ISO - Quote on pig butchery. Very specific, Very obscure.
- Ernie Diamond Aug 31, 2011 07:05 AM
I had read a quote once on pigs and pork. I think that it was either in a John and Matt Lewis Thorne book or a book on Maine Eats. I am trying to find it with no luck.
The quote references a pig that has been butchered and is hanging in the barn. The author compares the animal to a canoe which hangs nearby. If I remember correctly, it closes with something to the effect of "Quiet and at peace."
It's really a remarkable quote but as I said, I can't find it. Any help would be appreciated.
If you are interested, it reads as follows;
"My Mother's best dishes were tied into the different seasons. Strawberries and cream were tied into the Milky Way of daisies sweeping uphill over the June meadows. Spare-ribs were tied into the evenings white with hoarfrost, into the November air, into the bare trees - the time when the current pig hung, pink as a cherub in heaven, for once in his life, all passions spent and all bristles gone, opened wide and braced apart with spruce stretchers like a canoe, all his inner secrets bared, head down from the beam in the woodshed, at utter, utter peace."
~ Robert P. Tristam Coffin
"Mainstays of Maine"
Incedentally, I wrote John Thorne to ask him if my memory of reading it in one of his books was correct. He responded, saying that I was mistaken and that he had not included that in one of his books. Excerpts of his responses as follows;
"I don't come up with anything. I checked Serious Pig, as I'm sure you did, too. My guess is that the quote appeared in another book that you read because of my quoting from it. I think, for example, of Tomi Ungerer's Far Out Isn't Far Enough.
"it seems a little to the left of what I would quote, unless it was a lengthy quote, since it's descriptive of the carcass rather than the process."
When I finally dug it up and shared it with him, he found that he had in fact included it;
"That's a great book! Definitely worth getting hold of if you're interested in Maine (and by extension New England) cooking. I wrote about it extensively in Serious Pig. Of course, that's the clue -- and there the quote is, on page 145. I'll be damned!"
A funny exchange. Shows that even the best of us can't always trust our own memories.