Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 10-15-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 30 of 47

©2020 THE VALLEY BREEZE Living THE VALLEY BREEZE OCTOBER 15-21, 2020 @ My Life RHEA BOUCHARD POWERS Another serendipitous moment in the life of Rhea Not meaning to paint it too purple, but I see life as occasionally bestow- ing upon me unexpected sparkling, serendipitous moments that may appear to be no more than ordinary to the casual observer, but which add almost magical sparks to my other- wise pedestrian life. I had no sooner written about just one such moment in last week's col- umn about the leaf peeping adven- ture with my kids when life handed me another sterling moment just days later when my friend Jeanne stopped by to drop off some masks she had made and to rummage through my bin of fabric scraps left over from my quilting days. Jeanne and I had formed an unex- pected friendship a few years back when she had attended a Sunday talk I'd given at the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket. We both bowled in the same league, but hadn't really known each other until later that week when she approached me at the bowling alley. "You said you went to kindergarten See RHEA, Page 36 Low, slow, and smokin' Scratch-made barbecue heats up the local food scene Looking for news about something that is actually thriving in 2020? Look no further. Barbecue in New England seems to be having its day in the sun. Over the last few years, interest in barbecue in the area has seen a sig- nificant increase, with local pitmasters delivering to meet the need. One common denominator runs through the local scene: Barbecue is a labor of love. As a culinary art that requires patience and thrives on "low and slow," you can't rush good barbecue. Those who excel in the business seem to have a true passion for what they do, spending hours tending to their prized smokers. Johnny Hanaway, of Johnny's Victory Diner in Burrillville, went from a background in the mortgage business to having his barbecue named as the Rhode Island pick in Food and Wine's "Best barbecue in every state" article in September. His wife, Rhonda Hanaway, said it began when they were living in New Hampshire years ago, where "a little old man had a smoker out on a street cor- ner," selling barbecue sandwiches. Johnny was intrigued, repeatedly visited the man to ask questions, and was inspired to buy his own small smoker. He cooked for friends, honing his craft, and brought the smoker with him when the Hanaways moved back to Rhode Island to be closer to fam- ily. The Hanaways opened up a small roadside stand outside of what was then Stick's Tavern in Glocester, and "before we knew it we were smoking 600 pounds of meat per weekend," Rhonda said. Johnny's passion led him to a class in Georgia studying under Myron Mixon, celebrity chef and barbecue competitor, as well as to taking a trip to New York to purchase a smoker that was big enough to serve the growing demand. The Hanaways bought their current diner in July of 2018, incorporating barbecue into the dinner menu on Friday nights, and things took off from there. Rhonda said they've seen the interest in barbecue grow signifi- cantly over the last few years, with their mention in Food and Wine also giving them an extra boost. "Since we've got the recognition, we've had foodies from all over com- ing to visit," she said. The brisket grilled cheese is a customer favorite. What makes the barbecue at their diner unique? Rhonda says it's Johnny's rub recipe, and "there's a difference between a little mom and By LAURA COLANTONIO & MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writers Cornbread, collard greens, pork loin ribs, and beef brisket from GOTTAQ in Cumberland. HANAWAY See BARBECUE, Page 33 ONLINE LEARNING Find out more, call 401-334-9555 x134 • Career Building • Excel • Communication • PowerPoint • Digital Marketing • Women in Business • Entrepreneurship • Security Awareness Online Professional Development 401.333.0665 Visit our website: Since 1935 Oil | Propane | Bioheat | Motor Fuels Generators | Complete Heating Service Emergency Generators Sales & Installation Propane for your Home Heating & Cooking Together we make a difference

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