To recap: John, setting up outside lights and planning the photo room. Phillip, outside cleaning and setting up the backyard. Dad, feeding my dogs crap. That left the womens in the kitchen. Mom and Nat (John's wife) pushed up their sleeves and told me to put them to work.
Now I have to say, I don't play well with others in my kitchen. I'm not used to it, and we have a tiny galley kitchen that's not really ideal for multiple cooks. But it worked out pretty well, all told. I handed out the recipes from my cooking software, and everyone just got down to business. By 1:00, we had everything done that could be prepared a day ahead and I looked around and blinked and said "Wow. I guess we can go to lunch." So we did. And a little shopping. No way I would have had time for that if I was working this party alone.
Back home for a little rest, and my family scooted back to the B&B to change clothes for Christmas dinner. (Natalie said she smelled like food from cooking all morning and she was tired of it.) I got dinner ready while they were gone.
The pork had been cooking on low heat in the clay cooker all afternoon. All I had to do was simmer some black beans, make rice and a salad.
After dinner, we did our Christmas with each other. Then Wade arrived. Wade is John's old college roommate, and Mom and Dad are crazy about him. He's living in Greensboro now, and decided to come down for the party. Mom and Dad didn't know he was coming, so it was a nice surprise for them.
He joined us for dinner. I made sure everyone was fortified, because we had a long, busy day ahead on Saturday.
This is an adaptation of a recipe my good friend Ronda shared with me. She does hers with pork tenderloin and cooks it a shorter time. I do mine in a clay cooker with a butt roast and cook it all afternoon on low heat. The result is a shredded mess of tender pork that's great for eating on top of black beans and rice, or as a sandwich, which is what Phillip has been doing with the leftovers.
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup dark rum
1 large onion, large chop
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbs. oregano
1 1/2 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 lb. pork butt shoulder
Mix first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Place butt roast in slow cooker, dutch oven, or in my case, a clay cooker. Cook over low heat (350 in oven) for 4 - 5 hours, turning roast occasionally to keep it wet. Shred pork when done and serve with black beans and rice.