The Halloween Sunday Service- it was one of memory and though it had to be staged October 20th, some effort was still made to contrive a delicious fall banquet. I began the sojourn into the now crisp streets of Montreal in search of fresh meat- yet it was the frozen carcass of the pig that ended up sating my appetite for produce. Heading to the usual slaughterhouse shopfront that is Chez Vito, i asked what they had in the way of Ribs as Max “CowPig” McCrea had expressed an interest in them- “you can do so many things with ribs” he had told me forlornly, almost as if he was pillow talking to a lover whose breasts he was fondling. Yet he was speaking of no lover, at least not in the conventional sense.
Chez Vito produced a box of 7 racks of ribs, and after asking if i would be provided some bartering accommodations if i purchased them all, i proceeded to purchase them all. They were suitably delicious, disappearing before a photo of the finished evidence could be snapped. To continue the main course Tess “The Gumbo Nazi” McCrea produced a gumbo of the most magnificent taste, and despite a quick complaint that she was being typecast as someone only capable of matriculating a luxurious Gumbo into the Sunday Service menu she seemed pleased when she saw litre upon litre sucked down the gullets of her herd. I decided to play this one safe with a simple creamed corn with corn from Jean Talon market, and though there were few ingredients (bought a dozen cobs of corn and combined with some salt and a ridiculously heavy cream from the market) I noticed its immediate disappearance with pleasure.
Chelsea “Chelsea” Fieldsend, a new comer to the service, also produced a rather delightful desert, perfect for fall- Pumpkin Pie Popsicles. After staring into the negative space of the pureed pumpkin section of three different grocery store’s pie fillings shelves, and turning up with but a single can of pureed pumpkin, it was noted that the Provigo of Montreal seemed woefully understocked for Fall. Sweet Potato puree was used for half the popsicles in the end. Though Chelsea seemed unenthused to admit it’s adequacy as a substitute, I must say that both pureed vegetables performed admirably under pressure. Here’s the recipe for any interested: http://www.purplehousecafe.com/2013/09/12/pumpkin-spice-latte-popsicles/
As far as the music went, there were some great songs performed with a lot more people singing this time (including a few rippers from Diana Marini who was impossibly good for someone who had finished a bottle of wine within an hour of arrival) as well as newcomer Vincent Stephen-Ong of Kalmunity ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cM9XH8rQpQ )who laid down some sweet jams before he’d even said a word!
The only thing stopping Tess “The Gumbo Nazi” McCrea’s gumbo from stealing the culinary crown at this Sunday Service was Chefmeister Max “CowPig” McCrea’s game changing Brisket. Clearly his time was spent wisely when i left him with the beef- or perhaps he was simply unable to accept the idea that his sister was playing the Game of Thrones to win- he would have to quash the rebellion immediately, his weapon of choice appearing to be ‘lubrication’ (micromanaging the basting of the Brisket was later revealed to be the key to its succulence).
A new introduction to the Sunday Service was brought in the form of dessert, a delicious delight from newcomer Lana McCrea, who was also the taker of these mighty fine photographs.
At Chez Vito i asked the man for a brisket. How much are you looking for he asked and i told the man i wanted the whole thing, of course. I knew Chefmeister Max “CowPig” McCrea would laugh in my face if i asked for anything less than everything. Aged 2 weeks it would be perfect.
McCrea opened the door in what seemed to be a convivial chatty mood but as soon as he heard the sound of the meat whack against the counter he stopped talking immediately and went into something of a trance. He stopped a brief moment, just long enough for awkwardness to set in, before selecting a range of spices from his cupboard in silence, pondering his next move. When his mise was complete i saw the man gently begin to rub the wet bloody meat with a mixture of what seemed to be brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, liquid smoke and a myriad of other strange spices that looked to be of a Creolian nature.
I knew he required space and very much time to practice his religion correctly, so i closed the door gently, knowing well that this would indeed be a Sunday Service of memory.
Sunday Service, NY State Edition