The Big Pig

Mr. B's Famous BBQ Pork Ribs
Most mornings, Mr. B is only too happy to lace up his shoes and hike the hills with me. It's a good way for us to enjoy the beautiful landscape, talk about our work, and enjoy each other's company.

Usually, our walks are pretty quiet, though we stumble across the usual deer, wild turkeys, and the occasional and somewhat rare, red fox. 

Once, however, in an attempt to get a closer view of what we thought was a fox, we mistakenly found ourselves sneaking up on a mountain lion. Thankfully, we realized our error quickly enough to divert disaster and with our arms raised overhead, we quickly retreated, without ever turning our backs.

It was after that near fatal encounter and the almost endless retelling of the story that a handful of friends, along with my mother, sent to Mr. B and I a colorful assortment of whistles. Granted, in the weeks that followed, Mr. B decided that brandishing a sturdy walking stick was more prudent than a whistle, but, I was, nonetheless, charmed by the whistles and took to carrying one whenever we were out and about.

Of course, as time passed, Mr. B slowly forgot how frighteningly close we were to meeting our maker at the paws of a mountain lion, so my penchant for the whistle became a bit of a joke. Not one to take anything personally, I continued to wear the whistle around my neck, just in case.

The other morning, after a strong cup of coffee, I wiped the sleep from my eyes, laced up my trail shoes and headed off to Mr. B's office to see if he wanted to join me for an early morning romp. I found him deep in his work and after a brief exchange of good mornings, he bid me to go on without him. So, as was customary, I grabbed my sunglasses and my whistle and headed off into the morning.

I hadn't even gone a quarter of a mile when I realized that the cars on the main road were slowing down, an oddity that should have drawn my immediate attention, but, lost in my own thoughts, I continued along. It was then that I head the alarmingly loud grunts and wet squeals of what could only be a pig. Sure enough, as I turned to look to my side, a rather large, wild pig was running straight toward me, its eyes fixed upon me with a mixture of fear and aggression.

Instinctively, I reached for my whistle and just as the beast was nearing in on me, I blew as loudly as I could, breaking the calm of what would otherwise have been a peaceful morning. Frightened, the pig made a mad dash for an open field and disappeared into the thick grass and I, with my heart beating wildly in my chest, turned and quickly went in the other direction.

It took a good mile until I felt at ease, and while I continued to look over my shoulder every so often, I went on with my walk. How unbelievable, I thought, of all the things that could have happened, being chased by a wild pig was simply something that had never crossed my mind. 

Long before I arrived home to tell Mr. B about the morning's events, it dawned on me that if he had been along, he would have gone after that pig. Not, of course, in an act of chivalry to protect me from any harm, but with dreams of dragging the pig home, digging a large pit in the yard, and cooking it to perfection.

Sure enough, when Mr. B heard the story, in true Cajun fashion, he asked me why I didn't chase the pig down. "Surely," he said, "there must have been a few large rocks around."

While I can only hope that Mr. B and that pig never cross paths, I must admit, when it comes to BBQ pork ribs, no one makes them better than Mr. B.

Mr. B's BBQ Pork Ribs

1 large rack of pork ribs, cleaned; silver skin removed
5-6 garlic cloves, ground into a paste
Mr. B's famous rib rub

1. Massage the ribs with the garlic paste a liberal dose of rib rub
2. Let sit for several hours to let the massage happen, then,
3. Cook low and slow over hot coals and pecan wood
4. Once the ribs begin to brown, slather with thin layers of BBQ sauce, continuing to build up the layers every 5-8 minutes until the ribs are sticky and glazed and the meat is fall off the bone tender
5. Remove from the grill and tent with foil; let sit for 15 to 20 minutes and then roll up your sleeves and eat.

Mr. B's Famous Rib Rub
*adapted from Cook's Illustrated

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne papper
3 tablespoons chipotle chili powder
3 tablespoons cumin
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon white sugar
4 tablespoons mild smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon dried margoram
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon of salt
3 tablespoons of garlic power
1 tablespoon of onion power

1. Mix together; store in an airtight container or jar.


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