I have an obscene number of pictures from today, though, because we helped our neighbors, the Brewers, slaughter and butcher two of their hogs, and we've both been really looking forward to learning this since we both love bacon and ribs and pork tenderloin immensely. Pigs are definitely in our near future!
WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURES AHEAD!
|The cows like to watch all the action.|
|I got distracted by this little guy while we waited for the fire to heat up the scalding water.|
|Starting the fire.|
|Part of the Brewers' property. It was a muddy day after all the rain we've gotten recently.|
|Future bacon. Thank you, piggie.|
|Almost hot enough.|
|Figuring out logistics.|
|Positioning the killing pen.|
|The little piggie in the middle was spared today.|
|Didn't mean for this to be out of focus, but maybe it's better that way for the faint of heart.|
|Loosening the hair with the near boiling water|
(you don't want it boiling -- that's too hot) and scraping it off.
|Comes with the territory.|
|One pig done.|
|Tenderloins and backstraps. (FYI, you don't actually get tenderloin when you buy pork tenderloin at the store --|
you get the backstraps, which are much bigger but less tender than the actual tenderloins.)
|We were offered the jowls and ears of piggie #1 (among other parts like the brain and heart that we politely declined).|
The jowls are supposed to be similar to bacon, and I will TRY the ears,
just to say I did, but they might become dog treats.
|Got the focus right on piggie #2. Relatively certain I got the point of impact.|
|Two pigs' worth of meat.|
Today was a very good day. It's very empowering to understand exactly where your food comes from (or rather, how our future meat will be processed). The only thing that shocked me a little was how long it took the pigs to stop moving. Their throats get slit immediately after the gunshot to the head, but the twitching continues for a good ten minutes afterwards. The Brewers use a .22 rifle to kill their pigs, but we will likely use a .22 mag or .40 caliber handgun, just to play it safe.