On September 8th I asked my readers to host picnics and to send me the results. The following is one of 27 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow, courtesy of US Wellness. Vote for your favorite on October 8.
Are you sitting down? If not, you should be, because I am about to tell you of the GrokFeast we threw that can only be described as the best party of the Neolithic era. One part luau pig, one part dinosaur, and one part giant bonfire dance celebration with one hundred of our nearest and dearest friends is all you need to have a true caveman party.
It all started at six in the morning when we went down to the beach and began digging the pig hole. Once the fire died down and we had some good coals going we took our sixty-pound pig, covered in spices and banana leaves and buried it in the sand to slowly turn into our delicious main course. Other prep activities included digging a bonfire pit (seven feet in diameter!), setting up speakers and lights for the evening festivities and several pre-party ocean plunges.
Warning: unless you are lucky enough to live on a private beach or your own island, be prepared to explain all the smoke and fire to your neighbors, fire department, and possibly your local policeman. We went with “clam bake.”
Fast-forward eleven hours when our guests start to show up. In this time we had constructed a twenty-foot tall brachiosaur near our slowly growing bonfire. Our brachiosaur was hungry so we fed it bamboo and appeased it by dancing to tribally influenced beats.
By 9 pm we Groks had gotten hungry and it was time to dig up our feast. 60 pounds of perfect fall off the bone pork was accompanied by pea salad, cabbage and carrot hash, avocado and melon salad, and spicy pineapple salsa. We quenched our thirst with primal margaritas flavored with hints of coconut and orange.
Once we finished what we could of the feast (sixty pounds leaves plenty of food for breakfast), it was time to continue celebrating. The music spiked in tempo and all one hundred of us danced around the bonfire in tribute to our splendid dinosaur friend. But this was not enough to soothe our cold-blooded beast. We had to make a tribute of fire! Fire was spun and manipulated in fearsome and beautiful ways as the night went on.
Before we knew it the sun was rising and the music slowed down to welcome the mellow morning sun. Some of us celebrated by bathing in the wonderfully warm ocean; others began to doze in front of our fire, which had provided warmth and entertainment throughout the night. By the end we paid our brachiosaur the ultimate tribute and fed him to the flames while the sun slowly rose out of the calm ocean waters.
We slowly made our way back home, making sure to leave no sign of our celebration on the beach, leaving it as pristine as we found it.
Night before the hog roast dig a pit about 2′ deep and slightly larger than the pig and fill it with fire wood until the wood is about a foot taller than the hole; pile lava rocks and mesquite logs on top. Thaw the pig in a bathtub overnight. At dawn begin the burning the fire and have someone keep an eye on it.
To prep the pig, begin by weaving some of the banana leaves together to form a mat or blanket. Next, rub the pig in your choice of fresh or dried herbs and place the pig belly up on the banana leaves. Place a few loose banana leaves in the stomach and chest cavity to line the area. Wrap the entire pig in the blanket of leaves and tuck loose ends neatly into the chest cavity- leaving a large enough space to fill the cavity with hot lava rocks. Using butcher string, tie the back and front of the pig so as to hold the leaves in place the support the legs and neck area. Layout a couple layers of heavy duty tin foil and place the leave wrapped pig in the middle of the foil. Wrap in a similar manner so as to leave the chest cavity accessible for lava rocks. Lastly, place the hog on the chicken wire and shape the wire mesh into a cot or canoe that will make carrying to and removing from the fire easier.
Once the fire has turned to coals it is time to lay the pig on.
First, you should soak the burlap material in fresh or salt water. Next, set some hot lava rocks to the side for the inside cavity of the pig. Next take some extra banana leaves and place on the hot coals to begin steaming. Place the pig in the chicken wire on the coals and lava rocks. Place reserved lava rocks inside the chest cavity. Surround pig with remaining banana leaves. Cover entire pig and coals with the soaked burlap. Cover entire pit with heavy plastic wrap or a waterproof tarp and weigh down the edges with rocks so that no steam can escape. Shovel earth or sand over the plastic/ tarp. Leave pig to cook for 12-24 hours.
Emerson Hoff, Kat Mareck, William Oberlin, Sasha Bouis, Tara Chaille, Marty Yoo, Albert Zuger, Gabi Fries-Briggs, Mitch Gerbus, 100 of our closest, most personal friends.