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Monday, May 27, 2013

Barbacoa, Take Three

I have been on somewhat of an unintentional blogging hiatus. Work and life sped up, and blogging took a backseat. This Memorial Day weekend's barbacoa rejuvenated me in more ways than one, and I've revived my writer's bug. There exists nothing quite like a day of cooking with people whom you love to get the creative juices flowing.

In years past, along with our friends, we have tried to put goat or lamb meat in the ground under a fire. Once we burned through the pot, and the second time, we didn't cook the meat enough and had to reheat it in the house. This year, we attempted another approach: we put the meat, water, and maguey leaves in a pot and set it on top of the fire for the day. It seems like it was quite the success: according to the meat-eaters, the meat tasted tender and juicy.

While the barbacoa turned out well, we did have a bit of a fiasco with our carnitas. My good friend, Gaby, came over in the morning to prepare both the lamb meat for the barbacoa and also get the pork meat going for the carnitas. I watched as she added containers of lard, orange juice, milk, and a bit of caramel to the pot, and finally the pork. It smelled delicious. She left to get ready for the day; I went outside and, being the non-meat-eater that I am, I figured all was well with the cooking meat. But, by the time Gaby returned, the pork had turned to charcoal.  As a vegetarian, I felt guilty that the pig meat was a waste...but mistakes happen, and next time, I'll know to pay more attention. No use crying over burnt pig.
Carnitas before they became charcoal

Friends arrived, and the feast exploded. Someone brought carnitas (thank you!). Salsas, rice and beans, berry pie, chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting (with a cayanne kick), beer, beer, beer, tequila and lime drinks, hibiscus tea, Thai tea, chorizo, tortillas, fruit salad, and more salsa filled three tables. We gorged ourselves. Some of us took naps. Others of us needed coffee to help digest. A few of us poured insane amounts of leftover grease onto the campfire (yes, we  have a pyromaniac on our hands). Friends told stories. New friends got to know one another. All of us laughed.
Who knew dumping grease on a campfire could be so fun?

Despite the cool Memorial Day weekend, I haven't felt so cozy warm all year. The fire helped, but what really did it were the presence of such wonderful people, the vast amount of such amazing food, and the joy of such a blissful day of cooking. Barbacoa, take three, proved to an enormous success. 

1 comment:

  1. Andy learned this at a very young age.