Pulled Pork for a Crowd

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Last night we had a family party for Wyatt and my Mom. Wyatt is turning 11 and my Mom is turning another number.

I can't believe my chubby baby is eleven. I pulled out a bunch of old photos for family to look through. I sat down with them and wondered, "Did I enjoy those moments? Did I recognize how damn CUTE he was?" There's a parenting book that's been getting a lot of play lately called All Joy and No Fun. Isn't that the truth? You know when you're putting your child to bed that these will be among the most precious moments of your whole life. But you want to speed it up so you can have a nightcap and watch TV!

I've enjoyed my children more and more as they get older. Wyatt got me laughing so hard recently that I couldn't breathe. We have inside jokes and he introduces me to new music. He writes poems and stories that blow me away. And he leaves his dirty socks everywhere, which is a small price to pay.

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So if he wants meat (lots of meat), so be it. My default is to buy pork shoulder at Costco or Cash and Carry. It usually comes in a two pack, or about 15 pounds. A slow-cooker won't hold it all, so I put it in a giant roasting pan, cover it with foil, and cook it at 250 for at least 8 hours (overnight). It's like a miracle when you open the oven in the morning. Hopefully your dog will not whine all night, insane with the smell.

One of the few foods I actually don't like is sweet, thick BBQ sauce. I prefer the thin, vinagery stuff. Pile this tangy pork on a grilled or toasted bun with coleslaw or cabbage. If you put a little thought into your slaw, you won't need a vegetable or any other sides. That's what we did last night, with lots of cold beer, Wyatt's favorite tunes turned up, loud debate about many inconsequencial things, and toasts to two amazing people.

Slow-Cooked North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork
I used the following recipe, doubling everything and adding a couple tablespoons of paprika to the spice rub. You could definitely use a slow cooker instead of slow-roasting it in the oven.

Recipe