This year’s reunion story

That’s me at the bottom left.

It’s not tragic, sad or over the top.

I have a cooking disorder. It’s called “I can’t remember $h** when I’m cooking.” My mother had it too in her later life. I didn’t understand it until I got to that “later life part.”

Pulled pork was on the menu. Easy peasy. Rub, brown, crock pot for a long time. How can you screw that up? I had to work at it but it can be screwed up.

The group was 25 to 30 people so I wanted a big pork shoulder. Since we also had barbecue chicken, I though 7-1/2 pounds would work. I could have gone smaller but it worked.

I have a large oval crock pot. Big! I thought so until I tried to fit the dang shoulder in there. I had already rubbed it with spices and browned it. It was a large slippery beach ball. Hot too. (No I didn’t fit it first. I eyeballed it. Obviously there is something wrong with my eyeballs!)

I could cut it in half. I got out my kitchen chain saw and was doing well until I hit a bone. I thought this was boneless. (Do you see a theme here? My thought process must be suffering from “later life syndrome” too.)

If I jigged a little here and jagged a bit there maybe. Nope. Out it went back on the cutting board. In the end I cut it into four pieces and it fit. Tightly, but it fit.

It was in the crock pot overnight. I woke up to a roasting pork smell in the house (way better than cat farts). I’d rather shred it in the morning than late at night. Using sharp instruments after happy hour is discouraged in this house!

All was well and it was tasty. I did forget one ingredient in my rub but no one knows but you and me and you won’t tell, right?

That was the worst thing that happened at the reunion. We are blessed (except for that highly contagious “later life syndrome.” I suspect it runs in the family.)

75 thoughts on “This year’s reunion story

  1. Kate, you just described my kitchen adventures my entire adult life. It seems there is always an “oh crap!” somewhere along the line. I really do hope it doesn’t get worse!!!

    It’s a great photo and everyone is smiling which is the entire point 🙂 Nice to see your sister-in-law looking so well.

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  2. I think if you have this syndrome your family should encourage you to just be a guest and let others do the cooking. Play it to the hilt!

    What a beautiful family, Kate. I see your brother and sister-in-law and my heart swells for you. I know you all must have acknowledged the gift of your all being together. You’re a good looking group!

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  3. Super, super picture! What I would have given to see you wrestling that pork shoulder… even though I hated that you had to mess with it. I think I need to go out and shop for a kitchen chainsaw… cracked me up! All smiles in that beautiful picture… It had to have been a wonderful reunion, Kate.

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    • Everything did turn out well. We were only missing one person and it was because of illness. Usually we lose some because of conflicts. No rain so all good! Even the pork shoulder wasn’t all that tough. It was just vexing.

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  4. So glad that all’s well that ends well, despite the minor cooking missteps. You gave me a giggle and I enjoyed reading it. I’m having a party in September for about 35 people. I was going to ask you for tips, but now I think I’ll have it catered. LOL Just kidding, I already decided to have it catered. Although the hubs wants to grill burgers and I’ll make a couple of side dishes and dessert.

    BTW, how did Sasha do?

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  5. I can’t promise I won’t tell if I run into any of them. But I’ll try at least. The good thing, as mentioned above, is that nearly everything always tastes good in a crock pot; especially after browning.

    Points of some sort to me: I recognized Beloved Husband before anyone. It’s also nice to see your sister-in-law back in with the fold. Great pic! – Marty

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  6. Glad all went well and Plan B worked out for you.
    I used to love the family get togethers from years ago when we’d meet up somewhere with something for the table and have a picnic. Numbers started at about 25, and one year complete strangers joined in the queue for food as their kids played with ours in various activities. The death slide from dad’s truck (only 6 feet up but a long way if you’re a young child) was the most popular. Happy days. No such reunions now. The family has divided, distance is key anyway, and nobody stays in touch anymore. Shame really.

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    • That happens. When I was a kid, the reunion was my mom and dad’s siblings and their kids. It was over 100 people (most kids) and everyone brought their own food and kicked in $$ for kegs. My uncle has a farm so it was in a big meadow with a pond. So much fun for a kid. Eventually family members started to bring friends and it got too big so my uncle stopped it altogether. It was work for them even without being responsible for food. Meadow had to be cut and tables and benches fashioned out of whatever they had. This one is small and manageable. At least so far.

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  7. What a great shot! Is Dan’s son in the photo or behind the camera?

    At first glance, I didn’t see your brother crouched down next to your SIL and thought he missed the reunion. Some of those faces are “mirror images” of yours! Lot of family resemblance going on.

    Who is that crouched down next to your SIL (on the opposite side from your brother)? She looks like she could be your sister.

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    • Dan’s son is to the left of Betty (my SIL with the white hair). The other person is my niece. She is three years younger than me and there is a family resemblance. The woman on her knees with jean shorts to the right of my brother is my other niece and “they say” she looks more like me. One nephew was ill and wasn’t there but he has the family looks too. The other nephew lives in Wisconsin and doesn’t look like any of us.

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      • Your 2nd niece (in the jean shorts) is another one where I saw the family resemblance.

        I wondered if that was Dan’s son next to your brother and SIL. When photographers set a timer and run to get into a shot, they often “reach out and touch someone.”

        Glad you had a fun reunion. Looking forward to hearing the cat’s views on Friday.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hah! Great photo and lovely funny story, Kate. That’s often how my cooking adventures turn out too.
    I recently had a houseguest who said he suffered from CRS (Can’t Remember Shit) – a general case obviously, not the cooking-specific strain. 🙂
    I thought it was pretty funny and said I’d have to steal that one, but of course I forgot because…CRS…until your post reminded me of that particular acronym!

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    • I’ve heard of that too. It’s worse when I cook. I have had to take steps (like put the ingredients in order on the counter and check off a list) to ensure I don’t forget things. What’s a chocolate cake without the chocolate?

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  9. I have a similar memory problem when cooking. One minute I’m in the kitchen looking through the cupboards and getting ready to cook, and the next minute I’m at a restaurant ordering Chinese take-out. How did I get there?

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    • You are a smart man. My family is definitely pizza delivery. We have some who don’t eat exotic (yes there are some people who consider Chinese food exotic) food and it would take forever to decide who would pick something up.

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  10. There are only three of us in my house. When we entertain, I have to borrow everything from tables to big pots.

    Andy loves bringing out the cleaver for the bones. But the sight of it makes me feel like I’m in a horror movie.

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  11. LOL! The pork sounds so good even without the missing ingredient and my lips are are sealed!
    Glad to know that was the worst mishap! How did Shasha do, did she come out of hiding?
    Oh and don’t feel bad, our family has that gene as well! Pretty sure I had it fairly early in life so our gene may be even stronger!

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    • This is the best reunion picture ever. Dan’s son was there and he’s a more patient photographer than the rest of us. He positioned us all (with a lot of complaining going on). He took 2 shots and both were great. No eyes were closed. There were rabbit ears on someone’s head but that’s to be expected. We don’t have any adults in our family.

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  12. In the scheme of things – and knowing how best laid plans can blow up so easily – I’d say you had an epic win over that pork shoulder and a wonderful family reunion! That Later Life Syndrome might give us a tumble and stumble along our way but it doesn’t win – WE do. Great family photo too………….looks like a fun bunch.

    Hugs, Pam

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