Friday, January 18, 2013

Pig Meetn'

We had a butchering day with my family yesterday. I vividly remember
butcher day as a child. I always wanted to take off school for butcher day. One day mom asked if I would rather go somewhere to stay or come with them to butchering day. I told her I'd rather come to the 'pig meetn' with them.
For years it was called the 'pig meetn'.

The older I got I did all I could to miss the 'pig meetn'. The strong smell and cutting up raw meat wasn't a real draw for me. What teenager doesn't
have more important things to do, ha. Now that I'm married I decided I'd participate in 'pig meetn' again so I could reap the benefits of fresh sausage, pon hoss and spending a day with the family. I guess that means I'm growing up.

I will step you through the process with photos. But please don't go by this to butcher a pig. I'm green behind the ears at this. I may have missed some important photos.

The pig was slaughtered by a local man and came to us in halves ready to butcher. Start cutting out the parts of the meat you want to keep- roasts, ribs, bacon and such.

Cut the fat off the meat pieces. Put the red meat in one pan and the fat in another. The red meat is used for sausage and the fat is used to make lard.

Trim the bones down as close as you can and throw them in a pot of boiling water too cook down for meat puddin which is made into pon hoss.

Once you pick the meat off the bones you cooked, run the cooked meat through a sausage grinder to make it fine. Brown the meat in the kettle and remove some meat puddin if you like. As a child I remember eating the meat puddin on cooked hominy with apple butter. Then add the broth that was made when you cooked the meat off the bones. Pour in corn meal, salt and pepper. Stir for 30 minutes with automatic paint stirrer. Of course it was new and just used for butchering. Then pour into loaf pans, once set, slice and fry on a hot griddle until crisp on both sides. We grew up putting King Syrup on our pon hoss, my husband puts mustard on his. What do you put on yours?

In another kettle add the fat you cut off the meat and cook it down until the liquid reaches 375 degrees. Then pour it into jars and once it's cooled you have lard. Some folks use a lard press to press more lard out of the cooked fat but we didn't.

The Grandma's reminiscing on how much work it was to butcher back in their day before freezers. They had to can a lot of the meat after they butchered. 

Mom and Dad butchered the day before so Mom was the cook and babysitter.

What a lovely day with family.
 I'm glad I was a part of the 'pig meetn' this year.



  1. Cool Post, Hope! Although I must say that the last three pictures were my favorite. That's a lot of cuteness there. I like my pon hoss with both mustard and syrup!

  2. we eat our homemade cline apple butter on our ponhaus :) love it!

  3. What a good recap of the day. It's such a fascinating thing to see where bacon comes for the first time! Crazy to imagine what it was like to do all that sausage without a freezer but i love the old ways of preserving hams with salt and such. a miracle really. You photographed it all beautifully. I've thoroughly enjoyed being able to participate in days like this since i've moved here!

  4. I didn't think I ate pon hoss at all, until I read what you put in and thought it looked kinda like scrapple...why yes, it is! And I eat it with ketchup and eggs - all mushed up is the best but it looks gross.

  5. I don't think I could get tired of looking at Charity and Wes's baby Caleb!! I sure hope i can see them before they leave for Indianna!!!! SHERI

  6. Thanks for bringing back memories of my Mama making Fried Mush and Pon Haus. Although I'll admit that I was rather grossed out by the smell of Pon Haus, but I've never been a fan of uncured pork. It was always a treat to have fried Mush with butter and syrup. Great family traditions passed down from Pennsylvania German ancestors.

  7. Oh I love this! Makes me want to really make sure we invest good things in our butchering days so that the lasting memories are more than a bunch of time, effort and dirty work! Thank you for this!