Monday, August 27, 2007

Fabiola Goes Whole Hog

A Post filled with actual useful information. Useful if you are into buying pork one hundred plus pounds at a time, that is.

Celebrate the end of August Full Moon! (Or celebrate a time reasonably close to the August full moon weighted by the readiness of the latest bunch ‘o feeder hogs from the farmer. This is a variable holiday.) Where was I? Ah! The waxing of the August moon! Days are warm, nights are cool, the goldenrod is in full bloom. And thanks to the modern deep freezer, it is the perfect time to celebrate hog killin’. Fabiola is country don't cha know?

All Hog Killin’s are a festival of three weights. (The best things come in threes, you know that.) Regardless, I start the celebration by calling up my local hog farmer, to lay claim to one of his hogs. This is a known fact: Get to know the farmer, hog farmers are generally fine people – do not, however, ask to be introduced to the actual hogs. It is best that way. Once you name them, you will not want to serve them to your relatives.

I double-check as to which processor the farmer is taking the hogs. (You didn’t think that Fabiola was going to slaughter her own hog did you?)

That was a rhetorical question dear.

On the day after the farmer delivers the hog, I call the processor to ask what my hog weighed. Weight one is the “live weight” and it means exactly what it sounds like. Live weight is the weight that the farmer bills for based on market price. In the same call, I tell them how I want my hog butchered. Yep, like standing at the meat counter of the grocery, only ordering meat for three months and one whopping big party too boot. Really, it is thrilling! Any event, if the hog has been killed and hung, I ask for the “hanging weight”. Imagine. Hook, cooler ::nodding:: that. Hanging weight is my celebration’s second weight, and the weight that the processor uses to calculate his charge.

Depending upon whether or not I want my bacon, hams and hocks, cured and smoked, in about a week to ten days, the processor will call and I will go to pick up my order. The third weight of my August Full Moon Extravaganza of Pork is the processed weight or the actual weight of the meat that I pick-up. Rule of thumb, I will take home in pounds about half the live weight of the hog, more or less (but not much less or someone is going to be explaining why).

This August’s Hog weighed:
219 pounds live weight
146 pounds hanging weight
110.5 pounds processed

I put in my freezer:

28.5 pounds of assorted chops
7.5 pound fresh ham roast
6.5 pound fresh arm roast
12.5 pounds of country ribs
3.5 pounds of spare ribs
12.0 pounds of ham steaks
7.0 pounds of smoked hocks
11.5 pounds of bacon
21.5 pounds of sausage patties

Now for the fun part of the celebration! After the hog is safely in the freezer, on the evening of the full moon, I build a small fire in the fire pit, toast marshmallows (even if you aren’t tired of thinking about pork chops – right at that point I am). Make S’Mores, drink hot chocolate laced with crème De Menthe, dance in the moon light and sing a song from my childhood:

When it’s hog killin’ time in Nebraska,

When it’s hog killin’ time in Nebraska …


Anonymous said...

I'd butchered that hog for you tho i'd chopped it all up into my own recipe of extra spicy sausge.

Fabiola said...

Well, Dear me! How nice of you to visit! Welcome!

110 pounds of Extra Spicy Sausage??

::Pausing here -- Fabiola speaks to herself :: -- they say that they have their own recipe for sausage spice .. a person worth knowing!! --

Fabiola is back! Anony dear, what do you use sausage in besides fried up in a pan for breakfast?

Anonymous said...

Share it with the neighbors.