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Two daughters,
with a single decent heart between them.

They also shared a door between their rooms
in the cardiac intensive care unit at CHW.

For more info on Gabi and Carsyn’s condition you can start with wikipeddia’s writeup on HLHS

A door shared for months, until Carsyn’s heart transplant required a move from room 14. Gabi moved from room 13 as her medical needs changed, but the bond between the families from that shared door was everlasting. We both moved on to our daughter’s first birthdays, Gabi’s at home and Carsyn’s in Heaven. Our friendship had changed from one formed in a foxhole during battle, to one of shared passions and looking forward.

Rib-a-thon started easily enough.

Chris and Ethan

Chris and Ethan in the middle of making a batch of spice rub. Next time we won't wait a while to open the window. Lesson learned.

Chris bought the ribs, and I brought the spice rub. Using what I had on hand, and what I had learned from past rib-rub adventures, I started toasting and grinding spices. As I refined the ingredients the batch grew, and in the end, I had a gallon of hand made spice rub fresher than [insert celebrity joke here]. After eating delicious ribs until our sinuses were packed with meat, it was time to head home. The extra rub stayed behind to do battle with some Texans a few weeks later.

After CRUSHING the rub they had brought from the Salt Lick we thought we might have something on our hands, and made another batch, and so it began. What we have now is a perfectly refined rub of surprising versatility. The fresh spices simply EXPLODE when any moisture or heat is added. Mixing in some mayo and mustard makes for a great burger topper, the brown sugar caramelizes and produces a great crust on chicken and almost half of rub already sold has found its way into eaters hearts via seafood. The use of hand toasted and hand ground pepper (4 kinds) brings some heat to the table, but doesn’t drown out the lightness of the coriander or cover up the smokiness of the chipotle powder and 3 kinds of paprika.

Give your tongue a birthday present & buy some rub.

You know what to rub it on.

West3 Spice Rub on a Pork Shoulder

West3 Spice Rub on a Pork Shoulder


  • Barbara Swanson