' (recipe on page 67.)Many family photos are featured, along with preparation tips on virtually every page. With recipes from all over these good old United States, this cookbook abounds with the best of the best. Interesting facts crop up from section to section; such as: 'The town of Lockhart (Texas) has a population of 11,000 and four outstanding barbecue joints: Kreuz, Smitty's, Black's, and Chisholm Trail. Combined, they serve over 250,000 a year.'

A man I know who hails from Columbia, South Carolina, fixes the best barbecue I've ever had, using a cooker and his very own sauce. But this awesome cookbook makes me want to start at the very first location mentioned and work my way through to the end. Wow! What a thought. Oh, yeah. The recipes. Well, they range from Wilton's Collard Greens or Eades Family Banana Pudding to Paul Kirk's Kansas City Brisket. From Auchmutcy Family's Brunswick Stew (Domesticus) to Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad and Mock Ridgewood Barbecue Sauce.

I think the most important part of this really fun cookbook is the serious information set in print. We're informed how to light a fire and what woods to use for various flavors. What to look for in the meat we choose. There's a Temperature Guide. And some long held secrets for producing the most perfect and delectable barbecue. Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe, the barbecue aficionados of the world thank you.

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