in order to make pulled pork i had to start the crock pot cooking early. i purchased about 6 lbs. worth of pork butt a few days ago. i chopped it into fist-sized pieces so they'd better fit in the pot. at the bottom i layered it with a whole chopped onion. one problem with my previous pulled pork was it was too dry. so this time i filled the pot with 2/3 water, then poured in some rice water for lagniappe. i sprinkled some sea salt, threw in a crushed piece of ginger, and added some chopped garlic. i set the crock pot on high and looked at the clock: the official start time was 11:00.
with all these extra ingredients, the pork smelled better than last time. as the meat rendered, it started to leak out juices which i scooped out a bit of to prevent the crock pot from overflowing. attracted to the aroma, i gave the broth a taste. despite the fragrances, this "soup" was pretty bland, and extremely oil at that. i added some more salt but then remembered eventually all this broth would be thrown away, so no point in trying to get it to taste better.
the weather this morning was a bit on the grey side, but later the sky cleared up and the sun came out. i moved my plants outside, then took a bicycle ride to the cafe. i stopped by the community garden on my way back to check up on the two plants i planted yesterday, and picked up a few discarded plastic planters and a plastic mesh tray. when i got home i re-adjusted the front cantilevered brakes on my bicycle, moving them closer to the rim.
in the mid-afternoon i finally received a check from client N. they still owed me half the amount from my work for them back in february; but instead of paying me the full amount due, they ended up paying only half of the half they still owed me. not the best situation, but at least i finally got some money in my hands.
on my way back i paid a visit to the somerville avenue rite aid. a bag of chocolate that i thought were on sale rung up the full price. i asked the clerk if there was a mistake and she said the sale price was for wellness+ members. apparently rite aid is getting into the membership card business as well. a lot of chain stores do it as a way of monitoring customers' buying habits. what i loved about rite aid was they were the last of the hold-outs that didn't have membership cards, but i guess those days are gone. now the only 2 places left that still don't track consumer purchases are walgreens and market basket.
long story short, i signed up for a card in order to get my chocolate discount ($5/2 bags of M&M's). looks like something else i'll have to carry around in my makeshift-wallet-this-is-really-just-a-rubberband.
at 6:00 i finally removed the pork butts. unlike last time when the meat was dry, the pork this time was tender perfection; so tender that they crumbled as i spooned them out of the crock pot. as for the leftover broth, because of the high fat content, i couldn't just dump into the sink. my plan was to first pour it into a large pyrex bowl, wait until it condensed, then throw away the solids. unfortunately i had a hard time grasping the hot ceramic crock pot and i ended up slipping and pouring most of the liquid into the sink. this is not a good thing, i thought to myself.
after shredding the pork (easy enough task since the meat was falling apart anyway), i put everything back into the crock pot and poured in the entire bottle of stubb's barbecue sauce. this was the sauce i used last time (except i had the spicy version instead). i actually prefer a sauce with more of a vinegary taste, but that picture of the black cowboy makes me want to buy it. i realized right away that 18 oz. of sauce wasn't enough.
good thing i was going out anyway to buy a bottle of liquid plumbr to unclog the pork fat coating the sink pipe. i got the variety with the foaming action ($5/bottle). i then biked to market basket and got another bottle of barbecue sauce (spicy this time, $3/bottle). i usually do my grocery shopping in the mornings or afternoons, so i didn't recognize any of the people working the evening shift.
the sink seemed fine but better safe than sorry. i poured the entire content of the liquid plumr down the kitchen drain and waited an hour before flushing the piping with hot water. elsewhere, i poured the entire content of the second bottle of barbecue sauce into the crock pot.
by 8:00 i was ready for my pulled pork on top of onion rolls sprinkled with pickle chips. this whole meal, from start to finish, took more than 9 hours to fully cook. i had two sandwiches but was already stuffed by the time i finished the first one. i have enough pulled pork now to last me an entire week (at least, provided i don't die from pork consumption overload).
i was ready to leave my plants outside overnight, but in the late evening it began to thunderstorm. the plants in plastic boxes could remain, but the ones in cardboard boxes had to come in. sometime tomorrow i'll be planting these transplants; i think they've hardened enough.