03 July 2011

Buildings, Barbecue, and Other Assorted Things. . .

Here is the eventual North German Lutheran 'church' discussed in this post.

Well, it's been a busy several days.  Heck, several weeks is more like it!  But now's the time to return to the sadly neglected Grand Duchy of Stollen project.  

First off, I managed to finish and send off two outstanding projects, both hobby related, yesterday after a few months of sporadic work as and when time permitted.  With any luck at all, these should appear before too many months elapse.  Shouldn't really say much more about that right now though and should stop mentioning it.  Bad, possibly obnoxious form and all that.  What I will mention is that I've also recently finished a work of children's fiction, which I will send off to a publisher after the Fourth of July weekend concludes, to begin what I am sure will be a long round of rejections and resubmissions to other publishers.  It the publishing gods smile on me, eventually my story might see the light of day.  More on that as and if future developments occur, but time now to start on the next story and look ahead.

While I wrapped up the previously mentioned wargaming related projects, it occurred to me that I should also finish a North German church that I began quite some time ago, fiddled with for a bit in early January this year, and then put up on a shelf here in Zum Stollenkeller where it was forgotten for several intervening months.  During that time, however, I've examined photos of several churches in Luebeck and other old Hanseatic towns across Northern Germany (and, indeed the Baltic region) and come to the realization that my church model needs a bit more visual heft if it is to resemble anything like the actual structures I've visited and admired over the years.  So. . . 

The main body of the building shown above and its tower date from early 2007 when they were made as part of an early church model that I decided looked more like an Anglican church in an English village than a Lutheran church somewhere on the Baltic.  So, I hacked it apart, salvaged those parts I could, and began again.  The tower then received a newly cut roof when I also assembled some internal balsa 'ruins', which are not shown here.  The extensions on the sides of the tower and main part of the church were added yesterday evening and this morning.

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'.

The expected winner of today's First Annual Irwin-Amadeus II North Carolina Pork Barbecue Cook-off.  The Grand Duke's faithful and long-suffering manservant Hives was heard to mutter this morning something about palms being greased!
 
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!


A Barbecue Update. . . 
If you try this pork recipe, try cooking/smoking the meat for just five-six hours instead of seven or eight.  It will still be cooked through, but moister and easier to chew and enjoy.  The Grand Duchess and I had supper a bit earlier than usual, so Young Master Paul could join us at the table.  To my great surprise, he ate and enjoyed the bit of pulled pork we gave him along with the rest of his food and even refrained from throwing it, which is the latest trick and usually results in a truncated meal for the slightly naughty lad.  Yesterday evening went rather well however.

7 comments:

Grimsby Mariner said...

I tried your recipe the last time I got the Barbie out. Success & wow!
Great looking church by the by.

Mosstrooper said...

Sound great my mouth is watering at this distance !

johnpreece said...

I think that the church was worth the effort. You do have something that really adds some character.

I am an avid follower of your cookery course by the way. Barbecue is one of those words that mean something comletely different in English and American.

I think the nearest word for what we do is broil over the fire. But a more literal translation would be to get some cheap meat and set fire to it.

Keep providing the inspiration.
John

Bluebear Jeff said...

MMMMmmmmmm, it sounds delicious! Can you email me some?

No? I thought that this modern technology could do anything . . . *sigh* . . . well, maybe next year.


-- Jeff

tradgardmastare said...

I am tempted to try this culinary extravaganza- which sounds great!
Have a superb 4th of July!
best wishes
Alan

Conrad Kinch said...

Mmmmmmmm....

El Grego said...

Mmm, looks good!

As an aside, what material are you using for your buildings?

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