Hello dearies. I do apologize for my absence on Friday, but I was quite piled under in snow and it needed to be shoveled. Anyway, I'm here now and I've got quite an exciting day ahead of me.
Oh yes. Today I get to do two things mainly - one, go to the dentist (nightmares, nightmares, nightmares) and two, I'm rendering lard.
Rendering lard? Oh yeah, baby. Rendering lard.
Some of you are saying, "Why, pray tell, would you do such a thing?!"
I know that saying you're going to use lard is kind of like having a secret that you don't want anyone else to know because when you say it people mostly recoil and think you have just said something like you punched your own grandmother. It has a current reputation of something a weird person would do. Okay, yeah, that could be true. But really, it is so good for you.
It really isn't that surprising. A lot of the "old ways" are pretty darn good for you, especially when you contrast them with our manufactured chemical insanity we've birthed throughout the 20th century and continued into the 21st. I mean, seriously. Just think of margarine. They have to DYE it yellowish because the chemical sludge is grey and it stinks like a putrid and festering sore.
Let's eat that, yummo.
So here I am. I got a 20 pound frozen lump of pig fat and I am cutting it up. When I've got it into about 1 inch chunks, I'm putting it into the crockpot until it melts. What melts and turns to liquid, you scoop off and pour into a jar. That's it. That's your lard. There will be some leftover bits at the bottom when you're all done and those (I've heard) are called "cracklins". I do not plan on eating them, although they are a southern delicacy of sorts.
It's pretty easy except for the fact that I have horrible knives and I'm quite sure I'm going to either stab myself (or gouge the countertop) trying to cut frozen pieces of lard off of a block that is larger than a toaster oven or break the knife in half, not to mention the workout of doing such activity.
So I've got like 1/100th of the giant block cut off and I'm thinking I'm going to let it thaw a bit. I'll let you know how horrible that idea was after I'm done.
In the meantime, I want you to - just for kicks - google "health benefits of lard". Do you know that you can get 1000 IU of Vitamin D in just ONE TABLESPOON? Okay, yeah, I don't know if you'd just like to wake up every morning, open the cupboard, stick in your spoon and gnaw away at your lard, but if you're cooking your eggs in it, you can easily absorb the benefits that way (and what a pleasant way it is).
Traditional people who ate lard had even the benefit of having non-wrinkly skin. (Are some of you running out right now and preparing to slather it on your faces? Don't worry, you get the benefits from just eating it, no slathering required.) Lard from pastured pigs contains stearic acid which is clinically proven to LOWER cholesterol. Did I just say something that sounded near blasphemous? I know, but look it up, do the research. Lard has myristic acid, which enhances your immune system! Lard contains palmitic acid which is antimicrobial. These good fats protect your liver from toxins - alcohol, drugs and other environmental toxins we come across. There are so many benefits of lard, it's kind of crazy.
In our no-fat, low-fat world, we see people fatter than ever, more heart disease, more degenerative diseases than in any other section of history. Does this surprise you that the graphs parallel the increase in weird fats (Crisco, corn oil, margarine, canola oil, etc.)? Yeah, probs not, that's cuz you're smart.
I'm about to say something so wild, so seemingly odd that you may furrow your brow, reach angry lightening fingers to the sky in revolt and adopt a myriad-string of angry words, but I must say it nonetheless.
Eating good fat doesn't make you fat.
Oh, and p.s. "good fats" are lard, butter, coconut oil and olive oil. If you're using liquid fats (besides olive oil), I'm gonna just say: please stop. Really. Instead of listening to the nightly news reports on what's good for you, use that smart brain you've got and do some research. You just might be floored.
After you get up off of the floor from your shock, get your hands on some pastured pig fat and render your own lard. Or, I suppose, if you can find a good source of lard outside of making it yourself, go for that instead. But besides the cutting a frozen block of fat, it's really not that difficult.
Hey, not to mention, you can add it to your List of Things I Can Do By Myself.
Alrighty, I'm gonna go check that crock pot now and get my lard on.
Peace, love and let them eat lard!