Someone asked me to please retell this story – one of my favorites.
I will warn you though -this is the CLEAN version! Anyone who wants the PG-13 version email me directly for the link.
While this is not exactly a bad food tale, it came close. And, it does result from one of the worst dinner menus I have ever seen in my life.
What would you do if you were presented with a menu of Pressed Turkey Rolls, stuffed with cranberries and sour cream, and topped with shredded American cheese?
Add to this the fact that the cook forgot to make sure the utilities worked in the hall and you get them served cold!
Go out to eat? Right Again!
Now imagine that you were stuck in a forest in West Virginia and the nearest McDonald’s is twenty five miles away.
My friends had determined that because I was a restaurant manager, I could deal with anything. I had expected to be asked to make burgers and some brats and maybe some mac and cheese. That’s not quite how it turned out.
Upon my arrival, I had been presented with a 60 lb. suckling pig, a bag of apples, a bag of pears, and a double hibachi!
The only whole animal I had ever cooked was a chicken! At the restaurant, the only pork we served was ground!
What the fuck?!?
I am nothing if not a cook.
I had a purpose.
Wading into the battle, there were a couple of issues.
First and foremost was the fact that the pig was approximately 30 inches long and the skewers I had been given to spit it with were about 24 inches long. So, before I knew it, my hand was somewhere up a pig I never thought it would be wiring two spits together to hold the pig for cooking.
Second issue: While I could certainly stuff the pig with apples and pears, we had no way of sewing it up. I didn’t know that you are supposed to bring very long needles and catgut to sew it up and didn’t have them if I did.
Someone said, “Well, I have some kite string…”
Kite string? Oh, well…
Not having needles,we just starting wrapping that pig in string like the prey of some huge black widow spider. We just kept turning and turning. That poor thing looked like something out of “Charlotte’s Web”, but it worked.
Then we coated it with honey and spices and popped it on the hibachi. Sticking an apple in its mouth, we prayed for the best.
That is when the third issue cropped up. What comes out of a pig when you are cooking it?
Every so often, grease would pour out of the pig and into the hibachi. Flames would shoot up WHOOOSHing up higher than my head. We would pick up the pig, carry it about ten feet away, put it out, wait for the flames to die down and put it back.
“Meltdown!!!” we would scream each time and grab the pig. The tree above us was wilting and we were taking bets on when the eyes would pop.
Then, we had our final issue. As we were cooking this juicy pig full of fruit and roasting away, another chemical reaction was occurring. Something was building up inside of the pig.
Ever watched a balloon be filled and filled and filled until it got ready to pop?
Now you know what we had on our hands.
Imagine our surprise when the kite string began to burn through and pieces of jet powered fruit began popping out of the pig.
As first, it sounded like an enormous fart then –
DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!
POP! POPPOP! POP! POPPOP!
We huddled on the ground behind a picnic table while the porcine wonder continued to expel fruit at escape velocity. I swear it looked like the scene from the movie “Alien” where the creature explodes out of the guy’s stomach.
Finally, the noises died down and the pig cooked merrily away.
After about three hours of blazing atomic fireball, we decided that the porker was done. Both eyes had popped and we had burned off an ear but it was done. It was a charred mass of pig.
We laid it out on a platter to cool and that is when i saw the loose string sticking out of the charred mass. Pulling on it, the crust began to peel away until it just slid away revealing the most beautiful looking pig ever. It was truly beautiful despite the fact that the eyes had popped and we had burned off an ear.
The cremated apple had stuck to the teeth and could not be dislodged so someone got the great idea to fix it up. Grabbing some nail polish, they painted it bright red. Some dripped on the teeth as they did so.
I swear it looked like The Vampire LePig.
Carrying it onto the hall, my friends all sat down at the table to eat while the whole room stared at the pig. Then at the pressed turkey rolls on their plates. Then back at the pig.
The cook took one look at the pig and disappeared. I never saw him again.
There was just one light working in the room and that was directly in front of the “Prince”. Staring at his plate, he came to a decision. Picking up his plate, he wandered out of the light. We heard a thump as a plate emptied into the garbage.
Then, he appeared out of the dark at the edge of our table.
“Please, Sir. May I have some more?”
We fed the whole event from that pig.
NOW LET’S DO IT RIGHT!
Suckling Pig, gutted and cleaned, approximately one lb in weight per person being fed.
Kosher Flake Salt, 2 lbs.
Apples, 1 dozen
Pears, 1 dozen
Honey, 1 gallon
Pepper, 4 ounces
Oregano, 4 ounces
Rosemary, 4 ounces
Garlic, minced, 4 ounces
Spit, at least 1 foot longer than the pig on eachside
Barbecue or Firepit.
Start the fire at least an hour before you want to cook the pig. Make sure the spit stand is firmly placed in the ground as the worst thing that can happen is for the pig to slide into the fire.
Wash the pig thoroughly in brine and then slide the spit in the mouth and out the other end. Place a small wood block in the mouth.
Rub 1/4 of the salt in the abdominal cavity.
Quarter the fruit -but do not peel – and place in the abdominal cavity. Sew it shut with the needles and catgut.
Thoroughly rub the remaining salt into the pig and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
Place the pig on the fire. Rotate regularly to keep from burning.
Grind the spices and mix with the honey. Brush the pig thoroughly with the mixture and continue to do so until gone.
Cook the pig for approximately three hours or until the core reaches at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
When done, remove the spit and place on a platter to rest. Cut the catgut and scoop out the fruit to serve separately.
As a last step, remove the block of wood and replace with a bright red apple.
Copyright 2016 Micheal J Hobbs