As we sit around, trying to think of good blog posts to keep you all interested on this cold and rainy January afternoon, we can’t help but think back to warmer days spent out here on the farm with our good friend, Rob.
As we mentioned before, we lost our very good friend, Robert Corcoran Dixon IV (a.k.a. Rob, Robby, RCD4) last March. All of us out here at the farm loved him very much. His birthday was on July 7 so this past year (and every one after as far as we’re concerned) we decided to honor him with a great birthday party/4th of July celebration that is now known as the RCD4th of July Party. So let me tell you a little bit about that party and a little bit about Rob.
Rob and Dave was a members of the Cassilly Crew at the City Museum, which is where they met and eventually became roommates. Dave worked as a welder andÂ Robby loved pouring concrete. He loved it just as much as he loved skateboarding, traveling, drinking heavily and being Irish. He was damn good at all of them. Rob was an amazing man and a friend to many, especially all of us out here at the farm. He was a mason, an artist, a traveler, a skateboarder, a contributor to such projects as Skatopia,Â Kingshighway Skatepark (KHVT),Â City Museum, CementLand andÂ Hermann’s Hole. This dude was also a maniac. A very, very lovable maniac. He loved Widespread Panic, skating concrete “cause it hurts” and drinking at our favorite bar in all of St. Louis,Â Hair of the Dog. Here’s a great video of Rob and Dave that Autumn shot at The Hair. To everyone who has been asking us to post this video for years…here it is!
Here’s a few more pictures of Rob to get everyone acquainted:
And because Rob loved a good party, we decided to throw him a really good one for his birthday (what would have been his 28th birthday). We invited a bunch of people out to the farm, roasted a hog, bought a keg, cheap whiskey (Rob was a connoisseur of cheap whiskey) and everybody stuffed their face with pork and got hammered in Rob’s honor.
If you would like to host a memorial birthday party for your recently deceased manimal, ginger haired, leprechaun looking, certifiably insane, heavily tattooed, occasionally sober buddy… you can follow these simple instruction:
First! Get Lots of Beer and Booze. We recommend a keg of PBR and a Handle of Jim Beam (literally two of Rob’s MOST FAVORITE things). Keeping a keg of beer cold during the worst drought since the dust bowl was a little tricky. So we sunk the tub in the creek, put an umbrella over it and surrounded the keg with blocks of ice. Bags of ice cubes will melt much faster than whole blocks. Sit the keg on a few blocks in the bottom of the tub and crush a few blocks into big chunks to stuff in the sides of the tub and fill in the holes with the ice cubes. Then just put your extra bags of ice on top. It was 102 that day and this worked REALLY well. The keg stayed cold all day and we only used about a dozen bags/blocks.
NEXT! Order a pig from Kenrick’s Butcher ShoppeÂ (you can’t beat their meat!) along with smoker. We got a 65 lb pig because we were figuring on feeding between 30-50 people.
Next, be sure to put foil over the grate you’re going to sit the pig on. This will keep all of the juices and fat from dripping down onto the coals and lighting your pig on fire instead of cooking it. After that, put the appropriate amount of charcoal on either end of the smoker. You don’t want the charcoal right under the pig because you want to cook it with indirect heat. We used 5 full bags of charcoal for our 65 lb pig. 3 up by the head, and 2 down by the feet. Now, stuff that baby with whatever you like to stuff pigs with. We used apples and pineapple. This makes your pork taste like fruit, and your fruit taste like pork! It’s perfect. Win-win all around.
Now, take that little porker and lay him on the smoker, belly side down and stretched out like superman. Superpork! This part works better if there’s a lot of metal playing on a truck stereo in the background:
Now comes the hard part… waiting. Close the lid and DO NOT OPEN IT for the proper amount of time. It’s usually about 1 hour per 10 lbs. But that depends on the size of the pig and the size of your smoker. Ours stayed closed for 7 hours. I know it’s tempting when your friends show up and they’re all like “Oh woah, man! Lemme see that pig in there! Is there like, Â whole pig cookin in there or somethin?” Tell them “NOPE. Get a beer and wait.” If you open the lid to show off your pig, you get to look cool, and also let out all of your heat. Which in the end, makes you look stupid because your pig will take twice as long to cook or even worse, not cook through completely. And nobody likes raw pork, no matter how drunk you are. However, when it’s finally time to open it, it’s WELLLLLLL worth the wait.
It’s going to be really hard not to open the top during the last hour. The entire swimming hole area of our farm smelled like delicious fruit filled slow roasted pork. And the only thing everyone wanted to do was to eat that smell. To make sure the little feller’s done, get a meat thermometer and stick it in the thickest part of the shoulder. It should be about 180 degrees. If your fancy pants smoker has a temperature gauge on it, it should have been cooking at about 225 degrees. Ours didn’t have a gauge on it, so we checked the shoulder. It was perfect.Â Also after you open the top make sure to have a loyal friend keep the crowds away with a stick or taser or something while you cut it up or else you might get hurt.