Thursday, June 18, 2015

There is a blurred nostalgia women have that men don't. ~Barry Hannah

pretty, but are 'gators lurking? here's a tale!
When I am run down 
and flocked around by the world, I go down to Farte Cove off the Yazoo River and take my beer 
to the end of the pier 
where the old liars 
are still snapping and wheezing 
at one another.
                  ~"Water Liars"


Southern American Barry Hannah wrote big, wonderful, humid, swampy stories about men and their troubles, all set about with pawpaws and alligators. You can detect the fragrance of Spanish moss and wisteria, imagine the wet feet of cypress trees and the brush of willow switches.

I grew up singing the spelling, but I have yet to see Mr. Hannah's native Mississippi. He makes me drunk with desire to get to a place truly called the Yazoo River. Track down Hannah's work if you can; read Airships, the collection that includes the scene above. One day, I'll land in Miss'ippi, and honor him along with Mr. Faulkner and Ms. Eudora Welty.

Men and their troubles. Am I wrong to suspect that some men in the South carry an extra propensity for sorrow? There's an aura of decorum laced into a basic and mighty, masculine appeal; yet it can be blurred, not with nostalgia but with turmoil and consequence--the haunted legacy of Confederacy. This very week, that legacy erupted in massacre at a Carolina prayer meeting.

Sometimes cooking heals, and always love prevails. I've lived the last three decades with only boys and men, love 'em past the end of the pier. So here's a recipe for Fathers Day-worthy pulled pork with a mess of slaw. I cooked it up when all my guys came home and I wanted to make them extra happy.


Easy Crock-Pot Pulled Pork

                    1 pork shoulder roast or pork butt (it is really the shoulder), about 5 pounds
                    Greek seasoning--I buy this in a single spice jar; it includes salt and pepper, garlic, oregano, basil, and parsley
                    Optional: chopped onion, your favorite barbecue sauce

no need to heat up your oven on a summer day

Did I mention easy? All you do is arrange the pork in the crock pot, sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of seasoning over top, and turn the crock on high. Cover and cook for six hours, and it's fork perfect! If you want to add onion and/or sauce, stir them in for the final hour.

Cole Slaw

                     1 perfectly fresh and crispy head of green cabbage, cored and trimmed
                     2 carrots, peeled
                     Fresh onion to taste--I use about half a medium-sized sweet red or white onion
                     1 Tbsp. sugar, or to taste
                     1 to 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
                     Best Foods Real Mayonnaise. "Lite" might be okay for the occasional sandwich, but not for cole slaw! I start with a couple good spoonfuls and adjust the amount to taste.
                     Salt and pepper to taste

My Cuisinart food processor is a very handy tool for this cole slaw. Cut the cabbage into fourths or eighths, and feed it slowly through the hopper to the chopper. Empty the processor periodically, filling a large glass or ceramic bowl with chopped cabbage. Do the same with the carrots and onion. 

Toss together gently and add sugar, vinegar, and mayonnaise. Adjust to taste as you stir in salt and pepper. Serve chilled. If you have an hour or two, it's nice to make this ahead so the flavors have a chance to deepen. 

The slaw is great for two days (kept in the fridge! all that mayo) and then it gets weepy. Sort of like the big-story tellers down at the pier.

also good on a Kaiser bun . . . pass Sriracha and cold lemonade

No comments :

Post a Comment