Lechon Asado Brine

We are about to embark on a 3 day journey to Ciudad de Lechon Asado or Cuban style pork-ville, if you prefer. This is for a dinner we are throwing in honor of my cousin Zach, who is in town from Iraq. The process started today with a brine consisting of orange juice, salt, sugar, one head of garlic, some bay leaf, whole allspice & black peppercorns. Our six pound 'picnic shoulder' will soak in this elixir for 24 hours after getting the once over with a pairing knife.

Mañana will be phase two, where we will make a garlic citrus paste to rub into the hog & leave it again to soak it all up before finally smoking then roasting it on Saturday.

Stay tuned, as we will be blogging about the experience as we go along. I can taste it already....I think this swine is going to whisk us away to Cuba or at least Little Havana on Calle Ocho.




It is good to be back home...sorta'.

Over the last month we have been gone for two weeks, on two different trips, covering over 4,500 miles & three countries. Using almost every form of transportation, automobile, airplane, a train, light rail, cruise ship & of course our own two feet. Like I said it is sorta' good to be home but sometimes I feel we could spend months traveling, exploring new places, eating & drinking new delights, but right now we are enjoying relaxing (even though there has not been much relaxing going on).

The week before Christmas we spent a week visiting friends in Denver & Winter Park, CO. The whole time we were hoping we would get to see some snow fall & we got our wish when one of the worst blizzards in history hit the state. We were in Winter Park snowboarding during the blizzard & later got trapped. If you ask me there was no better place to be trapped. We made it back to Denver courtesy of Amtrak & barely made it back home in time to have our holiday celebration with our families. It was a great time despite the stress of trying to get home on time (we were only 4 hours behind schedule).

After thawing out & enjoying Christmas with the family we had to get ready to go on a cruise with my family. It was just what we needed. Some tropical weather & sunshine. We had a great time with my parents, aunt & uncle & little brother & his wife. We ate (too much), drank (too much) & visited Honduras, Mexico (twice), & Belize. This was one of the best vacations we have been on & we are not cruise people. What I mean by that is,we like to get off the beaten path away from the 'touristas'. We managed to do so on our days at shore & had a great time on the boat eating, drinking & being merry with the Fam.

Some of the epicurean highlights include, two wine tastings on the boat, an 18 course Italian dinner with a bottle of Châteauneuf du Pape, fresh lobster in Roatan, Honduras, fresh snapper in Mahuhaul, Mexico, fresh snapper prepared Tikin Xic style ( a Mayan recipe) in Cozumel, Mexico, along with dollar beers in Cozumel & copius amounts of other food & wine for an entire week. I gained 5 pounds in seven days & I have a metabolism like Barney Fife.

Our 18 course, glutinous feast.

Sunrise en route to Roatan, Honduras.

Lunch in Honduras.

Best lunch spot in West End Roatan, The Red Chile.

More Roatan Honduras.

Best beer in Honduras.

Mahuhaul, Mexico.

Lunch in Mahuhaul, Mexico.

Belizean wildlife. Watch out, he will pee on you.

More wildlife in Belize, sipping fresh coconut juice.

More Belize.

Cozumel, Mexico.

Lunch in Cozumel, Mexico.

Tikin Xic.

Life at sea.

It was the fastest seven days of our lives & I think I speak for everyone. It was a blast & hopefully the first trip of many more to come.

**Personal update**
I no longer work for Buster's Wines & Liquors. I was asked to remove a negative blurb from the regarding The Beauty Shop, Yellowtail Wine (even though I never said anything really negative about Yellowtail) & was asked to watch my language. I felt strongly about not changing any of my honest opinions & I sure as hell am not going to write in a voice other than my own, so my professional relationship with Buster's Wines & Liquors is over & that is OK, the 12+ hour days were killing me.


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