We have progressed to the finishing touches, and we are fried. Burnt. Drained of domestic duties, eagerly awaiting our flight to Singapore in a few weeks. We love this little hacienda, and we will welcome its needs again, in time. But our minds are ready for a shift againâ€”back to work, the kind that pays the mortgage and keeps us well-fed.
We wouldn’t even be this far, had it not been for an exceptionally generous giftâ€”the gift of time. A few weeks ago, my brother arrived with nothing in his hands (lost luggage) but the utter will to work. On our house! Four days, he pounded nails, shopped for trim, sawed wood, drilled new holes into my newly painted kitchen walls 🙁 and installed a new outlet for the fridge 🙂
Had my brother not come, we’d still have an untrimmed front door with sickly green foam fill oozing from the space between wall and door jam. Had my brother not come, I would have no shelf in the pots-n-pans cabinet, nor a book nook in the old closet by the back door.
We threw a barbecue, Thai-style. I got down on my little rattan stool and used my special papaya-salad mortar and pestle to pound a spicy mean som tam. And we grilled pork, over mesquite charcoal, the kind that comes in little logs, as though straight from the earthen pit where it’s made. Grilled pork is a recent obsession of ours, ever since we discovered the fabulous, succulent rolls of meat sold by El Mezquite Market down the road. If you’ve been to a Redcoates dinner lately, we’ve probably fed you pig.
But pig has treated us well in this house, on this patio, and I think it’s the perfect thing to share. Good food serves as a language all its own: Welcome. Thank you. Come again.
We’ve prepared our pig several ways, but we generally do some variation of this Thai-style marinade. Very simple, very tasty:
lots of garlic, minced
fish sauce, a healthy dose
plenty of lime, squeezed
hot roasted chili flakes, your preference on quantity
a pinch of turmeric
coriander seeds, crushed
palm sugar, just a touch, shaved
coconut milk, enough to cover the meat
Cut your pork into nicely sized grilling pieces. Mix all ingredients, setting some aside. Cover the meat generously with marinade and let stand a few hours to soak up those juices. Use remaining marinade to baste meat while grilling. Don’t overcook. Serve and enjoy!