Whenever to travel to the bigger cities like New York City or Los Angeles, we hunt down authentic Filipino eats that we’ve been deprived of for months or even years. Those dishes that are always cooked in bulk and are too labor intensive to replicate at home in a household of two. One of those dishes is the lechon, a whole pig, stuffed with lemongrass and other aromatics, skewered with a bamboo pole and roasted over hot coals, usually served as the piece de resistance in big celebrations like a fiesta, a birthday or a wedding.
So when we came across a great tasting boneless lechon in New Jersey, we just had to take some home.
And because Obi was with us in the road trip home, we kept the lechon, along with 2 crispy patas (pork legs), at the back of our small rental SUV, buried under our other stuff. He’d never get through it, we thought.
We stopped over for quick dinner at a Popeye’s somewhere in Virginia. We were hungry, tired and frustrated from the godawful urban traffic of the Northeast – bumper to bumper from New Jersey, through Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia – that cost us an additional 3 hours in the supposed 9-hour trip. Obi was hungry as well, so I prepared his dog food to be eaten in his area inside the car (window ajar for ventilation, of course).
As soon as The Husband and I were done, stomachs and sweet tea tumbler refilled to the brim, we were refreshed and ready to get back on the road to reach our 1st stopover for some sleep.
Instead of being greeted by Obi in the front seat (he does jump around, anxiously waiting for us to return), we found him squished into the remaining small space of the SUV cargo area. Lechon sauce strewn all over fleece blankie and backpack. Styro container torn open. Around a pound of delicious lechon leftovers ALL GONE.
Oh God. He burrowed his way through the pile of stuff just to get to the lechon.
The Husband’s face started to get red all over and he just gave Obi an earfull. “BAD DOG! Back Obi!” He pointed his finger, signaling the dog to get back into his bed.
At that moment, I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or reinforce the lashes of The Husband. That was some tasty lechon and it was all gone. The dog ate it all, that doggone lechon AND the sauce. Of course, Obi just had to eat lechon with the sauce. It was just hilarious, but I still had to say it: “BAD DOG OBI!”, while struggling to muffle down my giggles. Or else, Obi would not know that what he did was wrong.
Seriously wrong. Mad mask: ON.
Obi cowered in fear and guilt from the double reprimand, returned back into his place, as I picked up after his mess.
His mess didn’t end there. Unlike humans who are used to handling variety in their daily fare, dogs’ digestive systems react unpleasantly with very sudden changes in food intake. Needless to say, Obi’s body waste, in gas and solid form, reeked a whole lot of lechon.
Now I can really say that we officially have a Pinoy doggie in our care. He just couldn’t restrain himself when there’s lechon in the room.