Tomorrow is moving day. We both have colds. Our daughter is on a camping trip, oblivious, which means now I have to tote her stuff, too. She’s 11, and as such no longer gets a free pass – she’s an extra pair of hands.
Anyway, despite the enormous amount of crabbing and griping and sniping over this move – as in, one of us groping blindly in the middle of the night through packed boxes for cough syrup – in Kansas, there’s one thing you can count on that will always get you through.
And it’s not wheat.
It’s barbecue. Glorious drippy, smoky barbecue. “Extra moist,” my mother-in-law likes to tell the waiters, which here means “extra rich,” and that actually means “extra fat, please.”
When you think your head might pop off, barbecue is what you need. Its otherworldly deliciousness will screw your head on straight, because your mouth wants to be there for every bite.
And I’m not talking just any barbecue. We had the good fortune to (a) have my mother in from Chicago to help us pack, which she did, admirably, and (b) have her leave, which meant taking her to the airport, always a good excuse to stop by world-famous Arthur Bryant’s on the way back.
The picture above is just a beef barbecue sandwich – but with all due respect to my native Chicago’s Italian beef, Arthur Bryant’s cheerfully provides you with the best beef sandwich you will ever eat. And seasoned fries. And tangy cole slaw.
And three sauces for slathering. New Yorker columnist Calvin Trillin (easily the funniest food writer, ever) famously declared in 1974 that Bryant’s was “…possibly the single best restaurant in the world.”
Well, it’s certainly the single best place when you’re putting off going home to a half-empty house full of boxes. It was a delightful interlude…we didn’t talk about moving to the $&!#@ apartment, or if we’d ordered the handrails, or if we should pack Advil or Aleve…we just ate barbecue.
And then it was gone. Like us, tomorrow.
If you are moving, I salute you. Everything about it bites, and moving is bittersweet – but at least once in a while it’s spicy, sweet, and extra moist.