Day 21: Our First Guest Blog Post

I’ve been hoping to capture some of the thoughts of my good friends and family and share them here.  You all may get tired of Lee and I writing all the time. 😛  I thought to myself.. why not get a few friends that love food and love to write about food to share their thoughts and ideas. The following is our first guest blog post by one of my longest friends, Brad Benefield.  Stay tuned for other guest blog posts as well. Some maybe about our dad in the prime of his career, and some may also be about food in general, all should be interesting and entertaining…

-Michael Quessenberry

Growing up with the Qs by Brad Benefield

Jim Quessenberry, or “Quess” as everyone called him, said the recipe for Sauce Beautiful came to him in a dream. Growing up around him, that doesn’t surprise me in the least. Most of us as children begin with an almost infinite capacity for creativity and imagination. For whatever reason, that ability is often lost as we begin to age, with only a small ember still burning within us. It always appeared to me that Quess never stopped dreaming. If anything, his imagination and creativity seemed to become bigger with each year he was on earth. In my memories of Quess that is what stands out to me; He was always creating, joking, and dreaming. Creativity just seemed to flow from him. People loved to sit and talk with him because you never knew what to expect. Every day he had a new joke to tell, a new recipe to cook, or a new invention to build.

As a kid, I knew very little about BBQ beyond the idea of throwing meat over a fire. After becoming friends with Michael and meeting Jim, I quickly learned that it was much more than that. The work and nuance that Quess and the other great cooks put in to making truly great BBQ elevated it closer to an art form than just making a meal. Everything had to be just right: the quality of the meat, the type of wood in the smoker, the sauce, the rub, the temperature; it all culminated into some of the best food I had ever eaten. Also something about the way BBQ is prepared feels like an ancient thing that we forgot about somewhere along the way. There is something very peaceful in the practice gathering around a fire with friends, smoking a pig, and enjoying each other’s company.

Even as a kid, I knew Sauce Beautifulor as everyone in our hometown knew it “Quessenberry Sauce” was something special. It has been wonderful to see the sauce grow and change over the years. I know Jim would be happy to see how Michael and Lee have kept his dream alive and added their own creativity to their father’s legacy. The original Sauce Beautiful is still the same wonderful thing Quess dreamed up so many years ago, and Michael and Lee’s new white and gold sauces add a new spin to that give even more originality to an already unique product. I feel confident in saying wherever the story of Sauce Beautiful goes in the future, there will always be a new joke, a new story, and a new dream just around the corner.

Sauces

Life Happens: And Sometimes it’s Good

Hey guys! Lee and I have been meaning to continue our blog, but things have been really busy… in a good way.  We have been busy making, distributing, and demoing our products. This weekend was a bit of a break for me, as I have been smoking Boston butts almost every weekend.  I catered a friend’s wedding, then I smoked up some butts for our demo. We double teamed the demo weekend. I set up in Harrisburg at the Edward’s Food Giant, and Lee and Jeff set up at the Edward’s Food Giant in Bryant.  If you have never been to the one in Harrisburg, you should go.  They have groceries, supplies, guns, and awesome BBQ sauce.  I know where I am going if there is a zombie apocalypse… Anyway, the manager of the Bryant, AR store saw our display in Harrisburg a few weeks back and loved it. So we now have our products in Bryant as well.

On top of all the busy BBQ things we have been doing I also got a new day job. I put in my notice at Rural Sourcing, and started at E.C. Barton and Company as a software developer.  Leaving Rural Sourcing was tough, I worked there for 8 years. I have made lots of friends there, and learned a lot.  I still plan to have lunch with my former coworkers pretty regularly. I also look forward to getting to know my new work family.  I can already tell that everyone seems to jive pretty well there.  On my second day at E.C. Barton’s Lee and I catered BBQ for the Independence Day work lunch.

This weekend I didn’t cook anything. But, it too has been a little busy. Jeff and Patrick are on vacation, and Jeff normally does all of our online order shipping. Well no sooner than he went on vacation we got 3 orders from our website, and 2 from Amazon.  So, I have been trying to gather shipping supplies and get those out.  Isn’t that how it typically goes? lol  Like if you are working retail and you send someone home because your labor is getting high, then you get busier than ever. I’m not complaining… I enjoy having the sales, I just think it’s funny.

Stay tuned we will be posting pretty regularly again…

Day 20: What is your favorite Beer?

Crack a cold one!

