Emergency Pig Gutting

Although not from Hawaii, I get a lot of localness transferred to me by my significant other who is not only born and bred here but is actually Hawaiian. For as long as he can remember, his family has cooked pig in the traditional Hawaiian way, in an imu. Despite being a vegetarian and feeling not so great when I see a giant 400 pound dead pig waiting to be put in the imu, I know quite a bit about the process. So I knew a friend of ours was really in a bind when she called frantically earlier in the week because her cousin’s fundraiser for kalua pig, the one that they had already sold 200 tickets for, was pig-less. The guy who was supposed to deliver the pig didn’t and the Tai Kwan Do Club ticket holders who were supposed to get their kalua pig last weekend hadn’t.

Keanu called his Dad and they figured out how to get the imu going with short notice. Cousins were mobilized and beer purchased. The gentleman from the Club was in charge of picking up the pig, not something that most folks have experience in. It was supposed to be going into the imu at around six but when the pig was picked up the people who provided it were not going to gut it. Keanu’s Uncle, apparently a pig gutting maestro, was contacted and the guy with the pig in his truck met him in Waipio. The Uncle ended up cleaning the pig in the parking lot of a relative’s apartment complex. Yes, the visual is stunning!

I love this story. I love that there is a go-to pig gutting guy in the family. A guy that just says, sure bring the pig over and can get the job done in fifteen minutes. This is part of the magic of Hawaii. The extensive family which typically can provide any good or service, on either side of the law. I have come to be part of this family. It is one of the things that is so opposite from my tiny bitty N.Y. family and one of the things that will help me know that Keanu is OK here in Hawaii for six months without us. And, let me know if you need some emergency pig gutting, I got a guy in my family.

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About nematomorph

Living like the rich and famous, splitting time between Hawaii and New York.
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2 Responses to Emergency Pig Gutting

  1. lavagal says:

    When I worked at Oceanic Institute, once a year they’d open up the imu, set it on fire, and invite the employees to bring protein for the night of stone heating. Loved it. Usually this was around Thanksgiving. I had a turkey done and it was fabulous. I wrapped it in ti leaves from my backyard, put it in the foil pan and handed it over. Having access to an imu is a real gift in Hawaii. And you know for veggie heads like you, Kim, sweet potatoes, carrots and kambocha come out really nice!

  2. “The extensive family which typically can provide any good or service, on either side of the law.”

    I concur. Growing up in Hawaii, whenever we needed anything done in the house – electrician, plumbing, laying concrete, new roof, new telephone line, it was always an “uncle” or a cavalcade of “uncles” who got the job done. Payment was beer, and if it was a group effort than lunch and dinner for as long as the job took.

    Moving to NYC after college, I lived in a house with 3 room-mates. In the first few months, I could not figure out how we’d get anything fixed as my hawaiian uncles were all 6000 miles away.

    I discovered that we had to call a service/maintenance person, like most everyone else in the country. These were blue-collar guys, who would absolutely not take their shoes off when they came into our home, but would supply the strange or gruff looks when you made the request to do so. When they left, you paid them. With a check.

    Hawaii no ka oi.

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