Saturday, May 7, 2011


Cottagers sometimes feed a pig for their own consumption, and, therefore, in the hope that many of you may have it in your power to do so, I will give you proper instructions as to the best way to make the most of it. First, when the pig is killed, should the hair or bristles be wet, wipe them dry with a wisp of hay or straw, and having laid it on the ground upon a narrow bed of dry straw three inches in thickness, and laid some loose straw all over it, set fire to it, and as the upper straw burns out, lay on another covering of loose straw, and, by the time this has burnt out, all the hairs of the upper part of the pig will probably be singed off, if not, burn a little more straw upon the remaining parts; and, on turning the pig over, should it be found that any of the hairs yet remain, let them be singed off with a lighted wisp of straw. Throw a pail of water over the pig, and scrape it clean and dry with an old knife. The next thing to be done, is to insert a stout stick, pointed at the ends, into the hocks of the hind legs; fasten a strong cord to the stick, and hoist up the pig so as to enable you to stand up and finish your work with ease to yourself. With a sharp knife rip up the belly, and stretch out the flaps with two sticks to enable you to throw in some water to cleanse the pig's inside, having first removed the guts, etc.; hang up the pluck to cool, and also the chitterlings, and loose fat; and, after thoroughly wiping the pig, let it hang in the draught to become quite cold. You then split the pig in halves, commencing between the hind quarters; and, when this is done, first cut off the hocks, then the hams, and the head; next cleverly remove, slicing away, what is called the spare-rib--that is, the lean meat about the ribs--reaching up about four inches toward the breast part, and lay the spare-ribs aside to be sold or reserved for your own use.

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