But since some of you continue to ask about my families tradition of home butchering, here is yet another edition. If you are squeamish at the thought eating something that once squealed, just skip this post.
Saturday was a beautiful, sunny but cold day - perfect for butchering. By the time I appeared on the scene, (hours after the men had begun) the fires were under the huge iron pots.
We do things the old fashioned way, including scalding the hogs in this wood-heated scalder.
The hair is then scraped off. At the end of the day, I am amazed at how little waste there is. A pile of hair, the innards, hooves, and some bones - but about everything else is used.
With many hands, the day went very well. We were blessed to have a number of friends who came to help.
Cleaning pig stomachs for hog maw.
In past years, two elderly friends, Joe and Jim, always came to butchering. They were the ones who told the younger men how much wood to put on the fires, when the lard was cooked enough, and to keep stirring the pots!
But in the past year, both Joe and Jim passed away. This year was the test to see how well the younger generation has learned from their elders.
At the end of the day, there was a table full of pon haus (sometimes called scrapple), hams and bacons in the smokehouse, sausage, ribs and pork chops in the freezer.
From my perspective, the day couldn't have went better. Sunday morning, we tried the pon haus - and it was as good as ever. It think the next generation passed the test.
Want to see more on hog butchering? Check out these posts for many more photos and videos.