Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Summer and Pig Roasts, part one.

It must be something very special, an event sure to draw a large crowd. Pig roasts are big here, in fact; huge. We were invited to two within a seven day span, the first being right next door, and the second one by our new friends from church we had for breakfast a while back with their lovely family.

Our neighbors celebrate every summer with a large gathering of friends, ski club members, yacht club members, old local school buddies having another reunion for the fun of it, and of course, a few surrounding neighbors. We fell into the last category and made the easy decision of accepting the invitation. Only one other couple from behind us, the farmers were able to come, but at least we met someone new to us there.

We joshed and teased our neighbors a bit as we watched them work in earnest during their "vacation" time preparing the property for the upcoming roast. The acreage grass was a labouring detail, the orchard necessitated a meticulous weed whacking, followed by the ride on mower circling around and around each individual tree for a tedious and extremely grueling cut. Counting eighty orchard trees in all, you can bet it was a long and difficult task. Remember the heat here was almost unbearable with the humidex at 48 degrees , or 123 degrees F. The real clincher came when I caught them both raking the entire yard and throwing the coumarin smelling stuff into the wheelbarrow for a golf green looking surface. Then, I really inquired if this was a regular detail because we were not going to keep up with the neighbors on that one…laugh.

Volleyball and Badminton nets are all set to go here

A the week progressed, two heavily detailed lawn cutting days turned into more, when we saw them later in the week, once again mowing the grass shorter and spotted them sprinkling grass seed around the back area behind the swimming pool. A company was motioned in to cut down stray branches from tall mature trees, then more mowing at the end of the week in the surrounding area of what was to become a volleyball and badminton playing center. Power washing the inground pool decks, gardening, general cleaning, setting up the nets for the games, and the setting up of several tents were providing color and decorating the orchard as friends from out of town were expected for the long weekend. Even two tent trailers appeared giving the feel of a camp ground, but privacy was a premium back there with lots of space to meld in the greenery.

The pool decks were clean and glistening in the summer sun

Pig roasting celebration day arrived with the hosts creating a charcoal fire at 4am inside the pig roasting ovens, borrowed from a friend and completely assembled from old tractor parts. Very cool invention! The pig roasted without any marinade or spicing for fourteen hours before the meat began to tenderly fall off and a hearty consumption began.

The guests began to arrive and grouped around the back of the house in the later afternoon. We could hear folks in the pool, the bocce balls were being used, volleyball was already a high feature fun spot, and lawn chairs spilled out everywhere. These guys really know how to have a summer party! What a fun time we were in for, and a lovely time we had, though we knew no one there for the most part. We met many interesting folks, feasted on the piggy highlight of the day and enjoyed all the selections of other foods every guest supplied. It was enlightening and educational to speak to many folks there who made their living as farmers in the area. One supplied the pig, another supplied bushels of peaches and cream corn, another green beans, and one other sausage meats. Never mind the food for dinner, the desserts were rolled out and set out on the bar built into the side of the hot tub to make anyone begin to drool with the color…and obvious load of enticing sugar feast presented there.

All food detailing aside, the highlight for us in particular ended up being not only the fascination with the pig roast itself and the ensuing gathering of men to form a special team work to carve it when the meat began to melt off the bones (yummy yum), truly it was definitely meeting the interesting guests, each from all walks of life. Some were "extreme" skiiers who yearned for their yearly travelling experience to conquer another black diamond level on the mountain top somewhere in North America. Others were chatting about their recent sailing or boating expeditions. I found myself gravitating towards this group asking many questions about owning a boating vessel, maintenance issues and the mandatory skippers course now required by every boat owner. Some old school pals were filling us with local historical information and recommending areas and special sights to see. Hugely though, as the evening progressed, I sat glancing about with a smile on my face, admiring each individual for specifically setting aside this day, happily doing so "on purpose" happily submitting to a very enjoyable mingling with others, all being good sports by participating in all the lawn games and ultimately simply enjoying time together at this, the traditional yearly pig roasting party our neighbors hosted.

Cheers to them all! They really know how to lay their stresse in life aside and have fun making memories!