A happy accident?

People who know me laugh and poke fun at my self-sufficiency.  I like to make my own bread (although we frequently have bakery bread).  I make cake and cookies from scratch.  I put up jam and other produce from the garden.  Dear hubby is a brewer, so I grow  hops with the veggies in the garden.  He is trying to convince me to plant some grain and harvest it, but I am holding out.

I do not, like some of my friends, sprout my own grains to make flour at home, have beehives or chickens.  Truth be told, I have considered all three of these, but considering the fact that a) I forget to feed the fish and b) I am allergic, the chickens don’t stand a chance.

I do belong to a wonderful coop, where I buy meats and receive a delivery right from the farm of pastured meat.  A couple of months ago, I ordered ground pork and received instead something called pork leaf fat.  Now, I figured it had something to do with lard, but I am a good Italian girl, and this didn’t look like my EVOO.  As a matter of fact it looked kind of gross.

See, what I mean? Not the best looking!

I called the farmer and he told me to keep it frozen and bring it back next month and he would give me a credit.  And that should have been the end of the story.  But, it wasn’t, because I am me and just can’t avoid a good Google search.  Try it, Google “pork leaf fat”.  Apparently, this is the highest grade of pork fat, hard to come by (not for me) and makes prized pie crusts.  Bakers love leaf fat.

Homemade Lard

Here’s the story in my head, avoid this, don’t do it.  Send it back.  You grow your own food, you homeschool three demanding children, all heavily involved in sports, you make the bulk of your food from scratch, you are so tired, you can’t even find time in the evening to sit down and write a little blog post.  Wouldn’t you know, I forgot to return the leaf fat.  You know what that means don’t you?  It is a sign from God that I am meant to make that lard.

So I do.  I followed the instructions on The Spain in Iowa blog (which I love by the way, thank you leaf fat!).  I made this beautiful lard.  And then a beautiful pie.  And this weekend, fried chicken.

The pie by the way, sour cherry, had the best crust I ever made.

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About Jolie

I am a lifelong learner. Raised by a woman who collected degrees, I spent my time as a child reading, devouring everything I could put my hands on. My young adulthood was spent in academia, teaching, counseling and learning--both formal and informal. When my eldest child was born, my husband and I chose to become a family with a stay at home parent. We wanted one of us to be home with our children. It was both an easy and a hard transition. Easy, because that bundle of joy kept me busy and fulfilled. Hard because my friends were workaholics, like I was, no one was home, we had just moved to a new community, and the little love of my life was colicky and demanding every waking hour! Today our children number 3, circa 2001, 2003, and 2005. They are bright children, and as bright children often are they are demanding and a joy at the same time. I wouldn't have it any other way. This is blog is about our journey as a family as we travel through the moments of our lives, a collection of our activities, beliefs, successes and failures and always our learning.

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