An Ode to Babe

I’ve been on somewhat of a hiatus for the past month.  Since my trek to Breckenridge, life has been busy with a new job and all it took to get ready for it.  Needless to say, it did not leave room for very many food adventures.  But I have celebrated and had fun during that time so no worries on this blogger getting dull or anything.
 
I’ve come to the realization that writing a blog is a bit like working out.  Once you lose the groove, it’s tough to get back into it.  But back into it I am – both the gym and the writing.  The inspiration for the gym came in the form of several gained pounds and the threat of summer arriving very soon.  The blog post is inspired by an episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel I caught a few days ago.  It took place on a farm in Iowa and took me back to this fun adventure three years ago I had with some foodie (and perhaps crazy) friends of mine.
 
Over an all too common dinner with multiple bottles of great wine one night, we sat around talking about what else but food when someone brought up roasting a whole pig.  Me and my big mouth offered that another friend had a spit and would roast a pig in his yard every so often.  Lo and behold…a pig roast was born!!  And planned for my back yard no less.
 
 
And so it began.  We split up the guest list three ways and planned a menu.  Everything was organized on Google Docs as we are all very busy in our day to day lives.  In fact most of our plans happen on Facebook including trips to food markets and restaurants.  No conversation necessary except when we meet in person.  As we got closer to the day, we even recruited our friend with the spit to help out although I’m not so sure he was given a choice.  Just the promise of my French Toast on the morning of the big event.  It’s pretty awesome French Toast!
 
Three days before D-day, the weather forecast looked ominous at best.  We thought it best to consider putting up a tent but that can be a challenge on such short notice.  Luckily I come from a family that throws many parties and I had an in with a tent rental guy.  Sure enough he told me he would have a tent for me and came through for us.  It was the best decision of the day.  The rain started right after our French Toast breakfast and ended well past the festivities.
 
Two days before D-day, we picked up the pig.  It needed to be cleaned and cured with an citrus marinade and left to marinate till the morning it would be cooked.  So how does one store a whole pig for two days you ask?  You remove everything from the spare refrigerator in the basement including the racks and place it in a large lawn bag vertically.  I’ll be honest, it creeped me out a bit to know it was there on those two nights.
 

The morning of the roast arrived and as promised C & M were at my door at 5:30am to begin prepping “Babe”.  Yes, the pig now had a name.  They spent the next few hours cleaning and prepping for the day of roasting that was about to begin.  I watched from afar.  If you’ve read my Welcome post from last year, you know that I’ve always been a bit squeemish about certain things and this was one I dared to only go near once it was completed.  The spit started turning around 8 am and we enjoyed our breakfast outdoors as we watched the first few hours of cooking. 


Guests started arriving at 3pm despite the torrential downpours on that day.  It made for a little more excitement and a very dirty kitchen floor.  But there was a tent over our heads and a smaller one over Babe’s.  All was well.  We had lots of other food to accompany such as rice & beans, eggplant, salad, and even some Tandoori chicken for those not into pork.  To drink we started with a magnum of The Prisoner which paired beautifully. Various other bottles of wine supplied by guests followed, as well as some appropriately named Pork Slap beer.

What a fantastic and memorable evening we all had.  It will go down as one of my most fun days of all time.  Great food, good friends and an interesting adventure.   What more could I ask for?  And all in my back yard!!  Once in a while we threaten to do the same with a lamb…..perhaps this Spring.

Thanks Babe!

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