A Letter from Frank Ostini – The Story Behind Magic Stuff

Magic Stuff
(See the list of "Sweepsteaks" winners below.)

As many of you know, we recently found that 17th Street BBQ in Murphysboro, IL has been using their own Magic Dust since 1985. After existing in our own universe over these past 25 years, we now realize the potential for consumer confusion over these two BBQ seasoning spice blends of the same name. Without the insistence of 17th Street, we decided to change our Magic Dust name. The new name is Hitching Post Magic Stuff. While this might seem rather generic, it has tremendous meaning to us here at the Hitching Post II, as I will explain below.

This process of renaming HP Magic Dust has been overwhelming and extremely difficult, yet incredibly inspirational. We received over 200 entries from fans all over America. So many fine names were clever, insightful, funny, personal, and meaningful. Many names were possibly too good, and represent new concepts and ideas that might work well for new products. But here, we don’t have a new product. There was a tremendous outpouring of emotion and support as so many of you expressed a desire that the HP Magic Dust not change. That sentiment rang true to us, as we were seeking something else to call our spice, without changing it (The blend of spices remains unchanged). One of our new taglines is: “NEW, and NOT improved!”

In the end, we didn’t want to make much of a change, in an effort to honor our history with HP Magic Dust, and somehow embrace all the aspects of what happens here at the Hitching Post II in Buellton, CA.

So, Magic Stuff – What does it mean?                                                 

We have been grilling over an oak wood fire at the HP II for over 27 years, in the original Casmalia Hitching Post since 1952, and in our region for over 200 years. The recipe is simple: basting with vinegar and oil, seasoning with salt, garlic, pepper, and grilling over the local Coast Live Oak wood. There are hundreds of procedures and details to follow the make our food happen at a consistant and high level of quality every night, but once it all comes off the grill, the results add up to more than any single item put into it. We think this is Magical – Magic Stuff.

Cooking is alchemy, especially cooking over a wood fire. But all the science, we don’t understand. In some ways, it is just our job five days a week. But when these weeks turn to months, and months to years, and years to decades, this is the stuff of Magic. Here, in the HP II kitchen, we are blessed with Brad Lettau (30 years) and Jesus Montano (27 years), who run a crew with over 200 years of combined experience at the HP II. We think this is Magical – Magic Stuff.

And to have made wine in our garage over 30 years ago, and to now make 15,000 cases a year, and to serve this wine that we have made, and have it match well with the HP II foods we create – We think this is Magical – Magic Stuff.

And to have so many fans that have supported us over the last 60 years, that care about us enough to help us rename our spice, and who care so much that we get it right. To have so many fans who enthusiastically support us and continue to spread the word about the Hitching Post II. We are blessed to count you as friends. We think this too is Magical – Magic Stuff.

Thanks to everyone who helped us find, and are so much a part of, our HP Magic Stuff.

Frank Ostini

Announcing  our SweepSteaks Winners!

First  Prize -  Magic Stuff - Donald P. - $200.00 Gift Certificate

Runner  up entries  (5)

Shake  Up - Andy Cracchiolo - $100 gift certificate
Maya's  Magic - Dan Fendel - $100 gift certificate
Secret  Stash - JoyousJeff - $100 gift certificate
Taste  of Life - Ben and Linda Salloum - $100 gift certificate
Trail  Dust - Matthew Biggins - $100.00 gift certificate

(There were four entries with this suggestion Trail Dust, Mr. Biggins was
the  first one in; all others will receive a $25.00 gift certificate.)

The  two top "most  likes"  were:

Hitching  Potion, also submitted by Matthew Biggins  - $150.00 gift
certificate. The  second most likes was :  Santa Maria Salt - Stephen Bess -  $150.00
gift certificate

Thanks  to everyone for participating!