The weather in winter can make you change plans for any out door activities. Our plan was to butcher the hog on Saturday and then on Sunday we would have the lard ready to render out. Which for us is also an outdoor activity. We use the big cast iron kettle, the same one with the same stir paddle that my dad used many years ago. But they are forecasting rain and snow for Saturday and it is really hard to keep scalding water hot in rain. I am sure my dad is sitting up there in heaven laughing at me about now for not planning this a little better. But he also taught me persistence. And we will persist and do the butchering on Friday now instead of waiting till Saturday. The guys are off work and Josh a buddy of Jason's and our adopted step son like will be able to help us. Josh is like one of our own and if we need help here he is always so good to come help out. We just love him and his family dearly. It is at times like this that I am thankful that my boys were good judges of character and have picked good friends. Any who, now thas the plan, but if the weather changes, that plan may change again. Or got forbid the hog be in season. That would postpone the whole thing for at least 2 more weeks.
So today I have gotten my containers ready to hold meat, and kinda now have a mental list of things that need to be done to accomplish this task. I have gotten the old butchering knives out that dad used and they will all be sharp and ready to go. When we render the lard it will get put in some of my stock pots till I can get it ladled into hot mason jars and sealed. The lard will seal and stay fresh when done this way. Long ago we alas strained the lard into metal lard cans to store it. But in my lil mind I have a better plan. We don't use as much lard as we used to and to keep it good and fresh I will be storing mine in the canning jars. The lard is hot enough when it goes in the jars to create a vacuum and seal them when it cools down. This will all be done on the second day. When we butcher we trim the hams, shoulders and middling meat for bacon and get that salted down and in the curing process on day one as soon as we can. Then we proceed to cut the meat to grind for sausage, slice the tenderloins for freezing, cut the ribs for freezing, cut the back bone for chops or stew, and then cut up the lard. Then on day 2 render lard, make souse meat from the head, and pickled pigs feet. Oh yeah, I am making souse and pickled pigs feet. I truly feel like a kid again. As a child growing up here on the farm I always looked forward to "hog killing time". Although it was a lot of work, the rewards were always worth it when the food was prepared.
So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.