Sunday, December 24


Roast Pig at Christmas

So, I'm home from New York for Christmas, down in sunny Florida with my family. Traditionally, we've always done two big dinners for Christmas, a Cuban-style noche buena extravaganza with pork and beans on Christmas Eve, and a more Anglo dinner on Christmas day which has always felt a little bit orphaned considering it usually ends up as a repeat of Thanksgiving. Experiments with roast beef, lamb and other viands didn't really end up sticking, and usually the weight of two large dinners within one day of each other usually meant we spent much of the holiday asleep on the couch.

So we decided to consolidate things a bit this year, leave the turkey and dressing for Thanksgiving and do the pig this year. Since the real Cuban Christmas dinner is usually held in the wee hours of Christmas morning after Midnight Mass, we decided that our former custom of having it on Christmas eve was really more of a chronological accident and are planning to do it Christmas Day.

And we're, pardon the awful pun, going whole hog this time. Literally. Cubans--and the Spanish before them--have always loved pork. You can tell where the conquistadores camped based on the big piles of pig bones they left behind. So, we'll be roasting a whole pig tomorrow, and it will either be incredibly good or a disaster. We've even got a special Cuban pig roaster, la caja china, the so-called Chinese box. If anyone is offended, it's not my fault--that's what they call it, and let me remind you that there are worse things than grills to have named in your honor, e.g., the Paddy Wagon. (And I'm part Irish too, so I'm allowed to make jokes like that.)

In any case, it will be an adventure. Expect photos and commentary, presuming we don't burn the house down in the process. In the mean time, a blessed Christmas eve to all, and to pass the time, why not read about the winner of the annual Fat Pig category at the Shropshine Agricultural Show, the infamous Empress of Blandings?

Or better, go hang out with your family - it's Christmas! Why are you surfing the web?

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