At the time, I had no idea what we were starting. None. We just wanted to have a party. Outside. Anna brought up a bunch of oysters from the coast. A bunch. I cooked a big pot of collards with pork necks and a few hotel pans of cornbread. It was late fall – early December to be precise – and John had cleared old wood and stumps from his farm and piled it in the middle of a field with his tractor. At dusk, Willie lit the fire with gasoline and the flames shot up some three stories or more into the night sky.
The boxes of wine that Andre brought were dragged away from the heat of the roaring fire; it had to be 25 feet across. The friends we invited mostly brought beer. Someone brought marshmallows. The pot of collards and the cornbread were moved close to the flames to keep piping hot. Standing away from the fire, it was damp and cold and the raw oysters tasted like the sea.
Then it began to snow. Big wet flakes. But even standing ten feet from the fire, the snow never touched us. The heat from the flames evaporated the flakes above our heads. We sat on rocks and old outdoor chairs and threw our paper plates and shells into the fire. A layer of snow covered the oysters that sat in big plastic baskets in the darkened grass. I remember drinking wine form a red Solo cup, watching it snow, and wishing the party would never end.
So that was the first Salt & Smoke. Before there ever was a Salt & Smoke. But it felt exactly right. It felt like something that I wanted to do again and again and, well, again. If I could. So, that’s what we’ve done. And 2015 will be the 3rd Salt & Smoke – how time flies – our annual celebration of fall in the South. Sunday, November 8th. Mark your calendars. We’ll get started at three that afternoon and call it quits when the music stops. And, once again, Salt & Smoke will be at beautiful Rock Quarry Farm out 54 in Orange County. Needless to say, we’d love for you to join us.
Tickets for the event are $44 per person and must be purchased online. We know that the event will sell out. And sell out soon. It’s going to be a great day. A great day. I can hardly wait.
Salt & Smoke