118: Timbersports!

This article about Timbersports is inspiring.  Bet I could learn to compete!

117: Some more pictures from Burning Pig, 2011!

116: Burning Pig Festival

Saturday, August 20, after some test runs, we hosted the first annual Burning Pig Festival at Coldholler.  It was epic.  Over 115 folk came, including a small army of kids under 8-years-old.  Between the log cabin and the treehouse, and the rockclimbing wall, and the campfire, the kids were all occupied.

My oldest friend, Taylor Watts, left his horse farm and carriage tour company in and near Savannah, GA to help me do the cook.  We were supposed to start around 2am or a bit later, after sleeping from 9pm.  Pig Pickins don't always work out exactly as planned though -- his transmission died in Hendersonville, about 90 minutes away.  So instead of resting, I drove to get him, and his 7 year old son, Connor.  We got back around 11pm, only to learn that our pig weighed more than anticipated -- 140 pounds!  We backed up our time and put him on at midnight.  No rest for the wicked!

The cook was uneventful.  I had a small flare-up about 4:30am and put it out with water.  Kept the cooker between 225d and 240d until 2:30pm.  As we sauced the pulled meat, we had a second, major flareup that burned underneath the pig, on the skin.  It was serious, and hard to extinguish.  We figured out how though -- using welding gloves, we lifted the grate and pig off the grill and set it on a wooden table, snuffing the flame.  Now I know to have a wet towel to spread on the table, and an extra set of hands -- works perfectly and immediately.

The meat was absolutely sublime.  The shoulders and butts pulled into soft, juicy chunks and strands.  The cheeks were like cotton candy.  Taylor's family recipe for vinegar and mustard-based sauce is the best anywhere and brought our Lowcountry South Carolina heaven up here to us in the mountains.

The pictures tell most of the rest of the story.  Enjoy!

Daryll Talley, proud poppa (he and his wife Tamarra raised our pig!) checking to see if we did it justice!

Marshmallow madness.  Angus: "another moshmow, mommy!"
Mo moshmows!
Want some tongue?
"Here's to us!"  "who's like us?"  "Damn few!"  "and they're dead!"
We totally got a smoke ring.  It was yummy.  Got some pictures before we sauced it up...
Perfect meat.  The butts were almost 200 degrees, soft, and juicy.
Taylor Watts, of Savannah, GA.  If you're ever there, take a tour with his Plantation Carriage Company and get a great BBQ recommendation from the driver.
Taylor's sauce beats all challengers, in my humble opinion.  I do have a weak spot for mustard and vinegar...
Angus wants some too!
Flare up!

Nice ears!
Our staff (Abel and Connor) already in their uniform shirts...

115: A Tale of two saws, part 4!

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon and evening at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, smoking chicken for NPS trail crews at the end of their summer.  There I reconnected with Josh Burt, who brought a plywood box full of huge, sharp, two-man crosscut saws, some dating to the 30's and 40's and bearing stamps showing they were part of the New Deal labor effort.  After watching Josh destroy a competitor twice his size in a race (see the video), I chose to let go my 2-year-old Angus's hand and challenge him myself.  Here's the first contest, complete with an unexpected twist of fate and the resulting drama:

Josh not only knows saws, but he's fit from using them in the field all summer.  He beat me handily even though I was fresher, but I was very close and pretty happy with my first-time performance and would say I'd get considerably faster with practice, except my aging knees and back threatened revolt last night and this morning.  Still, I love short, anaerobic efforts and had a great time.  Here are some pictures of my attempt!:
On the mark!
Angus watches Daddy under duress...
Josh is working like a machine!
I'm starting to burn.
Almost through, sinking to one knee...
Josh finishes now, and I'm spent.  Angus said, "Daddy, you're not supposed to do that!"  Don't know whether he meant lose, or tackle something so physically intense in the first place.  I said, "Angus, you're probably right!" and limped away...

About Me

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I use this blog to chronicle certain aspects of my life near the Smokies. I'm building a cabin. I kayak. Sometimes I bike.