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Saturday, February 19, 2022

New recipe: barbecued wild boar ribs!

Remember the hit television series LostJohn Locke (magnificently played by Terry O'Quinn) would sometimes go off into the jungle hunting.  More often than not he came back with a wild boar, upon which the castaways would enjoy feasting.

It turns out that if you want to eat like Locke, you DON'T have to go to a mysterious island.  In some places, you can buy boar already prepared to cook in your kitchen.

I've been having a hankering to try wild boar ribs ever since first spotting them on sale at Country Meat Center in Woodruff, South Carolina.  I was with a client (let's call him "Rufus") and we came across them while perusing the products at what I good heartedly refer to as "that crazy meat store".  I call it that because of the positively BONKERS variety of food items they have, everything from porterhouse and ground chuck, to kangaroo and octopus.  If it's meat, this place has it.  Anyhoo, I saw those and told Rufus that I had to give that a shot.  Had some time this afternoon so I decided to go to the crazy meat store on my own and see if they were still in stock.  Turned out they were.

I barbecued them, adapting from a recipe I found at Emerils.com.  They came out beautifully!  Although I think the specimen these were taken from was a rather small one.  Boar get MUCH bigger than this, I believe.  But for an introductory to the dish it was plenty.  There is a wood-ish aroma to cooked wild boar, and it tastes a tad bit like pork ribs you'd find in a good wood-pit cooked barbecue restaurant.  Quite a pleasant experience.

So if you come across wild boar baby back ribs in your own neighborhood meat market, here's how I prepared mine if you need some idea to work from...

Barbecued wild boar ribs

Fill a small baking pan with cold water.  Place this on the lowest rack of your oven.  This will keep the ribs moist and juicy during the fairly long cooking time.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place the ribs on the foil and cook uncovered for 2 hours.

When the ribs have been cooked, remove the baking sheet from the oven.  Using a basting brush and tongs to turn the ribs over and coat both sides of the ribs with your choice of barbecue sauce (I use Williamson Brothers Bar-B-Q Sauce).

Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove the sheet from the oven and turn the ribs over.

Bake for another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and enjoy!


EDIT: I'm kicking myself for totally forgetting about Obelix: the giant best friend of Asterix!  Obelix has an affinity for wild boar, not unlike that of a meth addict.  Indeed, every story (I think) from the classic Goscinny and Udurzo comic ends with the whole tribe partying with ample amounts of boar.

 If you've never read an Asterix comic book, check your local bookstore or search out Amazon, and prepare for a treat.  Every issue, I'm pretty sure has been translated into English.  My first Asterix book was Asterix the Gladiator: as much a hilarious "fish out of water" story as there is ever apt to be.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Canadian convoy: history in the making

It is now day #16 of the Freedom Convoy's presence in the Canadian capital of Ottawa.  What began as a group of truckers all the way west in Vancouver has become a movement inspiring many, MANY more around the world.  The truckers and their supporters want little: just the lifting of mandatory vaccinations.  But Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau - who has called the truckers "fringe extremists" - refuses to budge.  This despite his falling hard in the polls.  If this were England there would be calls already for his resignation.

Needless to say, this is extremely FASCINATING to me and I've been watching the Freedom Convoy's story unfold and evolve since it began.  The truckers and their supporters aren't going anywhere in Ottawa, and more are still coming.  Trudeau is in a tight spot: he either gives up and ends the mandate, or he chooses to end the occupation by any means necessary.

Personally, I think the man is in much the same position that Nicolae Ceaucescu was in during December of 1989.  That didn't end well for Nicolae and his wife: thrown up against the wall and shot as enemies of the people.  Averse to violence that I am, I hope that won't be Trudeau.  No matter how sleazy and out of touch with the common Canadian that he is.

Well like I said, I've been following this with extreme interest.  And if you want to also watch as history unfolds with our friends in the Great White North (and soon to be coming to Washington D.C. and no doubt state capitals across the fruited plain) there are several online live streams coming in from Ottawa, Windsor, Coutts and wherever else the convoy is making waves.  One of my favorites is Ottawalks: they've been doing hours-long live feeds from throughout the streets of Ottawa all the way to Parliament Hill.  Here's their most recent stream, and does it seem like a party has broken out or what?  Definitely NOT a gathering of "extremists" who have "unacceptable" beliefs as Trudeau charged.

I really hope this same momentum will be moving our own truckers and their backers when the American convoy kicks into high gear.