Every Fourth of July for longer than I can remember, my family has had a barbecue. I don’t mean a barbecue where you’re really just grilling hamburgers and hotdogs. I mean a load the meat in the rotisserie oven, slather it with sauce and let it cook until it’s good enough to make you slap your pappy.
The secret, of course, is the sauce.
When I was little, my Uncle Gus made or supervised the sauce. He eventually shared the recipe with my brother, passing along the family tradition from uncle to nephew.
I thought about that tonight as my nephew Adam grilled steaks for my brother’s birthday dinner. Nathan was there to give advice and supervise, but Adam was the grill master.
And those were some good steaks.
That’s the cool thing about family traditions, the way they flow from one generation to the next, coated in tangy goodness and crafted to perfection.
It’s a sweet taste of memory and of a promise of the future.