writing

Happy Independence Day!

It’s the fourth of July, and today we celebrate the birthday of America and our independence from Great Britain.

Is there anything more patriotic in the realm of clothing that isn’t over the top than wearing a Grunt Style shirt? (I love their tees; they fit better than any other that I have, so much so that I have zero desire to order from another veteran owned/supporting company for fear of the shirts not fitting as good as Grunt Style’s; my only complaint about Grunt Style is that too many of their shirts are black… I have way too many black shirts.)

I don’t think so.

This was taken yesterday evening after shooting some basketball outside with Dana; she said the sweat stain on my shirt looked like a weird Batman logo!

I have more posts coming in the next few days. I was lucky to have spent the weekend with family (including hers, which is pretty much mine by default). We grilled burgers, sausages along with peppers and onions on Saturday and we smoked on Sunday.

The best part about it all was being together and enjoying each other’s company.

That is lost on many these days. As somebody who has been through more loss than most people through 26 years of life, I understand that it’s easy to become either cynical or lost on the fact that times are not timeless and that nobody is going to be here forever. However, living in the moment, laughing and having a good time with each other, with our loved ones… I don’t think anything is better. I’m happy to have done that this past weekend, and I’m grateful to live in a country like America, one that has afforded me the freedom to have made memories over the weekend.

To everybody reading, I hope you have a great, safe Fourth of July.

Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick-Rubbed Chicken Wings (And More)

Kurt Halls from Caribeque is making magic happen with his seasonings and rubs. Even his smack sauce. I haven’t tried the buffalo barbecue sauce he released over the last year or so, but I eventually hope to.

I bought a 3-pack of the Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick seasoning.

I’d never tried the Spicy Calypso Kick (nor the original Calypso Kick), but I bought the 3-pack on the merits of Caribeque alone. I love the Caribeque Honey Heat rub for pork and chicken as well as the Caribeque “Honey Heat” Smack Sauce that is incredible with just about anything (but with French fries or potato wedges is my favorite).

I gave one of the seasonings to my girlfriend Dana’s dad, the man who is responsible for giving us the Caribeque Honey Heat rub and Smack Sauce.

I was so eager to try out the Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick seasoning that I cut up three chicken breasts, liberally seasoned them with it and pan-fried them in my cast iron skillet with coconut oil. To my tastebuds, the seasoning isn’t very spicy; it’s more sweet than anything (even though it’s sugar free). I don’t know what kind of flavors are at play, but it has a delectable flavor profile that is generous to the tastebuds.

We made chicken tacos/burritos. I should’ve added some diced onions to mine, but I forgot (at the time) because I was so impatient, wanting to try this kickass seasoning! For some spice (I’m a spice fiend), I added Mrs. Renfros habanero salsa to the mix. What a great combination right there ~~ Mrs. Renfros habanero salsa and Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick. One company is based out of Texas (Mrs. Renfros) and the other is out of Florida (Caribeque), but they should collaborate on something!

Indoor cooking, using Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick: a success!

Firing up my STOK drum grill!

This past Thursday, I fired up my STOK drum grill!

I’d purchased a 14-ct family pack of chicken wings from Food Lion since they were a manager’s special item at about $7 bucks.

I’d planned for Thursday to be the day I’d do the grilled wings. You might think it’s blasphemy to grill wings instead of deep frying them, but who gives a shit? Good food is good food! I added some cherry wood to my coals for extra flavor.

I also cooked for my mother and my aunt. My mother despises chicken, so I grilled some burgers for them.

What happened was, I ended up being the only person eating the wings! That was fine by me. They turned out to be delicious. The cherrywood worked out perfectly with them. The Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick gave it a nice flavor all over the skin. It was some fine bird eatin’.

I love Caribeque products. Kurt Halls knows what he’s doing. I’ll be doing another post about them soon.

T-Town Wings (Talladega, Alabama) Review

A few weeks ago, I was in Alabama with my girlfriend, visiting her family and enjoying each other’s company. I love her family to death. They’ve showed nothing but love for me. My little lady and I met online, and I met all of her family at once in May 2015 when I drove to ‘Bama and stayed a few days. I’m grateful to have been taken in and accepted by a family who loves me. While my little lady and I aren’t married, there are a lot of people out there who have struggling relationships with their in-laws. To not deal with this is a relief. There’s a sense of security about being quasi-‘adopted’ by your little lady’s parents. Oh, and they also introduced me to outdoor cookin’, like smokin’ meats.

I’ve had this shirt for years and only wore it for the first time here.

Hole-in-the-wall type restaurants tend to deliver the best food in many cases, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because of a small team of close-knit employees working together in a concentrated way that makes the food taste so damn good, because it’s not some processed garbage being warmed up in a microwave or oven in mass quantities. That’s not to deign T-Town Wings, to call it a hole-in-the-wall place; it’s just to categorize it how it seems to be from the eye of the beholder.

T-Town Wings is a tiny place. There’s maybe about three or four (I can’t remember now) tables in there. They have a pretty damn big menu. I wish I would have taken a picture of it. You can order a whole Boston Butt for $28! But we weren’t there for pork shoulder. We were there for what the name implied. The little lady’s family ordered over 150-some wings. As a wing lover (I’m fatass-minded; I love just about all foods), it was like being in heaven.

The wings were placed in styrofoam boxes. We had to stop by Wal-Mart on the way home to eat ’em, to stop and get drinks. I had only ate at Jack’s (fast food restaurant that’s all over the upper bits of Alabama; so damn good) that day, chicken tenders and fries, and we’d spent the said day at the zoo, so I was famished. As a big eater, I wanted to tell them, “To hell with the drinks! Let’s go eat!” but I had to pretend to be civilized.

We’d ordered barbecue (I’m already going to say this: not my favorite, but I don’t like barbecue sauces on wings, anyway), sweet heat, Cajun (dry rub), hot, atomic (or fire… can’t remember what their ‘hottest’ flavor was) and lemon pepper. I figured the wings would be soggy since they were inside styrofoam boxes for a good bit, since we had to stop at Wally World.

The aftermath of at least 50 wings down yours truly’s ol’ hatch.

That was not the case (they were not soggy at all; very crispy!). I ate at least fifty wings. As stated earlier, I didn’t care for the barbecue albeit I ate a few. The sweet heat wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. I mean, hell yeah, it was good, but not my favorite. Lemon pepper isn’t my jam, either, even though it’s a favorite of my little lady’s… it just seems like the pepper is super strong in it, but I’ve never cared much for the flavor.

The atomic/fire or whatever the hottest flavor was, wasn’t as hot as I’d hoped it would be. It had an OK flavor, but it’s not something I’d care to get again.

The hot and Cajun dry rub flavors were easily my favorite. They had a nice flavor profile to them, and I enjoyed them immensely. I’d love to go back and get some more of the hot and Cajun. I could eat those daily and risk obesity.

I give T-Town Wings a thumbs up. I don’t know if the restaurant is family owned or not, but the man working was pretty damn nice to everybody. I assume he was the manager; he was getting everybody to work in synchrony, efficiently. Seemed, on the forefront, to be a damn good leader of those working in the kitchen. He was also respectful and courteous to all guests.

If, for whatever reason, you are in Talladega, check out T-Town Wings. You won’t be disappointed. I hope to make another return trip there next time I’m in ol’ ‘Bam’er.