The pig: cooked and consumed
Several people have asked for the upshot of the pig story. (And, a warning again, if you are a committed veggie, I would skip the following photos.)
Well I am happy to report that it was successfully cooked and consumed (see above) yesterday, my birthday. And thanks go to especially to my friend Jo who took the lion's share of the cooking, to the daughter who did more than me, to the staff in the kitchen who gave us instructions, and to Andrew and Jo who accommodated the 17 people (more than can fit in my kitchen) to eat the beast ... which, I think we have established, was a "she". And, of course, to Patrick, the donor!
The explanation for my low in-put into the cooking is quite simple. The daughter and I turned up at Sidney (with the stuffing) to prepare the animal for the oven. The trouble was the daughter (official photographer of the occasion) had forgotten her camera battery, so I drove back to get it....took 30 minutes.
By the time I returned, both Jo and daughter had thoroughly acclimatized themselves to the animal. They had washed it, lamented its poor missing/misshapen ear, put their hands inside it, stuffed it and were in the process of sewing it up. I missed out on the "getting to know" stage, and when I saw what was going on I did indeed feel slightly squeamish. Yes, I'm a carnivore, but at 3.30 on New Year's day I wasnt quite ready to have my hand up a dead pig's bum.
So I have to confess that my input was largely decorative.
As it turned out, the whole process was quite easy.
It took just over three hours to cook, and was almost ready to be out of the over by the time people arrived. Minor hiccoughs later (it wouldn't fit in the dumb waiter, too big), we amply fed the whole company (including two vegetarians).
A memorable birthday party in surroundings that I could not aspire to.... thanks to every who faciltated and came.
And thanks to Dr Thompson, who rounded off the evening with some stunning card tricks. If anyone knows how he can have done it.... picked out of his pack the very card that I had chosen out of mine... please fess up.