From the December Issue of KCBS Bullsheet!
You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the Boy.
Moving to France and Building a KCBS Competition Team
By Jed Thompson AKA CharredApron
It has been said “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy” I am living proof and I’m here to tell you. This January my wife and I will be moving to France. We have sold our house in South Florida and are embarking on a new journey to retirement. We have studied and traveled to numerous countries in search of our dream. Our primary objective is to live the remainder of our lives together in harmony while enjoying a more healthful standard of living. First, I need to explain, my wife is European. She was born in Belgium and lived there for 36 years before coming to Florida where we were married. She has recently retired and that is the reason for our quest to find the perfect retirement haven for us. After traveling and vacationing in places that are known for their ease of expatriating, such as Belize, Panama, and Chile, we decided to rethink Europe. We Google’d and Yahoo’d until we were blue in the face. Reading article after article concerning life in the South of France until we successfully pin pointed a region that we felt would offer us a Mediterranean Climate, not a frozen tundra to deal with in winter. Alas, we discovered Languedoc-Roussillon.
The Languedoc Roussillon region is dominated by 740,300 acres (2,996 km2) of vineyards; three times the combined area of the vineyards in Bordeaux and the region has been an important winemaking center for several centuries. Grapevines are said to have ex-
isted in the South of France since the Pliocene period - before the exis- tence of Homo sapiens. The first vineyards of Gaul developed around two towns: Béziers and Narbonne. We first visited Narbonne in April of 2012. This was to be our first experience in living the good life or “la bonne vie” as they say. We rented a house and began our experiment of living life, in France, as we currently do in Florida. This includes shopping daily for ingredients to prepare our meals and only eating out one or two nights a week. We kept and compared receipts from the local markets and to our surprise we found that we could live more economically and healthier there than at home. Shopping proved to be one of my greatest forms of entertainment. The local villages each have a different market day and the vendor’s travel from town to town hawking their wares each day. You are not forced to pay premium prices for meats and vegetables labeled “Organic” because everything is already organic, things are truly farm to table and sustainable as they have been for centuries, not a newfangled buzz word or fad. Breads are baked daily and cheeses are some of the best in the World. Not to mention the wines, but that my friends is another story.
I realize that there are many places in the United States that enjoy the same lifestyle and rural farm life, but for me, being married to a Europe- an, I am eager to experience life in another country. I am looking forward to this new endeavor with a sense of adventure.
We have purchased a house in a small village of 500 people. We are planning on building a culinary retreat and BBQ training facility. Inciden- tally, many people believe that the word barbeque actually derives from the French barbe à queue, that is, “from beard to tail”, signifying the whole of the pig being roasted. Whether this is true or not, I will be bring- ing real American Barbecue to our village. I have recently ordered a new custom stick burner from Shirley Fabricators of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and it will be shipped with my Vision Kamado, Caja China and Lion Gasser as well as my 2007 Harley Davidson Screaming Eagle Softail Springer! As I said, you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy! God Bless America!
We will be offering tours of the local wineries, olive oil mills, charcuter- ies, butchers and local cheese makers as well as bakeries. Our guests have a choice of accommodations nearby in local Bed and Breakfast Inns and we will gather each morning, plan a meal for the evening and then off we go to the local merchants to gather our ingredients to be prepared that evening for dinner. Look for our cook team the, “Sultans of Sting” next year as we compete in International KCBS Contests throughout Europe.
Backyard Disasters are my specialty. “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”
"Tushka" The Black Warrior 24 x 50 offset by TuscaloosaQ, "Libby the Lion" L5000 gasser, and "Vanessa" my Vision Kamado Pro III & "Ruprecht" my Weber Gold OTG
Member KCBS, FBA
Pitmaster at "Sultans of Sting" BBQ Team it's a French thing!