Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Jaunt to Virginny - Story Continues - Pulled Pork Pigout


Still at Mom's house, but now the project is done and it's time for fun. Friday evening we took Mom and sister #3, (daughter #4 - she flew in from Michigan just because I was coming from CA) and a friend of sister #3 to The Stray Cat Cafe in Westover in Arlington.

Sweetie and I had eaten lunch there the previous day since it was across the street from the hardware store that had a tile drill bit. We had enjoyed it so much that we suggested it for dinner.

A secret food craving of mine is pulled pork...the kind that has been cooked over hickory wood and is moist and tender and somewhat stringy since it has been cooked long enough that it can be pulled right off the bone and then pulled apart into chunks. Imagine my delight when I discovered pulled pork on the menu of this bright and inviting cafe'. The best usually comes from North Carolina, but The Stray Cat Cafe served a mighty fine pulled pork sandwich which I had at lunch. That was pulled pork #1.

For dinner I had the platter (photo above) which had an enormous pile of the delicious pork, plus a mini-loaf of moist cornbread, a good cole slaw with crisp cabbage and slivers of carrots in a dressing that wasn't too thick or too sweet, plus a pile of crispy twisty fries. Two sauces came with the pork, so I used a small amount of the milder one. Really, the pork was so good it didn't need sauce. That was pulled pork #2.

On Saturday it was celebration time! We celebrated brother #2's birthday and had a belated party at the same time for Mom's birthday. We were joined by brother #2's delightful wife and sons, plus sister #1's son and fiancee', so it was a full table plus. Sister (and daughter) #1 drove up from North Carolina with a couple of huge packages of pulled pork. We added hamburger buns, spicy baked beans that had simmered all day in a slow cooker, cole slaw made without mayonnaise in the dressing, fresh corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes from the country, and a selection of beer, plus water and juice. The pile of buns at the back of the photo t the top of this post is only a part of the pulled pork...we had leftovers! It was moist and juicy and very smoky and really, really good! That was pulled pork #3.

There were enough leftovers that I was able to have a pulled pork sandwich for lunch on Monday, too. That was pulled pork #4.

Any trip that includes so many pulled pork experiences is a winner...a true pulled pork pigout!

In addition to all this meaty goodness, on Saturday after that dinner, we had the birthday cake and birthday pie. I had made a peach shortcake, shown here with candles and peach slices on top, while sister #2 (daughter #3) came up from Maryland and she made a blast from the past...a Chocolate Rum Marble Pie from the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery. Since the cake was mostly a box of yellow cake mix, fresh sliced peaches, and whipped cream, the recipe will be for that wonderful, rich, creamy pie.

The photo does not do justice to sister #2's creation. It was super yummy! Can you guess which # daughter I am?

Marbled Chocolate Rum Pie

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1/4 cup rum
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
Standard pastry for one-crust 9-inch pie, baked

In top part of double boiler mix gelatin, 1/4 cup sugar, and the salt. Beat in egg yolks, milk, and rum. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until thoroughly blended. Chill until thickened but not set.

Beat egg whites until they are foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until very stiff. Fold into the chocolate mixture.

Whip cream with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla until stiff.

Alternate the two mixtures in cold pie shell. Swirl with spoon. Chill until firm.

Makes 6-8 servings.
Note from sister #2: When I saw that it made "only" 6-8 servings, I thought, "Oh, well,
we'll just have really small pieces, or maybe some people won't want
some." But at Mom's when I cut it in 12 pieces, I thought they were
pretty reasonably sized pieces, for as rich as this pie is.
I'm glad you're home safe and sound. That was a fun party, wasn't it?


  1. Mmmm, how I love the pulled good. I used to have the best place but they was like losing a friend. :(
    Gald to see you are having a good time.

  2. Glad to hear you're having a good time.

  3. Pulled pork...yum! Michael and I will definitely have to check out the Stray Cat Cafe! Thanks for the tip.

  4. I hadn't heard of pulled pork until I started blogging. I'd love to try it some day.

    So, which sister are you?

  5. Fun and work! The Stray Cat sounded fun! Looking forward to getting together soon.

  6. I'm with Amanda here...haven't got a clue what pulled pork is. Maybe Amanda and I should get together virtually and try it!

  7. Peabody, I know how sad it is to not have any's almost as good as great bacon. I'm home now and back to work, so 'good time' is a bit different right now.

    Cynthia, Thanks!

    Andrea, Yes, although it gets crowded on Friday and the weekend.

    Amanda, Pulled pork is (usually) pork shoulder that is cooked very slowly, often over hardwood coals, like hickory wood coals, until is is so tender that it falls off the bone and can be pulled apart easily. The shoulder usually has a lot of fat and that prevents the meat from drying out as it cooks, plus it provides a lot of good flavor.

    Anna, It was a good combo of work and play. Do try the Stray Cat if you get to the D.C. area. See 'ya soon!

    Karen, it's really delicious and I wish I could send you some, but it will be a while before I have any again, either. :(

  8. If I tell you there's a barbecue place here with good pulled pork, will you come visit?? It's true; there is a barbecue restaurant that serves several different kinds of barbecue, including pulled pork. It's really good....

  9. I didn't realise you were back! Chocolate rum pie, oh yum!

  10. Beth, It will be harder to get away and travel with the new job, but at least I'm earning travel money & we have a new employee who may be willing to trade days...I would love to come see you, Ron and the 'babies' and eat pulled pork with you :)

    kelly-Jane, Have been keeping so busy since I came back that I'm not sure I'm back either :) The pie was spectacular!