Have you noticed that holidays or special occasions tend to spark great expections? Will it be party-making or party-going? Will we be sending or receiving invitations? Who do we want to spend time with?
Whether you end up as the hostess or a guest, holiday festivities almost always revolve around food – thinking about, planning for and preparing that ‘just right’ menu of delectable dishes.
Whether the soiree is large or small, casual or elegant, to me the most important aspect of a holiday party is that it is time spent with those we enjoy most. To me this is the best reason to celebrate.
This year our 4th of July party was a small, intimate, two person event. My husband and I were the two guests. You can read that as no invites were sent, nor any received. In the past I would have felt bad about not being invited to a holiday celebration. Now, I realize that this situation was as much about my not reaching out to invite others to celebrate the holiday with me and my husband as it is being very satisfied with a small party of two.
The result. We were a ‘table for two’ for our Holiday BBQ Dinner.
The menu for our small party included a favorite, simple BBQ dinner in keeping with our Lowcountry lifestyle. I served Forest Gump Pulled Pork BBQ Sliders with a side of Asian Style Broccoli Slaw. The credit for the BBQ recipe goes to Debbi Covington a phenomenal Lowcountry cook (and genuinely wonderful person). This BBQ has a smoky and spicy flavor with a hint of sweetness. The Broccoli Slaw is loosely based on a Paula Deen recipe with an Asian twist. You won’t believe how simple and delicious are these recipes.
Forest Gump Crockpot Pulled Pork BBQ
- 1 5lb pork boneless Boston butt wrapped in butchers twine. Fat removed from outside.
- 1 Tsp pepper
- 1 Tsp salt
- 2 large Vidalia onions cut into wedges
- 3 whole Chipotle chilis
- 3 tsps adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 cups regular Dr. Pepper
- Your favorite BBQ sauce
1. Remove skins from onion, cut in half and slice each half into 6 wedges. Place all wedges on bottom of crock pot.
2. Rub salt and pepper all over pork and place into crock pot. Seam side down.
3. Lay Chipotle chilis on top of pork butt, spread adobe sauce over chilis.
4. Sprinkle Brown sugar on top of chilis
5. Pour Dr. Pepper over everything.
6. Put crock pot on low setting, cover and cook for 6 to 7 hours or until pork pulls apart.
7. When fully cooked, remove pork from crock pot and place onto a large plate. Turn crock pot setting to warm. Cut string from pork with kitchen shears and discard. Taking care to remove and discard ‘fatty’ pieces, use 2 forks to shred pork. Leave on plate.
8. Use slotted spoon to remove onions and chilis. Separate onto plates. Cut chilis open and scrape out seeds. Discard seeds. Chop chilis into small pieces. Chop onions into small pieces. Leave on plate.
9. Use slotted spoon to remove all remaining chili, pork and onion pieces from sauce in crock pot.
10. Move crock pot by kitchen sink.
11. Remove fat from sauce. I ladle sauce into gallon size plastic bag. Be careful sauce is HOT! The layer of fat will float to top.
12. With corner of plastic bag over crock pot use kitchen shears to cut bottom corner to release sauce. Careful, sauce will stream out of bag into crock pot very quickly. Close off bag when the fat layer gets to opening.
13. Remove half of clear sauce from crock pot into a bowl or container.
14. Return shredded pork, onions and chilis to crock pot. Incorporate into sauce. Add additional sauce if desired. I freeze the extra sauce.
15. Serve on mini slider buns or sweet Hawaiian rolls. Top with your favorite BBQ sauce.
Note: This recipe makes a lot of pulled pork. It freezes very well.
Asian Style Broccoli Slaw
- 1 package broccoli slaw
- 6 large radishes, washed and thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 2 whole carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
Put all ingredients into serving bowl and mix well.
Asian Style Dressing
- 1 cup Garlic Expressions dressing (I love this dressing! I used it in my Simple Summer Salad recipe)
- A squirt or two of honey to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of roasted sesame oil, more or less to taste
Whisk ingredients together and pour over slaw mixture just enough to moisten and get that pretty glistenny look on every ingredient. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour or so. This slaw stands up to the dressing and keeps for two to three days (if it lasts that long) in the refrigerator.
So there you have it.
The ingredients for an intimate and Lowcountry style holiday meal with my best friend and husband, the person whom I most love to spend time.
The next holiday is right around the corner. I wonder, will I send or receive invites? Do I extend myself into the universe of friends or be content with staying to myself?
I do not know, yet. What I do know is that a wonderful, simple meal and the company of people who matter most are the real ingredients of a satisfying holiday experience! Wouldn’t you agree?
Simple comforts to you and yours!
8 thoughts on “Table for two, please!”
I love how uniquely you look at things. It makes me think!
Your menu was perfect and anything Debbi has in her cookbooks always comes out great.
Sounds like you had a great 4th!
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So good to hear from you! I owe you a long email message. There is lots to share!
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Sumptuous both the food and company 👍🏼👍🏼
Thank you for your comment! I agree, my husband is my favorite holiday “date”!
I’m on the same page with you, Sandra! It can be lovely to have a party of two for certain holidays. I do think it’s worth the efforts for a date night at home, or holiday for two. Your meal looks delicious (and I love your images)! I’ve been eating mainly salads since our return from 3 weeks of indulgence in Italy and Paris. The pasta was divine–I had some nearly every day. I’m ‘paying the piper’ and am down 6 lbs. since my return.
Thanks for your kind words during our travels. It was a truly wonderful trip, but there were definitely moments of stress and concern with all the terror incidents happening. It does feel good to be home safe and sound!
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Great post! You must be an amazing cook because this look so delicious! I am in the mood now for a barbecure sandwich like this.
Maria, you are so kind! I try to cook simple, delicious comfort food. A trick is to make extra to freeze for a later date when the craving strikes!