Preparing for the Pig Roast (Pictures Below)

The time has come! Dave and Don brought over the pig last night - an 80 pounder from Hidden Stream Farm, purchased from Clancey's in Linden Hills, MN. Within an hour, we had prepared the pig with a bunch of tasty seasonings and enclosed it in a homemade China Box. I think Dave and Don - both experienced pig roasters) are getting sick of my nervous quips, but what do you do when you come face to face with your first dead pig? Frankly, getting to know my food makes me a little bit uncomfortable.

Here are a few pictures from last night's preparation. They're not for the squeamish, but I think they're worth seeing and thinking about. Here goes.

This is my friend Dave Micko, getting the pig ready. In the absence of a table, we made due with an old door from my house, covered with foil and resting on the China Box.

The next picture probably needs no explanation. Suffice to say that I've got the greatest, most understanding wife in the world.

Here's a close up of the head, currently wrapped in plastic. It will be used to make gravy tomorrow.

I learned that "cutting garlic into the pig" was meant literally. Dave, Don, and I made more than 100 slits in the pig, stuffing each one with a garlic clove.

Finally, the pig was stuffed with garlic and laid into the China Box for brining. Our brine was Dave's special recipe, including sea salt, brown sugar, white sugar, whisky, lemons, and limes.

The pig is on ice right now, and my job is to make sure it stays that way for another day, until we start cooking it at the park tomorrow morning. I can honestly say that, in my quest to connect more closely with local, sustainable, and organic food, where it comes from, and how it's prepared, nothing has come close to this experience so far. I'm in awe of the pig and of the people who raised it. I also admire the people who prepare terrific food with care and thought, people who honor the animals that nourish them even as they cook and eat them.

This was a strange week for me to commit to eating less meat (only one meal per day, tops), but I suppose it's fitting too.

FYI, due to many last minute attendees, we're supplementing the pig meat with pulled chicken from Minneapolis fantastic rotisserie restaurant Brasa, raised at Kadejan Farm.