Adult 4-H: Processing the Hogs

This morning I had the pleasure of going to the Locker and watching my hog get cut up. Like watching a master musician or artist create a masterpiece, watching Craig the butcher break down these hogs was just breathtaking.

Linda holds your hand and very nicely walks you through your cuttinh order. It's so fun!

Linda holds your hand and very nicely walks you through your cutting order. It’s so fun!

The best thing about raising your own meat, or buying from people like me, is you get to decide how you want your meat cut and wrapped. That means you can decide what meat cuts you want, for example a pork loin or pork chops. You can decide how many chops you want in a package, how thick you want your chops, or bacon. For a foodie, it’s like a dream come true. I like it because it makes my life convenient – since I live alone, I only got two chops per package.

The whole pig. It took less than 30 minutes for them to break it down.

The whole pig. It took less than 30 minutes for them to break it down.

If you want a more in-depth explanation of these pictures please read Jenny’s post here

This is MY half. It will live in my locked freezer. It's MINE.

This is MY half. It will live in my locked freezer. It’s MINE.

The hog has been split into two sides. They will process one side at a time.

Kidney lives in the leaf lard, if that gives you an idea of where it is.

Kidney lives in the leaf lard, if that gives you an idea of where it is.

The first thing Craig does is remove the leaf lard. This is supposed to be the best lard ever for making baked goods. I’ve never had any before so I requested them to save it for me. I will render it down in my oven and then make heck of pie crusts and tortillas! Yum!

Kidney lives in the leaf lard, if that gives you an idea of where it is.

BACON

Check out this video of Craig cutting my beautiful chops.

Pork chops! Glorious chops!

Pork chops! Glorious chops!

This is the one time you will hear me say "look at all my beautiful fat!". Don't be jealous, I might share some if you ask....

This is the one time you will hear me say “look at all my beautiful fat!”. Don’t be jealous, I might share some if you ask….

This is a whole pig, granted he was small, but it is still pretty cool he's all there.

This is a whole pig, granted he was small, but it is still pretty cool he’s all there.

This is my Dad’s pork. It’ll get him through a summer of BBQing, it’s nice to change it up with some pork! We love beef, but variety is the spice of life!

This will be sausage.

This will be sausage.

All the scraps are saved for sausage, I wanted my sausage “southern style” because it is my personal favorite and makes the best biscuits and gravy. For reals. Come over for brunch, I’ll blow your mind!

Again, it's mine! It's all mine! It even has my name on it like an adult!

Again, it’s mine! It’s all mine! It even has my name on it like an adult!

Yeah, I’m excited. This was a lot of work right here!

My bacon and ham. Yum.

My bacon and ham. Yum.

The bacon and ham will take longer to get, because they must cure it. They said I would have my ham in time for Easter! YAY!

The Man, the myth, the legend. Mr. Dewey. Thank you so much for being so transparent and awesome! I love you guys!

The Man, the myth, the legend. Mr. Dewey. Thank you so much for being so transparent and awesome! I love you guys!

So my next blog will be what this whole project was about – pork!!!! I cannot wait to try it. Even though I raise animals for a living, I’ve never had this caliber of pork before. I’ve been dreaming about it! What should I try first?!

9 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, family, Field Trip, food, photos, Pigs, Ranch life, Uncategorized

9 Responses to Adult 4-H: Processing the Hogs

  1. Thanks for sharing this! While I LOVE pork I’m actually kind of in the unknow about how it all works. It’s been GREAT to watch the piglets grow up into well-gained adults, and I bet it’s so fulfilling to see the end product!

    I’m jealous. It looks amazing. THOSE CHOPS!

  2. This make me beyond happy and sad at the same time. Although I love my move and the blessings it has brought me, it makes me sad to not be able to be a part of this anymore. Or maybe I just miss my parents (featured above!) Either way, I am so happy that they are able to provide people like you and your fellow Adult 4-H’ers this opportunity! Learning where you meat comes from is an important step in actually enjoying it to its full potential! So kudos to all of those who were involved in the process & enjoy the fruits of your labor!

    p.s. I love Josh (he’s the ham & bacon guy above!) Such a great photo of him!

  3. I hope you aren’t concluding your adult 4-H project with this blog! I expect to hear about how great your pigs taste! Anyway, great job and post! Sure does make me miss the meat lab!

  4. Anjanette

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. You are doing such a great thing by sharing this with the world. Whether they like it or LOATHE it (ha,) people are seeking out your blog to find out some sort of truth that they didn’t already know about raising one’s own meat. You’ve sparked some serious curiosity and I congratulate you!

    PS: Chris called me. The people in McCloud are ridiculously nice and without weirdness 😉

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