Friday, July 31, 2009

Barbecue Is Not a Verb.

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!

For dessert?
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!
Love, Becky
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!


Susan Sandmore said...

I absolutely love Rhett and Link and I want to marry them both. Is that wrong?

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Susan, I just did some research on and discovered they are both engineers from NCSU--and lived in Syme dorm, where I met my hubby and fell in love.
I now love them for more than just their barbecue song!

JaxPop said...

Hah! You must've been eavesdroppin' on last night's phone conversation with Deb. I've been in Atlanta all week (leaving tonight). Found a fantastic barbecue place 'up yonder' & had dinner there every night! (Oops guess I shoulda said 'suppah'). Pulled pork, ribs, brisket, now that there was some good eatin'! Plenty of sweet tea but no sweet potato pie. This place had flying pigs all over - so you're right - that's how you can tell the best Q joints - pig statuary. Have a great weekend.

BTW - Deb says I don't sound like a Philly area Yankee anymore. Thinks it's funny. DE

Jen P said...

oooh, yummy summer food pictures, but I'm guessing 'barbecue' is not seasonal, as the verb is here? And they look good, but what are hush puppies? I only know them as a brand of shoes. ;-) I'll have to com on a food tasting tour of The South I think. I have a friend in Flowery something, near Atlanta. Would be a great place to start.

Nathan Bransford said...

OK wow, I need to make a Carolina pilgrimage. Pulled pork is my favorite.

jama said...

Oink oink! I LOVE pulled pork sandwiches with slaw. (Please don't tell Porky Pig or Babe.)

Rosemary said...

It all sounds good to me!!
Thanks for sharing!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh man, I am drooling--wonder if Mr. D is in the mood for a road trip...

LW said...

That song is too funny…
I just wonder what those boys would think of our northern barbecue.
Forget it I don’t even want to know..
Dear hubby has been working on his pulled pork barbecue recipe for a while now…
I am going to show him that picture of your father in law. I know he will be green
with envy. However, I will put my foot down as far any whole pig coming into my house…


Rebecca Ramsey said...

I'm so glad to find other bbq fans out there!
Jen P, I wish I could introduce you to the heavenly delight that is the hushpuppy. It's a light fried cornbread, slightly sweet around these parts, sometimes a little oniony. Some people put butter on theirs but I don't find the need to do that. I can pop them like candy just as they are!

May Vanderbilt said...

Best. post. ever.

So what do you call it when you grill meat outdoors? Grilling? Cooking out? In the Panhandle we call that cooking out--not barbecuing! Agreed.

I'm going home next week so this is well timed. My dad is throwing some ribs in the smoker to celebrate my arrival.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Yep, we say cooking out.
Ribs in the smoker? Yum! We're on Smoker #2 around here. The first one caught on fire and had to be buried in the smoker cemetery. I looked out the window and thought I saw a burning bush.

Attic Rat said...

I just ate, but you have managed to make me hungry again. LOL. I sure would like some of that sweet potato pie for dessert. Yummmmm

Great big smiles,


Susan said...

For me, barbecue is split chicken breasts cooked on a huge grill by the volunteer rescue squad. That's always yummy, too!

Ronnie said...

Hi Becky, I felt right at home reading this post. I've been missing my visits here! Joe has kept me hopping, traveling way too much. Speaking of traveling. We stayed in Greenville Wednesday night. When I spotted a car with a Greer car dealer tag, I said to Joe, "Becky R. the writer lives in Greer. Is it near here?"
He said, "Well, yeah."
I LOVED Greenville. You're so lucky! We stayed at the old Poinsett Hotel downtown. Even saw some Sandy Mastroni art at a gallery and ate at the Paris Cafe! No barbecue!

TattingChic said...

Hi Becky! Great post! Nothing like a good barbecue in the summer!

"Barbecue" not a verb?? LOL! Oh, but it is!
I'm planning on doing some barbecuing myself, soon!

adrienne said...

I love the barbecue song! My knowledge of barbecue sauces has really been lacking.
I could definitely go for some sweet potato pie...

Renee said...

I hungry..... I want BBQ.....

Love Renee xoxo

Stephanie Faris said...

MMMMMMMMM. My mom took me this past weekend to a place way off the beaten path near Nashville for barbecue. Apparently this guy is so good, he went to the national cook-offs in New York a few weeks ago and came in second. Not sure who came in first. They had something called a "redneck taco." It's a taco with barbecue and coleslaw, along with other things.

Kelly H-Y said...

Mmmmmm, my mouth is watering!
By the way ... I gave you a Superior Scribbler award ... just posted it to my blog today - congrats!!! :-)

Gina2424 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gina2424 said...

Hi Becky-Yummy post- maybe you'd better do one on the hush puppy as well. Seems not everyone knows what they are- unbelievable, I know. You could discuss the wonders of various hush puppies, e.g., the Myrtle Beach varieties served with honey butter. Ohhhh....drooling now. PS- Started my writing blog

Marie Antionette said...

LOL...I can taste it all now...Yummmmmmmm...XXOO Marie Antionette

Susie Q said...

I have been on clear fluids all day due to a colonoscopy in the am...and I see this!! I could eat it all!! Oh to have some tasty bar b que!
Whoo Hoo!

Verb Conjugation and Translation said...

Fascinating! I just hope you could have also posted how to make this foods. I love cooking and so do my husband. Thanks for making me hungry. Hehe.