Here Piggy Piggy

Several weeks ago, at a Willie Nelson concert, my friend  Joel proclaimed that he wanted to roast a pig for my Annual Green Bean Birthday BBQ. With the help of a couple glasses of wine, i didnt hesitate before saying SURE! that sounds fantastic!  i even appliqued a pig on my skirt to celebrate!

Move ahead 2 months on a Thursday evening and picture me, invitations sent, RSVP’s returned, large BBQ built in my back yard, another year older and a large, slightly bloody, dead pig in my back seat. Disturbingly it looked like a human being wrapped in plastic. i almost wished i had been pulled over, just to see the expression on the cop’s face.

Sami, bless her heart, let me vent by apprehensions and kept me laughing while we picked up the piggy and made sure she got into her bathtub of briney goodness. Lucky for us, my neighbor Loree also popped over so we had a third person to take pictures! After unwrapping the pig I salted her cavity and gently prodded the kidneys and head. It was all rather fascinating to me.

 

Friday…piggy in her salty ice bath

Saturday morning, Joel arrived the night before and we woke up bright and early to start roasting! Joel started the fire (no matches for this kid) and i made a nice glaze from apple cider, spices and maple syrup.

 

Oh yeah, and Joel butterflied the entire pig! crazy!!!!

We then carried her over to the BBQ and made a cover from foil and an old screen door.

There were a couple hours of mystery temperature fluxuations but we figured it out.

By 2 the piggy was off the grill and covered with foil and burlap.

By 6 we were digging in!

 

By 730 all the plumbing in my house freaked out and we had to bring in the big guns! Nothing like a minor crisis and really fantastic friends to make a party official. Thanks again guys!

 

 

Here is the quick and dirty lowdown

BBQ

1 – bbq made from 3 layers of cinderblock, 4 long and 3 across with 1 grate that is NOT coated in weird chemicals, galvanized or painted.

1 – 50 lb bag of charcoal

1- pile of cured apple wood chunks

PIG

1 – fresh 75lb pig

1 – large tub

15 cups of salt

2 cups of oregano and thyme

2 bags of oranges

several bags of ice and a water

Fill the tub with water, salt, herbs, squeezed oranges and juice. Put in the pig and several bags of ice, depending on how hot it is outside.

cover with a screen door to keep out the raccoons and curious pets

TIME TO ROAST

keep the heat around 225-250 degrees. it is easy to put in too many coals so be gentle with the pile!

75 lbs of pig should take about 60 lbs of charcoal or charcoal/wood combo and take about 5 hours to cook

we let her rest for a good 2 hours before we cut into it but i doubt you have to wait that long.

This is where I found our how-tos! this site is really fantastic!

http://cuban-christmas.com/pigroast.html

The Pig was moist, smokey and perfect! Friends brought over fantastic sides to share and i think that beside the rain, we had a fantastic time!! Joel says that the most important thing he learned from this was that he wants to do it again!! now that i have done it, i would do it too! it was fun!

ENJOY!

Hey Joel! is that a pig tongue in your mouth?

 

 

 

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Rocky Mountain High

I am two days home from another beautiful visit to Montana. I always look forward to my trips out, even the 10 hour drive through beautiful country-side. This time, I didnt drive out alone but  had 2 friends, Molly and Steve join me, neither having been up to Glacier. Molly was a little nervous about the free-spirit adventure but I was so excited to show them all my favorite places and hoped my excitement would rub off.  Perhaps Molly had foresight for the 8 foot grizzly that decided to greet her on the trail! Lucky it was just saying hello! and not YUMMY!

For me, there were 3 highlights to this trip.

1) Hiking up to the Hidden Lake Outlook. I have been up there several times but i have never ventured all the way to the look-out (read pansy-ass). This year i decided i HAD to do it! after a short rest with a couple visiting from Florida, i was rewarded with the most stunning views. After i came down, i read that the trail only climbs 450 feet?! WTF?!

(yes there is a bear in there!)

( you cant get insanely $$ gas if the temperature is over 80 degrees. God i love Polebridge!)

2) Spending a night in Polebridge with my dear friend Greg and renting a kayak to float Lake McDonald Creek. After a couple beers at the Northern Lights in Polebridge, Greg and i ventured back to his family property for a fat bonfire and good tunes. We also saw a bear, keeping my record at 100% for bear sitings!

The next day we packed up slowly and headed down to Apgar. I know that this little adventure was very nostalgic for Greg, having lived up there the majority of his life. Everywhere we turned, he had a story from his youth. It was awesome wandering down memory lane. I cant imagine a greater place to grow up! We rented a kayak and tooled around the lake for a bit, had a light lunch and a quick dip in the crystal clear lake. Then we ventured down McDonald Creek. I last floated this creek in 1998 and had such fantastic memories of it. It was just as perfect this time! the flowers still bloom out of the weeds under water, the creek is still the most intoxicating turquoise and the fish can still be seen in depths of 10 feet. We jumped off some rocks, me on the lower level, and after we pulled out, hid the kayak in the bushes and trekked back to the car about 2 miles down a beautiful tree-lined bike path.

That evening, we enjoyed a farm to table meal at the Belton Chalet. We were RAVENOUS and started with a glass of wine that almost put me under the table. We quickly consumed duck and wild mushroom crepes and fresh hot bread. I had Veal with Farinata(!) and fig compote. Greg had scallop and prawn raviolis with chipolte cream sauce YUM!!! we rolled out of there and stopped by the Hungry Horse Dam. As the sun set, we were the only people around and Guitar Man played softly on the stereo.

3) I got to celebrate my birthday!! After a very chill day on the lake, Greg and I made Lobster Tail Ettouffe. My friends Molly and Steve joined us as well as Greg’s mom Donna and Donna’s brother Neil and his lonnnnnnnggggg-time girl, Lisa. Donna, had taken a trip over to her friend Shirley’s house that morning and brought home the heaviest densest most fantastic home-made chocolate peanut butter pie i have ever tasted!!!

Home with fantastic memories again! Thank you for such a wonderful visit. Greg you are my old soul/ partner in crime. Until next time…