Bringing Home the Bacon: The Tradition of Bonhoeffer-Lewis Pig Roasts
Bonhoeffer’s annual pig roast with the house of C. S. Lewis is one of our oldest and most delicious traditions. Each year, the two houses gather at the Queens residence of Dr. Stephen Salyers, our beloved faculty advisor (who we call “Doc”), to fellowship together and consume copious amounts of pork.
It all started during the 2006-2007 academic year when the executive teams of Bonhoeffer and Lewis decided to have a barbecue get-together. Since Doc often graciously extends his hospitality to us for events, his house was the perfect setting. “Doc’s house is a great place for community,” explains Mark Thorne who was the President of Bonhoeffer at the time, “and we were particularly friendly with Lewis, so it was a no-brainer to have the event with them.”
Senituli Penitani, a student in the House of Lewis from Tonga, offered to do a traditional South Pacific pit roast of an entire pig for the event. Because it takes about nine hours to cook, the plan was for Seni to roast the pig the day before and then to have everyone come over the next day to feast. Incidentally, that’s the reason the event is traditionally held on a Sunday. The preparations did not go as expected that year; Doc did not realize that Seni would first have to dig hole in his backyard about six feet deep to properly insulate the pig. Suffice to say, they opted out of this option and decided to cook pork on the grill instead.
The tradition of the pig roast went dormant for a few years until it was revived by Kyle McCracken of the House of Lewis and our own Matthias Clock in spring of 2010. That year we actually roasted a whole pig on Doc’s grill. This tradition is significant as it is our oldest joint event with another men’s house and our second oldest joint event after our traditional Valentine’s Day activities with the ladies of Truth. We continue the pig roast today to bond with our friends in Lewis through fellowship, tradition, and mouth-watering food that is strictly non-Kosher.
Andrew Debter is a junior in the House of Bonhoeffer and currently serving as our Scholar.