My friend Tabitha, proprietor of Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., lives on a charming property up in the Santa Cruz mountains, about an hour south of us. Surrounded by redwoods, she lives in a quaint cottage on a one-acre clearing on a winding road in a hollar, filled with grapevines and a decrepit barn dating from 1860. It also has several massive black walnut trees, from which I’ve harvested the nuts in green state to make nocino and pickled walnuts. It’s a charming spot, and begs to be entertained on.
In years past, she’s hosted a big shindig, roasting a whole pig, to share with her fellow cadre of chefs, winemakers, artists and other misfit toys like myself. With the jam business taking over her life, the roast was off for a couple years, but this year she saw her way clear to make it happen. We were honored to attend on a balmy July Sunday, with music blaring, local wine and beer flowing, copious amounts of amazing food, and of course the star himself, the pig.