Community Barbecues Keep Old Cooking Traditions Alive

The Bellville Volunteer Fire Department annual chicken bbq.I walked into the pit house at the Bellville Lions Club as thirty volunteers were putting the finishing touches on more than one thousand chicken halves. The haze of smoke hanging under the roof intensified as they liberally mopped the birds with a liquid that singed the hot charcoal beneath. Forty chicken halves fit on each metal rack, and the volunteers situated on both sides of the long brick pits flipped them intermittently. Once they pulled off all the perfectly cooked poultry, they readied the pits for another load. Eighteen-hundred halves, or nine hundred whole chickens, were needed to feed the hungry crowds that would soon gather at the nearby Austin County Fairgrounds.This was the fiftieth year of the Bellville Volunteer Fire Department chicken barbecue.…

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