WARNING: This post contains pictures that may not be suitable for all viewers.
But not this - this is just what the Bag Lady saw the other day when she got to the highway. Yes, that IS a snowplow.
The Bag Lady and the Rancher have been busy with a variety of things, not least of which is the laying in of supplies for the winter ahead. (Sounds industrious, doesn't it?)
Actually, they decided to supplement their meat supply with some pork, so the Rancher contacted a friend of his who raises pigs, and arranged to buy a pig from him. The friend agreed to sell him a pig on the understanding that the Rancher and the Bag Lady would assist in the butchering of said pig! The Rancher and the Bag Lady (especially the Bag Lady) have never really been involved in butchering animals, so it was with some trepidation that they approached the task. They needn't have worried, because there were several people there who were much more experienced and willing to teach.
The Rancher did some trimming, and the Bag Lady did some wrapping (and actually spent most of her time trying to improve her taping techniques and penmanship.... it is not easy to write legibly on butcher paper wrapped around an uneven surface!)
The Bag Lady managed to take a few pictures of the process. If you are squeamish, or have a weak stomach................... fear not! The Bag Lady did not take any pictures of anything that you wouldn't see in your local grocery store! Well, except that some of the pieces are much larger than you would see in the grocery store....
Here is half a pig being carried into the butcher shop:
(yes, that is snow on the ground)
The first cuts are made by hand:
And the fat is trimmed with a very sharp knife:
Smaller pieces are cut with an electric meat saw:
Wrapping pork chops:
The Bag Lady also brought some of the fat home and is rendering it into lard for use in pie crusts. When she mentioned that fact to a friend of hers, her friend immediately made a comment regarding the fact that lard is supposed to be bad for you. In actual fact, there is evidence to the contrary. The Bag Lady found an interesting article about the comparison between animal fat and vegetable fat, and the misconceptions about animal fats. If anyone is interested in learning more about the connections between fats and heart disease, here is an interesting article.
The Bag Lady is still in the process of rendering the fat into lard (it takes a really long time!), and will hopefully have pictures to post for you later, if you are interested. If you are interested in seeing the rendering process, please let the Bag Lady know in the comment section!
She apologizes to anyone who may have been offended by the pictures of butchering contained in this post, but for those of us who eat meat, this is all part of life.