Weekly Meanderings, 3 March 2018

Weekly Meanderings, 3 March 2018 March 3, 2018

Now

Jordan Bohannon shows what college basketball can be:

Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon had a chance to break Iowa’s all-time record for consecutive free throws made in the Hawkeyes’ Sunday night game against Northwestern.

Bohannon had made 34 straight free throws, tying the record held by the late Chris Street.

Street was an Iowa legend, but he was killed in a car accident in 1993, three days after he had hit his 34th consecutive free throw.

Bohannon has grown close with the Street family, and he didn’t want to erase Chris’ name from the record book.

“It’s been in my mind for a while,” Bohannon said, per Chris Leistikow of Hawk Central. “I knew I wanted to leave it short a little bit. I didn’t want to make it too obvious.”

The gesture was not lost on Mike and Patty Street, the parents of the late basketball star. “What a good kid. He’s so kind,” she said. “That was so special that he thought of Christopher and that record.”

Iowa won the game 77-70, and Bohannon has helped rekindle the memory of a fallen star.

[Bohannon:] “That’s not my record to have. That record deserves to stay in his name.”

Why David Moore listens to Jordan Peterson:

What draws me to listen to Peterson, notwithstanding my heavy trunk of objections to his overall worldview, is the willingness to get involved in the messy details of terribly broken people. Peterson’s own counseling has included extended care with those carrying deep wounds, the kind that don’t easily go away.

For many years, I’ve wondered where the ministers are who not only teach on, but get personally involved with socially awkward or emotionally immature people. We all know what I am talking about here. We label folks like this as “needy people.” They don’t make friends easily. They say strange things. Many times they have little common sense with the basics of manners and grooming. We steer clear because these kinds of people are “draining,” which is another label we gladly employ. Even more convicting for me personally is to admit an additional fear I have: If I reach out to those who have difficulty navigating life due to their lower social or emotional intelligence, will others assume I must be similarly inept?

I’ve heard many preachers proudly proclaim that “the gospel speaks to all of life.” Why then have I heard so little about the gospel speaking into the lives of those who are awkward socially and/or emotionally immature?

Gladly, my own minister regularly addresses all kinds of challenges of living in a terribly broken world. Forty years of exposure to many churches and parachurch ministries tells me that Pastor Peter is all too rare.

Are you a Plogger?

The newest fitness craze is supposed to improve the health of both humans and Mother Earth.

It’s called “plogging,” and requires people to pick up trash while on a run.

The term is a portmanteau of jogging and “plocka upp,” Swedish for “pick up,” according to The Washington Post.

Plogging started in Sweden, but has started to pick up followers all over the world, based on the many Instagram photos that are popping up with the #plogging hashtag. …

The Swedish-based fitness app Lifesum, which considers plogging a legitimate exercise, says a 30-minute plog burns around 288 calories, compared to 235 calories burned just from jogging.

Plus, Mashable notes that bending over to pick up debris allows a person to get in some squats and lunges to boot.

Of course, it’s better if you come prepared with a trash bag, but you can always improvise, as U.K.-based ecologist and journalist Kathryn Bland demonstrates below.

Chicago South Side BBQ:

Garry Kennebrew had fire in his eyes and smoke in his veins since he was very young. He grew up in Gadsden, Alabama, crammed alongside six siblings in a home with no electricity or running water. When he was 6 years old, his mother taught him how to bank the fire that warmed the house in the winter—to take charcoal ash and lay it atop the flames. It kept the embers underneath hot through the night, and the next morning, a quick shake and some kindling brought the fire back up. But it was his grandmother’s skill in the kitchen that stayed with him. Frying chicken is tricky enough with a controlled gas flame, and she had it mastered on the intense and inconsistent heat of a woodburning stove.

A half century later, Kennebrew is still taming fire. As the owner and pitmaster of Uncle John’s Bar-B-Que, 30 minutes outside downtown Chicago, he’s one of the foremost practitioners of a peculiar form of barbecue found only on the South Side of this city. Winters are harsh here and outdoor space is hard to come by, so ribs and sausages are smoked indoors, in custom-made glass-walled contraptions called aquarium smokers. They’re called that because they look like giant fish tanks with meat swimming around inside. These smokers, which can cost more than $10,000, employ no dials, knobs, or even an onboard thermometer; they’re simple boxes that house a live fire and capture the smoke it produces. The primary method of controlling the heat produced by the fire is spraying with a garden hose.

Every region lucky to have its own barbecue style operates with its own conventions and peculiarities. Beefbrisket is the state-sanctioned protein of Texas; pork shoulder reigns in the Carolinas; baby back ribs get smoked and sauced from Kansas City to Memphis. But the style of Chicago’s South Side remains a curious footnote in the American barbecue canon. Few barbecue cognoscenti outside Illinois would consider it top-tier. The restaurants in Chicago still cooking in this manner use a cut many butchers throw away. They cook it indoors in smoke-choked kitchens. And there are only a dozen or so left.

I’d argue that South Side barbecue is integral to the Chicago experience, yet it seems half of the city’s residents have never sampled, much less heard of, this kind of barbecue. I spent a decade as a food writer at the Chicago Tribune, and not a week goes by I don’t receive an email asking for the best deep-dish pizza or Italian beef in town. But no one asks about barbecue, and it’s my favorite of our city’s culinary contributions. When cooked right, South Side style is downright wondrous. Pork rib tips, the knobby end of the spare rib, are the favored meat. Chopped into matchbox-size pieces, these tips are paired with bulbous foot-long lengths of hot link sausages, nestled over a bed of French fries, drenched with a viscous tomato-based sauce, and topped with two slices of Wonder Bread. It is a singular, specific combination of textures and flavors, proteins and carbs. People around here know it as a “tip-link combo,” and like the best barbecue, it finds a dozen ways to stay with you, physically and psychically, leaving evidence to discover hours and days later: dots of red sauce splattered on your T-shirt, a sliver of pork stuck between teeth, woodsmoke emanating from your pores despite a thorough scrubbing.

But as a generation of pitmasters passes on, the specter of Chicago South Side barbecue fading into the culinary hereafter is a sadly real possibility. As much as there’s a lack of patronage from more prosperous North Side customers, the larger reason is that few young people are interested in taking over. The handful of South Side pitmasters fighting to preserve the tradition believe they can win over the uninitiated. They believe that they, with people like Garry Kennebrew, can do for Chicago’s South Side what Arthur Bryant did in Kansas City and Rodney Scott did in Charleston. First they need people to know it exists.

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