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Varmint's Pig Pickin', Version 2 -- 9/4/05


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As far as the distance between the hotel and the house is, it's actually about 1.7 miles.  It's a great walk, flat until the very end, and you can get some decent exercise.  But as I tell people, "it's farther than you'd usually want to walk."

Travel safely, y'all.  And welcome to North Carolina!

But is it a scenic walk or is it treacherous and/or boring?

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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reading about the preparations, seeing the photos, feeling the anticipation and increasing excitement of this 'coming together' of good food, good fellowship, is a relief beyond words of the sadness and inhumanity we're all witnessing elsewhere.

Although we are separated by great distances of land/water miles, the eGullet community is united as one family .. we care, grieve, pray, listen, and communicate about many more things than merely food here.

This week has done nothing if not solidify this 'family' and you are quite correct, Jaymes, this thread has given us a place to share our emotions and look forward to good times (such as Varmint's Pig Pickin') with hope.

Thanks for saying it so very well, Jaymes.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Well darn (actually #*%&@!) - Hubby and I need to cancel now - we're both in the Guard and our leaves have been cancelled to potentially support Katrina - so we won't be able to attend the pig pickin' - or see the folks -- or have any vacation until Lord knows when - so now we'll just have to wear our shirts and grill a pork shoulder and hopefully be able to longingly look at the pictures when they get posted... Have fun and be safe! :angry::wacko:

Live and learn. Die and get food. That's the Southern way.

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Well, for those that will be there on Saturday, I'll be coming over with some popsicles from Loco Pops. Yes, gourmet popsicles. There is such a thing.

(Uhh.... Who the heck is Nibbs?)

I'll be the guy in the Krispy Kreme hat with the popsicles. I haven't posted much - But I'm excited about meeting folks from the board.

And eating.

If you are there on Sunday, ask the guy in the Krispy Kreme hat if there were any leftovers. He'll probably tell you no, but it's worth a shot...

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Rachel and I landed in Raleigh this afternoon, and boy was it HOT.

So before even heading over to Casa Mccord, we headed over to Durham for some Loco Pops.

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I had the Mojito and Chocolate Chile flavors, and Rachel had the White Peach and Chocolate Orange flavors. Muy sabroso.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Upon arriving at Casa Mccord, we scarfed some of these nice butter tarts, made by Marlene:

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I then headed toward the bathroom, where I found Varmint sitting on the toilet and throwing ice into the bathtub:

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I thought this shot was somewhat disturbing, in a Hitchcockian way. Reep Reep Reep!

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Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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The crew then headed out to Crooks Cafe for a Pre-Pickin' Southern Feast.

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Hush Puppies

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Watermelon Salad

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Pimento Cheese and Pepper Jelly with accoutriments

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I forgot what this was called, but its a rice and beans dish with cheese and tomatoes and scallions on top.

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Roasted Chicken marinated with Green Tabasco Sauce

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Shrimp and Grits, the signature dish of the restaurant. This version has bacon and shrooms in it.

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Salad with beets

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Chocolate Cake

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Fudge Brownie with Ice Cream

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Not pictured is the Honey Suckle sorbet, which apparently takes a gazillion of those things to make and they have to get them along the railroad tracks in order to have enough. I mean, you cant exactly source honeysuckles from Sysco.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Ronnie and I were still feeling kinda hungry after the meal, so Varmint brought us to Time Out to get us a Chicken Biscuit, which we shared with two large Diet Cokes. We have to watch our figures, otherwise we might get fat.

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Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I thought this shot was somewhat disturbing, in a Hitchcockian way. Reep Reep Reep!

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:biggrin:

Bwah! Oh Jason that picture is priceless. I think I just woke everyone up in the house with my laughter. Hmmm. I'm now wondering where the goat is.

I know that you will be posting some terrific pictures of everyone along with all the pig pickin' food and shenanigans.

The food pictures are awesome. Marlene's butter bars look fabulous.

I know that I will be checking in this thread all weekend to keep up with you lucky people.

Have a fun and safe time everyone.

Edited by msfurious1 (log)
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Ronnie and I were still feeling kinda hungry after the meal...

:blink::blink::blink:

Yikes!! Remind to make sure I move fast enough or nail myself down. Y'all are scary!.

