Monday, January 2, 2012

Cold weather in Kentucky still means fresh meat for some families

My resolve has already been tested by one of my New Year’s resolutions. 

When I decided I’d begin a thousand mile journey (by walking the 1/3 mile loop around and around our yard and gardens), it was approximately 60 degrees outside.  The sun must have been shining.  

Today the wind is absolutely raw and cut right through my clothes.   Snow flurries are flying too.  This is our best taste of winter this season.

 By the way, the snow pictures I posted yesterday are from last year—I think I neglected to mention that. 

Anyway, I completed my prescribed walk and am currently appreciating the warm hum of the heater as I think about starting supper. 

We are having fresh sausage for supper tonight, a gift from my brother who had a hog butchered this weekend.   I’m debating whether or not to make homemade biscuits to go with it.  Maybe I’ll make gravy too.  (I know, that doesn’t sound like a menu for weight loss.) 

This cold spell makes for ideal hog-killing weather!  That sounds kind of gross when we’re accustomed to purchasing pretty packages of pink tenderloin from the grocery and never considering that it once covered the bones of a living, breathing animal. 

A couple of generations ago, however, nearly everyone in the rural areas of Kentucky kept a fattening hog or two to butcher and eat during the winter. Folks waited until it was cold to do so, to take advantage of nature’s refrigeration. 

When I was growing up, my brothers and sister and I were involved in nearly every part of the process of “working up” the hog meat.  We cut long strips of fat into cubes for rendering into lard.  We ground sausage.  We packaged pork chops and tenderloins.  We watched our dad salt down hams and shoulders and big slabs of “side meat” or bacon. 

We raised our own hogs too, so oftentimes the meat we worked up was that of animals we’d been feeding their whole life.
I'll spare you the pictures on this post. 


  1. My sister,Vicki, of "My Favorite Things"sent me a link to your blog. I'm sure she was thinking how similar our upbringing was and probably still is. We,a family of nine children, were raised, for the most part in central Kentucky.We are all scattered now, but our hearts are still in Kentucky. I will be following your blog for a spell to see just how similar our lives are.I have a blog,Life is a Journey. I mostly post about the goings on in my day to day life, but I love blogging. It's a nice way to connect with family members who are no longer living nearby.Hopefully,for them, reading my blog, is just like being here.

  2. I found you through the Blogher lists. I enjoyed reading about your life in Kentucky. Thankful you spared us the photos. Lol. I prefer to imagine my pork just originated in the butcher section of the grocery, though my grandparents hunted, killed their own chickens, etc. You writing has a nice flow to it and is enjoyable to read. I know I'll be back again!