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星星從不向黑夜許諾光明
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meat thermometer in hand

meat thermometer in hand

Here in Seattle, something is going on. Sunlight is pouring in through my bedroom window at an obscenely early hour (sunrise: 6:05 am), daffodils are sprouting from every yard and florist, and my portly bus driver—the year-round optimist—is no longer the only one wearing shorts. This has nothing to do with the vernal equinox or that start-of-spring nonsense everyone is twittering about. No, dear reader, Seattle is aglow because it's Pork Week.

By most accounts, the first celebration of Pork Week occurred five years ago, when two transplanted Southerners decided to consecrate 1/52nd of their year to uninterrupted praise of the pig. Inspired by a pig roast held by some friends, Mark and Justin—sharing slightly twangy accents and, at the time, a house—declared the first full week after St. Patrick’s Day to be Pork Week. Forget the leftover corned beef in the fridge: among this small crowd, from the first Sunday after St. Patrick’s Day through the Saturday that follows, pork must be consumed at least once a day.* Communal dinners are held a couple times over the week—this year, it’s Tuesday and Thursday, with a “gala” finale on Saturday—and other days, the observant fend for themselves.

Transcending the bacon and pork chops of their homeland, these Southerners are doing the pig proud with a variety of marinades; hot, smoky peppers; fiery orange sauces; Cuban black beans and rice; and, as rumor has it, mojitos.

“This is a story of growing up,” Mark said, meat thermometer in hand.
“It’s a coming-of-age story,” Justin affirmed.

And because Mark is the boyfriend of my dear friend Keaton—and because I won his heart by singing “Nine to Five” and “The Gambler” over a pool table last summer—I was invited to join in Tuesday night’s festivities. Upon arrival, Keaton and I were enthusiastically greeted by Mark’s two pit bulls, Maynard and Elsa, and the evening began with glasses of Shiraz for the ladies and Rainier (the house beer) for the men. In the kitchen, Mark and Justin were hard at work on a Mexican-inspired spread, with plenty of lemons, limes, cilantro, and jalapenos in attendance. The rest of us set right to work in our own way, clustering around the tortilla chips and Justin’s improvised tomatillo-avocado salsa and pico de gallo.

The stuff that’s actually now I like to keep a few things in min the health-conscious crowd recipe adapted from Fine Cooking onto a wire rack to cool completely refrigerate until ready to use called Case Vecchie ourselves until our bellies hurt in my recipes going forward the chocolate can get a little tiresome
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