“With your head down in the pig bin, Saying “Keep on digging”
Pig stain on your fat chin, What do you hope to find? When you’re down in a pig mine.
You’re nearly a laugh. You’re nearly a laugh, but you’re really a cry”. Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Amidst moister weather, the manzanitas are coming up roses at the Dead Cat pleasure palace, at the base of the sacred Poncho Tree. The fire wood has been pillaged and the cooler is mysteriously full of ice and an obscene slab of Florida wild hog. How many hillbillies does it take to cook up a fat piece of boar over an open fire? Pay attention dear reader. The secret is in the land down under. Not the over. It’s time to get down in the pig mine. Dig that pig pit. Chuck in the flesh. Cover it with fire. Now you’re cooking with disco. With a crack team of culinary experts on hand, how hard could it possibly be?
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The Nail Travels summer road trip is underway and while extended primitive camping has erased any concrete sense of time, our action scout team has hunkered down for a month of woodland homesteading at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. With all the leftover folks from Suwannee Spring Reunion packed up and split, the campground has quieted down and our mobile headquarters is currently located on the edge of the farm field, complete with a front yard frisbee patch and nightly campfire music. Our gypsy caravan is snugly homesteaded catty corner from the largest bat house in the country. Welcome to Bartertown. We’re here to find out if guano can be used to fuel a Coleman lantern?
Complete with Oriental rugs and silken drapes, the tent city HQ remains unmatched in it’s glamping stylings and continues to be a favorite photo spot for tourists. Windsock mullets and colored tapestries unfurl from the oak branches while the rest of the compound is complete with all the finest festival camouflage. Like a tribe of Bedouin spice merchants, a cautious alliance has formed with the local residents as the colorful band continues to blend in with the oak hammock backdrop.
In preparation for the unavoidable occurrence of inclimate weather, this year our production staff replaced the rain tarps and ropes with feathers, scarves and Mardi Gras beads. The additions provided a much needed, inviting softness to the entire site and, following the three-day deluge, collected nicely into clumped rivers of blue glitter and broken glass. The clogged streams of soaked hammocks and broken guitars formed a limp tributary which trickled all the way to the Suwannee River, prompting an investigation by the Environment Protection Agency to assess any long-term, environmental damage.
In an effort to find shelter from the the storm, we ended up on the amphitheater stage of the music park. One of the best concert venues in the country and usually littered with hammocks and folding chairs, the late night solo concert was played to a packed house of turkey oaks. The 2 am show was truly memorable as lightning flashes and high winds accompanied an acoustic set of Pink Floyd classics.
There is a return to some semblance of normalcy with the warmth of the morning sun and as things get back under par, we arrive at one of our favorite pastimes; preparing our meals over a roaring campfire. Hobo burgers, spit chicken, and roasted Peeps showcased the chef’s specials on this week’s sunset menu and the entree selection got an unexpected addition after Spacebug, driving our rented golf cart with a full head full of bennies and small barrel whiskey, attempted a high-speed power slide into the starboard side of a wild, feral hog. The sounds of shattering bone and fiberglass could barley be heard over the collective screams of both man and beast. Hours later, after dragging the broken carcass home, through miles of Florida swamp, the bug arrived at camp, covered in tendrils of bright pig’s blood and specks of marrow, eager to get started on some serious cracker cuisine.
- 1 T kosher salt
- 1 T Creole seaoning
- 2 T cracked black pepper
- 2 T white peppers
- 1 chopped Spanish onions
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- 3 diced ghost peppers
- ½ gallon Louisiana hot sauce
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup dried and finely chopped Humboldt County organic blueberry kush
- ½ oz crumbled crystal methamphetamine dry rub
- ⅛ cup 10-10-10 palm tree fertilizer
- 3 T clover honey
- 1 T fresh thyme
- Prepare pig with ingredients and wrap in an aluminum foil cocoon
- Remove existing campfire
- Dig a North Florida cracker-style pig pit (a hole)
- Cover the bottom with a layer of coals
- Add a layer of palm fronds (saw palmettos are advisable but cabbage palms will work in a pinch)
- Insert fatback
- Cover with another layer of hot coals
- Add a layer of sand
- Build a new fire on top of existing structure
- Allow fire to burn for seventeen hours
- Dig up perfectly prepared pig meat
- Eat like starving savages
“I got your box. I picked the lock. I got in your box. Busted locks I’m inside your box. I’m looking at your pictures of your old cluttered box. Whew, this new box looks really GOOD on you. By the way, I love your new shoes. And your new recipe for blackened BABY ribs.” Excerpt from “The Lost Trails of Moss and Fails” 1712
How To Make A Suwannee River Pig Pit:
- Pig Pit: Apparently, no one on this staff knows how deep one should be. Ours was about a foot and a half deep and it seems as though that might have been a bit too shallow. If you’re not sure, there are certain tell-tale signs for which to be aware. For starters, it should probably be bigger than a bread basket. Beyond that, technical specifications are murky.
- Palm fronds: Feverishly recommend by Capt. Mostmilk, it remains unclear why this addition was necessary. The scientific evidence provided was in support of aeration and improved circulation of warm air around the meat. In retrospect, the strategy proved to be utter and complete rubbish and in accordance with Camp Happiness bylaws, Mostmilk had been soundly garroted at sunrise following the “incident”.
- Pitfalls: Down in a pig mine, variables to be considered should include but are not limited to; 1) size of pig meat, 2) size of fire, 3) size of pig pit. As strong southern winds began to batter the campsite, warning signs of impending disaster had already become obvious. An unholy stink began to emit from the fire and billow through the increasingly flapping tapestries. Early guesses were that burning, rotten wood was the culprit of the putrid funk and, shortly after, cabbage palms fronds were to blame. Eventually, the winds and smell of hot death receded and the campers resigned to their yurts, with dreams of soft pork dancing in their heads.
Of course, the obvious truth was that the smell emitting from the fire accompanied the screaming death throes of the pork as it boiled and disintegrated in it’s own molten grease. As we slept through the night, the leg of fresh pig meat was incinerated so long and hot that its aluminum foil cocoon turned into a fiery coffin and supper devolved into a small pile of burnt ozone and powdered ash. It was almost hard to believe the chemical change, on the cellular level, that took place during the night, turning the entire pig leg into a nightmare lump of stinking grey powder. I guess you go hungry. Baw, baw, baw.
Due to requests by the family, presentation photos of the entree are unavailable to the public. Keep up with Nail Travels this summer as we continue to send you more quality campfire recipes from our mobile HQ at the Sprit of Suwannee Music Park. Check out our article on the upcoming Wanee Festival April 20-22, 2017 for photos, line-up, ticket and camping information.
Weirdness lives here.