The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Memorial Day Pork Fest, Food Blogger Style

This is why you visit my blog: to relive holidays that happened two weeks ago.

Actually, I thought it had been even longer than that. I'm not as far behind as I thought. Sweet!

My next entry will be about NYC fooding. Pinky promise. But first, I need to give props to the awesomeness that was Michelle's (and husband Brian's) Memorial Day festival-splosion of barbecued pork.


Oooooh yeaaaah.

So that's how I decided Michelle and Brian were two of the coolest people on Earth. I already knew this from reading Michelle's most excellent cooking blog, Thursday Night Smackdown, where she cooks things I will probably never make myself, my excuse being that her kitchen is 500.23% awesomer than mine. Or most people's. I have photos; you shall see. And then you will judge.

Starting over. Michelle invited lil' Internet acquaintance me—along with whoever else I could force to eat pork, in this case Lee Anne, John, Lauren, and Jones—to her barbecue bash. I was quite excited. And then more excited after seeing the pork in its state of pre-barbecue. So pink. So raw. So much potential to be delicious.

Beloved Arizonian friend Lee Anne hopped into my car (she had been staying with me for a few days in NJ by that point, if that clarifies in, she did not just teleport from Arizona) and I whisked us off to the faraway land of Jersey City. What should've been a 45 minute ride ended up being more than an hour due to me getting lost and unintentionally driving along the Pulaski Skyway, which looked exactly like one of those levels in a racing game where you're perilously driving beneath endless metal rafters on a ramp whose height appears to enter the stratosphere, and then being dumped in a part of NJ that felt ripe for a good ol' murder (had a bit of that "deserted, abandoned auto yard" aesthetic), and then taking about 10 minutes to parallel park my car in front of Michelle's apartment in such a way that wouldn't block traffic. You know the last time I parallel parked? Over four years ago when I got my driver's license. And the only reason I was able to do it on Memorial Day was because John acted as my personal driving guide, telling me exactly how much to back up, when to turn, and how much to go forward. Because I am just that hopeless.

The army of pork eaters wait for their prey.
We made it!

But then civilization was reached. Cue the choir of angels.

mm, non alcoholic mm, alcoholic

Liquid refreshment came in the forms of alcohol and non-alcohol. I went for the non, which mostly consisted of Boylan's sodas. I must've drank at least three of them. Or five. Or four. Or a greater number. I was making up for all the sodas I failed to consume in the past 5+ years.

Oh, it was also hot and humid, if that explains my sudden chugging. ...Although I wouldn't call it hot compared to the oppressively ass-kicking weather we've been having in NYC these past three days. And I mean the bad kind of ass-kicking, which also includes brain-melting and sweat-dripping and the feeling that I will never be clean again because all of NYC's filth has become part of my topmost layer of unscrubbable hybrid sweat-skin.

This entry has too many words. Needs less reading, more photos.

Lee Anne on the hammock
She's got it.

There's Lee Anne, taming the hammock!

I'm just trying to stay balanced
I'm crying on the inside.

There's me and John after kicking out Lee Anne. ...Actually, she forced me into the hammock. The nerve.


And check out them fall-off-the-bone pork ribs, yeah!

pulled pork YEAAAH
Pork? More? Duh.

And check out them glorious shreds of barbecued pork, yeah!

TAKE MOAR POOORK take some pork...TAKE IT
Dig dig dig!

And dig in, because there are 60.21 pounds to get rid of!

a sample plate
A sampler platter.

I got a little bit of everything—ribs, pulled pork sandwich, taters, roast olives (provided by Marc), corn muffin, and probably more. I mostly remember holding the ribs with one hand, pulling it apart with my teeth, and barely having to chew the tender meat chunks. That's the way it should be. All of the time.

Tired of sitting in the sun, I retreated into the apartment to bask in its glorious modern-day comforts, including shade and cushy furniture. Let me take you on a tour of Michelle's awesome apartment so that you'll look at your own and weep with feelings of inferiority (at least, that's what I did).

in zee kitchen kitchen = swank
Kitchen scene.

The kitchen: it is lovely. So shiny and new. If I had a nice kitchen, maybe I'd cook more! Or not. It'd probably be a waste.

lounging around more lounging
Living room.

