This website is dedicated to all of the great things The Upstate has to offer right here, well, under your nose.  We are fortunate to live in an area that has so much to offer but the fact remains that no matter where you are, some things stay a little out of reach.
Since my son splits his holidays between his mom and I, it is impossible for us to travel during Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We are not going to spend the holidays without him and we cannot visit family afar without facing kidnapping charges so our holidays are permanently fixed right here in The Upstate.   This has never been an issue for me since my family is small and my parents are right here in Greenville but Chris has a big family that calls Houston, Texas home.  Being the amazing woman that she is, though, she never complains about not seeing her immediate family during the holidays and it is a testament to her love for Ivan and I that she is as happy here with us as she could be anywhere else in the world.
Missing your family during the holiday season is natural, though, and this year we had a special treat to remedy Chris’s seasonal homesickness.  Yesterday Chris’s parents, sister and nephew made the fifteen-hour schlep halfway across the country to spend Thanksgiving with my favorite lady in the whole world.
Let the party begin…
After driving all night, the family arrived at 9:00 yesterday morning.  Most people would have been inclined to dive headfirst into a nap but that is not how we do business.  Ivan and I were the welcome party and after unpacking the car we headed straight out into the world.  We filled our day with surprise visits to Chris and Aunt Candy at work and her cousin’s flag football game.  We had lunch and then Dr. Mike (Chris’s dad) and Ivan and I went off on a man-only adventure to Community Tap and The Liberty Bridge in downtown Greenville.  This led into dinner and drinks with her parents, aunts, uncles and cousins and the next thing I knew it was well past midnight and officially Thanksgiving.
If you read this blog or our other one, then you know we like to eat.  More importantly, you know Chris likes to cook.  It should come as no surprise then, that Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday in the world.  A day dedicated to food, drink, and family is more satisfying than anything the rest of the calendar has to offer.  As I type this, Chris and her mom are going over the menu and planning a trip to the grocery store for a few finishing touches.  Even better, two turkeys are brined and are just waiting for the heat – one by way of the oven and the other on the smoker.  Chris’s mom named them Ethel and Lucy and I cannot wait to sink my teeth into both of those ladies.  Festivities start in a few hours at Aunt Candy’s house and a great time with our families is guaranteed.
On another note…
Chris’s family did not leave Texas empty handed.  In addition to their company and love, they brought us the best damn hot sauce in the world.  Big Daddy’s Ass Burn Hot Sauce is made in Houston by Chris’s best friend Becky and her husband Trevi.  We do not just like it because our friends make it but because it is simply freaking amazing.  They are regular winners of Texas hot sauce festivals and Chris finds a way to put one of their four flavors of sauce into nearly everything she cooks.  The bottles go quickly and I never see Chris as homesick as she gets when one of them runs out.
The original flavor is simply Big Daddy’s Ass burn and it is Trevi Biles’ original recipe that he invented with St. Arnolds beer and peppers grown in his own garden.  The line has expanded since he was experimenting in his kitchen and they now feature additional flavors inspired by and named after some of Trevi’s friends in the Houston music scene.  The Flaming Lips sauce is my favorite and has a tropical, pineapple-y spirit to it.  Amplified Heat is green and has a smokey flavor that is guaranteed to bring out the inner stoner in all of us.  High On Fire is the hottest and was actually featured in Spin Magazine a few years ago as part of a Adam Richman article on music related hot sauces (Adam rated it #2 on the list which is impressive but I would still like to demand a recount… Big Daddy’s should be #1 on any list as far as I am concerned).
And now for the best part…
Chris’s family did not just bring us a few bottles of hot sauce for our own consumption.  Instead, Becky and Trevi Biles sent them with TWO CASES of each flavor of hot sauce plus their new barbecue sauce that I have not even really had a chance to try yet.  This means two things: first and foremost, we will not run out of hot sauce for a while. Secondly – we have YOU covered.  Bottles are $5 each and I will personally deliver them to friends and neighbors in The Upstate just to share this little taste of Heaven.  Email me if you are interested and I will hook you right up while supplies last.
I am going to stop typing now. I have family to hang out with, food to eat and three growlers from Community Tap to enjoy.  Happy Thanksgiving everybody!