A Pit Keeper’s Respite: Pecan Tinted Pork Chops on the Weber Kettle Grill
The other weekend my trail crony and I made camp at a nearby wilderness establishment; a locale of great loveliness, off the beaten path, and aside a watershed patron to a sky full of stars. As you may have gleamed around here, from time to time, we do rather like to engage our souls in the wilder places. In point of fact, if ever we were to scribe another blog, it would doubtless be one touting the high joys of the outdoor life. For this is what we do, by and by, besides grilling beautiful cuts of meat, that is. We seek to tarry where creation is most divine. And so there we were, naturally, on the forest floor, our tents poetically pitched at the tail of a moonbeam. The stars drifting across an ebony sky. And the coyotes yelping from the distant hills.
If you’ve never spent the night in the forest, your senses have never then been properly primed. Nor your imagination so sublimely stretched. To hear the critters scamper about, and everyone of them, you swear, sniffing the trembling corners of your tent. You can hear the diameter of coyote’s nose at ten paces, as it draws it’s air from the still night. The Trumpeter Swans bellowing in the darkness. You can hear those too. The Great Horned Owls stirring up a nocturnal racket, yapping on like little old ladies sitting in the tree tops. Then, some time in the wee hours, the undecipherable sounds of something heavy and hairy wandering at the edge of the woods. Nay, that’s just my camp mate, out for his nightly leg raise. It’s all good in the woods.
Shifting gears now, out at the pit. A light pecan smoke curls from the old kettle grill. It’s been a long week. A busy week. The kind of week that the big city is good at dishing out to those challenged and beleaguered souls entrapped within it’s elastic bosom. Everyone is in a hurry here. Pedal to the proverbial metal. Car horns blaring. Phones ringing. Sirens racing. It’s really something. Or at least you seem to notice it more, perhaps, after a good camping trip afield. Maybe that’s what it is. There is a palatial difference, or is it indifference, between the speed of life in the city and one out in the quieter places. One of head-turning, iconoclastic proportions. And it only takes one night bedded down on the forest floor to realize it. And so my grilling, as humble as it may be, is at last a small respite to me – a last beach head of tranquility in a world gone to haste.
So it was, and with great pleasure, too, that I laid the succulent pork chops over the pecan-scented flames. This one simple act, where man cooks meat over fire, outside, seems to trigger a domino of mental pleasures, all toppling forth in a splendid way before me. For starters, the smell of the wood smoldering over the fire. Very pleasant. Which in turn, connects to memories of cooking fires past. And some of those memories, of fires yonder, in places long ago. Of camp fires and good people. Over hill and by the dale, where the coyotes freely sing, and the moonbeams kiss the tender fabric of our tents. And illuminate the quiet hollows of our soul. Amen.
Pecan smoked pork chops, with garlic mashed potatoes and a good spill of peas. Good is good at the pit tonight. And even better cooked outside. A Pit Keeper’s respite.
I love a meandering walk through woodland, but have never, ever fancied sleeping under canvas there. Well, until now that is ! And my change of heart is all down to the evocative, poetic and romantic quality of your fabulous writing.
And that’s not the half of it.This post is so perfectly constructed, highlighting the magic and wonder of the natural world and contrasting it with city life where so many have to go to earn a living.
You are blessed with such a special writing skill and this post shows have finely you have honed your craft.
It was an absolute pleasure to read. And the food was great too!
April 14, 2016 at 9:44 am
Wow, that was nice of you to say. Really nice. Thank you, Karen. And I mean that. Many thanks. Always good to hear our drafts are not dashed out in vain. I think likewise of your writing, and I mean that too. You’ve clearly honed your craft as well. You’re just good at a lot of things, really! Keep it up! And blessings to you!
April 14, 2016 at 9:49 am
Sleeping in the forest… kind of. I have a camping story to tell and a recipe to go along with it I’m going to be posting soon.
These pork chops look so good! Just look at that juice! David has yet to use pecan (we pronounce it PEE-CAN) wood. I’m gonna have to get him on that, but I think brisket is on the new Smoky Mountain Weber this weekend…
April 14, 2016 at 10:46 am
Mmm, well now, I would probably take brisket over a pork chop most any day. I love brisket done right.
Yes, lets hear this camping story / recipe at your soonest leisure! I shall be checking in for that.
Hey to David!
April 15, 2016 at 10:39 am
Will do! 🙂
April 15, 2016 at 11:28 am
Sigh…I will have to pretend it’s wild country tonight with some tenderloin on the Weber. Actually it’s a bit wild while visiting the kids and wee ones in the Burbs of a KY town.
I’m quite sure that Pit Time may just help ones tale weaving abilities…you do it proud!
April 14, 2016 at 12:40 pm
Many thanks Gary. Yes, I know you are one to appreciate both the well-woven tale, and a good night’s sleep on the forest floor. You’re my kind of people! And I love reading of your BW trips. Some times a little more adventurous than I’d care for, but good reading, none the less.
April 14, 2016 at 1:12 pm
You do this stuff so perfectly well. I love the change of pace your writing induces.
April 14, 2016 at 1:59 pm
Thank you kindly, Mr Conor! Likewise!
April 14, 2016 at 3:46 pm
Oh, my friend thank you for your wonderful post reminding us why we chose to move away from the city life in search of a respite, “where creation is most divine.” We live on the outskirts of a small fishing village and are able to sit on our decks every morning and evening and listen to the night birds and small animals scurrying about and then to hear the morning birds greet the day. Sleeping with our sliding glass doors open wide to bring us the calming cadence of the ocean waves and breezes is a bit like camping without the odd rock or root working its’ way into your ribcage!
And – we get to barbecue year-round whenever we get tired of fresh seafood and ceviche. Life is good! It is always good to hear from you, God Bless!
April 16, 2016 at 7:31 am
Yup, you certainly have a slice of paradise going on down there, sounds like. A peaceful respite indeed, partitioned from the worldly bustle. Love the idea of sleeping at night enjoying to sound of the surf. Wow. Your blood pressure must never rise.
Take care John and Mary in Ecuador.
April 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm
Actually – our blood pressure did rise a bit last Saturday night with the 7.8 earthquake in Pedernales. But, life goes on – the surf still beats its’ regular rhythm and we are well. God is good!
April 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm
Wow! Glad to hear you’re OK. Man, never been in an earthquake before that I know of. Must get the old ticker pumping a little indeed.
April 23, 2016 at 12:41 pm
Beautiful. So many great turns of phrase, my favorite this time being “a world gone to haste”. You’ve captured a night in the woods lyrically. Thanks for the delicious post.
April 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm
Thanks Todd. That’s good praise cling from a wordsmith like you. Appreciate it. And yeah, the world sure has gone to haste. What’s our hurry? That’s why I BBQ low and slow.
April 17, 2016 at 1:50 pm
You remind us of where we live, and why we came here! Thanks!
April 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm
Rub it in! Man, I can’t imagine how wonderful it must be living next to one of the most lovely National Parks on the planet. I hope you guys never move!
April 21, 2016 at 3:21 pm