Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Pig Killing day!
....the voice wafted through the hatch sometime before dawn this morning. It was dark, chilly and starting to drizzle. I was already up and dressed, not warmly enough but at least I had some clothes on!
John, the manager, stood bundled up in a big jacket on the dock.
'C'mon it's pig time!'
Ephrine, the guardian here, and his family rear a couple of porkers every year. Today was D day for one of them. We cruisers were offered some of the meat to buy but we needed to be on hand once the butcher started his work as, how can I put this, butchery isn't quite what we understand here in Guatemala!Their cuts are somewhat abstract to say the least!
We carefully made our way in the gloom down the boardwalk to the rear of the marina property where Ephrine and his family live, in amongst the swamp. Man those mosquito's were biting!
The slaughter had taken place around 2am right there in the jungle, the pig had been scalded and flayed by the time we arrived. It's quite a communal event. Two other cruisers arrived to point out the cuts they wanted and a convivial time was spent discussing 'animals we had butchered', 'hunting in Alaska' and ' strange joints I have cooked'!
The butcher was a scrawny little guy armed with a large knife and a lump of wood to use as a mallet. He worked away down in the grass under a lamp in the dark, sawing and pulling and chopping away at the fast diminishing corpse.Buckets and pans were pressed into use to contain the various cuts and the rest of the family busied themselves weighing and bagging and working out the cost of each parcel on the mobile phone!Young Allan, the eldest child(12), was contemplating the delights of a roast leg and various relatives were claiming the joints they had ordered.
It is quite different here to other 'pig-killings' what I have attended! In Portugal the occasion was a village event, all the women got together to process the carcass,making salami, blood sausage, tripe, brawn and all manners of delicacies. Not a piece was wasted. That doesn't appear to be the case here. No bacon curing, ham smoking or sausage making that I could see. I wonder why that is, maybe the lack of refrigeration in such a humid climate ?
I claimed a pair of 'patas', trotters and yup, you've guessed it, I am going to make another mammoth pork pie! For now though the meats in the freezer, that's a job for after the Christmas holidays.