Our pigs were/are escape artist breaking out of their pen and ignoring the electric wire they ran off four times. The first time they were missing only one night. The second time, four days. On their third excursion they were missing for two weeks before finding their way home…. by that time we had given up hope on seeing them again.
There last escape was two weeks ago, they remained nearby, rooting up a neighbor’s yard and foraging in the wooded areas close-by. We could see them, and although we tried to tempt them to follow us homeward, they would not follow us all the way home.
After getting help from neighbors and friends, they were rounded up and loaded into a trailer, unfortunately for most stubborn, only three survived.
The fourth stood his ground, refusing to go into the trailer and was put down. It had been several hours by the time Nick, who’d had his fill of chasing the animals, made the decision.
We gave the meat to those who had helped us, keeping only the leaf fat and sirloin for ourselves.
I had been waiting for the day when I could render lard from the leaf fat of our own hog for years and yesterday I finally had the much-anticipated opportunity.
Because the pig was still only half-way to optimum butchering weight there was barely 2 pounds of leaf fat which I cut into 1 inch cubes then ground and melted over a low heat.
I was surprised how quickly it melted, in barely an hour I was ladling the fat
strained fat into sterile pint jars. As it cooled on the counter it became pure white and actually had the appearance and feel of Crisco with absolutely no scent.
The other three hogs are spending their remaining months at our friend’s farm where they won’t be able to escape. I may be more excited about getting more fat from them, than I am about getting their meat.
I plan to use their other fat to make soap…. which will also be a first for me.