Were I to do all of this again from scratch, I would cut out the end walls as single pieces rather that new additions butted onto the existing structure as an afterthought, but you live and learn. In any case, I'll disguise the joints with several carefully cut, sanded, and placed balsa 'buttresses'.
But all play and no work makes Stokes an even duller boy. . . Today, Sunday, July 3rd, sees yours truly at work on some genuine North Carolina Piedmont-style (Pulled) Pork Barbecue and Red Slaw, a nod to my deceased maternal grandparents from Asheville and Lexington respectively. As a boy, my grandfather always prepared this dish for us several times during the summer, a tradition I have continued as an adult to the delight of the Grand Duchess and other family members. It's not for the health conscious, given the high fat concentrations and the amount of sugar used in the sauce, but the 'barbecue' as we call it is smoky, spicy, and mouthwatering. In theory, I could eat my weight in the stuff, but I can't seem to manage that to quite the same degree that I remember doing when I was 15 or 16 years old!
The one drawback is that the barbecue and slaw take all day to prepare, so it's hard to do much else besides hang around waiting to begin the next step. When you aren't checking the meat and basting it with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and course ground black pepper, it's time to chop cabbage for the slaw, pick mint for the iced tea, and finally mix the sauce. That is made by combining roughly one cup of ketchup, one cup of white vinegar, and one cup of sugar -- I prefer slightly less ketchup -- further seasoned to taste with course ground black pepper and Lea and Perrin's Worcester Sauce. This 'red sauce' is used to flavor the slaw and the meat in your sandwiches. It's tantalizingly spicy but not uncomfortably so, though several years ago my visiting in-laws, who have rather less expansive pallets, found it too much and asked for plain ketchup! There are no words. . .
Anyway, after about seven hours of cooking/smoking over indirect heat, the pork shoulders come off the grill and go to the kitchen to cool for two-three hours on a platter. Then it's time to get your hands dirty. You pull the dried, smoked pork off the bones and into slivers slightly smaller than your fingers. If you have any energy left, and you aren't doubled over from anticipatory hunger pains, it's time to make some hush puppies. Finally, when everything is ready, you can sit down to the table to enjoy a most delicious, "down home" meal with a large glass of sugary, spearmint-flavored iced tea. Speaking of which, it's time to check the meat again. Oink, oink!