Right on the heels of our WV trip came the Fourth of July and then next up was one of the highlights of our family’s summer – our neighbors’ annual Pig Roast or Pig Pickin’ as they call it. These folks have the gift of hospitality down to an art. They welcome more than a hundred of their friends and family each July to a picnic under their pavilion by the creek.
In addition to an amazing meal, children can frolic in the stream or ride the merry-go-round while adults enjoy corn hole or horse shoes. Sometimes they have a blue grass band. There is time to sit and chat with friends and family under the trees. Some will stroll down to see who the winner is in the Cow Plop Bingo; yes, you read that right, Cow Plop Bingo. A numbered grid is spray painted on a small, enclosed field and you purchase tickets for the numbers. Then old Bessie is led into the pen and does her business. Whatever square she “picks,” gets the prize.
There is also a miniature car show as the neighborhood car enthusiasts bring out their antique cars or chopped rides. My father’s ride this year was his Chevy pickup truck which he chopped into a convertible. I caught the car bug and did my first pin-striping attempt. I started with a dull Sharpie so my lines were bigger than I wanted, so I switched to paint, but again didn’t have thin enough brushes, but I guess it’s not too bad for my first attempt, and it made my father happy.
Not only do these folks have hospitality down to an art, they have it down to a science as well. They have built large metal-lined bins for the cold dishes. They add ice brick packs and then layers of ice to keep those macaroni and potato salads and deviled eggs cold on even the warmest of days. (Ice troughs make Mama happy as she doesn’t follow my fellow and I’s school of thought that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.) For the hot dishes there are plenty of outlets available to keep crock pots simmering.
Our neighbors always provide the main dish, place settings, and drinks, and everyone else brings a dish or two. While pork is the primary dish, this year’s feast also included BBQ turkey, BBQ venison, and BBQ bear as well. BBQ bear is a bit oily, but BBQ usually is anyway. Their bear meat was ground, so it reminded me more of a steamer (Sloppy Joe). I’m not sure if shredded bear meat is a possibility. Definitely something for everyone’s palette.
Because of the pig theme, I try to create something pig-related. One year it was a pig cake. This year in an effort to be more healthy, I made a pig fruit basket. I wish I could take credit for these designs, but they came from Pinterest.
The day always ends with a beautiful fireworks display. I love summer picnics and get-togethers. It’s all good, and it’s all fun. It’s WV living at its best!