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In the beginning, several downtown merchants decided to "do something" to boost sales and business activity in Eufaula during the summer months. The "big" holidays were over and they needed a special reason to bring folks back to town. Longtime Hawg Day supporter Bill Smith Jr. said, "Buddy Gaberino got a group of us together to try to come up with an idea for a downtown promotion. I said we can go hawg wild!"

So, the first, sometimes, Annual Whole Hawg Day was born the last weekend in July 1984.

The event was sponsored by the downtown merchants and the Lake Eufaula Association. The Kiwanis give away watermelons, the Chamber of Commerce held a pancake breakfast ($2 for all you can eat), the Lake Eufaula Artists Guild sponsored the Arts and Crafts Show, a puppet show was held, a 10K run and two-mile fun run were all part of that year's activities.

Only four hawgs were cooked. Main Street Hardware, Farmers and Merchants Bank, Eufaula Lions Club and Vivian Area Fire Association competed for "Best Hawg Cookin" honors. Buddy Watts as Boss Hawg, judge for the contest. The Hawg Express transported the 'Boss' white tuxedo and all, to each cooking site to taste-test the meat.

Farmers and Merchants was declared the winner. An unconfirmed rumor has it that they were disqualified and Main Street Hardware won - but.....?

Free Hawg Sandwiches were handed out after the judging to the faithful folks who waited in line.

A Dixieland band rounded out the day's events that first year. All the merchants, participants and on-lookers cooled off by the lake after a successful day.

Several things have changed since that first year. One major change was the switch to all boneless meat. Evidently Walter McDonald, who cooked a hawg for nine of the 10 years, was the first to use boneless meat. Cookers determined that McDonald's example was the best way to go.

For the past few years, all meat must be purchased through Main Street Eufaula, Inc. It comes deboned and ready to cook.

Since 1984, Whole Hawg Days has been held the last weekend in July. It is now a two-day event with the kickoff celebration set on Friday.

In 1990 the Rust to Riches Car Club joined the celebration bringing in a full competition for buffs, complete with trophies and prizes. Whole Hawg Day became a Main St. Eufaula event after it was established in 1986.

For information on this event see the Eufaula Chamber of Commerce website: WHOLE HAWG DAY


All-Star Pork Meatballs

1 lb. ground pork
1 T onion flakes
3/4 cup crushed corn flakes
1/2 t salt
1/8 t ground black pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup ketchup
3 T brown sugar
1 t dry mustard

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine ground pork, onion flakes, corn flakes, salt, pepper and egg. In a small bowl stir together ketchup, brown sugar and dry mustard. Spoon 2 T of the ketchup mixture into the pork and mix well. Spray muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray. Form 6 meatballs and place in muffin tin. Coat the top of each meatball with the remaining ketchup mixture. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees until nicely browned and glazed . Serves 6.

Amelia's Italian Pork Pita Pockets

8 thin boneless pork chops, about 2 oz. each
2 green bell pepper, each cut into 8 lenghtwise strips
2 portabello mushrooms, cut into 8 slices
1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges, separated
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T olive oil
1/2 t Italian seasoning
2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 t fennel seed
8 pita pocket bread halves
4 slices (1 oz. each) low fat, part skim mozzarella cheese, cut in half

Heat oven to broil. Coat a large baking pan with cooking spry. Arrange pork chops and vegetables in a single layer on baking pan. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and fennel seed. Brush mixture on both sides of pork. Broil 5" to 6" from heat for about 6 to 10 minutes, or until pork is browned and vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from oven, divide pork and vegetable amoung pita pocket breads. Add 1 slice of cheese to each sandwich. Makes 8 sandwiches (4 servings)

America's Favorite Pork Chops

4 pork chops, about 3/4" thick
3/4 cup Italian dressing
1 t Worcestershire sauce

Place all ingredients in a self sealing bag: seal bag and place in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes (or as long as overnight). Remove chops from bag, discarding marinade, and grill over a medium-hot fire, turning once, until just done, about 8 - 15 minutes total cook time (depending on thickness of chops). Serves 4.

Apricot Glazed Pork Kabobs

1 lb. bonless pork loin, cut into 1" cubes
1 10 oz. jar apricot preserves
4 T orange lequeur or orange juice
2 T butter

Stir together preserves, lequeur and butter, simmer in a small saucepan, until butter is melted. (Or combine ingredients in a 2 cup glass measure; microwave on high 1 minute) Place pork cubs in heavy plastic bag, pour 3/4 cup apricot mixture over pork to coat. Marinate at least 30 minutes. Thread pork onto 4 - 6 skewers, grill over hot coals 10 - 12 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with marinade. Heat remaining apricot sauce to boiling and serve alongside kabobs, if desired.

Barbeque Ribs

4 lbs. pork back ribs
Your favorite barbeque sauce

Season ribs with salt and pepper. Place ribs on a medium-hot grill over indirect heat; close grill hood and grill until ribs are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Add more charcoal briquettes to fire, if necessary, to maintain grill temperature of about 325 - 350 degrees F.) Finish by turning and bastibng ribs with sauce for last 15 minutes. Serve ribs directly from the grill or, for extra tender ribs remove from grill, wrap in heavy aluminium foil. Place foil-wrapped ribs in brown paper bags, close bags and let ribs rest for up to an hour. Unwrap ribs, cut into serving pieces and serve with extra barbeque sauce. Serves 4.

