New Hampshire pig roast and Boston's North End
I spent last weekend visiting my friend James in the wilds of New Hampshire, and the decidedly unwild streets of Boston. Actually, that’s a lie. We did witness a little wildness in the form of an unsuccessful electronics store robbery. It ended when the owner chased the guy down the street and he dropped the merchandise.
Saturday began with a breakfast sandwich from the only gas station in Canaan, New Hampshire. It was assembled by two very old woman; one with a hump and one with elaborate hair that had been teased into hundreds of tiny blond curls. We also picked up a bottle of Moxie, a cola-colored soda which is made in the South but available in the East, and which I would later sample and find to be almost intolerable. It tastes like a dirty root, with a touch of herbal cough drops and a startlingly bitter finish.
There was a giant party being held in the woods that day by James’s relatives, so we made our way over around noon and from that point on basically lay around drinking and eating until the sun went down. The property had everything: volleyball, badminton, ping pong, kayaks, canoes, a jukebox, a margarita shack, and most importantly, an itinerant pig roaster who showed up around 2 p.m. with a giant hunk of pork already partially smoked. Some roaming dogs and I watched, salivating, as he tied the pig to his homemade contraption and fired up the hickory. Here are some pics:
As we waited for the pork to finish becoming incredibly freaking delicious and tender, we kayaked around Tewksbury Pond and saw this loon:
Our kayaks had beer holders. I liked that.
Here’s the pork getting prepped for dinner:
See how it’s actually served in its own skin? Genius.
There were lots of salads, beans, dips and breadstuffs to accompany the pork. It gave me faith in America again to see a giant table filled with homemade foods. The potlucks I’ve been to lately are usually little more than a collection of grocery-store readymade foods that haven’t even been taken out of their plastic containers.
In Boston, we spent a lot of time in the North End eating Italian food. We had a fairly good meal at Terramia, but it wasn’t mind-boggling. Luckily the gelato (pistachio and bacio) we found down the street made up for the slightly underwhelming dinner. The next day I picked up some biscotti at Maria’s Pastry Shop, and we ordered giant subs from Bova’s that were stuffed with things like prosciutto, mortadella, mozzarella, and basil. Very satisfying.
Many of you know I have historically bad luck with flights. On this trip, I am happy to say that my plane averted extremely long delays in the air by managing to land approximately three minutes before a giant storm hit O’Hare. As I was exiting the terminal, the thunder and lightning became so intense that the airport basically shut down for an hour. You can imagine the fallout this caused. Just in case you can’t, here’s an idea:
I smugly proceeded to the baggage claim, pitying all the poor bastards who were going to be delayed hours and hours in the airport. I began to wait for my bags. And wait. And wait. Little did I know that when lightning strikes the area around the airport, the baggage handlers aren’t allowed to unload the planes. I received my luggage approximately one and a half hours after I landed, all traces of smugness completely erased and replaced with fatigue and irritation. But the memory of that pork made it all worth it.