Edited to add:

We need to turn that photo of the pig's foot in the bathtub into the official eGullet letterhead, or sell postcards with that image on it or something. That's a very bizarre yet oddly appropriate image for the Society. I just love it.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Everything looks good so far. I hope y'all have enuf to eat at the pig pickin', yuh know what I mean ...

For your virtual dining pleasure, please click here for a nine-course Cantonese dinner. It is geographically germane, because this is food from Southern China. :wink:

Miss Marlene, ma'am, probably after this weekend, you just might become a Southern Canadian, ehh??

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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The dinner and the post-dinner "research" were both delicious. Thank goodness for diet coke :wink::biggrin:

I really enjoyed the shrimp and grits but my favorite dish may have been the watermelon and tomato salad. :shock:

BTW, the rice dish pictured above is called Hoppin' John, IIRC.

What time is breakfast? :blink::laugh:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I guess the picture of the "Good Banana Pudding" from Crooks didn't come out. It was my favorite dessert of the evening, and I tasted them all. :wink: The honeysuckle sorbet intermezzo was amazing. It reminded me of my childhood desire to plant honeysuckle in the backyard of my future house. When is honeysuckle planting season, fall or spring?

It was great to meet some new friends last night, and some old ones in person.

Hey Dean, put some of those skinny green beans on the wish list for the farmers market in the morning. I think they'd go great with the short ribs. Speaking of staff meal, I'd love to make Snowangel's Tomato Phyllo Pizza for y'all. It was a huge it at PJ Shaw's bris this past Sunday, where the crowd devoured it all in record time (Steven lamented that he didn't get to bring any home). I brought the main ingredients with me, the tomatoes and herbs, we'd just need some phyllo, about four ounces mozz, and two ounces parm. The cheese needs to be scant to highlight the 'maters.

Varmint's kitchen is really beautiful and you can tell it is the heart of their lovely home. I can't wait to cook in it tomorrow with everyone else. Although my main task of the day (making the Rainbow Jello Mold) has me sequestered in the turret kitchen over the master bedroom. I'll be sure to come down at regular intervals to help with all the prep.

Oh yeah, I'm coo coo for LocoPops! :raz:

What time is breakfast? I'm up!

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First off, the name of the restaurant is Crook's Corner, and we were treated wonderfully. Chef Bill Smith is a very good friend of mine, so we did get to sample a couple of dishes that aren't currently on the menu.

The watermelon and tomato salad is mind-bogglingly good (great adverb, eh? :wink:). It's watermelon, tomatoes, red onions with red & white wine vinegars, some EVOO and a touch of sugar. It's sweet, it's tangy, it's oniony. It truly is phenomenal, and I'm thinking of adding it to the menu for Sunday.

The honeysuckle sorbet was a completely unexpected treat, as there aren't many honeysuckle flowers down here right now. Think back to the days of your childhood, discovering a honeysuckle bush in the woods on the other side of the railroad tracks, pulling off 3 or 4 flowers, and letting that single drop of nectar drip onto your tongue. It's a memory that had started to fade away until last night with this wonderful surprise.

The cracker plate with the pimento cheese and hot pepper jelly remains my favorite North Carolina snack. Salty, piquant, sweet, creamy, crunchy -- these flavors and textures all come together with this dish, and when you think that Bill Smith still makes this hot pepper jelly himself, well, that's the way it should be.

Jason didn't get a picture of the Figs with Country Ham and Bellevue Sauce. This is a most simple dish -- luscious tiny Turkish figs, right off the tree from a friend's house, wrapped with very thin country ham, and then drizzled with a sauce of sour cream, EVOO, mint, vinegar and mustard. I could eat dozens of these.

The beet salad also had a big lump of goat cheese in the middle. Mrs. Varmint had that along with some of Crook's outstanding french fries as her meal.

We drank a lot of Abita beer and root beer in honor of Mayhaw Man and his family. We wondered when this supply of beer would run out.

