Hot, lazy days and nights when you sit out with a fan and hope for a bit of a breeze. Lightening bugs and children squealing with delight as they catch one in a jar. Sweet tea and rockers on a porch, family picnics and pork barbecue.
It’s summer in the south.
Coming from the north I had never really had barbecue until i moved here almost 26 years ago. Ever since that time I first held a pulled pork sandwich in my hand, I have been in love with it. The vinegar sauce dripping down my fingers, the hot spice subtly controlled by the coolness of the rich coleslaw resting on top. It was that first bite that made me realize I was destined to live in the south.
I have tried to make it many times over the past years. Once I almost got it right and then somehow lost the recipe and it’s been a struggle ever since, trying to recreate it.
Once again, I have gone back to my friend, Patrick Evans-Hylton’s cookbook “Dishing Up Virginia” and gotten the most incredible tasting recipe for dinner. It was not what I expected when making it because of the ingredients, but definitely worth keeping it as written. I want to tell you when you make this, open all the windows and doors because the flavorful scent of pork mixed with onions and garlic wafting throughout the home will make it almost impossible to wait the five hours it needs to cook. I don’t recall how many times that day I almost dove head first into the oven.
The pork just fell apart, and it was so moist. I cannot tell you in words how tasty this was. With every bite I couldn’t wait for the next one. To quote Patrick from his book and this recipe, ” No doubt other states do remarkable things with barbecue, but this Virginia recipe that combines tradition and time with spice and smoke is unequaled.” So very true.
Eating dinner with my husband that night, I had the feeling there was a red checkered tablecloth on the table, grandma, grandpa and all the cousins were arriving with their pot luck and the fireflies were lighting up the evening.
Summertime in the south. It can’t get any better than this.