Hello and welcome to our small family homestead. Some people call me the crazy dog lady, others call me mom, some call me sister or daughter but you can call me Impatience. This blog and our farm has been named after a dear old friend, my old Australian Shepherd, my fishd0g. Today you have found our farm surviving the randomness of winter. From raining and 45° this morning to 15° and windy as all get out now. The pigs are cozy warm and fed. The chickens are hunkered down in the coup, and the rabbits could care less about the wintry conditions. We are beginning to plan the garden planting that will soon be upon us. The wind is howling down the chimney and whipping the lifeless trees outside. The fresh snow from last weeks snowfall has now become a dangerous sheet of ice. Our long driveway is a skating rink and with no plans for tomorrow we plan to stay hunkered down. I thought for sure we would loose power today with the wind flickering the lights several times but it didn’t happen praise God. We have a very old Vermont Castings wood stove we have planned to install into our fireplace chimney when finances permit. Until then it is quite the night stand!
Yesterday we dove into our first adventure in rendering down our own lard. Yes, you read that right. LARD. We purchased half a pig from a local friend who had a sow and piglets this year. Our half pig came in the end of November and with it we asked for the leaf lard. I do a lot of baking and have read the boasts of many bakers baking with lard. So, eh, why not? We just took the leaf lard, that’s the fat behind the kidney I believe, solid, white mass of pure fat and thawed it out. We cut it into chunks and processed it with our commercial Kitchen Aid mixer with meat grinding attachment into the ceramic bowl of my large crock pot. Once completely ground we turned it on the “low” setting for a couple of hours and let it melt down. As it melts you can see that the fat becomes clear and the “bits” sink to the bottom. After it was completely clear I turned off the crock pot and skimmed off the clear fat from the top of the “bits” and poured it into glass canning jars for storage. When I couldn’t skim off any more without getting “bits” I just used a coarse strainer over a bowl and poured the rest through that. The “bits” stayed in the strainer and the fat dripped through. I added that to the glass jars and VOILA! Lard. That couldn’t have been any easier. Wow. I got 3 jars (2 pints and 1 quart) of lard out of nearly 4lbs of leaf lard. I will have to weigh it to see what our outcome was. Not hard to do at all though… now we can make some homemade flour tortillas next weekend! Mmmhm.
Well thanks for stopping in! I hope you will stop in again soon.