With an American-themed meal at our last Rambling Restaurant, we just had to do a dessert featuring the never-ending source of birthday party fun for all ages: shakeable whipped cream in a sleek metal canister. They have it over here in the UK, except they call it…squirty cream. I thought that it might be just an affectionate nickname, but nope. It even says so on the packaging.
Hilarious. Say hello to the squirty cream and a slice of sweet potato pie. But wait, dessert first? Nothing wrong with that, but let’s rewind a bit to cover this Southern-inspired feast from the beginning. Sadly, I failed to take photos of the slices of warm cornbread with chunks of sweet corn and a dusting of paprika. You’ll just have to imagine them stacked in cute little baskets and served with pretty rounds of colorful green, red, and yellow jalapeno-chile butter.
Next up, shared ramekins of creamy mac & cheese with a crunchy cheddar and ciabatta breadcrumb topping, served up baked, browned, and bubbling.
The main course was a stomach stuffing plate of pulled pork with homemade barbecue sauce on freshly baked rolls, dirty rice (made satisfyingly, mouthwateringly dirty with chicken livers sauteed in the trinity of green pepper, celery, and onion), and a light lemony cole slaw.
We had an extreme overabundance of pulled pork, which is never a bad thing, although this picture’s a bit extreme. WARNING: GRATUITOUS PULLED PORK PICTURE AHEAD.
I had fun playing mad scientist with all the spices and condiments in foodrambler’s kitchen to make the sauce. Despite doing my best to write down the ingredients as I sprinkled, stirred, splashed and tasted, I completely failed to get a coherent recipe on paper. If you don’t care about measurements or timing, here’s sort of what it looked like:
An Extremely Inexact Barbecue Sauce Recipe
What You Need:
2 cloves garlic
splash of vegetable oil
2 cans chopped tomatoes
maybe a 1 and 1/2 cup of cider vinegar
about a 1/2 cup of honey
maybe 1/2 cup of brown sugar
a few tablespoons english mustard
a looooooong squirt of ketchup
a splash of orange juice
a few shakes of chili flakes
some sprinkles of paprika
umm…I’m forgetting stuff…oh well.
What You Do:
1. Saute onions, garlic, jalapenos in the oil until soft.
2. Chuck in everything else. Let it cook and reduce and thicken a bit. Play around with it. Taste, taste, taste. Add more of whatever if necessary.
3. Pour over your shredded and pulled pork and let simmer on the stove even more until tender as hell. Yum.
After this major carb load of cornbread, macaroni, rolls and rice along with a heaping scoop of pulled pork, most of our guests were suffering from serious Southern food coma. Which meant it was time to pull out our two intense sugar bomb desserts.
Option 1: Sweet Potato Pie with a florette of Squirty Cream and a gentle snowfall of nutmeg.
Option Two: A delectably tacky and addictively delicious Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with canned pineapple and glace cherries from the twisted genius mind of Sara.
Just like my imaginary Southern grandma used to make. I can just imagine her whipping out this beauty as we sip sweet tea (with generous shots of bourbon) in the gazebo under the magnolia trees and gossip about the neighbors. Syrupy, sticky sweet and superb.
And in case you’re wondering, that plate was licked clean before you could say ‘Oh Grandma, I couldn’t possibly eat another bite.’