Paladini Potpie

Adventures within The Crust!

Good Eatin’ In Texas

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We knew we were in Texas when we saw the gun-shaped smoker outside the store. Yep, nothing less than a smoking gun. Smoke comes out of the barrel as your brisket cooks to a rich, smoky tenderness.  John and I were with my sister, Patti, driving north toward Fort Worth. We had decided to look for a place to stop and get a soda, and we got a lot more than we bargained for!

The first thing we saw when we walked in the door was a long cold case with at least a hundred different kinds of jerky, smoked meats and cheeses. Captain Too High of the Gypsy Motorcycle Club was manning the counter.

When he saw me taking a picture of him the action began.  “First time here?” he barked.


“Okay, raise your right hand and repeat after me…”

We all obediently raised our right hand. “I, (state your name), do solemnly vow…”

I don’t remember exactly what we solemnly vowed. We were laughing too hard. But it had something to do with telling the world about the best jerky we ever tasted, and that it is to be found here at Woody’s Smokehouse, the self proclaimed Jerky Capital of the World.

Captain Too High handed us each a generous sample of moist tender beef jerky. “Now stay right there,” he warned, hurrying off to a back room.

We stood there chewing our jerky and marveling at the array of choices in the case.  The store had much more than jerky and meat.  Long shelves were lined with every kind of pickle, jam or jelly you can imagine. Pickled okra, boiled peanuts, and the strangest thing of all –  jars of pickled quail eggs. (They told us they have a hard time keeping them in stock.)

Captain Too High returned carrying a huge tray with samples of smoked brisket, buffalo jerky, elk jerky, turkey jerky and who knows what else? It’s a blur in my memory. We tasted them all.  Then he gave us samples of smoked swiss cheese and  smoked quail breast wrapped in bacon.

As we munched he kept us in fits of laughter, telling us story after story.  When we could get a word in edgewise, we complimented him on the taste of their delicious bacon, and he even had a story about that. “Ah was standing here one day and these four big black fellahs walk in the door.  They was covered with bling, and they was so tall they had to stoop to get in. Ah was thinkin’ ‘uhoh, what’s this?’  Well one of them hands me a cell phone and says, ‘Somebody wants to talk to you.’”

He went on to tell us the cell phone caller was a very well known rap singer who had tasted Woody’s smoked bacon. He sent his “boys” to pick up 100 pounds wrapped in one pound packages. “He said he never tasted bacon so good in his whole life.”

Neither had we.

After we had eaten the equivalent of a pretty good sized steak – I’m not exaggerating –

Captain Too High urged us to go look at the Wall of Fame at the back of the store.  It was a long hallway lined with letters of appreciation, photos of American servicemen and their families, and United   States flags that have flown over various military camps and forts.

We found out that this patriotic company sends 4000 packages of jerky to our troops twice a year.

A big sign on the wall proudly proclaimed that we are “One Nation Under God.”

We left Woody’s with the soda we stopped for. We also had packages of jerky to take home as gifts. As we continued north toward Fort Worth we were stuffed with good meat and goodwill. We couldn’t stop laughing and talking about Captain Too High’s stories and shenanigans, and we just felt proud to be Americans.  You can check out Woody’s Facebook page right here!


Author: paladinipotpie

Welcome! My name is Andrena Paladini and this is a blog about family and love and faith and fun. I call it Paladini Potpie because a potpie is like an adventure in a crust. You never know what might come up, but it’s always going to be good! Think of the best potpie you’ve ever eaten…hot flaky crust holding a rich savory sauce and all kinds of pieces of meat and vegetables…and who knows what? As a family, we’ve chosen to live within the parameters of God’s love and protection. This is the crust of our Paladini Potpie. The crust never changes. Within this crust, the savory sauce of family love binds it all together. That is also fairly constant. But beyond the crust and the sauce we can add just about anything! Good ideas come our way and we’ve adopted and adapted them to add to what John calls our treasure box of memories. These stories and ideas from John’s treasure box of memories are the ingredients I’m putting into our Paladini Potpie. (Okay, so this ridiculous mixing of metaphors about treasure boxes and potpies is exactly what I’m talking about. Silly and ungrammatically correct. But both illustrations work… so we’ll mix them together and it’ll be just fine!) John and I have been married for 30 years. Our children have wonderfully doubled in number since David married Amanda, Monica married Dan, and Matthew married Sarah. And the newest little treats that have been added to our potpie are six adorable grandchildren - Ethan, Angelina, Nathan, Audrey, Maleia and Caleb! I hope you’ll subscribe to my Paladini Potpie blog, and keep up with all the fun new ingredients I add. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our stories and ideas, and find something you’ll want to put into your own potpie! Bon appétit!

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