Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Going Whole Hog
So I, along with some others, went whole hog over the weekend. We bought two whole pigs that totaled 465 pounds. It was a tremendous amount of work, more than I expected. Some highlights:
-At the end of day one my hand was so tired from cutting I couldn't get my fist to close around the blade of my knife. It was like having a frozen hand. It wouldn't move. It's lucky I didn't seriously hurt myself.
-It took a much bigger village then I imagined. I should have enlisted the help of ten people. It was like being in a pork world. Everywhere I looked in the kitchen there was just pork, pork, and more pork. I told shareholders to pick up their meat at 5.30 pm on Sunday. One friend showed up at 5 with her husband and daughter. The three of them stayed and wrapped meat nonstop for almost 3 hours.
-Broken glass. On day two I accidentally pushed my digital scale onto the floor, shattering the glass plate on top of it. It was dramatic, and loud, sending bits across the kitchen.
-A friend cut her hand on my brand new sausage stuffer. All weekend I prayed someone would not get hurt, and it happened in the most unlikely of ways. She cut it on the lip of the canister where the meat goes. She survived.
-My meat grinder, Grendel (see previous post), worked like a champ. We ground close to 50# of meat through it nonstop and had zero problems: no smear, no stopping to re-ice blades, nothing. It just keeps on going, sucking up meat.
-My new stuffer, from now on to be known as Grendel's mother, was also insanely effective, aside from the lip of the canister trying to take off the tip of Kiersten's finger. It only holds about 6# in the canister, but it just pushes out sausage nice and smooth.
-I learned to be careful when stuffing something bigger than a hog casing. We stuffed 30# of cotechino into beef middles, only to have the casings burst when we tried to twist off the sausages, and had to squeeze it all out and restuff it.
-Pork is awesome. I love it. I may never buy another supermarket cut again.
-I was dead by the end. Every time I bent over or lifted something I groaned. I couldn't help it. My "physical plant" was barely sustaining itself.
-I would do it again in a heartbeat.