New Skills

 

IMG_7629Today I learned a new skill.  I use the term skill very,  very loosely. I think my husband was much more skilled than me. (I know he is much more skilled at this than me!) Today, we butchered a hog…yep…start to finish.

We have butchered deer and chickens in the past….and we actually slaughtered a hog years ago, but then paid someone else to cut it into chops, bacon, hams etc. This time we tried it all on our own.

We were fortunate to get a hog from a farmer who had one that could not be sold, due to a bad leg. Rather than let an entire hog go to waste, we ended up with it and were so grateful.

I found a YouTube video on how to butcher in a Facebook group called IA Farm 2 Table. The video on learning this skill is put on by a couple guys called The Bearded Butchers.

I will have to say those two guys made it look like a walk in the park.  I am here to tell you, our hog did not turn out quite the same as theirs. In fact…I think my husband and I just may have invented a few new “cuts” of meat.

Our excuse for slightly different looking cuts of meat was lack of equipment used by those two bearded butchers. (I am pretty sure our knives would have made them laugh.) I am totally sticking to that excuse!

We did invite our daughter in law to come help, but for some reason she respectfully declined. I am not sure why….I thought it was not too bad cutting up a hog, on a hayrack, under a tree. The breeze was very nice and cool.

As we were cutting it apart I would comment that our cuts did not quite look the same as the video. My husband would respond….”it will still taste like pork. Make it into a roast type hunk and you can do anything with it.” Then we would both start laughing.

We did not do bacon or hams, as that may have really taxed our skills AND we did not have a smoker.  We did attempt roasts, pork chops, and ribs. Tomorrow I hope to can the meat that we cubed. It should be interesting as I have not canned meat in years. I guess that means it is time to give it a whirl again?

We were tired this evening,  so we bagged and froze the fat so it can be rendered into lard later. We also froze the trimmings so we can grind them at a later date.  I will say once all the packages were wrapped; they looked really good!  Almost professional.

I will also say it was an adventure. When I woke up this morning I really was not too excited by the prospect of dealing with the hog. Now that it is packaged and in my freezer I am much more excited about it.

My word of advice for the week—You can teach old dogs new tricks. You can learn new skills. A YouTube video and some makeshift equipment and you are good to go.

What have you learned this week?  I would love to know! Oh……and one more thing…..we still have all our fingers intact.

“Do what you can,
with what you have,
where you are.”

― Theodore Roosevelt