November 26, 2011

A Good Ol' Ethiopian Thanksgiving Pig Roast

Currently Watching: UVA vs. VT. It's bad, people.

In Ethiopia, we didn't have Thursday and Friday off of school or work for Thanksgiving*, so we would celebrate on Friday night, usually inviting a host of families of a range of nationalities over to show them what a real American Thanksgiving (substituting pork roast for turkey) was like. One year I invited my Italian best friend Alessia, and a few days before she asked what we do, I didn't know what to tell her except for, "Well, we eat."

Saturday, though, was what we all looked forward to: when our compound, consisting of about eight or nine families, not all American, would have our annual Thanksgiving pig roast. The pig would begin being roasted in a cinder-block stove contraption at about 6 in the morning. And throughout the day, as our moms were cooking side dishes and the guys were playing football on the field usually reserved for soccer and kick the can, we would meander over to check on the pig, smelling it cooking, building anticipation. And finally -- finally -- it would be time for our feast. Everyone would gather in a backyard or on the court and we would get to eat it all, complete with about a bajillion pie options for dessert. It was glorious.

Of course, every year, it also happened that the annual 10k race fell on the Sunday morning after this insane feasting. This was always something you had to contemplate as you went for seconds on dessert...but, somehow, it all worked out.

What I wouldn't give for a good Press Compound pig roast right now. Even if I did have to run 10k the next morning...

*We did, however, have such holidays as Eid al Fitr and Battle of Adwa day off. You win some, you lose some.

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