When my Dad and my Son captured the wild hog, and set it up to live on our land, Mama got excited about the possibilities. She immediately declared Spring Break’s end to be a time for family and pulled pork. We called everyone up, and luckily, our Spring Breaks ended on the weekend Mama chose for the Luau.
We enjoyed Chaca and made her useful, while we also fattened her up for our first luau. My son built her a round pen and set it out in the garden, and she began rooting the plot as well as fertilizing it, for our spring/summer veggies. At first, she would charge at anyone who came near her pin…well, except for the young male cardinals, whom she seemed to enjoy. She would allow them to weave through her pen and land on her rooted earth, without even so much as batting an eye. And after time, she would allow us to feed and replenish her water, without charging, but instead, she would simply step outside her little dog house and observe.
My son took care of her with a single shot through the head, and then cleaned her alongside my father and put her on ice to bleed out. They added ice as needed over the following week, after her demise, and let some of the gamey blood drain.
Friday night, they pulled Chaca’s carcass out of the cooler and we laid her on some thick gage plastic, over our utility sink and counter, and I picked the last of the wild hairs from her fat, washed her up one last time and gave her one last one over, before Dad put her in a salt and ice brine overnight.
Early Saturday morning, he fired up the pit, stuffed Chaca’s chest cavity with a large assortment of onions, garlic, and peppers, and set her to char. Once both sides were nicely charred, he wrapped her in foil and let her slow cook for 6 hours or so. Once she cooled, and we all were ready to dive in, I unwrapped her and the family went hog wild! It was like they were in hog heaven, lickin’ their chops and snortin’ like little happy piglets.
I admittedly get my biggest thrills from feeding people (and chickens…and rabbits…and well, whatever else looks hungry!). Mom and I decided on several salad side dishes, to keep with the luau theme and springtime celebration. She gathered cabbages and carrots from our garden to make a lovely fresh cole slaw. She also made our personal new favorite, Sweet and Tangy Green Bean Salad. I added my all-time biggest hit and secret recipe, German Potato Salad, as well as a fresh cucumber/tomato/onion/pasta salad. Complete with Hawaiian Rolls, grilled mango and grilled pineapple, our spread was a hit with both the young and the not so young in the family.
We are blessed to be able to get together more often than just the holidays, and we know it. We love watching our children play together, and as they’ve grown, we’ve enjoyed more time in conversation, while just watching them from a distance. No one comes crying to us anymore. They can make their own plates, they rarely spill a drink…it’s rather nice, this fleeting stage of life. So we try to enjoy each other as often as possible, because nothing beats family; especially one that prays together.
Yes, we stepped away from the pork, long enough for each one to say a prayer of Thanksgiving, in March, for we have so much to be thankful for everyday. I am so glad that God comes to our gatherings. They are richer for it, and we, richer still.
Until Next time, This is the Crazy Chicken Lady, signing OFF!
Vaya con Dios