The living room: it is also lovely. Lots and lots of neatly arranged books, happily colored furniture, and soothingly blue walls. Books and comfortable chairs to smack my butt in makes for an extremely enticing combination. Someday, I too will have a living room like that. I'd have to start getting more books though.


A statue of Domokun eating nori-topped rice crackers, HOLY CRAP! It blesses everything it touches with giggly cuteness.

no escaping.  none.

The bathroom: IT HAZ SPACE INVADERS (er, not really pictured here, but there were scattered about). In sticker form! That's the most exciting bathroom I've ever seen in someone's home.


Michelle's blondies were the first dessert I indulged in. While I've never had a thing for blondies (which Jones preferred to call "chocolate chip cookie bars," which is so not the same thing!), these were especially good. A bit of coconut was present to give an extra layer of chewiness, not so much to impart any flavor. I also had one of her homemade lemon pie bars, which I must've eaten too quickly to take a photo of.

I spy a cake nub.

Last on the eating list was Marc's Fire and Ice Opera Cake consisting of almond joconde cake layered with mint buttercream and white chocolate mousse, and topped with ginger-turmeric ganache. Oh hell yeah, it was good. Like the barbecued pork, this cake seemed to melt instantly on impact with my mouth—almond laden cake, buttery frosting, and all. The icy mint was more prominent than the fiery ginger, but not overwhelming.

As soon as I got home from the barbecue I thought, "Damn, I should've eaten more pork." The moral of the story is that when someone cooks lots and lots of barbecued pork and graciously offers it to you, you should eat more pork than you ever would in any other setting. It may not be a contest, but you can pretend it is if that'll help you real the all-important goal of not realizing that you should've eaten more as soon as you get home.

Many thanks to Michelle and for my friends who came along to make THE BEST MEMORIAL DAY EVER (admittedly, not a difficult title to hold since I tend to do nothing of any significance for the holiday, but I don't predict following years to be as awesome)!


Olivia / June 11, 2008 1:42 AM

Oh man! I love this blog. Also, that dress looks very cute on you. Sorry, i know this a non-food related comment.

anthony / June 11, 2008 4:09 AM

ahhh that looks delicious!! I'm going through major american barbecue withdraws over here in Vietnam. I'm definitely craving some ssssmoke in my food. Lovely pics. Although it just makes it harder!

michelle @ TNS / June 11, 2008 8:10 AM

thank YOU for coming over bringing a gaggle of pork-eaters. it's because of people like you that i am not still eating leftover pork.

and thanks for the lovely write-up of my home! you can thank the apartment's previous inhabitants for the kitchen; i had nothing to do with it. if anyone wants to see the actual space invades in the bathroom, they can check 'em out on apartment therapy.

ulla / June 11, 2008 11:19 AM

Oh my goodness this looks like a wonderful way to spend Memorial Day! Pork ribs are my FAVORITE.
Actually it all looks amazing! And I love that picture of you!

Julie / June 11, 2008 11:31 AM

I totally wish there were a teleportation device between here and New York! I want to try all the food you write about!

That Opera cake does look and sound awesome. And I love their living room! It looks rad and small!

Danny / June 11, 2008 11:57 AM

OMG those ribs look crazy delicious and that is a lot of pork! Why can't we all have kitchens and backyards that look like that in NYC?!?!?! WHA!!!!

Clare / June 11, 2008 12:06 PM

Insane! Everything looks fabulous, especially that Opera cake (what a combo of flavors!!). These pictures remind me of exactly what us Californians think of when we imagine you NYers going to Jersey for a hipster BBQ.

Erinn / June 11, 2008 3:42 PM

Well, the post may have come late but you certainly made up for it with all those glorious picture of decandent and delicious food!
Makes me happy that summer is upon us - meaning weeks and weeks to grill.
What a feast...
Thanks for the eye candy.

annie / June 11, 2008 3:45 PM

The dress is very cute--looks comfortable too--and that cake is gorgeous; is it store-bought or home-made?

