My daughter and I put our heads together last week to decide what to have for our family Christmas dinner. They will be here on Christmas Eve for dinner and presents with Gigi (that's me in my vanilla disguise). They will spend Christmas Day with my son-in-law's family. They're nice folks, but there are 60 of them and that's just a little too much of a crowd for me to deal with.
Anywho, between Turkey Day and a family reunion, and Christmas with his family, they are just about turkey and ham'd to death. What to do? Last year I did a standing rib roast with all the trimmings, but that's a little outside the budget range this year. We had an ah-ha moment and decided on a center cut pork roast with roasted sweet potatoes and pears in a hard cider reduction. Very Food Network, I thought. Where's Anne Burrell and her rockin' skirt and haircut when I need her? Okay, so I start the search for a center cut pork roast at the local grocery stores. My request is greeted by looks of confusion by the meat-cutters. Since they profess not to have a clue what I'm talking about, I'm not going to elevate them to the rank of "butcher" because they are clearly not.
My daughter says "I'll call Corbett's (Meat Market) and see if they know what it is. How much should I ask for?"
"Oh, I think enough to feed six should be about right", thinking about enough for 3 adults on Christmas Eve, small portion for the 4-year-old and enough to make pork fried rice the next day. Lo and behold, Corbett's knows exactly what I want and they had it ready for pickup yesterday. My daughter and her husband went and picked it up and brought it to me.
THERE IS A PIG IN MY KITCHEN!! Well, maybe not the whole pig, but most of it. I don't need Anne Burrell, I need Guy Fieri and a hacksaw, maybe a little Michael Symon on the side. I thought I'd be getting six, maybe seven ribs, but noooo. The entire rib and back portion, including the tenderloin is sitting on the kitchen counter, taking up all the space (my kitchen is the size of a postage stamp). I wrangle it into the chill chest, figuring that staring it full in the face would present a challenge and I'd have to fight for my life. I'll tackle it after dinner, when I've had some caloric fortification.
Fast forward to 8 PM. The scene is me in my tiny kitchen, wrestling with this side o' pig. I have a long knife, a sharpening steel, a chisel, and a hammer. The knife goes through the meat like butter and I'm feeling optimistic until I run slam into the backbone. Ergo, the chisel and hammer. Eight or ten good whacks and I'm on the other side without too much loss of blood (mine, not the pig's, the pig's fine). Next time, remind me to tell the butcher to notch the space between the vertebrae.
Now there's a 7-bone roast in the freezer for Christmas Eve, a 3-bone roast for sometime later, and an almost boneless roast with tenderloin for my daughter and son-in-law to take home with them and put in their freezer.
I know, you're all wondering what LadyDoc is manufacturing for dessert. Gingerbread with optional lemon curd or whipped cream. I'll ring the dinner bell when it's ready. Just wash your hands before you come to the table.