Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hog Butchering 2012

Those of you who have been around this blog a while know that when all other bloggers are sharing their lovely Christmas recipes and crafts, I write about something as low-down as butchering.



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.



Stuffing sausage.



Cutting meat.



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.
2011
2010

23 comments :

  1. Love this! The whole community working together. Your jealous conservative baptist friend!;)

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  2. I was excited to see your post because just this morning I was thinking that with the weather the way it is it would be time for Gina and her family to butcher! I love reading these posts. Merry Christmas.

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  3. This is my first visit to your blog. I am bookmarking it and will enjoy reading more. My name is Gina too. :) Nice to meet you.

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  4. That is one big ol HOG.. wow.. and loving the new top pics of your blog .. very nice!

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  5. I love scrapple, but have never had homemade. It sure looked good.

    Coleen

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  6. Hi Gina
    I always love your hog butchering posts! We are actually butchering sheep this Friday evening ( they are currently hanging in the coolroom) ~ it's actually such a fun thing to do with friends I'm looking forward to it. I'm also thankful for a supply of meat as I have Dave's whole family coming for Christmas! I just need to get a freezer as our big one broke a few months ago ( it was old & second hand when we got it) ~ this has accelerated the need ~ guess that's going to be my Christmas present!
    Have a wonderful Christmas
    Blessings
    Renata:)

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    Replies
    1. Butchering sheep! Now that is something I've never seen done!
      Gina

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    2. Me either, Renata.

      Wonder what sheep tastes like? I've had lamb/mutton before... is that all the same thing?

      Gina - how many hogs did you all do in one day? This looks and sounds like the way it's done "up our way". Cute - referring to the old guys passing on the info and the younger generation handling it all on their own so well. Again. Sounds similar.

      ~B

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  7. Hello Gina, I will never take my bacon for granted again. It takes a lot of work. Also loved the cinnamon twist idea.
    Blessings, Roxy

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  8. For the last few years I have loved to watch your pictures. Just like back home in Europe.

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  9. I love it when you make these posts. I would love to do this. Maybe not on the scale you all do. How many hogs do you all butcher? Enjoy your day and God bless.

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    1. Donna -
      We did four hogs this year. And yes, it is a big day!
      Gina

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  10. Wow! What a lot of work, but yet so rewarding.... Glad everything was such a huge success!!
    All I can say is "You go girl!"
    Have a great week!

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  11. I SO wish we lived closer. I would have loved to come help. I just think doing this the old ways are so much better. And so sad to hear about the 2 men who taught y'all so much. It does look like they taught y'all well.

    How many hogs did y'all butcher? And how many families split the meat?

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    1. I wish you lived close too! It would have been fun to have you!

      We butchered four hogs. That is split between six families.
      Gina

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  12. I like your earthiness. :)

    I've been stopping by the blog for awhile now and enjoy your ideas. I have tried subscribing a couple times but it hasn't worked. Any ideas on how I can get subscribed?

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    Replies
    1. Marlene -
      Sorry you are having problems subscribing. When you put in your email address, they should send you a confirmation email for you to click on. If that doesn't work, let me know and I'll see what I can do!
      Gina

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  13. So glad to hear that things went so well!! Apparently my uncle knows a butcher who wants to come give a hand on our butchering day. I think he works at a grocery store... I'm wondering as I look at your pictures and read your story if he'll even know how to stretch the hog the way you all have been taught. Really, whole hog butchery is a forgotten skill in and of itself. Makes me want to really do some research first. It's just fantastic that you all have learned it! Enjoy all of that wonderful pork ♥

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    1. Quinn-
      I thought about you all on our butcher day!

      Glad you found someone who can help you all. I'm sure he will still be a valuable resource!
      Gina

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  14. Thank you for sharing! I love the new photos on your homepage header. Beautiful family. I love butchering time here at home too! Fresh, home raised pork is so good! We finish our hogs with the windfall apples from the orchard a month or so before butchering. The meat is sweet and tasty. Your scrapple looks very good too. God Bless.

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  15. Nice to see the generations working together, especially good that the children know where their food comes from.
    Sadly, in UK, we're not allowed to slaughter at home, except rabbits and fowl. Eveythig must go through a licensed abbatoir.

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  16. Goodness! I wish we knew someone to help us with our hogs! We wouldn't have a clue where to begin. You reckon we can move a little closer and haul our hogs over next year?! lol! That looked like a lot of fun work!

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  17. Do you have a recipe for pon haus that you could share? My husband's mother used to make this for him when she was alive,and he loved it!

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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