A few weeks ago, I was at the commissary. That was the day that Kurt and Grace went with me, and Grace informed Daddy halfway through the trip that she has swimming lessons on Wednesdays. Kurt glanced at his watch and began to panic — she had to be at lessons in twenty minutes!
So he ran her home really quickly to grab her swimsuit, and off they went to lessons, leaving me to finish the shopping on my own.
At this time, we had no plans for Memorial Day, so I was trying to think what we’d want to eat for the holiday. In the packaged meats department I found a tub of Carolina BBQ, the kind that is dressed simply with a vinegar sauce. All you had to do was dump into a pan, heat it, and eat.
Kurt is now going to the Community College of Rhode Island (which I shall refer to as CCRI from here on out), taking a class in geology towards his Associate’s in science. Every Tuesday and Thursday, he has to be at class at 6pm — meaning that if I decide to cook, it pretty much has to be something quick and easy. I don’t feel like cooking something major if I have to hurry up and get it on the table by 5:15pm.
Which reminds me — today we ate our lunch outside on the patio, enjoying the absolute gorgeous weather we’ve had today. It’s been in the high 70s, sunny, relatively low humidity, no clouds, and a gentle to stiff breeze. I’ve been sitting on my couch for most of the day (hey, it’s my day off), and I could feel the breeze come in through the window. I’ve had all my windows open all day long. It’s heavenly!
So Kurt and I are talking at lunch about the difference between “cooking” and “preparing a meal.” It means different things to different people, but to me, “cooking” is starting from raw ingredients and ending with a complete dinner. “Preparing a meal” is a lot simpler, and can include making a salad with fixin’s from the grocery store or just tossing hamburgers on the grill. “Cooking” is what I do most of the time, though I don’t normally put forth a huge amount of effort. That blueberry pound cake just about stretched my ability for complicated cooking!
Today was definitely a day for “preparing a meal,” and I remembered that tub of Carolina BBQ I had bought for Memorial Day. Don’t worry — the “best buy” date was 8 July, so it was still fresh. I grabbed the tub of pork, tossed it into a pan (I hate cooking in the microwave), and got to working on salads for a side dish. Kurt and I are going to turn into rabbits one of these days. We almost always have salad as a side to dinner. It’s been weeks since we had cooked veggies as a side dish.
We sat down to dinner, and I started putting the sandwiches together. I’d toasted some bulkie rolls, which are a New England style of sandwich roll, similar to a kaiser roll. You’re supposed to put Carolina BBQ on a hamburger bun, but these bulkie rolls looked much yummier. Onto the toasted bulkie roll went a healthy serving of the warm Carolina BBQ pork, and on top of that went a dollop of coleslaw. Kurt added Texas Pete to his sandwich, and then it was time to dig on.
From the first bite, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It’s been years since I had BBQ, probably since the last time I was at Driver Days, back in 2002. Or maybe it was 2001 — I don’t remember. It can be hard to find BBQ outside of the southern Virginia / northeastern North Carolina area. Most people, when you mention BBQ, assume pork drowned in barbecue sauce. While I know that lots of people love the stuff, it’s just not my preference. Give me the stuff with the vinegar dressing any day.
That, my friends, is what I’m talking about. That is what I made a pig (no pun intended) of myself with, by eating two of these sandwiches for dinner tonight. But damn, were they good!!! (Edited to add: This is a photo I stole off the internet; it is not my own photo. I wish I could photograph food that well!!)
I was so surprised that it tasted so good, coming out of a tub of meat from the grocery store. It was nearly But as I was looking up the brand online, I remembered that Gwaltney is based on Virginia, so I basically bought BBQ from the experts. It was almost as good as buying a BBQ sandwich from a local festival in southern Virginia!!
I will definitely be buying this again. It’s the perfect hurry-up summertime meal!