On September 8th I asked my readers to host picnics and to send me the results. The following is one of 27 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow, courtesy of US Wellness. Vote for your favorite on October 8.
The execution of our Grokfeast had to be performed with all the precision, stamina, and strength of a primordial hunt. As a typical group of stressed (and broke) college students, we knew the challenges of pulling off a successful Grokfeast would be many, but like the ancient Primal man, we also knew that to not succeed was not an option. So, we sharpened our proverbial spears and went to work. The preparation began nearly one month before the deadline as we gathered fellow Primal followers to our cause. This task alone nearly killed the whole mission. Not too many in the land of Mississippi remember their Primal roots. Initially, the interest was minimal, but we set that task aside for the present and turned instead to the challenge of providing a suitable meat for the hordes. A carcass was in order, of that we were certain. But not just any carcass, baked in some modern contraption requiring minimal effort or skill. Oh, no. We were going to make Grok proud. Thus the idea of building a smoke pit. A woolly mammoth of tasks, a pit big enough for our needs would have to be at least 4 feet wide by 5 feet long by 2 feet deep. Again, Mississippi is not known for its “shovel-friendly” earth. A deluge of medical school exams and activities prevented us from putting much more thought into the Grokfeast until the one week deadline loomed before us. This was when we could be found scraping at the sun-baked clay with shovels by the light of our truck headlights while others performed rain dances. Thankfully, our prayers were answered and it downpoured the next day. Despite the merciful rain, it still took us two days to finish digging the pit (it counted as our WOW). With only hours of daylight to spare, we sacrificed the pig carcass to the fiery coals on Thursday night, making sure to completely bury it in order to escape tampering from neighboring tribes or wild animals.
The next twenty-four hours were spent in anxious anticipation as we gathered the remainder of our supplies and suckered the last few people into participating in this “weird primal meat thing”. I’m sure our hearts were pounding as much as any Grok after an exhilarating hunt as we pulled the still-smoking carcass wrapped in chicken wire and damp sheets out of the dirt. Before we even had a chance to unwrap the delectable bundle the smell of smoked pork wafted into our nostrils.
Success! The pig was perfectly cooked and subsequently devoured by the fifteen people that had attended! We feasted on pig accompanied by the other Paleo dishes such as homemade apple chips, coleslaw and berry almond crumble! Even the tallow did not go to waste as we used it to satisfy the ravenous appetites of man’s best friend – six best friends, to be exact! As the sun began to set we grabbed our Frisbees, volleyballs, and fishing rods and headed out to the fields and lake for some Primal digestion time. But does Grok go home just because the sun sets? No! He builds another huge fire! And so we did. The gathering lasted deep into the moonlit night as we sang and boasted of prior victories and days long past – the food warm in our bellies and the fellowship deep-rooted in our hearts.
Sweet potato chips with orange swiss dip
Nectarine berry crumble with homemade whipped cream
Primal Cole Slaw
Roasted apple chips
Fire Roasted sweet potatoes
The main course….a pork shoulder smoked for 24 hours in a hand-dug fire pit.
Water and unsweetened tea to drink
Recipe: Berry Crumble
2 large organic nectarines, chunked
About 2 cups of mixed berries, any kind will work
3 Tbsp cooking sherry
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds.
1/2 cup heavy cream
Melt the butter in a small cast iron skillet, and add the nectarines, cooking for about 4 minutes.
After these are slightly softened, add the mixed berries and cook over medium low heat until the juices begin to release.
At this point, add the cooking sherry, and let the liquid reduce for about 5 minutes. Place the fruit mixture into an oven safe dish.
Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a skillet or the oven. When golden brown, mix with 2 Tbsp of butter, and sprinkle over the fruit.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, and serve with freshly whipped cream. Enjoy!
Tiffany Beck, Nicole Beck, Renee Blanco, Amanda Tucker, Amanda Hipp, Jessica Hudson, Amanda Gettinger, Renee Pietsch, Ben Bailey, Jason Collins, Stacie Collins, Ted Lyons, Victoria Sater, Jobeth Miller, Theresa Adicks
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.