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And the pig shall recline under the Weedar Tree

Posted: February 9, 2014 - 1:09am

Fate put a vial of the coveted seeds of the fabled Weedar tree into my parents’ possession. Legend has it that whoever has custody of the fine, black seeds receives the gift of Southern sight. For those of you unfamiliar with the Weedar species, it is a rare tree that grows in this region alone. Few have gazed upon its branches, but many have witnessed its shady reach.

I have never seen a Weedar myself, but have been fortunate enough to hold the vial containing silty granules attributed to the plant. I’ve been told that only a person of pure heart can look upon the Weedar seeds and not pine to acquire them for herself.

By expounding upon this horticultural mystery in the Southland’s landscape, I prepare you to understand why my parents thought what they thought, did what they did, and got away with it all. It’s foreign to believe that something as magical as Weedar seeds could have anything to do with the thick skin of a porcine, but I beg you to bear with me. My New Jersey brother would not have deemed it logical either, except that he received the e-mail from our mother stating that she and our father had thought up a brilliant idea.

The e-mail in question arrived in my night-owl brother’s in-box some weeks ago around midnight. This raised suspicions about the motivation behind its content. It could only be attributed to Ambien or the wondrous Weedar seeds. My brother kept these ruminations to himself, not even mentioning them to me – the sister who listens to tales of indiscretion in confidence, never speaking them to another.

Scribed in the e-mail was a secret recipe. So far afoot was the creativity that a thinking man could only assume the formula was conjured clandestinely in darkness illuminated by the silvery southern moon and shared with him at great risk. When he read the ingredients and pondered the conflagration of flavors on the palate, it reeked of something amiss.

The words of William Blake – What immortal hand or eye could frame that fearful symmetry? – took shape in his thoughts. Charged with rendering primary assistance with our parents’ cocktail party scheduled for January’s end, he reasoned pork rinds, pimiento cheese and pepper jelly to be the elements of culinary disaster and social ruin. Forces beyond the sphere of moral restraint were at work.

He arrived last week to implement my parents’ cocktail party plan. There would be no scene similar to Joe Odum from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil offering, “Canapé?” Pork rind doesn’t roll off the lips like that.

Customary cocktail-party decorum placed lovely people dressed in fine clothes abreast the buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres displayed on silver trays. Ladies in high heels and men in ties held plates while conversing. Appreciative chuckles burst occasionally. I noted the polite forking of fried rinds stuffed with pimiento cheese and pepper jelly. Guests crunched with gusto. The bold ones begged my brother to bring another platterful from the kitchen.

It was I who finally addressed the elephant and stated that in my limited experience I’ve not once observed pork rind hors d’oeuvres served adjacent to smoked salmon.

My New Jersey brother, sage for his years, reminded me that folks in possession of sacred seeds from the fabled Weedar tree have the power to pull off pork rinds. He and I can only hope to inherit a small fraction of the seeds of inspiration.

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