There is an expertly roasted pork shoulder sitting on my kitchen table. I feel very sad about it.
It’s been in my freezer since my wedding over two years ago. My husband’s father, John, was amazing with the grill, and an incredibly generous person. He prepared about 6 shoulders for the wedding, then drove them all the way from Phoenix to San Francisco. One shoulder alone is enough to feed probably 10 people, and I’d been saving this remaining one for some unknown future occasion.
About 5 months ago, John was given a completely unexpected diagnosis of Stage IV pancreatic cancer. We were told it was really bad and this might be his last Christmas. He didn’t make it to Christmas. He died within 10 weeks, just days after my baby was born in September. We tried to rush to Phoenix after the birth so that John could meet his first grandchild, but we didn’t make it in time.
This week, for Christmas, my mother in law came to stay with us and the new baby. On her last night here, apropos of nothing, she took the meat out of the freezer and thawed it. “You can have people over this week to eat it.”
So, we’ll be eating pork shoulder this week. The last one.