Toe-may-tow, toe-mah-tow, poe-tay-tow, poe-tah-tow. Same thing, right? Sure.
I came to Virginia in the mid 1990s, a month short of my daughter's first birthday, just in time for the winter holidays. One of my inaugural activities was the rather large Engineering Department's Christmas feast, a "covered dish" (translation: pot luck) mid-day meal held at the office. This is not to be confused with the department Christmas Party to which spouses were invited, ties and fancy shoes were worn, and "set-ups" provided (translation: drink mixers). Navigating the first two MONTHS was an education in learning a new language by "full immersion."
I remember bringing the very large, extremely delicious fruit cake (I am NOT kidding about the fruitcake) which my mom sent from Maine that year. Snicker all you like, but this was a super-delicious fruit cake. A Jimmy Howard fruitcake. More cake than fruit. Shaped like the State of Maine. Or, as one engineer noted, North Carolina (the border of which was just a few miles away). Who knew? Turn Maine sideways and it looks like North Carolina. At least to an engineer. Fit right in, yes I did.
Until they uncovered the chafing dishes and presented "Barbecue." What?
I'm not exactly sure why Z, a Pennsylvania boy by birth, is my King of Barbecue, but he is. Z and Mrs. Z enjoy what I lovingly refer to as a "mixed marriage." He is a Virginia Tech grad. She is an alum of the University of Virginia. For many, this is a rivalry which challenges Alabama/Auburn or Ohio State/Michigan in ferocity. They are the most fun, most generous, most caring people I know. Period.
When DH and I announced our intention to wed and relocate, the House of Z geared up for a party in our honor. House of Z parties are, simply, phenomenal. Great guests, abundant food and delicious drink, all set on beautiful grounds. These folks throw a fabulous party. All this after being up the entire night babysitting the barbecue - in both the noun and the verb forms.
Z made what seemed like TONS of his famous slow-cooked pork delicacy. His process involves soaking Boston Butt in a delightful concoction, then slow-cooking on the grill. All night. There is typically a generous amount of beer involved, too, although the recipe he provided indicates that the beer is for the chef, not the pork. When it's ready, Z slices this delicious dish and piles it high on the table for all to admire. Moaning is appropriate.
Z's Boston Butt (or, Chateau Jeaux-Naus Pulled Pork)
Combine in this proportion:
1T each garlic (raw, pressed), olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and Essence
Add two times as much Coke as vinegar to cover pork in slow cooker.
Cook on LOW for 8-12 hours.
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 pkt. sweetener
1/2 tsp. celery seed
Combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Add to cabbage and carrots and mix well. Serve with additional mayonnaise, if desired.
My kids like this dish because it's the only time I'll spring for a big pack of soda and leave it mostly unattended for them to pilfer at will. I know there's a whole Coke-vs.-Pepsi cola war out there and one's preference indicates their region of origin. I've been known to use Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and even root beer (a nod to BBQ King Raichlin). Oh well.