Today's Wonder of the World is...Barbecue! Carolina Style!
Flickr photo by eekim
That's eastern North Carolina style, just between you and me. My South Carolina neighbors put mustard (mustard!) in their barbecue sauce, but don't be too disgusted. The poor dears were raised that way and don't know any better.
See the gorgeous pic above? It's the Precious Trinity of Pulled Pork Barbecue (with the proper vinegar with red pepper flake sauce,) slaw, and Brunswick Stew. (No need to fear lightning strikes for all the references to the divine; after all, God invented barbecue Himself. It's somewhere in Genesis I'm pretty sure.)
One doesn't barbecue. One makes barbecue. Or one eats it in a fine establishment like this.
Flickr photo by lumierefl
If you have no ball cap, not to worry. It's recommended, not required.
Know how to tell if a barbecue joint is promising?
Look for excessive pig statuary.
We love barbecue so much at our house that we worship our own American Idol.
Remember Mr. Pig?
Oh Mr. Pig, I adore you. I've loved you ever since I was six and had my first taste of your glorious Boston butt.
As I grew up, my barbecue appreciation deepened.
Then I became a Ramsey and experienced a whole new level of barbecue ecstasy.
It's because of this man.
That's Kerry, my father in law, the King of Barbecue, the Champ of the Pig Picking, the man who once played a practical joke on his new daughter in law by hiding an entire pig on ice in the guest bathtub. Don't worry, I was too busy staggering around, trying to give myself the Heimlich maneuver to take any photos.
Kerry makes barbecue the traditional way, by splaying the pig over a bed of hot coals and letting it cook hours and hours and hours.
It's quite an impressive undertaking. See for yourself!
Now for the fixings.
If you put barbecue in a sandwich, you must add slaw on top. It adds a nice sweet flavor and a coolness to the heat.
Flickr photo by mattlehrer
You must have a few hush puppies! What would the meal be without anything fried?
And for a beverage?
Easy! Just ask yourself What would Jesus drink?
Flickr photo by Godverbs
Sweet Tea of course!
You've got a choice. It's either banana pudding, nice and cold, NO MERINGUE...
Or sweet potato pie...
Flickr photo by Made in Mississippi
Or a big hunk of pound cake. I just pulled one out of the oven that I'd show you, but I want it to last the weekend. If I cut a wedge for you, boys would scurry out of the woodwork and make waste of it in seconds with their sharp little teeth. Seriously. It's happened.
Just imagine its almond-y goodness.
When we lived in France, we made the whole shebang for our French friends. They liked the barbecue (Porc Vinaigrette,) and thought the slaw was nice, but it was the pound cake that really wowed them. I'm still not sure why the barbecue wasn't the star. I can only attribute it to my lack of pig statuary.
So tell me, what does barbecue mean to you? Have you ever been to a pig picking, or are you not the barbarian type?
Have a wonder-full weekend, everyone!
PS. If you're confused by all the different types of barbecue in the South, these North Carolina boys will make everything clear. In song!