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Annual Pig Roast

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A view from the Pig RoastI am a vegetarian; I have been for many years. I stopped eating red meat on my eighteenth birthday, and stopped eating other meats one-by-one over a short period of time after that. For years I ate salad bars when I went out to dinner, to a point of getting very, very tired of salad bars. It used to be difficult for me to come up with healthy forms of protien that I enjoyed eating, but today I can find a delicious variety of soy choices both at the grocery store and often at restaurants. This week is my birthday week, and tomorrow night my husband and I will join my sister-in-law and her husband for dinner at our favorite Irish pub. They have a delicious rueben sandwich on their menu which I request with a garden patty substituted for the corned beef. Oh, it is good. That, their homemade chips with a tasty dipping sauce, and Guiness on tap make for a delightful summer dinner out and birthday treat. Meeting at that pub for a birthday dinner is a "tradition" with the four of us and it is incredibly easy to orchestrate. One person says, "So, are we meeting up at O'Lacey's for ____'s (fill in the blank) birthday this week?" and everyone says, "Of course!". There is never a need for discussion, just mention O'Lacey's ... we're all in. Another tradition in my husband's family is the annual Pig Roast down at his nephew's place. His nephew has a 100-acre farm located on a hill, overlooking picturesque hilly farmland near Bath, New York. My husband's contribution to the Pig Roast has always been to take and set up a 20' x 40' party tent as well as tables and chairs from our church. He also takes the gear and ingredients necessary to make many, many pounds of salt potatoes. (I have to say, my husband makes perfectly scrumptious salt potatoes. I never knew they existed until last year at the church's annual chicken barbeque. He makes the salt potatoes for that event as well. Very excellent.) Queen Annes LaceWe take a camping tent and stay overnight, as do other people. Last year we stayed over two nights, but this year we opted to make it a one-nighter because I need to get in as much oil painting time in preparation for impending art show. The weather was beautiful; though warm, there was a cool breeze blowing from morning until night so it was easy to stand under the shade of any one of many wonderful trees to cool off instantly. Although there was plenty of work to be done from morning until night in order to set up for and feed some eighty people or so, there was also plenty of time to rest and relax between chores. Music played all afternoon and evening ... and much of the night when we early-to-bed people were "sleeping". In the weest hours of the morning a few of the latest party animals went over to the neighbor's garage and had an impromptu jam session with electric guitar, drums, and keyboard which was actually quite good and pleasant to listen to as I drifted in and out of sleep. We have a wonderful tent we bought last year at WalMart for about $50. When we bought it, the attraction was simply this: a tent for $50. The price was what sold us on it. But, the first time we used it -- which was last year's Pig Roast -- we could not get over the wonderful design of the thing. It is spacious at 11' x 17', with plenty of floor room to set up a queen size air mattress. It has hanging mesh pockets inside for snacks, water, or what-have-you as well as mesh cup holders. There is a mesh attachment that goes up in the "ceiling" where you can hang damp things to dry. The entire top is mesh, then you have a nylon "fly" cover so there is plenty of air circulation as well as privacy. It also sports two large "boot" pockets on either side of the front "porch". The boot pockets zip from either the inside or the outside so that you don't track wet mud or loose grass, etc. into the tent. There is a little zippered slot for running an electric extension cord in if you so desire. Then there are two large zippered windows on either end, and the front "door" has two layers, one is mesh so you can have a view outside if you like, the other is nylon when privacy is needed. We have plenty of room inside for the mattress, our suitcase (okay, doesn't sound much like roughing it, I know), a chair, and whatever other belongings we might have brought along. And even with all of that, there is plenty of room to get around. I love that tent! And I love it more because it cost so little. I have no idea what this is but it is prettyThe Pig Roast was a very nice, quick little get-away that gave us a great reason to spend time with family being active and productive while also having a good, relaxing and refreshing bit of time away from home and normal work. Sunday morning we got up and enjoyed a lazy morning of conversation, coffee, and bagels before tearing everything down, packing up, and making the pretty drive back home. The summer food -- watermelon, baked beans, cucumber (from their garden) salad, grilled squashes (from their garden) , my husband's salt potatoes splashed with a bit of melted butter, coleslaw, and soft chewy cookies and brownies, was perfect in its simplicity. I never did look at the pig though, I don't like that part. I'm a vegetarian, you see. Hope you are having an enjoyable summer wherever you are ... with or without meat. ~firefly


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