It’s summer time, and what goes better in the heat of the summer when grilling out by a pool than a cold beer? Maybe beer isn’t your thing… that’s ok… it wasn’t always mine either. I’ve always heard that beer is an acquired taste, and in my own research, I have found that to be true as well. If you simply say you don’t like beer, and you haven’t given many different beers a chance, you may be missing out.

I had decided I wasn’t a fan of beer when I was younger, after trying to drink a Bud Light. It wasn’t until I had a wheat beer that I decided for the first time, I like beer. Things have changed since then as I have tried other types of beers, and I have come full circle. Bud Light is still not my favorite light beer, but if it is the only beer available I’ll drink it. Here are some different types of beers, and my experience with them:

Light Beers and Domestics:

Domestics are your general daily drinker beers. They are typically lightly colored and have a crisp taste that is not heavy on the stomach, and have a hint of barley, malt, hops etc. (Budweiser, Coors Banquet, Miller Genuine Draft, etc.) Light beers are the domestic beer’s low calorie counter part. They typically have the same palate as the domestic beer they are a counter part too, however I am a fan of Budweiser more so than Bud Light because I believe it tastes better. My favorite Light beer is probably Miller Lite, and then second is Coors Light.

Wheat Beers:

My first favorite beer is Blue Moon. Blue Moon is a wheat beer. Wheat beers are typically light in color, sweeter in taste, and pair well with oranges or lemons. Many actually are made with some sort of fruit as the basis of their aroma and taste. I have had a few blueberry wheat beers in my day. It’s like drinking a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Most wheat beers don’t have a harsh bitter after taste. As a beginner of beer drinking, I have found the after taste to be pleasant compared to other beers I have had before. Some wheat beers have a clove taste and aroma to them. These are not my favorite, but I do enjoy them from time to time.

Pale Ales, IPAs

Pale Ales and IPAs or India Pale Ales are among my least favorite beers. Most that I have had are light to amber in color, and have a very distinct hops flavor to them. The taste of hops in a beer starts out with a nice grassy, earthy taste, but abruptly finish with a bitter after taste. Many people love it. I am not a fan. I do like the beginning crisp grassy taste. Sam Adams has what they call an IPL or India Pale Lager. I am a fan. It has the grassy crisp upfront taste that reminds me of spring time, followed by a clean lager finish that isn’t super bitter.

Porters, Stouts, Dunkels:

Most of the beers I spoke about above are preferred during Spring and Summer. Porters, stouts, and dunkels are more for fall and winter. They are darker, and tend to be heavier on the stomach. Porters, stouts, and dunkels generally have more of a malted taste. They generally seem to have more body to them, and can be slightly sweet. Often times porters and stouts may be blended with choclate or coffee. My usual go to dark beers are 1554, Warsteiner Dunkel, or a good coffee stout like Gotta Get Up To Get Down from Wiseacre Brewing Co. in Memphis, TN

This list is in no way complete for the many types of beer there are, but I wanted to share some of my favorites, and least favorites. Let us know what beer you like to crack open when you fire up the BBQ.

Before I go, here’s an accidentally discovered awesome marinade recipe:

Take a light beer and mix it with our Sauce Beautiful in a 1 to 1 ratio. Makes an awesome splash/mop marinade. You can also heat it up and melt a little butter in it.

Day 19: Remembering Our Loved Ones

Hello friends,

So much has been at play this month. We started out the month by launching our current giveaway (Free BBQ Sauce). We began blogging like crazy. (Check it out) We have been demoing at some stores and contests. Memphis in May International BBQ Contest was last weekend. (I got to see some familiar faces there in the BBQ world). All of these things have kept us super busy, but you guys have kept us motivated. We love BBQ and to see that you do too makes us very passionate!
We want to show our appreciation of your support, and do so in remembrance of our father who accomplished so much in the world of BBQ. Dad loved cooking in general, and he loved people. Click here to learn about who our father was.
Alongside our father, we also want to take this time to remember all the men and woman who have died for our rights in this country. We are here because of their ultimate sacrifices, and it is important to remember that, and not take everything for granted.
While you are cooking out on Memorial Day, enjoying some wonderful BBQ, or chowing down on some grilled burgers and hotdogs, remember what the day is about.

Thanks for your continued support!

Michael Quessenberry

Coupons:

‘JIMFTW20’ FOR 20% OFF OUR ORIGINAL RECIPE BBQ SAUCE
‘THEBRAVE’ FOR 10% OFF EVERYTHING IN THE STORE EXCEPT COMBOS

Day 16: Five Stories about Jim Quessenberry That Will Inspire You.

