Visit Big Bob Gibson in Decatur, Alabama or at their website: www.bigbobgibson.com
Let’s all be clear on one thing: my grandmother, Grammy as she is known in my family, rocks. She’s so cool, funny, beautiful and just overall amazing. She lived with my parents for a month when I was born to help take care of me, and would drive 13 hours from her home in Moulton, Alabama to South Florida (where we lived until I was ten) twice a month for years. Of course, Abuelo (my Puerto Rican Grandfather, yes, I’m 1/4 Puerto Rican) was there too, but more about him later
Grammy used to hold me for hours as a baby while I cried and cried and cried, and when we discovered it was because of my dairy allergy, she was as relieved as I was. She knew that was the reason (besides just being a baby) that I was so upset all the time my first years of life… because my tummy hurt!
Grammy has embraced my dairy free lifestyle and really tries to help me enjoy life with an allergy! She wants me to be all I can be, and she is such an incredible lady. She even taught me how to play basketball and ride a bike, that’s how rad she is.
One of Grammy’s favorite things to do is bring Big Bob Gibson barbecue and chocolate and coconut pies down every time she comes to visit. Their barbecue is AMAZING and I get to enjoy their baked beans, chicken, cole slaw, and chips, all dairy free. And let’s not forget the beyond tasty one-of-a-kind white barbecue sauce. I’m pretty sure my dad could drink that sauce straight out of the bowl, no problem.
I love their barbecue, but I always get so sad every time the pies come out because I remember (in my dairy eating days) how fantastic their chocolate and coconut pies taste.
So Grammy decided to go on a mission. She was determined to try and get a chocolate pie made for me that was dairy-free from Gibson’s, just in time for Christmas. Grammy went over to Gibson’s about three weeks ago and asked them what it would take to get a chocolate pie made. They were so awesome about it and said they needed to talk to Ms. Joann, the pie maker that comes in specifically to make the pies (these things are legit) about making one for me free of milk, butter, and any other dairy. The pie crusts are pre-made with just shortening, so that wasn’t a problem, and the meringue on top is made from egg whites. The only thing that needed to be modified was the actual chocolate part.
A few days later Ms. Joann called Grammy and said that she would try if Grammy would go get the ingredients! I was so excited!! When Grammy called me I couldn’t even believe it. This isn’t the first time we’ve talked to a restaurant about modifying a recipe for me, but they are the first ones to say yes! So Grammy went and picked up almond milk and earth balance butter and took it over to Gibson’s for Ms. Joann.
The day before Grammy was supposed to leave to come down to Florida, she went over to Gibson’s to pick everything up and unfortunately, the dates were mixed up on when she would need the pie, and it wasn’t ready! So while Grammy was trying to sort out how to still get the pie made before she left, the owner, Mr. Ken came out. Mr. Ken was so sweet and told Grammy that Ms. Joann would be able to make it before Grammy left and Mr. Ken himself would even bring the pie to her house in Moulton from Decatur.
Early the next morning, Mr. Ken showed up at 7:15AM with not just one, but two dairy-free chocolate pies!
When I took the first bite out of the pie, I could have cried. It was so good! I haven’t had any dessert that amazing since I’ve stopped eating dairy. I was so excited that I had four pieces of pie in one day! (not highly recommended, but my sugar high definitely made my family laugh!)
I had a whole pie to myself, and I gave the other one to Vivian. We were both in chocolate heaven! She loved it as well!
So I want to say a humongous thank you to Big Bob Gibson, and Mr. Ken and Ms. Joann in particular, for all the effort to allow Vivian and I to enjoy your delicious chocolate pies. We are two happy, happy ladies and you’ve really made our Christmas! Thank you!
And everyone, if you’re ever in Decatur, stop by Big Bob Gibson for barbecue that’s out of this world! And be sure to say hi to Mr. Ken and Ms. Joann!