There was some heavy discussion going on down at the Flat Rock General Store this morning. The Widow Cora was going over her list of needed supplies with Slim for the annual Flat Rock Community “hog killing” day. Ms. Ida was explaining to all that you could not say them words no more, that it was a “harvesting day.” Truth agreed, being the sportsman and outdoorsman, that the proper word was now “harvest” – hog, deer, beef, lamb, and so on.
Slim started then; he was more upset about the timing, arguing that up until the last few years the day was always held in the fall, actually. He claimed that for as long as he could remember, it was always in the fall. The talked continued, “There is not enough cold weather in the fall like earlier years…spoilage problems etc….seems like the weather is just not that cold in fall any more…this was the sixty fifth year, others said longer, nobody knows for sure.”
The Widow Cora continued with her list. The items are needed soon and, in today’s modern world, some of the items are not available from every salesman and cannot be delivered next Wednesday. There was a time maybe fifteen years ago that the items Ms. Cora needed were in stock in most country stores and many local super markets or they were available from most any salesman’s sale order book and could be delivered the next week.
Her list included:
Proper spices for making her famous mild sausage
New blades for her sausage grinder
new sharpening stone
White packing salt
Sausage canning jars
Maybe a few misc. items
There are the other things that have not been used in a year:
The black pots
The salt curing boxes
The day would be a long, hard day, going from “can til can’t” and involve lots of local people, but many of the older ones have passed or others take more of a supervisory role. The entire process is almost a lost art, even growing out six to twelve fattened hogs. However, it will be a very rewarding hard day, fresh tenderloin and biscuits, homemade sausage, liver and gravy, hot
cracklins, mannnnnn, what rewards, tastes like many have never tasted.
My Daddy, “Pop, C.C.” talks often about how that his
PopPa/Daddy always grew out fattened hogs and how very important “hog meat” was to his family of fifteen. He says, “I don’t ever remember going hungry because we always had some type ‘hog meat,’ many days we would have some type ‘hog meat’ three times a day. When everything else was gone, there was mamma’s canned sausage and it was fine.”
Daddy was proud his Daddy had a “hog killing” day!!! Well, I guess you could say hog harvesting is a lost art. Just one of many farm/country arts that in a short number of years will not even be a memory.
My Daddy also said that he thought they were very poor because each Potter child had to carry their lunch to school in a syrup pail. Then one day he realized that the neighbor’s kids only had one pail for ten kids, or maybe there was just not enough “hog meat” for ten pails.
YOU MAY WANT TO HEAD DOWN TO THE SUPERMARKET AND HARVEST YOU SOME FRESH TENDERLOIN FOR SUPPER – YES, SUPPER – JUST TENDERLOIN, BISCUITS, GRAVY WITH SOME BUTTER AND MOLASSES,
BUT, I WILL JUST BET YOU CAN’T FIND ANYTHING CLOSE TO MAM MAW POTTER’S CANNED SAUSAGE!!!