Monday, July 13, 2009


It’s the time of the year to load the family into the minivan and drive across the country to see how much stress we can tolerate. A two day drive will be followed by a four day visit with my family. We will then drive to a lake and spend three days with my wife’s family. Then we get to drive home.

So what does this have to do with salty pigs? Well, several things actually.

1. Country Ham. Last November my dad and I placed a fresh 25 lb ham into cure. After ~1 month on the back porch he wrapped the ham and hung it in the attic. In that part of the country the hams are said to be ready to eat after they have gone through the “June sweat”. Well, this is July so that sucker is ready to go into my belly! This was my first attempt at curing a ham so I am pretty excited to see how it turned out. If it turns out well I would love to talk my dad into doing 10-20 more with me this November. Getting that many fresh hams might be tricky.

2. Firearms. I have always fancied myself a marksman despite the fact that I have hardly ever shot a gun. All the same, it is a nice romantic image to have of myself. My grandfather had a collection of commemorative Winchester 30-30s that went to his four grandsons when he died. I did not have any use for them so I let my brother keep mine.

That was ~12-14 years ago. Now I am living in southeast Texas and am having a hard time finding any decent pork. Fortunately (?) this part of the country is overrun with wild hogs. People beg you to come on their property to kill pigs. The critters can really tear a place up. I figure that if Michael Pollan and Hank Shaw get to kill pigs then I can too. But first I need to pick up my guns.

3. The Green Lantern. My brother owns a fine establishment that offers live music and good stiff drinks. He has done a great job of turning a dive with highly questionable clientele into a hopping joint that contributes to the community social scene. He does not sell food. When my corporate life starts to suck I always daydream about setting up a kitchen at his place and serving up the pig. I want to go see his new renovations so I can make my daydreams more accurate.

4. Twenty picky eaters. One of my vacation duties is to fix dinner for twenty at the rental cabin by the lake. I have strict instructions to fix nothing fancy; we are talking a Mac N Cheese crowd here. Problem is I just can’t do it. I have got to find a way to slip them something a little bit piggy. What would be a good euphemism for headcheese?

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