Monday, October 20, 2008

Home butchering ... again

It rained on Friday so we postponed the pig til Saturday morning-a wise choice. A friend, Jim, came down from the upstate with two of his sons to help out. He had experience with cattle some years ago.

The weather was cooler in the morning, and the slaughter went without a hitch. My boys had built a holding pen with logs right outside the pen holding "little big guy". He went down and we decided to skin and eviscerate on site. In fact it got cooler as the morning wore on. Things went very smoothly and I was glad for the expert help.

Some improvements to the site suggested themselves as we will do the rest in the fall and winter outside. We need to build a gallows-like structure to suspend the carcass (we had only a pole in the ground with the come-along to lift the carcass.)

After slaughter we put the carcass on ice for several hours (it wasn't cool enough to leaving hanging). We ate (we had our own bacon and eggs. Unfortunately the home-cured bacon turned out to be too salty to eat. I am now told that if I blanch it for a minute or so it may recover and be edible-will try it this morning.) and then butchered in our dining room.

Chris, who has been our expert butcher wasn't available, but Jim and I did okay, only consulting the book once. The cuts weren't quite as pretty, but with a little more experience....

What an excellent day! I think the thing I most like about pigs is the Catholic conversation and friendship that always surrounds slaughter day!

Today is very busy-my state sales tax collection is due, I would like to finish planting, some orders to fill, and yesterday we remembered we have no heat! Remember we were hit by lightening this summer-the AC unit control panel was fried. We got our AC guy out here, he switched out the panel, but the heat part of the replacement panel was defective. He promised to come out again soon and bill us at that time. We had forgotten-as he apparently did also!

Oremus pro invicem!

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