I woke up this morning with Porkchops and Applesauce on my mind-actually my thoughts led me to think about Porkchops and Applesauce.
Sometimes as I’m writing a post for the Blind Pig I wonder if I wrote something on the exact same date the first year I started this blog. I didn’t post as often that first year and I still felt very nervous posting at all. As I looked back through my archives to see if I did indeed post something on November 27, 2008, I had another thought on my mind-my nephew, Guitar Man.
Guitar Man is in his second year of college at Yale University. He didn’t get to come home this Thanksgiving-so its the first Thanksgiving he hasn’t been around Pap and Granny’s since he was born. We’re all so proud of him-but we’ve missed him sorely this Thanksgiving.
Once I found the posts for Nov 08 I discoverd I did not write anything on the 27 of Nov-but I did write something one day later on the 28th-and wouldn’t you know it-Guitar Man was the star of the post.
Hope you enjoy this blast from the past archives of the Blind Pig & The Acorn.
Porkchops and Applesauce In The Mountains
Pork was a primary source of meat for folks in Appalachia up until the 1950s-60s. Most every family had 2 or 3 hogs and usually in late November or early December when the weather had turned off cold the hogs were readied for slaughter.
Pap’s father, Wade, was known as a “good hog butcher” around our area. He was called to various homes and farms throughout the hog killing season. For his services some folks paid him in money, most paid by giving him part of the meat, and some who couldn’t afford too-didn’t pay him at all.
Pap shared some of his hog slaughtering memories with me:
- They waited until the temperature was under 40 degrees for 4 or 5 days. He said it was o.k. if it warmed up some during the day-but the nights needed to be cold.
- Usually the hogs were penned up in a small pen and fed only corn and water for about 2 weeks before they were slaughtered. This ensured the lard and meat would have a good taste.
- They tried to go by the signs-but sometimes you had to slaughter when you could- Pap said it did make for better meat and lard if you were able to follow the signs.
- They had a barrel buried in the ground at a 45 degree angle-boiling water was poured into it and then the whole hog lowered into the water. This helped make the hair easier to scrape off.
- Pap’s family salt cured and sugar cured most all of their pork-placing it in a smokehouse hanging on a wire (keeping it on a wire kept the mice off it-eek!). They canned the backbones, ribs, and the sausage they made. They also used the ears, tongue, and parts of the head to make Souse Meat-a ground up meat mixture. Pap said the souse meat was eaten up pretty quickly-in about a week or so.
- Typically the women begin rendering the lard as the men were still butchering.
I’ve never been involved in a hog slaughtering. However, one of my favorite meals is pork chops, biscuits, and applesauce all washed down with sweet tea.
I can barely believe it myself-but David Grier has a song called Pork chops and Applesauce. Guitar Man plays it for this weeks Pickin’ & Grinnin’ In The Kitchen Spot.
I hope you enjoyed the song-and the blast from the past.