Kieran Kane, Rayna Gellert, Celery and Pork….

Ok, two of those things are not like the other. Anyway… It was ten years ago, later this year, that we coerced Kane Welch Kaplin to come and play at our house. So it felt like a homecoming of sorts to me, to have Kieran back, and back with the incredible Rayna Gellert made it even better. Our love of Kieran's music was one of the things that set us on this journey of house concerts, and while I love every single house concert we have, some speak to my heart so directly that it almost brings me to tears. Absolutely glorious music last night. The house was packed—sorry to all that had to stand—but I know it was worth it. 

Kieran and Rayna—-you've got our hearts. Always.

Thank you to all that came—it was so wonderful meeting some new folks and having old friends as well. A perfect combination. And you all did yourselves proud on the potluck—thank you so much for your generosity! I must say I was rather pleased with my food…it was an experiment…which is foolhardy, but so satisfying when it works! Per a few requests, here are the recipes:


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 3 thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 thinly sliced red chile, such as Fresno
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts

Whisk together 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, and 2 teaspoons fish sauce. Toss with 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal, 3 thinly sliced scallions, 1 thinly sliced red chile, such as Fresno, 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, and 1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts.

I tripled the dressing ingredients…and then tossed in a bit more lime and fish sauce. I think you could cut back a bit on the oil. I used about 2 1/2 bags of celery…including all the greens, 3 bunches of cilantro, and about one bag of green onions…overall roughly the same proportions. Ernie couldn't find any hot red peppers so I used a few mini red bell peppers and some green hot peppers…could probably up the spice…but honestly, I wouldn't know as I never got a taste of it. I was sure there would be some left…you wouldn't imagine a huge bowl of celery could go that fast! I need to make it for us now.


1 whole bone-in pork butt or picnic ham (8 to 10 pounds)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons brown sugar

2 ½ cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger
¼ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)
1 ½ teaspoons light soy sauce
1 scant teaspoon sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Place the pork in a large, shallow bowl. Mix the white sugar and 1 cup of the salt together in another bowl, then rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

When you're ready to cook, heat oven to 300. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any juices. Place the pork in a roasting pan and set in the oven and cook for approximately 6 hours, or until it collapses, yielding easily to the tines of a fork. (After the first hour, baste hourly with pan juices.) At this point, you may remove the meat from the oven and allow it to rest for up to an hour.

Meanwhile, make the ginger-scallion sauce. In a large bowl, combine the scallions with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and taste, adding salt if needed.

When your accompaniments are prepared and you are ready to serve the food, turn oven to 500. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of salt with the brown sugar. Rub this mixture all over the cooked pork. Place in oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until a dark caramel crust has developed on the meat. Serve hot, with the accompaniments.

The original recipe (see link) calls for additional sauces and wrapping the meat in lettuce leaves…we did a simpler version with just the ginger scallion sauce, but I'd say it was a success. I think you'll see this occasionally at future house concerts!

Teri, I love this picture you snapped of them. So fitting, Kevin Welch hanging over them, and Fats and Kristi Rose to the left.


As always…many thanks to you for your  pictures Richard!