4Shoes 'BOOKENDS'; Morgan Horses

4Shoes 'BOOKENDS'; Morgan Horses
“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.” ~Langston Hughes *pictured: '4Shoes Bookends'

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Heavens' Barnyard

Spots' spot is hidden behind his wing

Well, the brothers Spot & NoSpot (of All Hell Breaks Loose fame) are now singing in Heavens' Barnyard Choir... Bless their little hearts. 
We owe both of the little escape artists our sincerest gratitude for the wonderful nourishment that they will provide us & our families.

Each year we gift to each of our siblings & their families a box of assorted meats from the farm, & some extras such as a few pounds of snowy white lard & a pint or two of grieven
Have you ever rendered raw fat? It's kind of a kitchen art form. 
This year I am using a crockpot instead of a pot on the stovetop; the process takes longer because the crockpot is smaller, but it heats more evenly than the cooktop so the end product is more guaranteed without having to stand over the pot, stirring for hours. 
Oh please let me find one of these!
If you rush the process, or if you overcook, you may be left with a slight yellow tint to your lard (which may also have the slightest burnt after taste). Not acceptable - especially not for gifting!
After the crackles are set aside, the liquid fat is then carefully sieved through a cloth filter to ensure that no tiny particulates are left to taint the finished product. Yes, it's true that such teensy bits will sink to the bottom of the batch but any sediment at all spoils the pure white perfection of home-rendered lard. I always use clear containers for my lard - admittedly, one of my kitchen vanities.
Have you ever used pure lard for cooking or baking? It cannot be beat for flavour or performance! I sometimes make a butter pastry for sweet pies but, when it comes to meatpies (in my opinion), nothing beats a hot water pastry made with pure, unadulterated pork lard! It is a delicious pastry that just stands up better to a hearty meat & vegetable filling than does a butter pastry (which is a little too delicate & flaky). 
I have always enjoyed Christmas music; I think it's a real shame that we don't hardly hear it played on the radio anymore except for on the 25th, or even in shopping centers! But that, my friends, is a rant for a different day. 
Tonight I am dancing around the kitchen to well-loved tunes as I work; I hope you'll enjoy this oldie but goodie, Jingle Bell Rock from 1957 by Bobby Helms. This was a hit long before I was even born, but I do think this version holds up very nicely. 

8 comments:

  1. I have never had pork lard. At least as far as I know, it's very likely I had it growing up at my grandparents and never realized.

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    1. If you had the chance to use it, you'd never use Crisco again.

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  2. Sounds like making the lard is an art form. Don’t know if I ever had it but probably did as a kid. My grandfather used to slaughter pigs at home so I might have.

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    1. Waste no part of the animal was/is most efficient, so I'm sure your Gramma would've rendered her own lard.

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  3. That makes three of us. I have no doubt lard puts Crisco in it's place. Guessing I had it baked into pies/goodies at my hubby's farm grandma's, where he raised pigs. Altho I think she used to buy it at the meat market in town. He would know, they were so close. I'll have to ask when he gets home. I am sure your family members look forward to your generous gift!! I love Christmas music & used to get myself, I mean us, a new Christmas CD each year.

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    1. The Hanson Brothers has a new Christmas cd; I saw them on Dr Phil performing a couple of the songs, some old & some original.
      You don't know what you're missing on the lard - I am actually surprised that no one uses it!?

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  4. I would be thrilled with such a gift. It is a tribute to life when you honor that sacrifice with such good use. Kudos to you!

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    1. If you were closer, I'd make sure you got some too!

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