It’s that busy time of year, you know, when you rush off to Chicago for a long weekend of eating and drinking with friends, then you rush off up North to help butcher your pig Pancetta and then to top it all of, Thanksgiving is this week. I have been planning for a month already, but it doesn’t seem to reduce the stress of all the last minute stuff. I have a list of what to prep on what day, starting today with bread baking (with my new cryovac food saver, I can make it ahead of time now) and ancho chile roasted garlic paste making. There is a little extra stress in that my boyfriend’s parents are coming to this holiest of holy food days and I haven’t met them yet. So this year, I am going with my old standbys. A brined and charcoal grilled SW ancho chile garlic roasted turkey (this bird is so fantastic – I have made it about 8 times now) and SW cornbread stuffing.
More about the menu later. I realize that I am way behind on my Pancetta the pig postings. I hope to have some spare time with the long weekend approaching to catch up. We did go up and give her some final yummies, pears! Then we chose to participate in watching the entire process, from death to dressing out (degutting) and skinning. We were there for the butchering and I cut the tenderloin out myself. Now this might gross a lot of you out, I thought it would gross me out, but it didn’t. I feel that if I am going to eat meat, I should be a part of the whole experience of what brings my pork to the table, at least once. I really feel that I should be able to kill my own meat, but I am not ready for that step, yet. We split the pig with my brother and sister in law. I think we have about 200 pounds of pork. The bacon alone from our pig was 40 pounds or so and is now sitting in a smokehouse in Leland – Carlson’s. I will post some pics very soon of the event, with a warning should you not want to see all the events.
Ok, time to hit the road and go visit some farmers. Work stuff. Yes I do hold down a full time job that takes me on the road at all times of day or evening. Sometimes all that work and cooking makes it tough to get the blog time in, because there are 5 knitting projects that need a piece of me too. Luckily for me, these farmers live very close to both Ann Arbor’s Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Lucky for me that I have a flexible schedule and can take time off to prep for Tday. I am lucky in lots of ways, those just to name a slight few. It’s that thankful time of year – Thanksgiving!
By the way, Pancetta tastes fabulous. I made a roast and a Thai dish with some of the pork last week. Fresh and flavorful. I am thankful for her sacrifice and for the opportunity of a pig “share”.