Wednesday, December 16, 2009


From fairy ornaments to lard...what? I don't think I have ever mentioned the pigs we raised this year in the front field, this being a crafty sort of forum, but all five left for the slaughterhouse and came back as pork this week and they deserve the stage. Now, if you are a vegetarian who is squeamish or sad when it comes to this sort of thing, you should probably head off, but if pork belly and lard pique your interest, then get a load of this:

We rendered about 9 gallons of lard! Well, I took the pictures, being in a particularly sensitive state currently, but my man and dear friends were slick with it.

What will we do with all this lard, you ask? Fry eggs, make pastry, confit something or other, grease machinery, sweat down vegetables for soup in it, and make toffee, apparently. Jonny made this before he left this morning as a gift for his boss. And, yes, it was really good.

One pig came back unbutchered and we got a half and our friend got the other so the two fellows could have the butchering experience. We have a butcher block thanks to our friend Timothy and the weather has been good and cold, so the cider barn was the venue.

Cute butcher!

Ham, weighing in around 25 pounds!

Pork belly being cured. Hello bacon!

We've been eating our share of pork this week, and though I remember our piggies quite fondly (they are wonderful animals, really)I must say, this is the best pork I have ever eaten and I feel incredibly fortunate to know exactly where it came from.

And if you live nearby, we have some for sale still.


  1. Wow. I really should have stopped reading after your warning! But now I know to avoid the yummy looking toffee in your house.

  2. That pig was ready for a cold winter by the looks of the fat jacket it was wearing. Wish I could be there for some pig and cider!

  3. timibart, we wish it too. and nicole, your lard-cutting friends look like total half-wits. who *are* those people?

  4. Great post! I am a vego but I admit that if you catch it and kill it or raise it and kill it then I am all for it!
    I must say I have a real soft spot for rendered fat! I did some rendering myself a few years ago when I made a batch of 5 christmas puds from my nana's recipe - at the last one last year. Always makes me think of 'render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's' I guess Ceasar had some fat eh?!
    Enjoy your festival of hog! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Oh my goodness! You are a total pioneer. We have backyard chickens, but could never bring ourselves to, uh, process them, so they're just postmenopausal pets by now. :-)
    I bet that bacon is excellent.

  6. wow - any chance of passing on the lard toffee recipe? I have soft spots in my heart for both lard and toffee so I can hardly imagine the joy that would be created by the marriage of the two. please share!

  7. You might need my family's awesome homemade green chili recipe that we use good cuts of pork in... of course I'd have to figure out a way to barter with you like a chance to pick your brain on how to write crafts for Family Fun (or to at least pass along to Catherine Newman that her book was/is one of my all time favorite books! She is on my favorite authors list with Jodi Piccoult, Barbara Kingsolver, and Audrey Niffenegger)

    pink and green mama
    marylea : )