One Ordinary Family on an Extraordinary Adventure

Taking in Some Southern Culture: Pig Roast

A friend posted this picture on Facebook today. I didn’t think it was fair to post that when we were so far away.

pigroast3

Pork barbecue. Photo courtesy of Brian Hehl

It brought back some good memories of a pig roast his family had invited us to last fall and made me just a little sad that we aren’t down in North Carolina right now so we could crash the party.

One of the great parts of traveling across the USA has been getting to learn about food and customs in other parts of the country. In Magnolia, Arkansas, the kids tried catfish and frog legs for the first time. In Alabama, we enjoyed our first “boil.” (and we liked that so much that we learned how to do it ourselves!). In Pennsylvania, we soaked up a lot of history, but didn’t get brave enough to try scrapple. Soon after we arrived in North Carolina, we got invited to a pig roast.

Now, the concept of a pig roast is a familiar one. We’ve been to pig roasts. We’ve invited people to come to our place for a pig roast. We’ve raised pigs (when we had our small farm) that other people have roasted. In short, we felt completely certain that we knew what to expect. The draw, in this case, was to socialize with new friends and, of course, to enjoy some great food. So we went. And we had a great time.

But….

Although we originally thought we knew what to expect, we found that there are a few elements of the pig roast experience that we had not heretofore experienced during our life in California. We arrived, parked our crock pot full of green bean casserole on the counter, and went outside to sit and talk with new friends.

North Carolina pig roast

North Carolina pig roast Photo courtesy of Brian Hehl

Our host checked on the pig a few times, and there were a couple rounds of sampling before he decided to put the meat into a big pan, cover it with foil, and put it in the oven to keep warm. In my experience, this was the time to set up tables, tell kids to wash their hands, pour some tea (here in the south, they pour some SWEET tea), and start feasting on the meal.

Our cultural education was just beginning. There was much to be done before the feasting could begin. First, there was the tasting of the sauce. Not just any sauce, mind you, this was homemade Carolina barbecue sauce which is super thin and incredibly wonderful. You know I’m going to try and track down that recipe.

After the tasting of the sauce, our host announced, “well, the pork is done, it’s time to ……” (I will interrupt to say that I expected “eat” to be the next word in this sentence. It was not). Before he could finish the sentence, half the crowd had headed to their cars where they began pulling out various firearms and ammunition. You see, the end to the sentence “Well, the pork is done, it’s time to…..” is “shoot.” It was time to shoot. Of course.

Most of the crew took off down to somewhere else and spent a good while (couple hours maybe?) shooting. I stayed behind with the baby and a few others. Dominic had the greatest time playing and crawling around  and charming everyone he met. Meanwhile, some of the younger kids went out front and, with supervision from one of the other parents, rode the go kart. Sicily enjoyed being a passenger, right up until they ran into a tree. It’s not really a party ’til someone runs into a tree, right? Over at the shooting range, Max discovered that he was a pretty good shot.

It's really not a party until someone runs into a tree.

It’s really not a party until someone runs into a tree.

Sometime after the ice pack came out, folks started wandering back in search of dinner. We feasted together and a few of us stayed to talk while others went on a hayride. Dominic finally gave up and went to sleep. He didn’t even stir when we got him in and out of the carseat. Ended up sleeping for 14 hours straight.

It was just that good of a day.

P.S. Our fearless go-karter was just fine.

P.P.S. Brian and Audrey invited us over for dinner right before we left North Carolina a few weeks ago. It was so yummy!! Good friends, good food, life just doesn’t get much better than that.

 

Learning Across America

Learning Across America

Rose Godfrey is a speech pathologist and freelance writer. The Godfrey family (Brian, Rose, and the 7 kids who are still at home) crossed the USA in an RV then set out to see the world.
Learning Across America

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2 Comments

  1. July 19, 2015    

    What a great event. I always enjoy a new cultural experience. Maybe not always…but in this case it would be yes.

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