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CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Walkabout for new great finds

My sister was on a whirlwind visit from Alabama and requested barbecue. We wanted flavor, not work, so I grabbed packaged pulled pork calling for your own sauce.

Bam: A delivery of Hickey Bottom Barbecue Co. products arrived on cue. Get it? Cue. So I texted her a photo of three bottles. She chose (wisely) the hot over honey and sweet. It was authentic and the kind we like around here in Southeast Texas. Awesome, as it is inspired by Pennsylvania ways. We’ll for sure get to those other bottles.

On cue again, enter the Walking BBQ Lady. Not literally. Her story: “Rebecca McCrea, owner and founder of Hickey Bottom Barbecue Co., is currently walking a whopping 2,473 miles from Pennsylvania to Best Friends Animal Society’s Lifesaving Center in Los Angeles with her faithful, furry companion Arnie. Why you may ask? Rebecca’s long, cross-country journey is devoted to helping furry friends in need and raising money for the Ellen DeGeneres-supported charity Best Friends Animal Society, a national, non-profit animal welfare organization…”

McCrea just had knee surgery and began walking in May. She named Hickey Bottom Barbecue Co. after a quiet country road in western Pennsylvania, where she says hard-working folks do their best for their families and neighbors. That philosophy, and the great flavor this will add to your meats, is a winning goal worth “walking” toward. For recipes — there’s grillin’ rub and hot sauce, too — visit www.hickeybottombbq.com You can follow the walkin’ journey on Facebook.

Happy Day for keto fans: First of all, I just love that it’s called Happy Day Brands. I can’t even consider myself a good pancake maker and this low-carb, grain-free and dairy free pancake mix produced a beautiful and delicious presentation. These people are crafting all natural, Non-GMO and organic products that Americans are craving. They’re about responsible sourcing and inspiration and you ought to just smell the fair trade/organic coffee through the bag.

Every Happy Day product sold provides meals to those in need through their “Buy One. Give One” campaign in partnership with local food banks, and job training for women in transition.

The Keto pancake and waffle mix is the tops with, get this, almond, coconut and cassava flours, with a hint of natural sweetness from Monk Fruit, allows you to choose waffles, pancakes or crepes, sweet or savory. Superfood Oatmeal? They’ve got that. When you were a kid subject to commercials for sugary cereal, you wouldn’t have thought quinoa flakes, chia, golden flax, hemp and amaranth would get mixed into your breakfast. I feel better. That’s why this company’s motto is: EAT HEALTHY. LIVE HAPPY. DO GOOD™

Koobah time: I can’t stop opening the Koobah jar to inhale its aroma. But it’s time to rub it into some meats and serve it with pita and Greek yogurt. The passed the “sprinkle-on-eggs” test and is ready for its intended purpose. Pereg Natural Foods (www.pereg-gourmet.com) suggests a Moroccan lamb grill.

This New Jersey company says Baharat is simply the Arabic word for “spice,” but cooks in every Middle Eastern household know it as a basic seasoning blend. Their earthy Koobah variation starts with baharat and adds warm layers of cinnamon, allspice, rose, nutmeg, and coriander ideal for dry rubs on grilled chicken as well. The fragrance is like an adventure. The company’s garam masala goes Indian for curries, paneers, and tikka masala. It’s a now-through-fall blend of cardamom, cloves, cumin, fenugreek, coriander and brown sugar. Consider it health food to flavor legumes and vegetables. Or, as makers suggest, elevate your hamburger, ribs and steak. Pereg has been at it since 1906 in Clifton, N.J. www.pereg-gourmet.com.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who would love to hear from readers at darraghcastillo@icloud.com