January
1 - 2010

12 Days Of Christmas: 7 Dozen Pounds Of Pork

This year I’m celebrating the holidays with a “12 Days of Christmas” series on the abundances of our kitchen and garden. Share your experiences, too, and happy holidays!

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …
7 dozen pounds of pork … and fat to render

6 farm-fresh eggs,
5 daikon pickled for banh mi,
4-some gallons of beer,
3 quarts of applesauce,
2 half-gallons of sauerkraut,
and 1 quart of yogurt, homemade.

Longtime readers might remember that a couple of years ago, my family ordered a quarter beef to put in our freezer. That experience gave us 105 pounds of various cuts of beef and lasted us about a year.

This fall, our CSA put whole pigs on sale, organically raised on vegetarian feed and pastured. We decided to go for it, and split the meat with my mom and her husband. The whole pig, including its fat, wound up being around 135 pounds of meat. We’re keeping the fat to render into lard, so our share was more than half. To date, Mr. Cheap has dived into cooking with our pork, making some tacos, split pea soup with the hock, and a ham for the holidays. I’ve used one package of bacon, and he is experimenting with the fresh side (basically uncured bacon).

We are very pleased to be able to purchase local pork raised in a healthy manner, rather than fed who knows what and raised in who knows what environment. Of course, making this purchase has also raised our awareness about how many people do not eat pork, either because of religious beliefs or concern that it is dirty, diseased or otherwise unhealthy. (For a brief look at pork’s “healthiness,” check out this post.) Buying organically raised took away many of those concerns for us, as we don’t follow a religion that has guidelines about it.

Our upcoming project will be to render the fat into lard. Stay tuned for that …

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