Ever stand by a pig cooker and picked the meat straight off a freshly roasted, oh so succulent pig? No?
Then STOP right now and add it to your bucket list.
For those who have, I know you’re drooling!
There’s nothing like a crisp fall day and a Carolina blue sky. That’s what made October perfect for the annual Pig-Picking at the Farm. Some years we’d have over a hundred people. That always just delighted my mamma, Doris. She did love to have the family gathered.
The women would cook the side dishes, but the pig was always done by the men; including the secret blend of vinegar and red peppers. The side dishes were homemade wonders! Aunt Dinah always made the potato salad, Jell-O salad, and baked beans. If Brunswick stew was served, it was store-bought. Don’t know why, it’s just how it was done.
Doris always made the deserts: Yellow cake with chocolate icing that had melted into the cake, but yet somehow some of it remained fluffy and on top of the cake! We also had brownies and a variety of pies. Doris’ other responsibility was the fried cornbread. She fried it up crisp and golden brown. We’d have pickled relish, bread n butter pickles, chow chow, and an assortment of goodies that varied depending on who was attending.
The homemade ice-cream was a family affair with someone different in charge each year.
You get the idea… on to the story.
Me, my sister, Sylvie and my brother, Jerry were talking on the front porch. The party was in full swing. People were everywhere! Kids, dogs, cousins, aunts, uncles, and long time family friends.
Freakin’ family fun for sure!
Suddenly, Sylvie, in the middle of a sentence simply reaches over and pours her glass of water on our older brother Jerry. Jerry jumps back wet and shocked and I am just cracking up!
“Wha…What the?” “What are you doing?!” Jerry shouted.
Sylvia, un-phased said, “I don’t know, I just felt like dumping water on you.”
I like to take a moment and point out that Jerry, Sylvia, Pam and I are all adults with children at this time of our lives.
Jerry walked off the porch shaking his head, leaving Sylvie and me laughing.
It wasn’t long before Jerry got his revenge.
Sylvie was chatting with some of our nieces and nephews, when suddenly, she was soaking wet! Not just one part of her, but her front, back, and everywhere! I even got splattered in the hit.
As Sylvie gasped, I caught sight of the Hit Squad. It was two of our nephews and a cousin running, laughing, and gasping for breath; empty buckets banging their legs! Hmm, that just wasn’t like these three~they usually were followers. Somebody had to be behind the hit, but whom?
JERRY! It had to be. Sylvie and I locked eyes. Game on, big brother! The Sistie Uglies are seeking revenge!
We were trying everything to soak Jerry, we just couldn’t get close. His “hit squad/body guards” were close by his side.
“Hmmm…I wonder what he used to bribe the little buggers with and how can I out bribe him?”
Suddenly, it came to me! I know how to get Jerry, and neither he, nor his little minions will see it coming! I couldn’t wait to put this plan in action.
Time to get help from. . . “The Grandmother.”
The Grandmother is my mother, the current matriarch of the family. A lady indeed and beloved by all. She’s a NASCAR lovin’, casino gamblin’, scrabble playin’ grandmother with a wicked sense of humor equal only to her adventurous spirit.
About an hour had gone by since the last “hit’. Jerry was standing on the deck enjoying a rare opportunity to have a one on one conversation with Mom.
“When are the Giggle Girls going to Cherokee?” Jerry was asking, when suddenly and without any warning or provocation, Mom just up and poured her big glass of water right down the front of his shirt.
Sputtering with surprise, Jerry exclaimed, “Wha . . .what the? Mom!?”
Mom just laughed at him and said, “Don’t get mad at me, I’m just the hired assassin.”
Jerry didn’t realize that mom can be bought for one lil promise to clean up the kitchen. Victory is so sweet, but I knew it was temporary. Jerry wasn’t going to let this go, so I was on ‘high alert’.
I asked my sister Pam if she had heard any rumblings of a hit being planned. I asked Sylvie. Nope.
Hm-m-m, wonder when? The anticipation was killing me.
Pig’s ready! Ya’ll come and eat.
Lines formed, plates were piled high with potato salad & deviled eggs, Aunt Dinah’s pork-n-beans, Jell-O salad, fried corn bread, homemade pickles & relish, and the main course~The BBQ.
In North Carolina, BBQ is a noun, not a verb. We cook and eat BBQ. When referring to cooking on a grill, we say we are “cooking out”.
I’m standing in line minding my own business looking at all the friends and relatives ahead of me in line when a few of my darling little nieces and nephews come up to me and sweetly offer to get my plate for me. I could just go have a seat and one would bring me something to drink, while the others stood in line. Filled with a warm fuzzy feeling of love towards these wonderful children, I found a seat at the table where my mom and Jerry were sitting.
“Aren’t you eating anything?” my mother asked, since I didn’t have a plate of food.
“I am. The kids offered to get it for me. Aren’t they sweet?”
“Hmpf! Wonder what they are up to.” Mom said.
“Oh mom, don’t be so suspicious. Look, here comes Scotty now.”
Scotty approached with a big glass of Southern sweet tea. I reached out my hand to take it from him. Suddenly, I was drenched!
Jumping up I was screeching, “Scotty!”
Those kids were howling as they scattered.
I heard the laughter coming from my brother. “GOT CHA! Gotcha gotcha, GOTCHA!” he was shouting with glee. Everyone at the table was laughing.
My mom, between giggles was saying, “Okay kids,” <mind you we are in our 40s & 50s> “That’s enough. Ya’ll stop before somebody gets hurt.”
We had certainly heard that one before! “Yes ma’m we said in unison,” me with my fingers crossed behind my back.
I got back in line to get my BBQ. “If those kids made me miss the deviled eggs, they are going to pay big time,” I thought as I began to plan my revenge.
Once finished <and without having any deviled eggs>, I went dutifully into the kitchen to start fulfilling my contract with the Grandmother. My sister’s were there along with my female cousins who had finished eating. In the south, the women get up from eating and automatically start cleaning up. The men leave their plates and retreat into “Daddy’s Den” to watch TV, usually sports. The kitchen was crowded, so I went out to the front yard to check on the kids, and pick up any empty plates.
The kids all had Super Soakers. There was a big battle going on in the front yard. Ya’ll remember those~ machine like guns that hold and shoots a bunch of water in a powerful stream?
“You kids put those guns away until after everyone is finished with dinner.” I said to them. “Here. Hand ‘em to me. I’ll give them back when we start making the ice cream.”
As I was making the ‘arms agreement’ with my nieces and nephews, my cousin Ray came riding up on his 4-wheeler. He had run to his house just down the road to get some more ice.
Ray. Super Soakers. 4 Wheeler. A light bulb went off!
About 10 minutes later, the unsuspecting target heard the roar of an engine, and in a blur of speed, Jerry became SUPER SOAKING wet!
I was perched in front of Ray on that 4-wheeler, my feet propped on the handlebars, kept on board only by the strong arms of my cousin as he maneuvered that 4 wheeler through the crowd. I was shooting that confiscated, fully loaded, SuperSoaker with a killer’s attitude so my dear brother didn’t stand a chance.
As we roared by, guns a’blazin the crowd reacted by first sporting open mouths on their surprised faces, then once the “kill was made”, by roaring with laughter as Ray and I drove off into the sunset.
Ahhh yes! Another day of Freakin’ Family Fun on the Farm indeed!