Today is the day we cut up our pig for the freezer and yes I am so excited! Rob slaughtered and skinned them yesterday and hung them in the cold room to cool. As I write this I become more aware how different this farm life is and how normal these routines have become to us. And I’m grateful, that we eat so well and that we are connected to the process. It doesn’t scare us, not even the kids. A few weeks ago my husband was slaughtering the majority of the pigs for custom meat and I had to run to the neighbors with my 2 year old. The girls were playing in the barnyard and it was time for Rob to shoot the next one. Well my four year old daughter hopped up on the tractor and he had her run the bucket to lift up the pig while he straightened it and made sure the pig stayed on. When I came home I admit even I surprised, but she loved feeling so important and helpful.
I am excited to be filling the freezer with our delicious milk and organic vegetable fed pork. We slaughtered our pigs for sale weeks ago but those go to a custom butcher and now it is time to our own and yes, the farmer and I actually prefer to do it ourselves. We save money, we do it exactly the way we like it and we hang out in the shop together as a family cutting, grinding, wrapping etc.
My very favorite part however is the end because tonight is when we will bring the ground pork into the house to make our own sausage and render our fat to make lard and cracklins. There is something so satisfying about the process, shall we make italian sausage? or breakfast sausage? a little more fennel? more garlic! then we put all the pieces of fat into a dutch oven to melt down and near the end you get the cracklins and bits. They are so good and you take them out set them on a paper towel sprinkle with salt and oh my word!!! They are the best!. The rest of the lard gets cooled and put into tupperware for the freezer. It’s a long day but so satisfying all winter to reap the fruits of your labor.
But first my husband has to finish chores, then load 200 bales of hay onto a truck and I have got to get some homeschool done and then get my daughter to piano lessons before the real fun (or work) begins.
Today is gonna be a busy one, I don’t even want to think about the condition of the house by the end of it!