Several years ago, Michael and I were searching for wild bird seed. It was winter and we loved feeding the birds. After a few weeks, we felt that the food we’d been using was too expensive. We looked at several places but did not find a mix that fit our needs. We decided to check out a store a few miles from us.
It was a Saturday and the area was busy. We searched for the address listed in their ads but could never find a sign or a storefront. The ad was old so maybe the store had closed. Clouds had been building all that morning and the winds shifted just in time for us to get a whiff of bar-b-que.
Whatever was cooking smelled incredible. We had to check it out. We followed our noses.
Across the parking lot at one of the neighborhood Kings Sooper grocery stores, we saw huge grills set up. There were large signs telling everyone they were serving pork burgers. Not just any pork burgers–this pork came from Iowa. Not just any ol’ place in Iowa–this pork came from Tama County.
As a young kid, I grew up in Tama County. Which meant, we had to check this out.
We marched our way to the grills and started asking questions. The Tama County Pork Association was in Colorado promoting Iowa pork. For this promotion, they were serving free burgers all over the country. This was not just a way to promote Iowa pork but it was a way to remind people burgers could be made with any type of ground meat. They made a point of saying that this King Soopers was the place they would be in this part of Denver.
What a surprise and such a delight! We had excellent burgers served by super friendly people all while sharing our Iowa stories.
The synchronicity of this chance encounter was and still is, incredible to me.
Had we not decided that this was the day we would search for less expensive bird seed and had we not struck out trying to find the Wild Bird Store, forcing us to walk around a shopping center we were not familiar with, we never would have noticed the grills set up at a grocery store we never use.
The whole interaction made my soul smile that day and it is making my soul smile today.
All this comes to mind because Michael just got home from the hunting lease. He did not come home alone. In our YETI 65 cooler, he had a dressed wild pig–oh–excuse me–Wild Texas Boar.
Now, this pig filled that entire cooler. I’ve watched Life Below Zero. I know this would not be a problem for Sue or Glenn, or Chip and Agnes Hailstone. But, this was a first for me. I did not know how to begin.
What does an Iowa girl do in this situation? She pulls out her Tama County Porkette Cook Book.
I’m pretty sure our “cuts” are not even close to the traditional cuts shown on the Porkette’s diagram. Well…we all have to start somewhere. For our first time, I’m thinking we did okay–I’m also thinking that this little piggy will smoke up just fine.
I gotta tell you, Texas continues to amaze me in so many unexpected ways. I also have to say, it is very fun finding ways to mix in a little bit of that Iowa flare–Porkettes and all–however I can make that happen.