Holy Smoke!

Did you know? Thanksgiving is just three weeks away
Oct 31, 2012
Photo by: Stina Sieg SMOKIN' GOOD MEATS — Celebrate Thanksgiving, festival style, with barbecue from Holy Smoke ministry. Pictured at a downtwon Waynesville festival are ministy members, from left, Karen Hall, Joyce Lackey, Vicki Russell, Ken Snead and Col. John Grant.

Turkey Day, as many of us call it, is right around the corner. But the retail world has kept it a big secret.

For the past couple months, we’ve seen Halloween everything — decorations, costumes, candy and cookies. And from children to adults, we’ve eaten it up.

Except for the northeastern States, still recovering from Frankenstorm, we’re all pretty much over Halloween.

Thanksgiving is our next national holiday, but you’d never know it in the stores.

Unless you’re looking in the freezer section of the grocery store — now strewn with turkey stiffs — or the end-aisle display of yams, chopped pecans and mini marshmallows.

Sadly, there’s little sign of America's national harvest celebration. It has been replaced by an ever-earlier Christmas blitz. Macy's, for example used to launch the Christmas buying season with “The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” Now they’re already on the air pitching their exclusive celebrity lines.

In Macy's eyes, Christmas now “Trumps” Thanksgiving.

By the way, wasn’t that a much younger Donald Trump in the 1947 holiday classic, “Miracle on 34th Street?” He was the one demanding Kris Kringle produce his birth certificate — and when Kris didn’t comply, Trump abruptly said, “You’re fired!”

Also pushing the holidays, mega-retailers K-Mart and Walmart, are now urging us to layaway. As a result, I’m now laying awake at nights wondering what I should hurry up and layaway — and I’m not thankful for that.

What I am thankful for is my truly wonderful wife, how great our decision was to pick up and move to Haywood County, how quickly we made friends and assimilated into the community, for our not-so-part-time jobs, for strong faith, for my column (now pushing four years) and the many wonderful people and organizations it has introduced to me — like Holy Smoke.

Did you know? — Holy Smoke is more than a popular expletive. Holy Smoke is also the clever name for a barbecue ministry, born out of fire and brimstone.

As the story goes, a few years ago St. Andrew's on-the-Hill Episcopal Church in Canton completed an expansion and renovation. As so often happens these days, the project didn’t exactly come in under budget. Instead, the church was left with an enormous debt.

Church leaders met to discuss the predicament, and in frustration one of the men, said something like, “We might as well set fire to it (the church).” Of course, he wasn’t serious, but it got the men thinking about the one thing that they all loved — firing up their barbecues.

Holy smoke — just like that, a new church ministry was born. The men purchased a gimungous smoker and started serving up great barbecue throughout Western North Carolina.

No doubt you’ve seen Holy Smoke at local festivals — from Waynesville’s Church Street Art and Craft Shows and Apple Harvest Festivals, to Canton’s recent Turning Leaf Fall Festival. Holy Smoke is everywhere, serving up absolutely wonderful cherry-smoked meats. And all proceeds from their efforts go directly to reducing the St. Andrew's on-the-Hill’s church debt.

Amen to them, and Amen to their great barbecue meats. I’ve been a huge fan of Holy Smoke for many years, especially at Thanksgiving.

Did you know? — Holy Smoke offers a variety of smoked meats for pick-up for Thanksgiving. So instead of getting up at the crack of dawn and "birthing" your own turkey, all you have to do is call Holy Smoke for your choice of meats that have been lovingly, religiously smoked over cherry wood for 12 to 14 hours.

Holy Smoke offers Thanksgiving turkeys, turkey breasts, hens, pork butt, beef brisket, stuffed pork loin and salmon.

Believe me, you can’t beat the quality of Holy Smoke barbecue, but there is one catch — you have to plan ahead. Orders must be received by Monday, Nov. 12, for pick-up in Canton the day before Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful that I have the Holy Smoke telephone number for orders (St. Andrew's office) saved on my iPhone — it is 648-7550.

As I complete this column, my mouth is watering, which leads to one final caution — you will need to exercise great restraint after picking up your Thanksgiving order, as the incredible/edible smell of Holy Smoke’s barbecue will fill your car with a powerful urge to pull off the side of the road and start feasting.

So I recommend bringing no sharp knives or kitchen utensils with you on pick-up day. Better yet, bring someone along as a chaperone to keep you from spoiling Thanksgiving for the rest of the family.

It’s early, but Happy Thanksgiving!