We are going to buy in bulk, not at Costco but with our favorite farmers out at Bramble Hollow. Since we started buying all our meat locally we talked about buying sides of beef or half hog and this year we are doing it. We get to decide what we want our hog to be…sausage, chops, roasts, ham, whatever.
With that in mind we are gonna try and wet cure the ham. I hope to one day forget how the store bought hams taste and adjust my palate to the non nitrate cured ham. Thoughts of charcuterie dancing in my head, prosciutto, salami and I remind myself that we need to take small reasonable steps. We should get all the boxes unpacked before we start looking like an Italian deli.
Also getting half hog will let us see what we need to feed the family for the year. We have gotten the number right for chicken, the magic number is between 30 and 35 and knowing what we will have in the pork department will let us see what our family needs. I like the idea of knowing exactly what we eat in pork and chicken for the year.
I got the Shannon Hayes book Long Way On A Little for christmas (Thanks to my mother in law!) and I look forward to using that book and taking advantage of every possible inch of that hog to get more value out of our investment. Oh yes, I will be making my own lard, bone broth and maybe even a little OINKment.
These last few years have have shown me that I can try and do anything with food. I have always loved food, going out to dinner, eating great meals. Now I love cooking and making that great meal. One of the first meal I made Boomer when we were dating was spaghetti, from a jar, I made it halfway homemade, with ground beef, mushrooms and onions, I didn’t want it to be OBVIOUS it was Ragu. Now I make my own sauce, salsa, can seasonal fruit and I don’t see that stopping anytime soon. This lifestyle has given us the freedom to believe we can do anything with the right ingredients.