“I stroke it to the left. I stroke it-” – Radio blaring away on a nearby table.
“SATISFIED!” – chimed in Aunt Dawn.
“Someone brought mojitos last year. MAN! Do you remember how much it slowed production of the butts down?” – Anonymous voice in the crowd, to much laughter
“What other Catholic Institution can you go to legally and stuff butts?” – Angelo
St. Edwards Parish in Metairie, Louisiana welcomed me into their annual Cochon De Lait fold and I experienced some of the best teamwork efforts I’ve seen in years. It was all hands, garlic, beer, knives and port butts galore up and down the work tables. We handled 3,200 pounds of pork butts and 2,000 pounds of pork skins to make cracklings (which sold out before I even had a chance to know they were being sold, which should tell you how delicious they are!)
The fundraiser draws astounding numbers of people and nets several hundred thousand dollars for the church.
Once you’ve washed your hands, put on gloves and taken a place at the work table you will receive your first butt. You take your knife and give that butt five good prick incisions, then you stuff it with garlic cloves. Flip it over and repeat the action. Your butt will receive a treatment of cajun seasonings and then be passed down the line to the packers. They put 8 butts per box and stack each box on the pallet. Once a full pallet is stacked, the men haul off the pallets to the refrigerated truck.
You, meanwhile are working away on your 7th or 8th butt while all this is happening.
There are 130 kegs on site. “Usually, the Saints are out of town and we can just call Miller if we run out of beer, and they’ll replenish us from kegs at the Superdome. Just to be sure, this year we have 15 extra kegs in the back. They’re secret kegs. So it’s really 145 kegs for 2010.” – Rene
Stay tuned for the story of the Cochon De Lait and the Cajun Microwave. You can see more of last years, Cochon De Lait at Saint Eddy’s by clicking here.