It has become customary, on that rare occasion that one has parents that are still married and in the mood to celebrate fifty years of marriage, that the eldest daughter of the couple should prepare a porchetta.
The suckling pig should be bought in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan then transported via subway to Harlem where it should spend the night. Eight layers of carrot cake should be baked that night. In the morning, it should be packed in rolling suitcase with two sheet pans, assorted clothing, two pairs of heels, two good knives, and a food timer with a temperature probe. The cake layers should be individually wrapped then packed in a shoebox that is carried in a gym bag. The rolling case and the gym bag are now ready to take the subway to Penn Station to catch the Chinatown Bus to Baltimore. Do not tell your bus driver or anyone else that there is an 18 lb frozen piglet inside the suitcase you just put in the cargo hold. Neither should you tell them about the carrot cake and white chocolate bits in the gym bag at your feet. It is important that the piglet should thusly travel across as many state lines as possible (the pig in question crossed four). It is also important that the pig accompany you to the airport to pick up other family members before heading to its final destination: a pantry sink in a waterfront house off the Chesapeake Bay.
Once throughly defrosted, the ribs, spine, shoulder blades, hip and the first bone of each leg should be removed. Then it should be chilled in an ice chest overnight.
On the morning of the party, frost the carrot cake with white chocolate cream cheese buttercream. Try to keep the tall cake from toppling, if you can. Then as the younger sister goes out to buy more white chocolate (for more frosting), dry off the deboned piglet and fill it with herbed bread crumbs. Tie it up with cotton garden twine. It should look like a long, skinny piglet. Arrange it in a roasting pan and into the oven. After about an hour, pour half a bottle of red wine and some balsamic vinegar in the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast until done. Blend the pan juices with an immersion blender and serve with the porchetta. Place on a platter with skewers of pineapple and garnish with little red roses.
Garnish the cake with white roses.
Toasts should be made and poems should be read, all in honor of the Still Happy Couple.
(Full menu prepared by my sister and me after the jump.)
Golden Wedding Anniversary Menu
Humboldt Fog and Campo de Montalban Cheeses Served with Brandied Figs
Steamed Maryland Jumbo Shrimp
Salted Pita Chips with Cucumber Mint Raita
Ostrich Egg Frittata
Marcona Almonds and Nicoise Olives
Fish and Scallop Ceviche with Cilantro, Key Limes and Assorted Peppers
Porchetta with Pineapple Spears, garnished with Small Red Roses
Grilled Soy Ginger Chicken Skewers
Mozzarella, Basil and Tomato Salad
Mixed Fennel, Arugula and Green Salad with Feta/Balsamic Dressing
Grapefruit, Kalamata Olive and Smoked Paprika Salad
Twelve-grain Loaf and Ciabatta
Presentation of an ostrich egg signed by friends and family
Eight Layer Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting garnished with White Roses
Mint Ice Cream and Cabernet Berry Gelato