Field Series has been a bit quiet. Work at Made by Many has picked up tremendously which has eaten into my time at night. While posting as stopped adventuring hasn’t. Clara, Kleine and I have still been getting away on weekend and shooting tons of photos. They’ve been slowly edited and now trickling online.
This adventure is a prime example. A few months ago we were randomly invited during our subway ride to work by our friend XY to attend a pig roast in the Catskill Mountains. We’d been invited months before the event but it caught up quickly. Before we knew it there we were driving up the side of a dirt road, 10 o’clock at night, with the Rabbit bottoming out and lunging forward over small boulders. When the directions said “the road is rough” it was a pretty extreme understatement.
Pulling up to the top we’re greeted by our host. Scott has been organizing this event for 4 years now. Each year the group grows, this time it’s doubled to 50 people. Carrying our gear down the trail we see 15 tents around the edge of a pond, and a few more up on a hill with a cabin. We set up camp and join the crowd by the bonfire.
The main event kicks off right away at 6 am. The massive 70 lb. pig was prepared the night before. Inside along side the classic onions, leeks, and spices, are two chickens stuffed with sausages. Inception cooking. The pig is mounted on a spike custom made by camp mate. With the pig set the next order of business is how to set the pig up for easy rotating over the coals. There are literally to many cooks in the kitchen. Most of us are watching, drinking coffee, and chiming in with semi useful information. A few key people with a touch more know how begin drilling, screwing, and roping together some scrap wood. The final “solution” is anything but elegant, but elegance doesn’t mean functional, and this mess of wood and rope works.
As the rest of the camp emerges from their tents they slowly circle around to check on the pig. The few of us on the pit crew have been up for 2 hours already rotating the pig a quarter turn every 15 minutes. The masses lose interest and play camp games, swim in the pond and hike around. The pit crew stays focused, each taking shifts to keep the pig on rotation.
9 hours later, 1 hour past the expected time, the pig is done. The camp has been transformed into a massive buffet of food. Picnic blankets, chairs, drinks, and plates are everywhere as all 50 people ready themselves for the main event. The pig is transferred to a massive table. The pit crew arms themselves with cleavers, bear claws, and sauce. We might be breaking down this pig but it has to be checked for quality while we do so. 8 people surround the table and reduce piece by piece of the pig to the bone. A parade of aluminum trays depart from the table full as new empty ones take their place. The pit crew feverishly extracts all the best parts. Sharing the tenderest parts such as the cheeks with just the inner circle; those that helped turn for the last 9 hours.
The food is amazing. The camp happy and well fed. The commotion of trying out the various dishes slows as belly’s fill up, and soon everyone is calmed down enjoying that extra cocktail. That break is quickly broken as a small drizzle starts. Thoughts that it’s not going to rain are washed away as the drizzle increases. And by the time everyone is in their tents it’s an all out thunderstorm. Full stomachs help everyone sleep through the loudest thunderstorm I’ve even been in.
In the morning everyone drags their damp selves out of tents and makes breakfast. Left over pork make for perfect pulled pork sliders. I have two myself. We clean up, pack up, and head down the mountain towards Brooklyn.