Breaded Pork Chops

4 boneless pork loin chops, 3/4" thick
2 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t paprika
1/8 t pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 - 2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 T vegetable oil

In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, paprika and pepper. In another small bowl, combine egg and Worcestershire sauce. Coat chops with seasoned flour; dip in egg mixture, and coat with crumbs. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown on one side until golden brown (about 4 minutes); turn and continue cooking for another 4 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Flavorful Pork Stew

1 pound bonless pork shoulder, cut into 1" cubes
3 T flour
1 t salt
1/8 t ground black pepper
1 T vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups water, divided
3/4 t curry powder
1 1/2 cups celery pieces
12 pitted prunes
2 1/2 cups cooked cauliflower florets, drained.

Blend flour, salt and pepper. Dredge pork in flour mixture; reserve excess flour mixture. Brown pork in oil in a large skillet. Add 1 c water, cover tightly and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir in curry powder. Add celery; cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Combine reserved flour with remaining 1/4 c water, mixing well. Stir into pork mixture; add prunes and continue cooking for 15 minutes, until meat and celery are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir cauliflower into pork mixture and heat through. Serves 4.

Grilled Mustard Seed-Crusted Pork Roast

3 lb. boneless pork roast
4 T Dijion-style mustard
1 T coarsely ground black pepper
4 T mustard seed

Spread mustard over pork roast and sprinkle with pepper. Place mustard seed in a shallow pan; roll roast in seed to coat evenly. Grill over indirect heat in a covered grill until meat thermometer reads 155 degrees, about 45 minutes - 1 hr. Let rest 5 - 10 minutes before slicing. Serves 6.

Ham Dinner Salad

3/4 lb. ham, cut into julienne strips
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 T milk
2 t prepared mustard
2 t chopped chives
1 9 oz. pkg. frozen peas, thawed
2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 1/2 cups leaf lettuce, torn
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

For dressing, in a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, milk, mustard and chopped chives, set aside. In a large bowl gently toss together ham, peas, orange sections, lettuce and red pepper. Portion onto individual plates; spoon dressing over salads. Serves 4.

Herbed Pork Chops

4 pork loin chops, 3/4" thick
1 cup reduced-fat Italian dressing
4 T chopped fresh herbs (chives, basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary - any combination)

Place chops in resealable bag. Add dressing and herbs; seal and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours. Remove chops from marinade; discard marinade. Grill chops over medium-high heat (or broil 4" from heat) for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Serves 4.

Mushroom Stuffed Pork Burgers

3/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t butter
1 1/2 lb. lean ground pork
1 t Dijion-style mustard
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t salt
1/8 t freshly ground pepper

In medium skillet, saute mushrooms, onions and garlic in butter until tender, about 2 minutes. Combine ground pork, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper; mix well. Shape into 12 patties, about 4" in diameter, set aside. Spoon equal portions of mushroom mixture onto center of 6 patties. Spread to within 1/2" of edge. Top with remaining 6 patties; seal edges. Place patties on grill about 6" over medium-hot coals. Grill 10 - 15 minutes, turning once. Serve on buns, if desired. Serves 6.

Orange Glazed Leg of Pork

1 4 lb. bonless leg of pork
1 12 oz. jar orange marmalade
1 T soy sauce
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place pork in shallow roasting pan. In small bowl, stir together marmalade, soy sauce, ginger and cloves. Roast pork for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs. (about 20 minutes per pound) until internal meat temperature read with a meat termometer, reads 155 degrees. Brush with marmalade mixture several times during last 30 minutes. Serves 8 to 10.

Pork Patties Supreme

2 lbs. ground pork
1 t salt
1/8 t pepper
2 T snipped parsley
1 T Worcestershire sauce
4 T mayonnaise
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t prepared mustard
8 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Sprinkle salt and pepper over pork; add parsley and 1 T Worcestershire sauce. Mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape mixture into 8 patties 1/2" thick each. Place on rack on broiler pan so top of meat is 3" from heat. Broil 5 minutes, turn and broil second side 4 minutes. Combine mayonnaise, 2 T Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Serve sauce with broiled patties on toasted buns.

Roast Leg of Pork With Pineapple Sauce

3 to 4 lb. boneless fresh pork leg
1/2 t garlic salt
1 15 1/4 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained, reserve fruit and juice separately
2 T frozen orange juice concentrate
4 t soy sauce
2 t cornstarch
1 t brown sugar
1 t grated fresh ginger
1/8 t curry powder

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place pork in shallow roasting pan. Roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours; until internal temperature, read with a meat thermometer reads 150 - 155 degrees. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan put pineapple juice, orange juice concentrate, soy sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, curry powder and ginger. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Bring to boiling, stirring; reduce heat and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove 1/4 cup of sauce for basting roast during last 30 minutes. Add pineapple to remaining sauce, cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes more, set aside to serve with roast. Let roast rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serves 6 to 8.

Thai Stir-Fried Pork

1 lb. pork tenderloin
1 3 oz. pkg, pork flavored Oriental noodles
2 t vegetable oil
1/2 t dried red pepper flakes
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 T soy sauce
2 cups torn spinach, washed and drained
1/4 cup sliced green onions

Cut tenderloin into stir-fry strips. Cook noodles as directed on pkg.; drain and keep warm (reserve cooking water). Heat oil in a heavy skillet; add pork, red pepper flakes and ginger. Stir-fry until pork is just done, about 4 minutes. Remove pork and keep warm. Blend peanut butter, 1/2 cup reserved cooking water and soy sauce in skillet; heat and stir until hot. Toss cooked pork, noodles, spinach and green onions with peanut sauce. Serves 4.


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