Finally, Bill Smith's first cookbook, Seasoned in the South, Recipes from Crook's Corner and From Home, will be out next month. I've had the pleasure of reading a preview copy of this book, and I encourage you to pick up a copy. It's short, it's a great read, and you can even learn how to make honeysuckle sorbet!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Geeze I'm up too at least now I am....Nice pig foot guys :blink:

see y'all in about 10 hours...maybe less he rides that motorcycle waaaay too fast

tracey n karl

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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Ronnie and I were still feeling kinda hungry after the meal, so Varmint brought us to Time Out to get us a Chicken Biscuit, which we shared with two large Diet Cokes. We have to watch our figures, otherwise we might get fat.

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Speaking of their figures, when I mentioned to Jason and Ronnie that they should have gotten the chicken, egg and cheese biscuit, they mentioned that that would be a bit too fattening!

Time Out has been a Chapel Hill late night instution for over 25 years. They make great fried chicken and excellent biscuits. By just pulling the meat off a fried chicken breast and plopping it on a biscuit, Time Out created a hangover deterrent better than none. And if you're hard up financially, order a bucket of bones for 2 bucks: you'll get a handful of these chicken breast bones that have more meat left on them than what you'd probably get at the local KFC!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I think my favourite dish was the cracker plate with the pepper jelly. Malawry and I agreed that we could just eat that all night and be quite content. All of the sides were good, although I didn't try the fried okra :raz: .

In fact by the time entrees were ordered, all I really needed was a salad, which I had with a lovely vinigrette dressing.

I cannot believe you guys were still hungry after all that food!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Jason didn't get a picture of the Figs with Country Ham and Bellevue Sauce. This is a most simple dish -- luscious tiny Turkish figs, right off the tree from a friend's house, wrapped with very thin country ham, and then drizzled with a sauce of sour cream, EVOO, mint, vinegar and mustard. I could eat dozens of these

Actually, I did, but somehow it escaped me last night when posting the photos:

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And the very good banana pudding:

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Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Ronnie and I were still feeling kinda hungry after the meal, so Varmint brought us to Time Out to get us a Chicken Biscuit, which we shared with two large Diet Cokes. We have to watch our figures, otherwise we might get fat.

gallery_2_1704_18713.jpg

Speaking of their figures, when I mentioned to Jason and Ronnie that they should have gotten the chicken, egg and cheese biscuit, they mentioned that that would be a bit too fattening!

Time Out has been a Chapel Hill late night instution for over 25 years. They make great fried chicken and excellent biscuits. By just pulling the meat off a fried chicken breast and plopping it on a biscuit, Time Out created a hangover deterrent better than none. And if you're hard up financially, order a bucket of bones for 2 bucks: you'll get a handful of these chicken breast bones that have more meat left on them than what you'd probably get at the local KFC!

The chicken egg and cheese biscuit is my favorite late-night too much alcohol snack, post a show at the cat's cradle. I just recently watched a friend gobble down two, plus a whole plate of mac& cheese. Yum!

-----------------

AMUSE ME

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I cannot believe you guys were still hungry after all that food!

I stood outside, shaking my head because these guys dared to eat some more.

I wasn't exactly hungry. It was purely research and I considered it to be a case of "taking one for the team." :wink::biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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The watermelon and tomato salad is mind-bogglingly good (great adverb, eh?  :wink:). 

Finally, Bill Smith's first cookbook, Seasoned in the South, Recipes from Crook's Corner and From Home, will be out next month. 

Is that recipe in the book?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Is that recipe in the book?

Yes, it is. Varmint let us take a peek through it this morning. There's also a recipe for the honeysuckle sorbet in there! Definitely on my to-buy list.

I loved the place as soon as I saw the chef was wearing a Piggly Wiggly t-shirt. :wub:

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So that is why we couldn't get a decent reservation at Crook's last night for our pre-Cats Cradle dinner. You guys were "hoggin" the place. We ended up at Acme, for a just okay meal.

I will start the banana pudding as soon as my hangover lessens....................

Drove by your house and saw that big white tent! Yeah!!!

Hey, if any of ya'll are out and about, my kids are having a lemonade stand for Red Cross today. Come on by for some good, Country Time powdered reconstituted lemonade!

Edited by VaNC (log)
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Hi, All! It was just last night I realized Varmint's Pig Pickin' is this weekend, so I have tuned in to watch the coverage. Thanks for the photos so far, and please keep them coming for those of us who are virtually enjoying this event along with you. Cheers!

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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