Over the course of this past week, I have been processing the fourth of our pigs.
The bacon is curing, the meat has aged sufficiently, and so I've started to cut the pork up into package sized portions. The bulk of the work is done in our little meat room downstairs. The final steps are taken in the kitchen.
That is where we wrap and label the meat. We also grind the pork and prepare the lard for rendering.
Kira takes care of the wrapping.
The wrapping is much like folding clothes, so as a male, I find it excessively difficult.
We use the stand mixer for grinding.
It has an attachment that allows us to prepare a variety of ground meat products, coarse or fine.
It takes some time, but it works well enough.
We also grind the fat for rendering.
Grinding the fat makes the rendering processing a little shorter as well as giving us a uniform size of cracklings.
What are cracklings? Cracklings are the byproduct of lard rendering and can be used in baking or just eaten as a snack. They're much like the leftover crispy bits in the pan after cooking up some bacon.
The lard itself will be used for baking. If you have done any pastry then you know that real lard is hard to beat when it comes to flaky crust.
We also intend to use the lard for soap making.
Making soap has been on my personal wish list for quite a few years.
|Meer didn't last long this way.
She wanted some milk and bedtime.
Soap is a product that we can make entirely on our own.
That means that we have the tools and materials to make our own soap without leaving or buying anything. Of course, if we want some fancy soap this year, we'll have to buy a few extra ingredients.
Don't worry. The soap event will be an important post.
Another potential byproduct of lard rendering is doughnuts.
No really! I'm serious.
We have a friend whose Grandmother would only make doughnuts when lard was being rendered.
You just happen to have a big pot of hot lard so it seems logical that you should cook some doughnuts.
I'll talk to Kira about that.
You're going to wish that our posts had samples to go along with them.
I have said before that I really enjoy producing everyday items ourselves.
The meat products are especially satisfying.
You begin with a live animal and end up with a finished product that is superior to most anything that you could buy in the store.
With the various byproducts, the experience and value is all that much greater.
Speaking of byproducts, it won't be long until the kids start asking me to make weiners.
I guess I'll have to start keeping the lips and....
....well, you know!