Friday, August 5, 2011

The Fourth Annual Pig Roast, Part 2

finished roasting and resting before being carved
The Fourth Annual Pig Roast guests numbered 71 and came to the house in groups: 19 from the Bates house; 15 people were Richard and Miranda’s guests.  Mike flew in from Vancouver to do the honours at the cutting table. 

The Woods and Pillings came in double digits, bringing with them the cutest crop of babies under one year old.  The Robertsons and Camps-Johnsons were at the pig roast in smaller numbers, bringing with them robust appetites. 

Food was bounteous: baked potatoes with sour cream toppings containing lots of fat for those not on diets, and with minimal butter fat for those on diets.  Spinach salads, green lettuce salads and Caesar salads were replaced as the bowls emptied during the evening.  People who wanted carbs in their salads went to the Thai Rice Salad or the Italian Antipasto Salad.  A 24 inch Lazy Susan held the pickles, olives and hot peppers. 

I had done up 5 loaves of country seed bread and then moved making 5 more loaves of white bread.  But measuring the water in the wrong measuring cup, I accidentally doubled the white bread recipe – which made it possible for the bread to be cut in thick slices onto which butter could be spread.  My motto is that bread is only a vehicle on which to carry butter to one’s mouth, but I couldn’t carry thin slices out, for when the bread is hot, the slicing can’t be done thinly.  There is some bad news on the chutney front.  I can’t find the mango chutney recipe.  But Janet helped me bottle some plum, fig and orange chutney and it came in as a close second. Bonnie Wyora had done six 12 inch lemon tarts for dessert and those tarts made their way out to the porch and onto tables where people were already too full to go back to the kitchen for more.

With a touch of the hand, Mike pulling the leg away from the carcass
“The pig is finished, succulent and so tender that the leg is falling off,” called Mike.  “One hour for it to cool and we can begin to eat.””Sit right here and talk to me,” said Jay when his meal was finished.  So I drew my chair close.  Moiya joined me in a few minutes on Jay’s right side and then Wyona slipped into the room to tell Moiya that Michelle needed her in the kitchen. 

As soon as Moiya got up, and before she had begun to take one step away from the chair, Wyona slipped right under her to take her chair – at which point Moiya knew that Michelle didn’t need her, but only that Wyona wanted that chair next to Jay. 

Alicia and Chelsea in a photo opportunity
This old Pilling trick was the first of many that made Jay laugh until he finally said, “Oh, I haven’t had so much fun in years.” 

Wyona, Glen and Moiya were in the best of bantering forms.

 As Bonnie Wyora said afterwards, “When Jay is around, that is the closest we can feel to having Doral back in the room.” “Only one thing is wrong,” she remarked. “That special smell.  That is gone from him.  The farm smell.  I had to hug him twice to see if I could get it the second time, but it wasn’t there.”  Jay laughed to hear that.

Jay must be a bit off of his mark on one point.  Glen shook hands with him, bringing into the conversation Doral’s old joke:  what is it that men do standing up, women do sitting down and dogs do on three legs.  Jay couldn’t remember the answer.  He shifted uncomfortably, trying to find something to say.  Glen said, I don’t know what you are thinking, Jay but the Doral’s answer was, shake hands. 

That old joke of Doral’s must be the thing that initiated so many memories of the past for the rest of the day for me.  I watched family come in the door, plate up and then find a grouping or groupings where they wanted to sit for the afternoon. 

We could all remember things Doral had said about Jay.  For one thing, Doral told us that Jay worked at the race track, a place where the foulest of language was used.  “And yet”, Doral would say to us, “I have never heard Jay swear.  Never. The worst thing that would come out of his mouth is a soft ‘Scrud’.”  As well Doral used to tell us that a person could put a million dollars under Jay’s pillow at night, and in the morning, every cent of it would still be there.  Why would I want to say anything about the clean-up, but that part of any party can be hard, given all are tired by the time it begins.  But everyone seemed to rise to the occasion for there was no work to be done by the time I got to the kitchen.

Mike made the cutting table sparkle with warm water and soap.  “What causes trouble?  Bacteria and bits of food.  Get rid of that with warm soapy water and all will be well,” he said to me as he was sloshing soap and water on the table and enjoying the view of the lake at the same time.  That is the one part of the clean-up that I watched. 

a quick soda and then back to the hide-and-seek-game
To all ye who attended, no party is ever perfect, so in the comment section of this post, help out by commenting on how you think there could be an improvement at The Fifth Annual Pig Roast, schedule for the Civic Holiday Weekend in 2012. 
And of course, take this as your invitation to attend.

RSVP Arta at arta.blanche.johnson@gmail.com

In the meantime, wish that you could have been one of the happy group here, resting between rounds of a game where people were hiding behind trees or under ferns on the common property.

5 comments:

  1. I am commenting on the blog from the library. I have 17 minutes left of my 60 and am trying to stay focused and fast. Your first photo on this post made me laugh in shock and pause in wonder at the site of that cooked pig, ears, snout and all. Do people eat the flesh off the pigs head or is that left on just for the aesthetic value?

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  2. ha ha ha. good one about small in number and large in appetites! Yes, I did have a big appetite, but not for the pig. =)

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  3. The last line of your post brought the image to my mind of a wonderful forester trying to hide under a fern at the top of your lawn, but his legs dangling out behind fully visible. He must have joined in on that hide-and-seek game with the under 20s.

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  4. Yes, I have a suggestion for next year. More people. I hope the Jarvis family will make it along with the Brooks-Johnson family. Perhaps we can get the Treleavan-Johnson folks to stay a few more days and join in the pig roast. I am guessing the Carter-Johnson's cannot make it, but perhaps they will teleconference in.

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  5. we are grieving at missing the pig!!!!! Today we are off to see a soccer game. I will report, but it can't compare!

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