So. Tomorrow I go to pick up my (half of a butchered and pre-frozen) pig. It is a Large Black pig farmed by Barb Schaefer of Upper Canada Heritage Meat. There will be 10lbs or so of bacon + however-much guancale (jowl bacon) a single pig cheek will yield (no clue). There will be liver (I will make an attempt at paté). There will be bones and leaf lard. There may or may not be tongue and heart included in the 6-8lbs of ground pork I can expect. There will be roasts and braising cuts. There will not be sausages – I can get those up the street – but there will be hocks, which I’ve never cooked before but which sound like they’ll braise really well.
My Archivist and I will collect it tomorrow morning (that evening, she and my wife have a date, and I am taking my mom out for Mother’s Day cappuccino – I have jewelry to finish before then) and bring it back to the house and put it in the chest freezer.
There is still meat in the over-the-fridge freezer, but the chest freezer is mostly empty and ready to recieve our pig.
I am definitely cheating a little by turning down heart, tongue, and kidneys (unless they can be added to the ground). I feel a bit like I should really be going “Tripe! How do I turn TRIPE into something I actually want to put in my mouth?” (This, in spite of the fact that I eat sausages with Natural Hog Casing (read: intestines) multiple times per week. So I’m aware that a lot of this balking is a strictly head-space kind of thing (why it feels weird to prep a heart that still looks like a heart when it came from a pig but not when it came from a steer, I have no idea, other than the bit where said heart could effectively keep my own blood circulating in a pinch…)
So I do feel like I’m only getting my feet wet at this point. None the less, I’m glad of it. I’ve been wanting to do this – buy meat in bulk from a local, reputable farmer – for quite a few years now and it’s frankly about fucking time that I went out and did it. I’m looking forward to seeing how far this half-a-pig can stretch (I may make a point of not actually starting to eat it until June, just so I can keep a bit of a month-by-month tally) and to keeping an eye on how much Other Critter we eat – whether that’s sausages from up the street or duck/chicken/beef/fish from elsewhere around town (probably NOT all that local-sustainable-ethical-organic, to be honest) so that I have a better idea of what we go through in a year.
Anyway. The adventure begins!
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
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