fig. a: the invite
It was that time of year again. Time to head down the 87 to the Catskills. Time to fire up the smoker. Time to feed a whole mess of nice people from the City, from the Catskills, and beyond, on a gloriously beautiful midsummer's eve with some true Southern hospitality.
fig. b: the bill
Thing is, up until the last minute, for the first time in five years, we weren't sure if we were going to be able to make it--which is why we didn't make the bill.
But by Friday afternoon, by the grace of God (and with a little help from an extra-special friend--TY!) we'd arrived at the Stone House, checked in, and gone for a dip in a nearby swimming hole. And by evening that Smokey Mountain smoker was all fired up, sending sweet hickory smoke wafting in the air, and slowly, magically turning almost 40 pounds of Fleisher's pork shoulders into hog heaven.
fig. c: getting up to temp
By noon the next day those shoulders had been pulled, chopped, and dressed into a towering heap of luscious North Carolina-style smoky chopped pork, and we were busily putting together our sides.
By 3:00 p.m. the guests had started to arrive in full force. And by 6:00 p.m. dinner was served.
3x 12-lb Fleisher's pork shoulders, hickory smoked and chopped
AJ's Down East baked beans
Smokehouse potato salad
AJ's Holy Grub BBQ sauce
AEB Totally Jacked-Up BBQ sauce
Michelle's rhubarb & white chocolate petit foursBy about 7:15 the pork had been entirely cleaned out. People made themselves four or five heaping sandwiches. It was like a well-mannered, totally relaxed feeding frenzy.
By 9:00 p.m., as Color War took the outdoor stage, hickory smoke wasn't the only smoke in the air.
fig. d: up in smoke
And by 10:00, after Color War's set had ended in ecstatic dancing and thunderous applause, there was a whole mess of other smoke shooting into a clear, star- and firefly-filled Catskills night.
fig. e: c'mon, baby, light my pyre
I'm not sure if it was all that smoke, or what, but I started to have all kinds of strange and interesting visions. Like this guy.
fig. f: double fantasy
Saw him in a vision not long after the Theme from Twin Peaks played announcing the arrival of Color War onstage. Had the even stranger experience of seeing him mounted to the wall of a log cabin the very next day.
Didn't get an invite? Like to try some of my "luscious North Carolina-style smoky chopped pork"? Well, if the Good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise, you'll get your chance tomorrow. I'll be selling chopped pork sandwiches at Place de la Paix, right next to the Société des Arts Technologiques and the Foodlab, tomorrow, July 17, from 7:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m. What's the occasion? It's a Pop Montreal/Film Pop presentation of Computer Chess on the outdoor screen. It's also part of a Film, DJ's, and Chefs series that's going on all summer again this year.
Hope to see you there!
In smoke we trust.
p.s. Many thanks to Patricia for making all of this possible, and to Flannery for invaluable assistance in the kitchen.