Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pig Pickin'

The Pig Pickin.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, every year my family has a celebration of sorts where we roast an entire pig over a grill for about 18 hours. It is full of fun: beer, music, beer, fire pit, beer, chatting, beer, etc. My grandpa has done over 200 pigs now (I think this year was 202 if I am counting right) so he is the “Pig Master”. He directs the show telling people when to “fire” the pig (spread more hot coals under it), how to un-stick it before the turn, proper board position for the turn, etc.

This year actually wasn’t as good as years prior in that there weren’t as many people (and Candice and Kimo were missing!!!). But we all had a great time. Stu and I both agree that we definitely didn’t eat nearly enough pig to last us the next 16 months. Since we were both dealing with weird bouts of sickness we actually both only actually ate pig on the day of the Pig Pickin’. Weird.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, my Mom, my uncle Jeff, my cousin Harrison, my brother Hayden, Stu and I all went up to Sandpoint to get the pig. Wood’s Meat Processing has been the only place we’ve been able to get pigs for a while of the size we need (no one typically need a whole 200-pound pig, as you can imagine). So we sicky-pants, and eager-to-experience-the-pig-getting Jeff and Harrison got there and they hauled the pig out on a stretcher wrapped in plastic and into the back of the truck. It was a long, nauseous ride back to Coeur d’Alene for Hayden and me. The big buff boys unloaded it from the truck and then Stu got to (for the second year in a row) do the honors of hacking the backbone apart so it will open up and lay flat on the grill. Boy is that sometime to watch. If you let it, the whole experience can be rather gruesome. The first thing Stu and I did when we got home though, was print a picture of the pig’s face to be framed for the living room.

Once the pig is opened and face down, it will cook very slowly for the next 18 hours (depending on the size of the pig), which means someone gets the honor of staying up all night to watch it and keep putting coals on. I wouldn’t know who did it this year because I was in bed! But I hear that my Uncle Doug and Cousin Kyle were a lively, humorous bunch, and that Jeff got to pull the actual night shift. Papa took over around 5 AM and Kaden and I were up shortly thereafter.
Some friends from Boise, Melissa and Kyle, drove up to see us and it was so nice to spend some time with them. Their wedding is next month and Stu and I were supposed to be the Matron of Honor and Best Man, respectively. But, alas, we live in Hell, Abu Dhabi, so we can’t make the wedding. It was good to be able to hang out with them and feel like nothing’s changed and we might as well be back home. We also got to see my other friend Melissa (yeah, my two best friends growing up were Melissa and Melissa… it made for a lot of puns) and her husband Matt and their wonderful new baby Reece! He was so much fun and so cute!

When it was time to actually turn the pig, the big guys were nowhere to be found (they were at the beach, it turned out) so my Dad, Stu, Hayden, and Stevie got to be the "pig turners" with my Dad and Stu (both standing around 5' 10") being designated as the "tall ones". I was so impressed when they turned it with no problems at all.

Other than that it was nice to get to see people that I see every year (namely The Traverses and all the kids’ friends), as well as those I rarely see, and eat some scrumptious piggy!

Kaden (Yep, stat's a sticker. That's what happens when you let grandpa babysit) playing with Pongo!

Kaden going to give his Great Uncle Doug a hug!

Wood's Meat Processing.

Hayden and Stu spreading out the tarp for the pig in the back of the truck.

The piggy on the stretcher. Hayden named him "Alfredo" this year.

Harrison thoroughly enjoying being a part of the action!

Kaden having a blast with a pine needle!

Kaden and his Great Papa!

Happy Stuie.

My Cousin Kyle and my Uncle Doug...Kyle was playing with his "Gizzard"... Doug said he has more chins than a Chinese phonebook. Heh.

Unwrapping the pig from the plastic, ready to split him open.

Stu wielding the ax!

Kaden and Uncle Doug.

Kaden with his Great Mimi.

Harrison giving Alfredo a smooch!

Kyle's hat: best toy ever!

My Dad firing the pig.

Kaden discovering the joys of pine trees.

Kaden enjoying his breakfast on the morning of the Pig Pickin' with Great Aunt Mo!

With his future favorite toy.

Kaden inspecting the bike.

Pretty baby eyes!

Mommy on the Pig Pickin' day!

Hi piggy!

My beautiful sister Maddison. (Making a weird face...)

Getting ready to turn the pig.

Caitlin and Mom chatting.

The turn!

Miss Jordanna! Love her!

My Mom and Dad

Melissa and Kyle.

Folks hanging out inside to get cool.

Sydney double-fisting it! Strawberry Lemonade and Jeff's Gazpacho! Thanks Jeff! It was fabulous.

... And hanging out outside.

Grandad giving Kaden some cold water.

Kyle making a strange face, and Melissa.

I didn't get to see much of her, but that's my sister Justine, my Cousin Kyle, Christy with the dark brown hair, Jordanna, and Caroline.

After a long, busy day, baby is ready for bed!


  1. Great post! Hey, some of those pictures were from my camera - did you get the photos? I wasn't sure if you could get them on like everyone else. I was just going to burn you a CD of all of them.

  2. What a fun time! It was GREAT to see you. And yes, it is True, we (Doug and I) did provide the entertainment until your Papa which point we were like a bat out of hell to our respective rooms to pass out way too drunk. I was up and at'em around 9:00-9:30 so I was pretty well exhausted by the time I went home. Talk to you soon!!

  3. Sounds like you had a great trip home. I love seeing all the pictures, I don't think I've seen your mom since Justine was about a year old and you guys were in Glouster visiting. She hasn't aged a bit in all these years.