I suppose that it’s only fair to toss up post number one (in a blog that I intend to be mostly of an environmental bent) to be homage to a weekend event dedicated to the consumption of hedonic quantities of pork.
The point being: I’m an unabashed gnarl of contradictions. And I’m no doubt in fine company. The human condition is a sometimes messy business, and many of us will hold onto multiple truths whose opposition is self-evident. From standpoints of animal welfare, grain allocation, water use, personal health, I understand that eating meat, once viewed through a sustainability lens, is best done infrequently.
I simultaneously appreciate that the pig, a noble and intelligent creature when living, becomes equally versatile and delicious once cooked. And it is this additional understanding of the pig’s nature that witnesses my trotting happily off to another annual Pork Off, hosted by some very good friends of mine here in the Bay Area.
Pork Off: launched a few years ago as the best way to settle a wager among friends and fellow Extreme Croquet combatants (itself a topic ripe for future posting), and serving as well as birthday party for one of our gracious hosts, this recurring event has nestled itself into the collective psyche and social calendars of a lot of people. Someone offered up aloud that at this point, with the event having established its recurring nature and enthusiastic participation, we should place a call to The Food Network to send a crew to document the event. It’s nice to dream. I would so hope that they’d send Paula Deen. I find her cackle infectious, and I think that the decidedly delicious and not-at-all healthy eating serving as the cause celebre would be right up her alley.
The event has evolved: a Bloody Mary-off had served as a sideshow contest between myself and one of the hosts for the first few years, but this facet of Pork Off has faded from view. The central contest is for best pork main-entry-style dish, with peripheral categorical contests for best mac and cheese, porku (that would be haiku, with pork as the central theme), and dessert. This last category came together at the last minute, and did not even appear on the official ballots. The two dessert entries that arrived were relegated to write-in status. Our dear friend Sueann had lovingly crafted a batch of chocolate-chip-style bacon candy cookies. My partner and I brought a batch of homemade Nutella-bacon ice cream whose artery-clogging richness rendered it extremely reluctant to solidify, which it happily and eventually did overnight in the freezer.
All in all, an incredibly rich affair, stuffed to the jowls with laughter, outstanding food and libation, the company of my better half and our badass circle of friends, accolades both for dessert and porku, and the treat of reconnection with someone from way back in time and way the hell over there.
Monday returns, as it’s wont to do, and I can choose to have something for lunch that may or may not involve bacon. I think I’ll go for a salad today, actually. Seeing as how I just dribble-spilled a swig of coffee down the front of my shirt, I better make that a salad and a bib.