When Pig Candy came out last May, of course John roasted a pig for me…and 150 of our closest 6th Borough buds. To further celebrate the book’s release, our poet/chef friend Sebastian (author of To the Bone) made collards, my mom’s neighbor Jim made strawberry shortcake, and our favorite restaurant in the City of Brotherly Love, Pumpkin, donated killer coleslaw and even more killer cornbread.
Eileen Marolla was at that pig party and couldn’t get the meal out of her mind. A full year later, she was still obsessed, and so for her birthday a week ago, she recreated the whole shebang. Start to finish. Exactly. She even got John to roast a pig for her. She got Jim, who she didn’t know, to make a cake. She got Ian, Pumpkin’s chef and also a stranger, to make slaw and cornbread (see recipe, way way way down below on this page). It was a little eerie to have the same meal show up on the other side of town, in the chicken shed of the weekend getaway of Brian and Ernie, but a lot delicious.
Here’s a video peek into how the Caja China works from the day of Eileen’s party. And — coming soon — are photos from the night before of the pig being butchered on our kitchen counter by John and Sebastian (not recommended for the squeamish or for dues-paying PETA members).
Pumpkin Restaurant Corn Bread
Based on a Recipe by Chef Ian Moroney
Serves between 12-24 depending on the size of the piece, using a half-sheet tray (an 18 x 13 half sheet with low sides)
6 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
2 cups corn oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup corn meal
5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Whip eggs and sugar until mixture triples in volume.
Slowly whisk in oil, then milk.
Fold in dry ingredients.
Bake on greased half sheet at 350° for about 25 minutes.
Wait to cool before cutting.
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