The day we did this dinner at our friends house there was no full pig in sight.We just had a pork roast, but we all agreed it would be fun to call it a pig roast anyway.The last time I was involved with a true pig roast done at home was about 20 years ago.That pig, ready for the spit, was about 75 pounds!If you got a truly BIG porker, you could easily double that size.Needless to say, this would be a bit much for eight people.In fact, the real pig roast party eventually fed about 40 with plenty of leftovers.We also found that the pig had to be cooked overnight to be ready in time for an afternoon party.The spit had to be kept running and the fire had to be fed.The one staying up all night to baby sit the piggy wound up in no shape for a party the next day.In all this turned out to be a massive commitment, and with Home Cooking Parties for Eight, we are all about reducing the burden on any one person.Division of labor and division of cost is what it is all about from getting the groceries right through to the final cup of coffee.So here we are with a very manageable pork butt roast that will bubble away in exotic juices for several hours and put a smile on your face.(See the early marinating tip I give to the Host in the roast recipe.)
This meal is a bit different because I recommend a special punch to start the festivities.This is a cool breeze vanilla and citrus punch that is reminiscent of the great Creamsicle from the Good Humor trucks.When I was a kid, the Creamsicle was a wonderful summertime treat and a breath of fresh air in the heat of the afternoon.Fortunately for us, the ingredients of this punch are so simple; you may already have them in your pantry.You just never thought of bringing them together in the same glass.Here you will get the chance to set the tropical mood right from the start of your dinner experience.Maybe you have some of those little umbrellas for the glasses to start everyone off with a laugh.
The mangos and pineapples in our meal encourage our minds to drift to the tropics as we prepare and eat.The wild mango originated in Southeast Asia, Burma to be exact.It has become well-known in the USA because it was transplanted to California, Mexico and Florida over 100 years ago.My mother had a beauty of a mango tree in her backyard in Fort Lauderdale.When that tree came to maturity, she would ship boxes full of mangos to us up north.We loved to see the UPS truck pull up in front of our house.She used to say that she wanted to spread a little bit of Florida sunshine.Little did she know she was really sending us Burmese sunshine.I have sprinkled this delectable fruit into your salad and the scrumptious upside-down tropical cake that tops off your meal.The pineapple is also a well-traveled fruit.I will bet you think it originated in Hawaii.Nope.Brazil.Pineapple didnt make it to Hawaii until 1813.From Brazil it spread throughout the Caribbean.Our Columbian Exchange friend, Christopher Columbus was responsible for introducing it to Europe where it became the rarest of sweet treats for the wealthy and was enjoyed 300 years before the first Hawaiian tasted the fruit.Lucky for us it is available everywhere thanks to companies like Dole and Del Monte, so we can include it in our punch, appetizer and dessert.
When you look at the menu, you may question the Zucchini, Potato and Parmesan Soup.Tropical?Well, yes.Columbus at work, again.The zucchini seeds, originally from South and Central America, found their way to the Mediterranean thanks to our intrepid friend.Even those big 3 foot-long Italian cucuzza (often pronounced Gagoots) originally came from the tropics.
So this truly is a tropical meal in every respect.Best of all you will share the great tastes with friends.Enjoy!