Can you help me to kill a pig? So that I understand what it means? I ask.
Sure, he says. When would you like to do it?
Just like that.
For a long time now dear readers, I have been thinking about my relationship with the land and sea creatures that I eat. The countless ducks, goats, lambs, boars, deer, cows, pigs, chickens, other birds, eggs, fish, crustaceans, mollusks and so on that have graced my table all my life. I have savored, salivated over and devoured each one of them in countless preparations, with gusto and delight. It is only recently (over the last four years or so) that the connection between the life and death involved in these delicious experiences has been on my mind (come to think of it, my inherited family's slightly freaky fondness of eating heads and everything in them may have had something to do with it - I still cannot have them on my plate). I mean, don't get me wrong, I always realized that I was eating an animal and in the back of my mind I knew that it was once a living thing, but I did not give it any more thought than that (until the heads...). It all changed for me when I started buying from the farm again. It had been a long time since my farm days in Romania. I had lost my connection for a while.
Now, you remember the king of pig don't you? Well, he's killed animals for food since his childhood days. The old fashioned way. He speaks respectfully (as most hunters do) of the animals that have died for his consumption and his stories are told with wisdom and appreciation for the sacrifice and goodies that followed. Not a thing goes to waste. It is was with him and his wife (the queen of beans, they were seriously amazing) that I was to go and kill the pig for our pig roast. I wanted to really know what it means to eat meat. To take the responsibility. To feel it and see the animal so that I would never take it for granted. I was ready.
I didn't do it dear readers. I chickened out.
I was too scared. Scared that it would torment me. I mean, I can't have heads on my plate and I'm going to help kill a pig? We are speaking of a 130 pound animal here. It was too much. All my bravado and noble intentions, out the door in the face of truth. I called Mr. King, confessed my fear, humbly apologized and suggested that perhaps I can start with a fish first. He understood, he knows it's not easy. He graciously obliged and promised to take us fishing this summer. I have never been.
I know this has not been the most tantalizing post leading up to what was an amazing experience and a spectacularly wonderful meal but it is real. I wanted to share the truth with you. It is how I came to attend this glorious pig roast and how it made me feel. It was difficult and delicious. Thank you pig.
Time to photo dish.
|The pit ...hand built by Mr. King ...of pig ...|
|Of hoofs ...|
|And snouts ...|
|And heads ...|
|Oh my ...|
|The flip and nibble ...|
|Difficult and simply delicious ...|