Since there’s often a waiting list for such commodities as pasture-raised pork, I went ahead and contacted Liz, our meat farmer, about a whole hog. And what do you know? October is a great time to get a pig. Despite my deep abiding affection for the Little House on the Prairie books, I know next to nothing about what time of year hogs are ready to harvest. Ma and Pa did their hog butchering after the snow was deep, so I guess I was figuring that here in the temperate zones, we at least were supposed to wait for the rains. But no, my pig is just standing around in the yellow-dusty pasture waiting for his fate to meet him.
Along with the “good news” that I’ll need to send a big chunk of change sooner than I thought, Liz asked me two important questions: skinned or scalded? And even more daunting: do I want the offal? Well, heck, I don’t know. Scalding sounds somehow cleaner, until you find out that scalding is what you do when you want to take home the head, skin and lard, none of which seems like something I need in my freezer. So, skinned then. But do I want the offal: the heart, liver, kidneys & who knows what else? Well, honestly, no, I do not. But it seems like a waste to have it thrown away when the nations top chefs are all finding novel ways to serve organ meats. So, okay, we’ll take it and do our best. Worst case the dogs get it, right?