Fat back is disgusting. I don't care what anyone says. It is and half of me feels scarred for having tried it.
I figured I had seen everything I needed to see to understand the south until this weekend. As stated previously, I went with E4 and DU to a family farm to try our luck. Arriving late Friday, we went to bed quickly in order to be up early. DU had the "perfect" place for me to set up shop and get a good deer. E4 took my TC to a stand squished between two small fields. I climbed my tree (sans tears) and sat intently listening for a deer to unknowingly saunter by. The stars were beautiful, the clearest I've seen since I've been home. The sun rose along with my hopes. Nothing at 7. Grunted with my flextone. Nothing. An hour later. Two hours later. Nothing. I stood up. Nothing. Sat down. Silently pleaded with the deer to come and try to figure out the buzzing power lines. Nothing. Sigh.
And then I hear it. It's like a mother hearing her baby cry 3 miles away. The powerful crack and explosion of my TC muzzleloader. You must be kidding me.
A quick text and it's confirmed. E4 harvested his first deer of the season. With MY muzzleloader.
Let me break here so you can understand. E4 is DU's long-time friend. E4 was the first person in North Carolina who really showed me that southern hospitality thing that people rave about. His accent and his Momma are as southern country as it can get. He's been a great friend and someone I've really been able to count on. It's a beautiful thing. Now that we're done with the sentimentalization, my story can continue.
So, E4 got a deer and I was truly happy for him. Truly happy, that is, once I got over the fact that I've been hunting for over a month and still have nothing to show for it. But hey, if you harvested a deer every time, "hunting" would be called "shooting". Also, E4 and I are in an alliance against DU in order to fill our tags more quickly than him, so the score as of now is a straight tie.
E4 has never field dressed nor quartered his own deer. Therefore, in order to build up his self efficiency, DU decided that once we got the deer back to camp, he and I would go get biscuits. E4 was left with a deer hanging on a tree, waiting to be dressed and quartered. Feeling like I was leaving a child behind, I longingly looked back as E4 picked up his knife and started his novice adventure.
We pulled into Oxford, North Carolina and I was assaulted with a small town, full of people I couldn't understand. The accents were thick and everyone seemed to know everyone else- in essence, I was smitten. And then there were the biscuits.
As we pulled into Sunrise Biscuits, I took note of the dirty exterior. Knowing full well that in the south, dirty, hole in the wall places generally equal fantastic food, I was excited. Sunrise has a simple menu, 2 women behind a counter and a smell that needs to be experienced because words fail to describe. Holding the bag containing white packages of breakfast on the way back without getting to take a bite was a practice in self restraint, but I made it.
The ham and cheese biscuit was heavenly. As I took my first bite sitting on the John Deere gator, I felt angel wings flutter on my face and the taste of edible gold on my tongue. All of that ended swiftly when E4 suggest I taste his fatback biscuit. It tasted how bad breath would taste if you could solidify and fry it. A southern delicacy that is lost on this Yankee, fatback is a sodium infused hardly edible patty of pig fat that I will never have to eat ever again.
The biscuits were ingested, deer was quartered and the afternoon hunt went just as unfruitful for me as the morning had. But I took some neat pictures, got a true taste of the back woods country life and learned of the to-each-his-own fried goodness that southerners adore.