Curle’s Cue

Walking into a complete stranger’s backyard and enjoying fine home-smoked pork is a tough assignment, but somebody has to do it. And we are those somebodies.

James Curle, savvy man that he is, regularly reads this here blog and thought he’d throw an invite our way to his sixth annual Curlefest. Porky and I, devoted bloggers, barbecue hounds and suckers for a free meal, were happy to oblige.

James Curle with his beloved

With the spell of the swine the only icebreaker we’d need, we were soon swapping tales and inspecting Curle’s ingenious temporary smoker that he adapted from the inimitable Holy Smoke. The best feature was the split top that slid apart to allow hog checking without losing too much heat.

And about that hog: Curle got a half hog from the Nahunta outlet at the Raleigh Farmer’s Market. After ten hours of smoking with good ol’ Kingston and a little kosher (l’chaim!) salt, the pork was ready. And was it ever.

Curle chopped and seasoned some swine, but graciously left a good amount on the smoker for picking. True to my name, I nabbed a rib or two and was not sorry I did.

Before the ‘cue, the event also included a diversionary cornhole tournament. The game Stephen Colbert called a “cross between horseshoes and sodomy” likely began as an attempt to distract attendees from the amazing, smokey aromas emanating from the pit (man I wish you could link to a smell). There was no distracting this rabbi of ribs.

By the time we left–greasy fingered–we weren’t exiting a stranger’s yard, but a newfound barbecue buddy’s. The pickin’ was a real example of ‘cue-aided community-building, as the event brought together neighbors, friends, congregants, co-workers, and, well, bloggers.

A final note: Curle wanted us to note that his dog is named Jerry, an allusion to jheri curls. Consider it done, James! And thanks very much for the hog and hospitality.

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