Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The South Will Rise Again

It won't really. But if it did, it would be because there's a lack of barbeque in the North. That's right kids, I'm talking about my gastronomically triumphant 4th of July.

Ma and I road tripped it up to North Carolina on Friday. After dropped off our luggage we hit the grocery store to find gluten-free beer for yours truly, and the ingredients for gluten-free fruit pizza (yes it IS as delicious as it sounds), and sodas for the family barbeque. The gluten-free beer was a major fail. Three grocery stores later and not a sorghum based beer to be found. Instead I picked up a few 22oz. bottles of J.K. Scrumpy's Hard Cider. It's an organic hard apple cider that drinks like apple juice. Check it out at : Delicious stuff. And thanks to a little research done by one Franklin Williams, it can be found at several restaurants in the Big Apple itself. So the beer fail turned out to be a cider victory.

Gluten-free fruit pizza ingredients was far more successful. One box of gluten-free sugar cookie mix, two packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, two tubs of Extra Creamy Cool-Whip, two fresh kiwis, one package of strawberries, two cans of pineapple rings, two cans of peaches, and one jar of apricot preserves later we were in business. The recipe's simple:

Follow the baking directions on the box of cookie mix, but spread in baking pans like pie crust. Combine the cream cheese and Cool-Whip. When the cookies are cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture over them. Arrange the fruit (sliced, washed, drained, etc.) over the mixtures. Warm the apricot preserves until slightly runny and pour over the fruit and cream cheese mixture. Chill and serve cold. You could use any cookie base, fruit, and preserve mix you'd like. I'm contemplating an almond cookie base with mascarpone cheese filling, cherries, and currant jelly variant.

At the barbeque, I was treated to my favorite Southern food of all time. North Carolina style pork barbeque straight from the pit. My cousin, Tony, has his own rig and he got the pig started at around 9AM. By 4PM the ribs were ready to be devoured. They're easily my favorite part of the pig, and this year was no exception. The skin was crackling and the meat was perfectly cooked. Slightly sweet, fall off the bone tender. By 5:30 the whole pig was ready to be served. Tony saved me some of the meat from the loin. Super tender and delicious, it hardly needed the vinegar based sauce he made to pour over it, but I used a little just for some extra flavor. To go with the perfection sitting on my plate, I also helped myself to some deviled eggs, potato salad, potatoes stewed in tomato, and a mixed bean salad with corn and cilantro.

When dinner was over and I thought I couldn't possibly eat anything else, I started on dessert. A slice of fruit pizza and homemade peach ice cream made fresh that morning with fresh picked peaches. My mother and uncle spent the better part of the morning blanching, peeling, and chopping the peaches. The ice cream came out exactly how I like it. Full of peaches and very soft, even a little runny.

Perfect. This is what I look forward to each year. Pork barbeque and homemade ice cream. Then a nap in the living room after too much food and too much sun. Even without the fireworks, which we skipped this year, this is what makes my summer. I even made off with two quart-sized bags of leftover barbeque the next day. Yankees be jealous.

No comments:

Post a Comment