Old Hallows eve creeps closer and finally the most anticipated eve of the year in a ten year olds life arrives. The pumpkins are carved, the gargoyles are placed on the pillars on the front porch, the giant spider that terrifies the beagles is dusted off and hung up, cob webs are strung from the rafters and the candy bowl filled. We’re all set. By November the ground is a carpet of gold and crimson and the air is a mix of earthy, musky scent, as the weather turns damp. We fall back by an hour as the clocks are changed and now there is no stopping winter.
Walking my dogs around the neighborhood the smell of wood fires has begun to fill the air and it is already dark by five o’clock, we are in fleece and toques already. A tradition of Sunday lunches is back on as we share a table with friends over long, slow cooked meals and good red wine. My rickety cast iron casserole dish that travelled with me from South Africa and that I have refused to replace is hauled back out. My favorite way to cook is back on. Everything in one pot, left to cook slowly, the meaty aromas fill the house.
The meals shared on these days make me appreciate my surroundings and realize that despite our many identities and places we all once called home, we each bring a little bit of ourselves to the table whether in the form of a recipe, a song, a story. By November the air is already icy cold and the familiar V formation of Canada Geese confirms the shift into winter. With their trademark honk and distinctive black caps and white cheeks, they are the last to leave. They are following the sun heading to warmer lands. Another season has passed and I have held onto the sun as long as I can. I silently wish I were going wherever they are, to where the sun is still shining.
1 pork shoulder roast, about 4 lb (1.8 kg)
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 small deseeded, chopped red chili
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/3 cup apple juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Remove the pork from the fridge for 1 hour before you want to cook it, to let it come up to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 230°F.
Combine the rub ingredients in a pessle & mortar and mix together.
Place the pork shoulder in a roasting pan and rub all over with the flavoring.
Add the apple juice and cider to the roasting pan.
Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and cook for at least 5-6 hours or until the meat is very tender and falls apart.
Using two forks pull the meat apart, discarding any fat or bones.
Serve with coldslaw in fresh corn tortilla's or as sliders in crusty buns.