Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hog Heaven

Warning: Grisly pictures of dead pig follow this post...

Well, the fat ol’ sow was no match for Bee, his spear and thousands of years of hilltribe pig-killin’ know-how. He stuck her once in the side, piercing her heart with one deft stroke. She squealed like a…well, you know, and fell over, snorting and flopping around in her own blood for about a minute and then she was gone. Off to hog heaven, if you will.

Her death was a bit grisly, and I think Chien was surprised to find himself disturbed by the distasteful act. The older boys poked and prodded her to confirm her demise, and when she was pronounced dead, the fascinating process of turning pig to pork got underway.

Most of the work was done by Bee and three of the oldest boys at the orphanage. They began by preparing the carcass, charring the skin with bundles of bamboo sticks and scraping the pig with large hunting knives. After much of the coarse hair had been removed, they covered the pig with thatching which they burned to loosen the rest of the hair. After about twenty minutes of meticulous scraping, the boys flipped the carcass and repeated the process. Eventually, the pig was completely smooth from snout to spout and ready to be butchered.

Bee and the boys hacked off the pig’s feet and turned the body belly-up. They removed the head and split the carcass lengthwise. With surgical precision, Bee removed all of the organs, careful to avoid spilling their contents. Before long, it was pork. Pork ribs, pork chops, pork tenderloins – pounds and pounds of pink pork, ready to cook and eat.

Some of the meat was grilled on skewers. Some on metal grates. Some was boiled, some turned into sausage. All of it was really, really delicious. It’s a pity we don’t get meat that fresh in the states; it’s quite a treat to enjoy it here every year.

Today we’re heading out to swim near a waterfall in the mountains. Sounds like fun to me. I’ll post more later!


Michael said...

very lord of the flies...

Anonymous said...

ewwwww..... i'm such a wimp. I think I'll just stick to the grocery store. Pretty cool for Chien to see firsthand - pork will never be the same for him. J