Deconstructing the pork shoulder should come easily using a pair of forks. (Contributed)

How many times have I uttered the words “if only” during my lifetime.

I had been shopping at Safeway last week for a 10-pound pork shoulder roast, and while putting that roast into my refrigerator, I uttered, “if only” I had bought two, the price being a great bargain at $2.99/lb.

Later that same morning I realized I had forgotten a couple of items that I had written on my grocery list. Again, “if only” I hadn’t forgotten my grocery list!

I have thought about those two little words, words we generally use when talking about what we regret not having done in the past and is now too late.

It has taken me years to realize how fortunate I was to have been raised for the first few years of my young life, by an aunt and uncle who gave me a safe home with love, good food, and a feeling of family. Once I truly realized this, it was too late; if only…

There have been so many questions I might have had the answers to, “if only” I had sat and talked to my grandmother about her life as a young girl living in West Virginia. Questions never asked; if only…

I have had family members pass through this life, people who meant a great deal to me; and now, too late to tell them how much I cared; if only…

How I wish I had spent more time with my children when they were little. I should have read to them, sat and played more games with them, let the house gather some dust while I interacted more with them; if only…

And of course, there were the times I should have “put my foot in my mouth” so to speak. Oh, if only…

We are now into the new year. I’m hoping I will be able to replace those two little words with “I will.”

Pulled Pork with Root Beer Sauce

Preheat oven to 425deg.

Pork Rub for 8-lb. Pork Shoulder

Will easily serve 20.

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup chili powder

1 Tbsp oregano

1 Tbsp. thyme

1 tsp. cayenne

Combine and rub it into the meat.

In an open baking pan, roast meat for 1-1/2 hours until a crust has formed on the pork.

Place roast in a preheated crockpot on low and cook for hours until meat falls off the shoulder blade and shreds easily using two forks.

While meat is cooking make the following Root Beer sauce:

Reduce one 2 Liter bottle of Root Beer over medium heat in a large saucepan. Takes about one hour. Root beer should be very thick and syrupy, about one cupful.

Add to root beer sauce:

1-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup yellow mustard

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. Tabasco

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. black pepper

Simmer for 20 minutes, and then add 2 Tbsp. butter to give extra flavor.

Shred meat and mix in root beer sauce.

Colly Gruczelak, a Ben Lomond resident, loves people and loves to cook. Contact her at [email protected].

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Colly Gruczelak, a Ben Lomond resident, loves people and loves to cook. Contact her at [email protected].


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