***~~~ Please click on any pictures to enlarge~~~***

Friday, July 29, 2011

Busy Days of Summer and Rendering Lard

Rendering lard, why would anybody in their right mind do this? Well, when we process the pigs they always send us home with nicely wrapped packages of lard, such as below. In the past I have promptly thrown it in the garbage, not wanting to tackle this project. However, the more I read about "Good Fats", I thought why not give it a try. I have to tell you it is a long process. I should have started earlier in the day. I just did not realize.

The lard starts out a nice white and pink color when first going in the pot.

You put little chunk pieces in a stainless steel pot on the lowest stove setting. Stirring often the lard will slowly begin to cook down.

Then it starts to turn a grey color as it is rendering down. You will be left with small pieces of cracklin. The end result of hours of rendering. I could not wait on it all to render down so I finally just filtered out what I could and ended up with 3 pint jars. I poured the lard through a cheese cloth several times to ensure a clear end product. The jars sealed themselves during the cooling but I still think I am going to run them through the canner for a little while. It's beautiful and I can't wait to make a pie crust!! Today, I am rendering more lard. I am starting wwaayyy earlier and using a smaller pot. I hope that speeds up the process.
The turkeys are now 12 wks. old and are just so interesting looking. I thought they might be bigger by now but they aren't. Lord willing by Nov. they will be a good size.

Here are the turkeys walking across the backyard during a good downpour. They just absolutely refuse to stay in the acreage that we fenced in for them. We need to clip their wings but I don't know that that will help.

Our days are full right now on the mini farm. We have been canning pickles, freezing peas, squash, and zucchini. We are also really busy with all of the animals around here.

I will leave you with this last little snippet of happenings around the homestead. We have a small game chicken, who we lovingly call bird, because she looks like a bird up next to regular size chickens. Anyway, we had not seen her in weeks and thought that a predator must have gotten her, as she comes and goes as she pleases, out of the pen. Well about a week and a half ago we found her and 7 baby chicks in the barn. We promptly put her in the chicken tractor. I would have loved to let her walk around the yard with her babies but from past experience we knew that she would be too vulnerable to predators. Lord willing, when the babies get bigger, we can let them out to run around together. I am thankful that we have some chickens with the natural instinct to set and care for babies.

Have a great weekend!!!



basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

How wonderful you can render lard from your own pigs! I purchase fat from our local pig farmer and render it because nothing can beat cooking with real lard. I've taken to rendering mine in a crock pot. I don't get any cracklin that way, though, and I do love cracklin!

Your turkeys are beautiful! I love their coloring.

And just look at all those precious baby peeps! I'm happy that mystery of where Bird went was solved, and it had a happy ending.

OurCrazyFarm said...

Yay for chicks! Cole's Silkies have been hatching out chicks this summer~ they are so cute!

Have you asked the processor if they will render the lard for you? For years we didn't know they did that, but now we order it rendered. Makes good soap too!

I wouldn't worry too much about the turkeys~ there's more under those feathers than there appears to be. The first year we ended up with 45# birds by the time we thought they might be big enough to butcher!

mississippi artist said...

My word, but you are a brave girl. Now I will try just about anything but it would never occur to me to make lard! But you are so right, you will make some delicious pie crusts!I wonder if they sell it in the grocery-oh well with hubbys heart condition I guess thats out!I have been up to my ears in salsa and jelly making. Canned pears are next!

Leigh said...

Thank you so much for showing this. I'm with you 100% about the true good fats. One of these days we plan to raise pigs and I definitely want to render as much of the fat as possible. Lovely stuff for pie crusts and frying donuts. :)

The Real Me! said...

You just got a lot going on!
Should I order my turkey now. LOL!

And Yay! for Momma hen for knowing what she's doing. I'm glad you found her though, there are definitely a lot of other animals that would love to get their claws on those little chickies!
Have a great weekend.

Cary Ann said...

I have a lot of fat in my freezer that I have been saving to render but have not got brave enough yet. I think I might try it after reading about your experience. I thought i would have to do it outside over a fire or something. We have a chicken like that and they do make the best setters and mommas. Hope you have a great weekend.

Heidi said...

What a great homestead. I love the images of the young turkeys and the mama hen and chicks. I am so glad she was found safe. I used to render pig suet to make my own soap and miss it. Maybe your pics will encourage me to do it again. Homemade soap is so nice. Thanks again for the great post.

Shonya said...

The fat from our last pig is still in the freezer waiting for some cooler weather. . .thanks for the inspiration to get with it! :) http://homestead-for-sale.blogspot.com/

Rebel Fan said...

That's some pretty pig fat you got there. I don't cook with it anymore because I'm on weight watchers, but I sure do covet it for making some granny's lye soap.
I render my lard in the electric smoker out in the carport.

PaulaB52 said...

Even though we clipped our turkey's wing, she/he still can fly up on our house roof. We thought she was a she, but now the "horn" is starting to come in. Do females have a horn? I'm thinking no. I'm with you, I hope he/she is big enough in November.

Carlton Family Farms said...

Hi, Just wanted to let you know I just found your blog and love it. We had 2 hogs butchered this spring but we didn't get any fat. We got a lot of meat, the butcher said they didn't have a lot of fat, but lots of muscle. Our chickens just got done in by a coon and so we are out of them right now, but I have always wanted turkey, just never have tried them. God Bless, Tara

Rae said...

We're hoping to render some lard from our own pigs this year. Never done it before, but it seems so worth it!

Pretty turkeys. We've got turkeys for the first time this year, and they sure are goofy birds. Very curious, and so very awkward. :) Always good entertainment.

Sheryl and Denny said...

Love your blog found it and posted on the happenings of fathers day with the new addition of Ramsey. Wondering if you got my comment i dont see it posted. Maybe something went wrong so im sending you another shout out. We also got a St. Croix Sheep from a woman in Jackson Louisiana. wondering if our sheep are brothers. By the way ours is named Ramsey as well. check us out at Cypresshillfarm.blogspot.com would love to hear from you. Love your blog and all that you do, our farms sound similar.