Every two or three hours we drove to the bakery, parked out back and checked on the progress of our roasting pig.
The blue gas flame gave just enough light for us to see the pig slowly rolling past our eyes.
By four or five o’clock the pig had cooked to a dark, rich, golden color. It didn’t need to be roasted any longer.
When the roasting shelf was level with the door we turned the motor off.
The heat escaping through the open oven door felt like a warm fragrant wind bringing with it the combined smells of garlic and onion and basil and rosemary, cloves and beneath it all the subtle smell of apple cider.
My dad used a pair of iron tongs to pull the iron skillet to the edge of the roasting shelf. We wore thick insulated mittens to lift the pig and skillet from the oven.
The skin on the red apple in the pigs mouth was wrinkled but there weren’t any holes … so we knew hot apple juice had been steaming inside the pig.
We put the pig on top of blankets in the trunk of the car. We didn’t want to spill any of the rich delicious juice that my grandmother would make into ham gravy.
We put a tent of alumium foil over the pig to keep it warm.
While driving home we laughed about having a ‘pig in a blanket’ in the trunk of the car.