Saturday, January 28, 2012

We Butcher Pigs and Milk Cows

Can I say city girl gone country? I'm just about there. I've learned the process of butchering pigs to milking a cow all within one month. Holy smokes! We drove up to Missouri and spent the weekend with some friends who are well trained/educated in the hog butchering process and rendering lard. We have lots to learn, but more to look forward to. There is nothing like fresh, grass fed, acorn finished ham and cooking with lard (who would have thought?). I'm a lard addict now. Ew? Not really. You can make pie crust with lard! I consider myself in great shape if our country ever crumbles. We'll have plenty of meat, butter and cheese and still be able to enjoy the simple luxuries! In just a few weeks I'll attempt my own Mozeralla and homemade cream. I can't wait! Cream is almost $8.00 here in Vinita, which just about rapes my wallet along with cheese and butter. Considering I probably don't need any of it, at least I can make it OMO (on my own).
The country only continues to get better out here - if we could only receive some rain. I'm looking forward to the Spring. Wait, isn't it already Spring? I think we completely skipped winter.
Self Reliant? I think so. See ya later grocery stores and super Walmart's. HA!

You see these little guys......

...this is what happens when they're BIG and grown-up.

And this is what happens in order for us to EAT EAT EAT

Next we render the Lard( a.k.a. fat). Stir, Stir, Stir. About 4-6 hours.

Welcoming.... Ezma our new milk cow. She's sure gorgeous, ain't she?

And yes, besides the fact that Ezma kept pooping and it was splashing in my face, I kept on pulling and squeezing- there is actually a technique. Who would have thought. It was good for me, humbling. I needed to learn how.
Lastly, I had to give praise to our awesome dogs, Marley and Skud. We sure love having them around. They're a handful! Lots of energy and ALWAYS wanting the cows - exactly what we want.


  1. That is awesome! I love to hear all about your adventures... You are awesom for sure.

  2. I did know you guys got a milk cow! I bet Ty is loving that! Do you always have to put her in the chute to milk her? Is she a jersey? Good to see things are going well out there.

  3. So what is going on when you "render" the lard? And then, what do you do with it after? Does the rendering clean all the yukkies out of it so pie pastry actually tastes good? Does it turn to a solid state fat again and you just store it in the fridge? Can you use it to make some homemade soap? What are they doing with the large sections of pork? Is that seasoning and are they getting ready to smoke it?

    Your new little pup is a cutie. She reminds me of Baloo.

  4. Your dogs are adorable! What an interesting life! I know I couldn't butcher my own meat right now but eventually I'd like to work up to that. I think everyone should have to know where meat comes from. And if you can't do it- maybe you should eat a little less of it.