Land of the free, home of the barbecue

SSS at the Feast

It’s the fourth of July. Squirrely, Jr., is at his Squirrelly grandparents, and it’s time to go get him. Now this is not a simple drive to the country. This is a journey to happiness. This is time for a holiday feast like no other all year.

Grandaddy Squirrel Pulling Pork

Grandaddy Squirrel has gone to Fayette Packing to get a pork shoulder and ribs. This is the same packing plant that our Angus beef rancher from the farmers market uses to prepare his meat. I knew this was going to be good. GS slow smokes his pork and makes his own secret recipe sauces. There is a slightly sweet sauce for the ribs and a spicy sauce for the shoulder. He also grills fresh corn on the cob. Nana Squirrel has made slaw, baked beans, and iced tea, sweet of course.

The Magic Box

Now we couldn’t possibly show up empty-handed. The first item to bring was Sorta Sister Squirrel. SSS has been the beneficiary of GS’s barbecue before but only when we have brought it home. This would be her first experience of it straight from the grill. She’d been looking forward to this for days.

To compensate for what we would be eating (for such a little thing, SSS can really put it away), we brought homemade potato salad with homemade mayo, a yellow watermelon from the farmers market, a peach tart, and the ingredients and maker for blackberry ice cream. Mama promises she will post the tart recipe soon.

GS makes the most wonderful barbecue, tender, smoky, and oh so flavorful. Squirrelly, Jr., thinks he should open his own barbecue place, but GS declines saying it is too much work. His barbecue is definitely a labor of love that we love to eat. I feel bad because Mama and Nana have made such wonderful sides, and all I eat is a big pile of ribs and an ear of corn. Thanks to Las Tortugas Mexican Deli, we have a new way to eat corn on the cob. We slather it in Mama’s homemade lime mayo and dredge it in cotija cheese. Oh my.

The only thing more interesting than our corn was SSS’s lazy-man, all-in-one sandwich. I am aware that people put potato chips on their sandwiches. It’s not for me, but to each his own. It took a moment for what was happening to sink in, but once it did you couldn’t turn away no matter how terrifying. SSS added to her hamburger bun, in this order, potato salad, ridged chips, slaw, baked beans, pulled pork, and barbecue sauce. Like a ten-year-old boy in a game of culinary oneupsmanship, SSS made a bold statement, a bold statement which she devoured with relish. (Not real relish though, but that’s probably only because there wasn’t any on the table.) She’s not from around here.

After enjoying all the wonderful food, we needed a break before dessert. Fortunately the ice cream had to be made. We pulled our small Cuisinart bowl out of the freezer, added Mama’s mix and fresh blackberries, and let it start to work. After twenty minutes or so, something just wasn’t right. The ice cream wasn’t setting up. We had brought the freezer bowl out in the car so I suppose it had warmed up too much to recover during a brief return to the freezer. We put the bowl, cream and all, back in the freezer, but that didn’t help. We resigned ourselves to berries and cream, nothing to complain about there. We also put a bit of peach tart away. SSS was once again true to form. I’m just glad Nana Squirrel had already put the non-dessert food out of sight.

After another rest period, it was time to pack up and head for home. Unfortunately, SSS had to work, otherwise it would have been naps all around. Now we have pulled pork, potato salad, corn on the cob, and all of the rest in the refrigerator. We’ll be the envy of the workplace at lunch tomorrow with these leftovers. Of course, that’s assuming they survive the night. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

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