by David Cecelski
My 88-year-old cousin Edsel had the pig’s feet ready by the time I got to his house tonight. A friend at a local barbecue joint had given them to him and our cousin Bill Dickinson’s wife, Irene, in Core Creek, had cooked them. Like a lot of older people around here, Edsel and Irene get a yearning for fresh pig’s feet with these first chilly nights in autumn.
I don’t know Irene’s recipe for pig’s feet, but I’m sure that she simmered them long and slow. They usually cook 3 hours or so in a big pot or Dutch oven. Around here most cooks boil them along with onions, celery, salt, black pepper, red pepper, a cup or so of vinegar, and maybe a splash of hot sauce. Hers were so tender that the meat was falling off the bone.
Ms. Irene kept some of the pig’s feet for herself and gave the rest back to Edsel. Tonight he salted them lightly and let them soak in apple vinegar for a few hours. When I sat down to supper, he brought them to the table in a big bowl, still in the vinegar.
Edsel doesn’t do much cooking, but I could tell that he was pleased that he had something as special as fresh pig’s feet to offer me. He fixed a can of biscuits and made coffee and put out some fig preserves, and we feasted, him happy to have one of his favorite autumn dishes, me happy to be with him