Ramble On

Monday, January 30, 2012

Closing Out on the Butchering, Kelly!

Here's the pork, all packed for the trip
back to Alexandria.  I was burning some
red oak I've been curing in the background.

Today will be my last post about the pig butchering that I was part of a couple of weekends ago.  At least for now.  

Looking back on it, I am remembering some hard work – everyone of us talked about hitting the sack early after the first day’s efforts on Friday.  But as I told David when I got home on Sunday night, something about the experience was very relaxing; it’s not often that I could say that I started the work week as refreshed as I felt that Monday morning after the event.

There is still a stockpile of memories that I haven’t managed to capture in the blog, beginning with one of the tales Mark was spinning during the BS session before we went off to the slaughter.  The rest of the story will come back to me eventually, but the punchline still resonates:  “Well, roadkill is just about all I eat anymore.”

Then there was the comment from my dad about making the sausage (indicating true insider knowledge):  “Were those ‘natural sausage casings’ creek washed and stump slung?  You were born about two generations too late!”

Ted, one of my colleagues at the butchering who took a lot of pictures and shared them with me over on Shutterfly, had this to say:

A view of some of the larger roasts...
in one of the three fridges I'm storing it in!
“From pig to pot to pan to plate, the photos in this album are from last weekend's visit to Luray where I helped brother-in-law Bill and others butcher 4 hogs. … the bulk of the butcherin' took place on Friday; sausage, scrapple, packaging, and clean-up on Saturday; and Sunday breakfast. We used to do this almost annually many years ago and this is the first time for me in many years. Back then, Ann and I would buy some pork, but this year was just to participate in the process for the social camaraderie and metaphysical benefits of doing so. But that demands more commentary, so I'll let it go for now. Thanks to Bill, Jessica, Jesse, Tammy, Mark, Susie, David, Heather, Jim, and Eric for letting me get in the way.”

Among Ted's photos were a couple of shots of the breakfast he mentions.  They served up scrapple - I have to say that his photos of it in the pan and on the plate look scrumptious.  Mary and I will break down and have some soon, but in the meantime, I have enjoyed sharing some of it with the neighbors (a big part of the joy is the opportunity to regale the big city folk with my butchering tale!).

Mary and finally had a chance to enjoy some of the pork this weekend.  I made up some chops on Saturday night and served them up with a nice bit of roasted butternut squash.  There were leftovers (most of the chops are packed in fours), so for Sunday dinner we made a stirfry with some of the cabbage that is still growing out in Mary’s Alexandria truck patch.

Breakfast sausage.  Bob Evans,
 eat your heart out!
Sausage and mushroom quiche!
We also had breakfast sausage this morning – Chris told me they did too.  The simple recipe I chose, salt, pepper and sage, is a hit.  Mary and I had some leftover, so I put it in a quiche with some swiss cheese and mushrooms.  We’ll be eating on that for a few days!

So getting back to the point of all of this.  Some things finally came together for me about our little house out there – Hawksbill Cabin.  Ted’s put it best in his intro to the photos when he mentions the social camaraderie and the metaphysical benefits.  There’s something to all of this, resonating deep in one of the chromosomes that ties us all together.  I can’t wait until next year.

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