Part of the reunion that was a year in the planning was the idea to roast an entire pig. My Father and Uncle G had done a test run last year during Uncle G's birthday celebration. (Which we unfortunately missed due to illness) So I was very excited to be part of the experience and did my best to document every moment.
Who knew when we arrived that this innocuously shaped lump in the garage hid a chilling piggie?
Dead Pig. I was surprisingly less squeamish about this than I thought I might be. The truth is, even during my many vegetarian years I have never been grossed out by the idea of eating dead animals. What bothered me is how the animals are treated before, during and after their deaths. I think that as a responsible human, it is important to understand where your food comes from. (animals, not plastic packaging)
Uncle G created a smoker based on various designs he found. In his version, the pig is first impaled on a stake as above.
Here dad gives an awesome display of his skills with tools.
The pig is then "caged" with four sets of...urm..cage. This ensures that all parts are pulled close together for ultimate cooking evenness.
My feelings about food are passed on the next generation. Miss D and her cousin J were supremely unfazed by the dead piggie. Some of the older female cousins were not so blase and refused to eat it. I don't have a problem with that- I can understand it completely. But it did bother me when one told me she would eat pork again- just not this pig that she had seen!
The smoking station is set up near the garden. A tent is erected for the "watchers" who must watch the smoker all day to ensure that it stays at a steady 250 degrees for about 8 hours.
Although no rain had been forecast, midway through the day- the sky opened up! NOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo!
Miss D and Grandpa enjoy their lunch in the storm. Nothing they can do about it now!
When the rain clears a little, the smoker is maneuvered to a new home in the barn/shop. Pig is saved!
Not quite done yet. But very pretty.
Waiting around for a pig to smoke is hard work.
When the pig is almost done, Uncle G drives it back to the garage which will be the breakdown area. Yee-haw!
Uncle T, Dad and Uncle G ponder the results of the meat thermometer. Is it done yet?
I guess so. Damn that thing is heavy!
Dad and I take on the bulk of the meat removal. (With assistance from my niece C, soon-to-be cousin-in-law A and avid viewer and taster Uncle T.)
You can tell I am not a true carnivore as I am not part of the group ravenously attacking the remaining carcass. BIL T (Who monitored the pig most of the day pre-rain) his wife my sister L and their daughter J along with Dad and soon-to-be cousin-in-law A.