There are moments in life that refine a person and then there are actions that define a person. As Jim’s oldest boy, I’d like to share with you five of the most influential and inspirational deeds that Dad did to better the world.

5. No-Till Farmer of the Year

When I was a kid Dad had a handful of big shiny gold and silver belt buckles that were placed on plaques hanging from the fireplace mantle. I was always fascinated with them and I never could understand why he never wore them. I didn’t realize they were trophies for a very niche type of farming where you use less fuel, less herbicide, and less fertilizer while refraining from burning off your fields and polluting the air. The No-Till farming practice was started as a way to save on costs while also minimizing the impact of large scale agriculture on the environment. In the mid to late 1980’s, Jim’s farm was recognized on several occasions by the state of Arkansas as one of the best in the state and he was awarded No-Till Farmer of the year in consecutive years by then governor, Bill Clinton. Dad was a pioneer and champion for the natural state before it was cool to be organic and environmentally friendly.

 

4. Justice of the Peace

As a kid I was the ring-bearer in about a thousand weddings. My brother and I were often stand-ins for rehearsals and practice. When people wanted to get hitched they showed up at our house with a marriage license and a fistful of cash ready to ride off into the sunset as husband and wife. As a Justice of the Peace for 3 consecutive terms, Dad was given the privilege of being able to perform wedding ceremonies indefinitely. At some point he got so many requests to perform the ceremonies that he ended up doing them for no cost. It was one of the things he liked best about his public service and it made many good memories, and maybe a few not so good memories for some of the ones that barely made it down the road before getting an annulment. Neverthless, he enjoyed doing what he could in our community to keep the peace and make people happy.

 

3. Neighborhood Parents

Several of my friends considered Dad to be their second Dad. He had a heart as big as his appetite and would allow friends of mine to seek refuge where they might not have a good environment in their own homes. Of course you had to “earn your keep” which meant making barbecue sauce, cutting the grass, or just having to listen to the endless supply of corny jokes. My friends as well as Michael’s friends all have several unique stories and memories from being one of Jim’s extra kids. Dad and Mom both would go out of their way to help children. Mom usually provided transportation in her Chevy Astro Van to and from ballgames, FFA events, birthday parties, and school trips. She made sure everyone had shoes, clothes, and food too.

 

2. Wizard of Worldly Wisdom

Dad was a walking Farmer’s Almanac. He had pretty much memorized all of the phases of the moon, knew when the best time to view the northern lights was if applicable, knew more than anyone needs to know about 13 and 17 year locusts, could measure the distance of lightning strikes from our location by counting the time it took to hear the thunder, knew when all the major celestial events would occur and where to get the best view, could navigate by the position of the stars, and knew every constellation in the sky. Most of this knowledge came from an actual almanac but all of it was committed to his memory and would be delivered to anyone willing to listen. He was a farmer after all, so movements of the heavens were something very important to him. He read our horoscopes to us after we read the Sunday comics and he loved to teach us to read. One of his favorite past times was telling old ghost stories while we stayed up all night catching catfish.

 

1. Philosopher of Barbecue (Jim Quessenberry, Ph.B.)

Like many of his colleagues in the pioneering world of championship barbecue, Jim had a few nicknames. He went by “Killer,” “The Arkansas Trav’ler,” “Jimbo,” “Big Jim,” and “Jim Quessenberry, Ph.B.” The latter of those was given to him by hall of famer Ardie “Remus Powers, Ph.B.” Davis. Earning a nickname in the BBQ world is a prestiguious achievement backed by many of the best pitmasters in the world. Some of the best known names of the time were Remus Powers, Ph. B, Billy Bones, Silky “The King of the Irish” O’Sullivan, and Smokey Hale to name a few. Many people wanted to interview Dad and get to know his views on the world, cooking, and life in general. As a go to for many jokes, long adventurous stories, and basic advice on getting the fullest from life, Jim became known as Jim Quessenberry, Ph.B. This was a title bestowed upon him by the original “Doctor of Barbecue” Ardie “Remus Powers, Ph.B” Davis. Throughout Jim’s barbecue career, he was a philosopher of not just barbecue, but life to its fullest.

Although there aren’t any call booths or a Tardis’ like Dr. Who, for Dr. Q there are plenty of blue port-a-johns (Turdis) at Memphis in May that look like a Tardis and Ardie has the scoop on the magic behind one of Jim’s best pranks ever. Be sure to grab a copy of “America’s Best BBQ” by Ardie himself. While you’re at it, be sure to grab a jar or two of barbecue sauce.

Book

Sauce