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Cuisine

No punches pulled for this pulled pork

6/22/17 | By Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3

As my playlist jumps from Locash to Lagwagon, I ponder the many strange and wonderful things that happen in life. Who knows? Perhaps my musical taste is a metaphor for the ambiguity and freneticism that penetrate our everyday existence. If you could only know what is in my record collection (yes, I’m old enough to have one, albeit a fairly limited one due to my parents, but that’s a story for another day), you might be a touch concerned, but I don’t care. My brain likes to jump around a bit, and I for one like to go along for the ride.

Tonight was one for the books; the tiki bar is open, the fire pit is blazing and the pulled pork was on the money. There was nothing difficult about the latter, but I guess there is a bit of the fabled gestalt that lends itself to a simple dish. After all, with an evening of good friends and the kids of aforementioned friends splashing around in the pool and making s’mores, it’s not hard to make anything taste that good.

It was an interesting start to the evening, as I realized that my son had unplugged the tiki bar refrigerator to use the drill press for a car project that he has been working on some time ago. Unfortunately, there was food in the fridge; a fair amount of food.

Apparently, that little grey plug never found its way back to the receptacle; an honest mistake that left me with what I could only categorize as a crime scene. It was reminiscent of a documentary of how they train forensic scientists to include the many scents and smells, and let me tell you, it was not pretty. I have seen some scary things in my life, but after this escapade, I’m fairly certain that I could make it through Gross Anatomy with my eyes closed, or at the very least with my nostrils wide open.

With the icebox scrubbed diligently and an arsenal of baking soda cups dispersed throughout, it was time to populate the box with sodas, water and beer and to get ready for the small gathering of what would be a lovely group of family and friends.

The evening progressed into a scintillating spelling bee that ended with me trying to trick some fairly intelligent kids. It ended in me spelling words and them trying to figure out what in the name of Sam Hill I was talking about. And yes, I had them at s.c.i.n.t.i.l.l.a.t.i.n.g.

I got them on that one. I won’t even begin to tell you what they thought that I was spelling, and they would deny it anyways.

In a moment of silence after the onslaught of literary challenges, I sat at the bonfire, suddenly relishing the fact that I had earlier noticed the square marshmallows at the grocery store. Of course, I thought to myself “What trickery is this?” How is it that these tasty and completely practical morsels never existed before now? Is it possible that they were around in the 50s and they’re now simply ironically retro? I’m not sure on that one, but needless to say, they fit the whole S’more thing very effectively, and I was and still am quite impressed.

Eventually it was time to drive my daughter’s friend home, and as my daughter needs time behind the wheel at night as she is working on her permit, I could sit back and truly admire my youngest daughter, dainty and fair in complexion, driving a big stinkin’ truck. She is as comfortable behind the wheel of this vehicle as she is behind the wheel of her Vanagon or my Forester.

It brings me joy as I think of teaching her older brother and sister how to drive, remembering how I felt the same way; they were just babes a few years ago, and now they’re driving these huge machines and soon will be on their own. It’s a feeling that parents get when they realize that their kids won’t be around much longer as they are now. Time stops for no man.

And all of a sudden, my music selection make a whole lot more sense.

Pulled Pork du jour

makes about 6 servings

3 pound chunk of pork butt

2 Tbsp. Soy sauce or Aminos

2 Tbsp. Coarse sea salt

1 Tbsp. Black pepper, cracked

1/2 cup White vinegar

3 Tbsp. Hank’s Garlic hot sauce

Cut the pork butt into 4 pieces or smaller in case there’s a bone in the middle

Toss in remaining ingredients, and forego any oil or fat since there should be plenty on the butt itself

Place in Dutch oven (cast iron ones are the best) if you didn’t mix everything in it already, and place in an oven that I hope that you preheated to 350F

Cook for about 2 ½ -3 hours or until the pork is just plain, stinkin’, tender

Using two forks, shred the pork and strain the juices to toss into the finished product

**Personally, I use rubber gloves and a pitcher of ice water to cook my hands down to shred the pork. It takes too long with forks, and those silly meat-shredding claws will not be in my arsenal any time soon. Go for it if you want to use them, but I do not, personally

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