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I was living la vida Gidget in a surfing town in Puerto Rico the first time I took part in a pig roast. There on the Rincon beach, a local dude dug a trough in the sand and cooked a pig in the covered pit. There was rum. And cerveza. And a roar from the crowd that drowned out the crashing waves when — 10 hours after its burial — el puerco was devoured on the spot.

So begins my latest Taste column, in which I tell the tale of a neighborhood pig roast. The one where, in a backyard bacchanal disguised as a birthday party, I join forces with family and friends to procure, brine, roast and eat a whole pig. Read the story here. And if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to pull-off a neighborhood pig roast, I’ve got the step-by-step visuals.

[caption id=”attachment_17025″ align=”alignleft” width=”620″]One 66-pound pig, brined overnight in an icy citrus bath. (photo/Nancy Leson) One 66-pound pig, brined overnight in an icy citrus bath. (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

 

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[caption id=”attachment_17026″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]The right (garden) tool for the job. (photo/Nancy Leson) Leslie, the birthday girl, wields the right (garden) tool for the job. (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17027″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]Mac loads the pig into la caja. (photo/Nancy Leson) Mac loads the pig into la caja. (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17028″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]While prepping the charcoal, an old screen door came in handy for keeping flies at bay. (photo/Nancy Leson) While prepping the charcoal, an old screen door came in handy for keeping flies at bay. (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17029″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]The first batch of charcoal, ready to roll. (photo/Nancy Leson) The first batch of charcoal, ready to roll — so to speak. (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17030″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]High-tech, low-tech: note the remote thermometer at left. (photo/Nancy Leson) High-tech, low-tech: note the remote thermometer at left. (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17031″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]Ted (left) and Mac, on the job. Careful with those bare toes, guys! (photo/Nancy Leson) Ted (left) and Mac, on the job. Careful with those bare toes, guys! (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17032″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]Score! (photo/Nancy Leson) Turn first. Score! Then back in the box for further roasting. (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17033″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]The birthday girl -- and her canine pal, Booker -- posing with our porker. (photo/Nancy Leson) The birthday girl — and her canine pal, Booker — posing with the porker in their backyard. (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17035″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]Pulling out the pig. (photo/Vickie Kurtz) Pulling out the pig. (photo/Vickie Kurtz)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17037″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]Mac, center, dressed appropriately in his "Praise the Lard" t-shirt, removes the rack. Come and get it! (photo/Nancy Leson) Mac, center, dressed appropriately in his “Praise the Lard” t-shirt, removes the rack. Come and get it! (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17039″ align=”alignright” width=”608″]Amazingly enough, there was still enough pork left over for sandwiches. (Jordan Stead/Seattle Times) Pork aplenty. (Jordan Stead/Seattle Times)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17036″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]Pork stock makings, also known as leftovers. (photo/Nancy Leson) Pork stock makings, also known as leftovers. (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_17038″ align=”alignright” width=”620″]Late that same night: Empty of all but its embers, la caja makes a fine patio "fire-pit." (photo/Nancy Leson) Late that night: Empty of all but its embers, la caja makes a fine patio firepit. (photo/Nancy Leson)[/caption]