How to explain Romanian food to your American friends

It is 2013 and the holiday season is in full swing. There is a dead pig in the backyard. My mother, my aunt and my uncle are getting straight down to the business of hand-making sausages while I run around looking for a clothespin to plug my nose. The sausages will hang in the garage for the better part of the winter.

This is not the belly of a Romanian village. This is a California suburb.

My friends thought my family was insane.