Friday, March 11, 2011
An Ode to Special Friends...
Beef, Bacon, Dirk, and Alaina...
Now that is a hot title for a porno. Alas, read the title of my blog...you have to know it refers only to the special meat associated with the two aforementioned friends...wait a minute...that too could insinuate porno, damnit!
Well, doulbe entendres be damned, Dirk, and Alaina broughteth the Berkshire Pig and the glorious bacon and ham it provideth, along with a tasty steer comprising 70/30 ground beef...and of course, with good friends, they brought so much more.
The story of Dirk and Alaina Barth in our lives started at our honeymoon in the Ambergris Caye in Belize. Coincidentally, we all were married on the same day (in different places), and they showed up to the resort twelve hours before we were hit with two major tropical storms. I remember meeting them in the bar/lobby of our resort...they were checking email and fretting about the upcoming weather...I said something like, "Email and Weather.com isn't gonna save you here, we're going to town to explore and shop for a suitcase (ours busted on the flight in), wanna come?"
The rest of the friendship was cemented via duck and dive eateries and bars, one shady cigar shop (Dirk and I both swear the cigars were laced with Cocaine, Alaina just thinks we're both pussies), an even shadier place to buy a suitcase, and home made trash bag ponchos. In such instances we shared stories about our love for travel, eating, drinking, and in general having a good time through thick and thin. As the storms grew closer, we did too (amazing what booze, food, and shady establishments do for friendship).
The randomness of meeting complete strangers on our honeymoon, and the unlikeliness of remaining close and perhaps growing closer perhaps mirrors every danged thing that happens to me...Generally unplanned and random, yet somehow great!
True story, every time we get together, bad weather ensues for about a day...hence our most recent visit.
Unbelievably, Dirk and Alaina agreed to drive out to our mountain house 5 hours in order to stay overnight and leave the next day(due to work constraints). Alaina is in her second trimester (most of my friend's wives would have nixed that trip due to hormones and the general distaste that their husband would booze it up with MattyJ and his dad while she painfully watched sober), so her okaying the trip was unprecedented. And of course, as they drove in, torrential downpours had ensued. We had planned to go boating, and or hiking. Yup...Belize part two, except we couldn't all booze it up with abandon with the baby on board. Alaina is special, I cannot emphasize that enough.
Instead, we went for a quick walk on the beach shielded with more than trash bags this time, though Dirk and I thought about fashioning out some old ponchos for posterity sake. Armed with random nostalgic stories and some good cigars, Dirk said, "Though it's shitty weather, I can see why this place is special". After about 45 minutes of soggy walking we headed home.
Prior to embarking on the soggy voyage of Gun Point (the coined name of the point our house is located on), we had planned an election of eatings. Dirk and Alaina had purchased a quarter of a steer and a quarter of a Berkshire Pig from the local 4-H in Ohio (where Alaina is from). It was like being on Iron Chef with the secret ingredient of "4-H MEAT"! Literally I was excited about planning this menu for about 2 weeks prior.
Fresh Guacamole, Red Pepper Cream Cheese Dip, Truffle Mousse Pate, Cheese, Homemade Cheese Dip, Fresh Roasted Peanuts, Homebrew (Dogfish 60-Minute IPA Clone, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat Clone)
Farm Burgers (Sweet Beautiful Beef, Alfalfa Sprouts, Herbed Goat Cheese, Toasted Onion Roll, Topped with a fresh Hen's Egg laid at my parent's friends house)...and the most beautiful thick cut Berkshire Bacon...some of the best I have consumed. It was like candy, sweet sweet candy.
Parmesan Truffle Fries
Swedish Sunday Cake (Much like Strawberry Short Cake with fresh Whipped Cream
And Snoots....and more beer....prior to his first snoot, Dirk said, "What's a snoot?"
Snoot: The coined phrase for a shot of liquor, and a requirement for all guests to partake in upon their arrival (excluding pregnant women and teetotalers).
After such a wonderful dinner we all engaged in some card games, watched dad go into an epileptic fit as UNC beat DOOK, and proceeded to imbibe more. The girls all went to bed and the guys had "Man Town Campout with Gas Passing Action" on various homemade cots, couches, and air mattresses. The testosterone was magical, there were no complaints about cigar breath, "drunk leg", or snoring. Even awaking at 6:30am due to my mother and father's incessant need to eat breakfast that early could not keep me down.
For breakfast...Russet Potato Truffle Hash, Pan Fried Berkshire Ham Steak, and Easy Over Eggs
Oh God...I pause, grasping for words. I could go on and on and on. I still have visions of taking that steak and sopping up the creamy yellow yolk.
As Dirk and Alaina packed up to go (leaving the bacon, what great friends, woulda snuck it out of their bag had they not), we got a call from our caretaker that the dirt road was washing out. Knowing the road and the detours, dad and I set out as escorts in his pickem' up truck(man town in full effect), steering our friends to safety!
Two hours later the downpour subsided and the sun came out.
Yet somehow, we keep and remain friends with these really special people. Good friends hardly come often, and we find ourselves more and more frustrated that as we grow older, it's harder and harder to find people willing to look outside of their own worlds to share a laugh, dinner, similar interest, crappy ass hike in the rain...or even their Berkshire Pig and Special Beef. Yet here they are, Dirk, Alaina, Beef, and Bacon...
Matty and Meghan...