Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pork Ribs, Memphis Style

In Vermont?

Well, no. In Hadley, Massachusetts, at Cook Farm. On summer Tuesdays from 5:00PM until sell-out, a portable grill is set up on the porch of the dairy stand and dry-rub ribs in the style of Memphis, Tennessee, are cooked to spicy tenderness by Kevin Brown.

Marinated with three sets of spices, the ribs are not parboiled before grilling. The result is a moist, smoky integrity. They are large, tender, filled with flavor, and not in dire need of sauce. Available with the usual sides of cornbread, coleslaw, beans, and macaroni and cheese, it is the ribs that are worth the trip. From Vermont.

Eating outside is great. Eating twenty feet from a feed lot is a another experience altogether. Surprisingly unfragrant and bug-free, dinnertime was beautiful and interesting simultaneously. We sat down at the picnic tables behind the kitchen and watched the sun set behind vivid pink clouds. It was the foreground that proved to be more immediately interesting. Watching the cows chew cud as we ate pig was not as disconcerting as I first thought it might be. Dinnertime at the Holstein place.

When you go, call ahead to be sure there are some ribs for you. Reservations at a dairy stand? Yes, if you want the ribs. That's why you're there.

Go for "Tennessee Tuesdays" at Cook Farm.

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