Monday, January 23, 2012

The stair project--January update

I thought I'd best give an update on the stair project. 

No pictures because:  1.  There's nothing to show, and 2.  The batteries in the camera were dead and I couldn't find the cord (because it wasn't where it belongs...dang kids.)

But, there's really nothing to show.

Kev did make the hole bigger.  Longer.  He had to to make his math work for the stringers.  He then spent time re-wiring some outlets and moving others.  He also had to cap a water line because the bigger hole meant that the water line couldn't be re-routed.

He had talked to the guy who is supposed to cut our steps.  He was supposed to have them cut Saturday.  He didn't have them cut. 

So, we're at a stand still until we have our wood.

While Kev was working on his project, I rendered lard.

Why?  Cuz I could.  I just wanted to try it.  I grew up reading the "Little House" books by Laura I. Wilder.  I bought the cook book where the author attempted to re-create the cooking described in the "Little House" books.  One of the things she did was to render lard.

I was curious about how hard it really was and what cracklings were.

So, when we butchered pigs last weekend, I asked the guys to get me the fat from around the organs (if they would take the time to do so) and to give me some of the fat trimmings so I could play.  Kev brought home about 2 gallons of fat.  I rendered it yesterday.

I'd read that it's easier to render it in the oven, so I got out my Grandma's big double burner lard rendering cast iron pot.  While a little rusty, I thought this might be a great way to re-season it and get it back into working shape.

Unfortunately, it was too big for my oven.  Instead, I got out 2 of my cast iron bean pots and used them.  I didn't cut the fat up much (and if I was a serious lard render-er, I would do this next time.) I turned the oven on to 300 degrees initially and then when the fat started to melt, turned it down to 200.  By the end of the day, I had lots of melted fat and cracklins.

Kev thougth the cracklins smelled like pork rinds.  They taste like greasy pork rinds, but weren't as light. 

I wound up with 3 quarts of lard.  I went ahead and canned it.  It's not as creamy white as I thought it would be...maybe I let it get too hot.  It smells ok, but who knows.  I'll hang on to it for a while.  Maybe use some when I make pies, maybe not.  If nothing else, I'll feed it to the chickens and wild birds.  Who knows if it's a skill I'll ever need, but it did satisfy my curiosity and it kept me busy while Kev was puttering with the stair project.

1 comment:

Window On The Prairie said...

You're funny! You rendered lard? I suppose you could make homemade birdfeed with it. I know some say they like it in piecrust, but I tried it once and didn't like the greasy texture. Just me.