Happy and eating

End of the first full day here in South Carolina. It was not as hot as threatened—the thermometer only made it to about 85° F—but with humidity well in excess of 80%, I felt enervated and listless all day. Guess I’ve turned into a bit of a hothouse flower living in the Seattle suburbs, where 85° is generally the hottest it gets and the dew point rarely climbs above 50° F (meaning the humidity is generally too low to be noticed).

Dad and I cooked breakfast this morning. Unlike my uncle’s festive breakfasts, which tend to center around lots of cured, fried pork products, today’s was poached eggs on corned beef hash, asparagus, fresh tomatoes, grits, homemade applesauce, and English muffins—with mimosas to start for Mother’s Day. We were stoking up, anticipating not eating another meal until the barbecue showed up around dinner time.

A note about the pig-pickin’—in years past my uncle had taken a reasonably hands-on role in mixing the barbecue sauce and generally cootering around with his buddies cooking the pig, but this time (given the long cooking time needed for 140 pounds of dressed pig), he left it in the hands of a professional.

Which meant that by the time we washed the breakfast dishes and walked down past the tennis court to the cookshed where the long trailer with the barbecue smoker sat, our chef had already pulled half the pig off the fire, where it had slow cooked since midnight the previous night, and cut it up for leftovers. But the other half was still there for photographing, and as soon as I get a cable to connect the camera to the computer I’ll post some shots.

After that, the day was pretty slow: a tour of the facility in the bed of my uncle’s pickup (during which I picked up a mean sunburn), a quick swim in the afternoon, and, eventually, the barbecue.

This was my first experience with the South Carolina version of barbecue, which is a more tomato-based sauce than what I’ve had before, and features some different accompaniments, including rice and something called “Low Country hash,” which contains, among other things, ground pork meat and liver in a tomato-based sauce and has the consistency of a well-cooked lentil dish. (It was actually much tastier than I’ve just made it sound.)

After that my mom trounced me at Scrabble. And so to bed.

Postscript: For the original reference for the woeful pun that titles this post, see my current listening (or click here), song 5.