Mikey / June 11, 2008 4:23 PM

Wow. Your friends sure know how to throw a barbeque. And who doesn't want to go to a toilet with Space Invaders in it??? Also, awesomeness oozes from the food, especially those ribs. *drools over keyboard* And you don't look too shabby too :)

Ace / June 11, 2008 6:52 PM

That barbecue looks amazing; tons of great food, relaxed people, Domokun. Just like one of those hipster Heineken commercials. The barbecues my friends have are just hot dogs, loud people, and several kegs of beer. I appreciate the beer, but where's the intimacy?

roboppy / June 11, 2008 11:33 PM

Olivia: Non food comments are okay as long as they're not negative. HA HA HA. POSITIVE COMMENTS ONLEH!@#!@ ^_^ The dress is short, but thankfully so am I!

Anthony: Uhh I WANNA BE IN VIETNAM kinda. I want street foodz. More than bbq.

Michelle: I bring the gaggle of pork eater everywhere I go!

Oo, your apartment is perfect for apartment therapy. Now I can look at it all the time and continue to WEEEP IN INTERIORITY!

Marc: Thanks for the cake! :D

Ulla: Oo, should pork ribs be the focus of our next food excursion? I think yes. YES.

Julie: And hell, I wanna go back to Arizona. It would be perfect...teleportation just between our two homes.

Danny: NYC just ain't as cool as Jersey City. On that note, here's my kitchen!

Clare: If that was the textbook hipster bbq, then I want to go to MANY MANY MORE HIPSTER BBQS.

wonders: Thanks!


Carl: ...Did you just say pjork?


Janet: Wipe up that drool!

Erinn: I don't have a grill, so I'm looking forward to mooching off other people's grills!

Annie: It is comfy, thanks! And the cake was HOMEMADE, like whoa. What awesome things come from human hands!

Mikey: Everything is better with space invaders!!! Even toilets.

Ace: Domokun is the key to having an awesome party. Don't forget that. POOP ON BEER!!

Kate / June 12, 2008 2:42 PM

I must no longer only lurk...the lovely pork pictures make me post...I DROOL...I think my lappytop is broken from all the drool that came from the pictures of the pork-yumms and then the the pretty apartment...ooooo shiny kitchen.

Yuizaki / June 13, 2008 11:43 AM

Wow, that looked so awesome and so good. We don't really do bbqs @ my place... But all that pork looked really awesome and I'm sorta drooling at my desk but that's to be expected after all those terrific food pics, right?

If I never said so before - your blog is the only one I read at work because it breaks the monotony of my job. :)

Jesse / June 13, 2008 4:31 PM

Dude, you look so CUTE in that dress. SO CUTE. I'm too distracted by the dress to focus on the BBQ pics. D=

Amanda Jean / June 14, 2008 10:53 PM

I've been lurking here for so long, I should come out of the corner. I love the look of all that pork - we have lots of bbqs here (on Vancouver Island, Canada) in the summer... lots of meats marinated in delicious sauces and then smoked to perfection.

On a side note, if you ever come up this way, I'd love to go out and eat some delicious foods with you! I'll be sure to post comments more often in the future.

roboppy / June 15, 2008 12:25 AM

Kate: No more lurking! And I don't want to be the reason your compy breaks. :( LOVE THE COMPY.

Yuizaki: I'm honored to break your work monotony! I haz a purpose!

Jesse: Aw, thanks! I beat the pork! BWAHAHAHARAR!!

Amanda Jean: Thanks for delurking. :D If I go your way I want to get in on your bbq happiness!!

Bonnie / June 15, 2008 1:15 PM

What a great husband is a ferocious griller, I will have to show it to him. On Memorial Day we were in Watertown, MA, penned in by the cutest Memorial Day parade ever. Very retro and inspiring.

For dynamite pork, check out the suckling pig special at Nova Terra in New Brunswick. Cooks for 12 hours and is falling-off-the-bone scrumptious.

roboppy / June 18, 2008 11:23 PM

Bonnie: Wut oh man, suckling pig is so great! Any meat that falls off the bone is great! EeaahhH!! (That was my "I wanna eat meat" cry.)

Zenchef: This is how all parties should be. Unfortunately, most of my friends don't think parties automatically involve BBQ. Wah.

Jesi: I do my best! Yay addictions!

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