New Designs, Party

The Tupta Family Pig Roast: A Design History

Oh, the Tupta Family Pig Roast...where to begin? Frank and I started our annual Memorial Day Pig Roast before we were even married in our first apartment together in Lakewood, Ohio. Keep in mind this apartment was tiny and by no means spacious enough for an actual gathering of people, let alone a full blown party. We didn't even have a backyard...just a concrete space wide enough for two cars to park snugly against one another. Yet, we still thought it would be a great idea to host a pig roast. Thus began the first annual Memorial Day Weekend Tupta Pig Roast!

I have to admit our first pig roast was pretty epic. At the time Frank and I were still in our twenties, unmarried, without kids. Let's be honest, we didn't have many responsibilities in the way of actual full-time adulting. It was basically a college party and it was a blast, most of which could be contributed to the fact that we thought it would be a great idea to get Great Lakes Brewing Co.'s Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA on tap for the keg (which has an ABV of 9.1%). Needless to say, serious shenanigans ensued. I think I was drunk after just one. And I still don't know how we managed to carve up a full pig in that tiny kitchen. 

This was the early days so Foreword Press + Design didn't even exist yet. At this point I was still working in a local stationery shop as a bridal consultant, illustrating children's books on the side. I'm pretty sure we just texted and emailed people about the party that first year. (The Emily Post in me cringes at the thought of this now.)

By the next Pig Roast, we were living in a rental house in Peninsula, Ohio in the middle of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This house was also tiny, but we loved it. It was an old yellow barn that the owners had converted into a full house. Although it was small, it was actually perfect for the pig roast as it had a large backyard. So once again it was time to dine on some swine.

This was our first pig roast invitation:

pig roast invite 2.jpg

I still love the bacon-patterned liners from these invitations. 

We were so excited to be in our new house and have outdoor space that consisted of grass to host a party. We were still using this archaic barrel that Frank had converted into a smoker for the pig. He had yet to start building contraptions or digging holes to roast the pig in yet. That would come later...

The next morning, I awoke to a kitchen splattered with watermelon that had been smashed all over the floor (apparently a knife was not readily available at the time of consumption), not to mention all of the mess left from the night before. It was disgusting...and great. We all had so much fun that night.

Our third pig roast was the most memorable, probably because it was the last party before everything changed:

This pig roast was all about the tent. Let me preface by saying Frank was against the tent from the start. He wanted nothing to do with his parent's ridiculous tent that he had grown up putting together over the years but I had convinced him we desperately needed it in order to provide shade during the pig roast. He refused to help set it up, which at the time I thought he was being an ass about. But after dealing with that tent...I understood. It took six of us just to figure out how to set it up (not counting Frank who smugly sat by watching our epic failure, beer in hand). But we finally did it. And you know what? Not a single person sat under it for shade. Go figure.

The rest of that party was a bit of a blur consisting of a seriously competitive beer pong tournament (which I made custom t-shirts as prizes for the winning team), a lot of cornhole (it's a Midwestern thing...look it up), too much drinking, and a ton of pig. Frank may or may not have eaten a pig eyeball that day....The party lasted late into the night as the previous two had. Another great pig roast!

Then we went on a pig roast hiatus for 4 years. We bought our first house, got married, had our son, and life just sort of got in the way of throwing another pig roast. We kept saying we were going to do it, but never did. Our first house even had an outdoor brick oven, but yet we never made it happen.

Until Memorial Day 2017, when we finally brought the pig roast back:

 Foreword Press + Design Pig Roast Invitation

Foreword Press + Design Pig Roast Invitation

In my mind, this one would be like all the others. A return to piggy glory. And it was in many ways. (Frank even managed to build a life-size Lincoln Log structure to hold up the pig as it roasted over an open flame). But it was also different because we were different. We are in full on adult mode these days. We have a mortgage, a dog, a toddler, and a baby on the way. Not to mention a business to run. This pig roast was much more family friendly. More babies and kids running around. At previous pig roasts, I wouldn't have worried what the kids were going to eat or if we needed to provide anything other than beer to drink. Because there were no kids yet. But it was great to see all these people who had been to our other pig roasts over the years be coupled off, or married, or have kids now. Everything had come full circle.

We officially knew we were adults when everyone was either gone or in bed by 10:30, something our previous pig roasts had never seen before.

So here's to traditions, family, and friends! The pig roast reminds me of why we started Foreword Press + Design in the first place: to bring people together to celebrate life's brightest moments with the people they love. Because isn't that what it's all about?

Until next year's pig roast....