food, history, rural life, and how we connect our cultural past and future
Butchering homegrown pork: Our pigs fill the freezer for the coming year’s meals
The first meal from our newly butchered pork was fabulous! Everything was homegrown from the pork chops themselves (sweet and tender) to the saute of yellow crook neck and zucchini, sweet red pepper, and snap pea, to the steamed potatoes and the steamed yellow bush beans.
But to get there we had a lot of work to do:
After picking up the chilled carcasses from the butcher four of us spent a full day on Saturday cutting up the 4 large halves of the pigs. Each weighed in at about 90+ pounds and then there were the heads, feet and hocks making a total of close to 400# of pork and lard into the freezer.
It took seven hours for Kip and me and Kierk and Bjorn to cut the carcasses into hams, roasts, shoulders, chops, loin roasts, loin cutlets, and packets of stir-fry ready meat, then skinning the parts that needed it, cubing the fat to be packaged and later rendered into lard, cubing all the sausage meat (again packaged for later), and then wrapping and/or bagging it all.
Everything from our pigs will be used ; from heads to tail. And over the next month or so 35 of the chickens will also go into the freezer.
With our pantry full of jars of tomatoes, jars of peaches, and just enough strawberry jam we’re sitting pretty. The fall garden is coming in now and will be productive right up to the hardest frost with chard, collards, spinach and a few cabbages; and even the small green house has a flourishing bed of basil, and Malabar Spinach. The Spring House holds our three bushels of potatoes – red and white – and the Elephant Garlic we love so much. I’m a happy camper!