Saturday, March 10, 2007

A dream (and belly) fulfilled

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A quiet day around the farm. It is just Lee, Little Carrie and me to tend to the kids and work in the garden. Jessie works the Curb Market, a farmer's market in Greensboro so she was not around for the first half of the day.

I got to sleep in today. Little Carrie was on call for the morning kid feeding, and it's too chilly to work in the garden at that hour. I rolled out of bed around 8:30! I grabbed a quick breakfast and met Lee and Little Carrie around the garden shed. This morning we cleared the asparagus bed. Henbane and chickweed had overrun the two rows of shoots, so Carrie and I spent an hour and a half pulling weeds. We finished just in time to feed the goats again.

The little goat who refuses to eat did drink a bit of milk this morning. Lunch is not so successful. We still don't know what's up with him. After they were fed, I watched him for a few minutes. He was walking around the pen, socializing with the other kids, and he pooped. I noticed that he may have worms. I went inside and asked Lee if that could be his trouble. She looked thoughtful for a moment and said, "Yes, that just might be it." She went and found a dewormer and gave him a dose. Let's see if this helps. He's a bit young for worming, but if he needs it, he'll get it.

Now it is time for our lunch. Since we're small in numbers, Lee decided to go out to eat. We all changed into clean clothes and drove to the Blue Mist for BARBECUE! My not-so-subtle hints have been heard and my needs are being met. We went to the newer location in Randleman, a bit closer than Asheboro.

The Blue Mist is a classic BBQ place. It is an aluminum-sided building with a smoker in the back. It is on the edge of town along a busy road. We walked inside and looked around. The walls are covered with old flour and cornmeal sacks from local mills tacked to the dark wood. Tables are booths built from dark stained pine. On each table is a basked filled with Smucker's jelly, sugar packets, Texas Pete's hot sauce, and a plastic squirt bottle filled with barbecue sauce. The smell of cigarettes fills the air. I see several tables filled with people young and old, cigarettes propped in their fingers, a halo of smoke rising above their heads. Every table has an ashtray on it. No such thing as a no-smoking section here. Somehow it makes the meal more authentic.

We all have the same thing: a BBQ plate, served with cole slaw, hushpuppies and chopped pork. I get a side order of friend okra because they had fried okra. We all had sweet tea, to wash things down.

A few minutes later, the waitress comes back with three Chinette paper plates. She sets them down in front of us and puts the basked piled high with fried okra in the middle of the table. Oh boy! I don't know where to begin. It all looks so tasty! I drink in the scene in front of me. My plate is filled with a big pile of slow-cooked pork, lightly dressed with barbecue sauce. The cole slaw is finely chopped, practically minced and dressed lightly as well. The hushpuppies are golden-brown and crescent shaped like fried prawns. The okra are piping hot and lightly breaded. Lee tells me, "Eat the huspuppies while they're hot. That's when they're best." I agree with her so I took a hushpuppy and bit off half. Crunchy outside with light, moist texture in the middle. Slightly sweet like good cornbread. Just right. I then devoured a bunch of okra because they're best when hot, too. I like to dip mine in hot sauce, so I ate a couple of hushpuppies in order to have room for a pool of Texas Pete's (made in North Carolina).

The majority of the plate was filled with pulled pork. I took a bite. The sauce is red, tangy, and slightly sweet with a hint of pepper. The pork itself is smoky and moist. Together they are a marriage made in heaven. No bun to get in the way of the barbecue goodness. I added more sauce because I wanted every bite to be dressed in this specialty of Eastern North Carolina. I had grin on my face throughout the entire meal. I'd take a forkful of barbecue, add some coleslaw to it and plop it in my mouth. Yum! It was not the best barbecue I've ever eaten, but it was mighty fine and a great way to get my appetite whet again. Now I want to go to Greensboro and try Stamey's. I've heard that it is THE place around to get barbecue.


Amy Orlins said...

Aaahhhh....honkey soul food. My mouth is watering Sair. The image of the rusty pressed seam roofed house with it's local stone topped in brick reminds me of a house I once saw when I was growing up. I'm enjoying your blog. ~A

johneric said...

Please write a 1000 word essay compare/contrast NC and KC bbq.