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Summer of the Pig

September 18, 2014

Anytime a recipe starts with the words, 'trim away as much fat as possible from the pork butt or baby back ribs…,' I cringe. Whoever thought up the idea that pork should be a dry, white meat should be taken out and hung by his or her skinny little ankles. Fatty pork, like beer, is one of the ways we know that life is truly worth living. And don't even get me started on bacon made out of beans and buckwheat.

My mother was something less than a great cook, but she did know how to slow roast pork butts so they were tender and juicy and of course no matter how she tortured her eggs, there were always two slices of bacon on our plates every morning. Flabby or Crispy? Hmmm, which was best?

Page from my sketchbook - drawn while enjoying a Bloody Mary each day... Pen and ink, watercolor, and collage

(click to enlarge)

Around the Forth of July we realized the Summer of Pork was upon us. We were in Asheville, North Carolina, and about a mile from our campground we noticed a small restaurant where at lunchtime every day, the lines were snaking through the parking lot out to the street. Too crowded for us, but what were they giving away?

Finally, one afternoon after drinking a few beers at a couple of the excellent breweries in town, and finding almost no line at 12 Bones, we decided to stop and see what was going on. It turns out pork is what was going on. Glorious, juicy, fatty pork. Pulled, smoked, barbecued… The true nature of pork revealed.

Offering lunch and carry-out, it turns out 12 Bones is the North Carolina BBQ joint of choice of Potus and Flotus. The last time they were there, they gobbled some BBQ ribs, mac and cheese, corn bread, baked beans and greens - all washed down with sweet tea. The meal was followed by a 'rigorous mountain hike in a nearby park.'

For our meal, we managed to chow down on, a pulled pork sandwich, mashed sweet potatoes, corn pudding, smoked potato salad, sweet vinegar cold slaw, corn bread, a half rack of ribs and key lime pie. Along with the food, we each enjoyed a couple of more locally brewed Hi-Wire Bed of Nails Brown. We followed our meal with a long nap. (I guess we'll never be president.)

Rumor has it, that the Obamas are planning to move to Asheville when he leaves office. 12 Bones would be reason enough to live in this lovely town.

Oh is my mouth watering!!! Loved the list of goodies in your 12 Bones feast. We are in Myrtle Beach, SC at the moment and they can fry some seafood here, but it does not hold a candle to what you described.

Thanks, Peg and Bernie

Cindy S.

I love pork and the photo's look awesome!

Pick me up the next time you go!

Donna K.

I totally agree with your view about pork. Years ago they started raising pigs who were lean and mean. The meat suffered horribly, and I would guess that pork lovers stopped eating pork. Things have improved, however, and now I can buy very luscious, fatty pork roasts and chops at either Giant or Whole Paycheck. Hope to see you soon!


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