Friday, April 27, 2012

Life has been plugging along very nicely here on the farm. Last weekend was very exciting, with the pig roast and all and lots of people coming out to eat copious amounts of pork and to support the farm. We had decent weather, with some rain, which was kind enough to come while we were all in the barn and stop in time for us to have a massive bonfire.
I had been thinking and stressing about this roast for so long, that by then end of the night I wasn’t able to stay awake and I was exhausted the day after. I lost quite a bit of sleep thinking about all the things that could go wrong with the pig. Mostly the flipping of the pig, what if it had fallen apart over the ashes and coals?! But none of the things I was worried about happened, and the pig tasted so very very good!
Dan and I got up and four-thirty to get the pig started, we had built a square pit the day before, using cinder blocks staked two high. We made two racks from rebar tied together with wire. We need two so that we can flip the pig half way through the cooking process. The pig had also been prepped the day before, we used a hatchet to break the spine from the inside so we could flatten the pig out as much as possible. I made a marinade of citrus juice (orange, lemon, lime) lots and lots of garlic, black pepper, cilantro, basil and oregano. We let the pig marinate overnight and we reduced the marinade to a glaze for basting the skin. 
We built a large fire from charcoal and once it was all hot and glowing, we moved it to the four corners of the pit. The idea is to cook the pig for a very long time over indirect heat. We had fashioned a lid out of ply-wood covered in a few layers of heavy duty tin-foil, and this was placed on top after the pig was placed over the pit. Then it was nap time, as we knew it would be a long day. 
We added fresh coals to each corner every 90 minutes or so and supplemented the fire with apple wood scraps, to add a smokey flavor to the pig, and after 10 hours, it was done. I, for one, was very happy with the way it turned out; sweet, salty, crispy, fatty and tender as hell. I stood over the pig for a good half hour, picking meat with my fingers and relishing every morsel of porky goodness....
The rest of this week has been full of the usual, seeding beets, carrots, spinach and chard. Getting row after row of onions into the ground, as well as planting cherry tress and strawberry plants. Hopefully we will have enough strawberries from our dozen plants to make a pie! But I’ll settle for enough to snack on, we’ll have to wait and see.
The piglets are also doing great, they spend their days sleeping, playing and scratching themselves on just about everything. They are also getting more and more social with us. I had two of them sleeping in my lap yesterday, which was pretty darn amazing, they are just so sweet! 

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