Monday, September 24, 2012

A Pig, a Party and Some Hope

This past Saturday my church hosted a pig roast. Our rector, Margo, has been wanting to do an event like this for quite some time. It was great to see her from time to time throughout the day, looking like a kid in a candy store.

The Foxcroft Farm Harvest Program gave us the pig. Raised it, had it butchered, didn't make us pay for it. I looked into it, and a pig that size usually runs about $260! A friend of a friend lent us his cooker, and a local market allowed us to store the pig overnight in their walk in cooler.

Saturday morning I woke up early and headed over to Grace Church, our Forest Dale location, and started by cleaning out the huge roaster. It's basically a massive grill that I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow for the day.

Grace Church

The Grill

I was very lucky to have help from 2 amazing members of the congregation. They shuffled the pig from place to place and then helped me get it on the grill. It was a 130lb pig. That's not a tiny thing. It was actually a little too long for the grill to start with, and we had to get creative with the legs. It didn't come to that, but there was talk of a hacksaw...

Everything was off to a good start. It was a beautiful day, not too cold and not at all rainy like the meteorologists were threatening. I had my book, a chair, my coffee, and a roasting pig. And then it was time to flip it. How hard could that be? Go find a friend who doesn't ask too many questions. Slather that person with vaseline and have them lie on the floor. Now put on some oven mitts and try to get them to roll from one side onto the other. Oh, and don't forget to cry a little and apologize profusely to the pig because it's making all kinds of sizzling, whining noises on the grill.

The bad news: I had to flip the pig 7 times in all. The good news: I got over feeling sad and guilty after the 3rd flip. That also happens to be the flip I almost slid the entire pig onto the ground because one of the legs came apart. Think it's gross reading about it? I had it in my hand...

After much grill hilarity, the evening was a success. We had a bouncy house for the kids, lawn games and face painting, everyone from church pitched in and brought a side to pass around. There was so much food left over that we'll be able to hold a pulled pork supper soon.

Here's the best part, in my opinion. There was a free will donation basket set up near the dessert table. We advertised the event as being free and open to the public. We weren't expecting to raise much money at all, and the only cost to cover was the bouncy house rental. The pig and grill were donations, everyone made food, and the space was ours. The people who came were generous enough that we were able to make donations to Rock Point SchoolThe Vermont Food Bank, and a local family that lost their father after he became ill with Eastern Equine Encephalitis. We've got a turkey dinner set up for October. Someone please start pouring the wine now!

The next picture is of the finished pig. You might not want to look if you have vegetarian tendencies.