Some of Wilder’s accounts of hog butchering are exact enough to serve as manuals. If you have a big enough pot (and the fortitude to scrape out a pig’s cranium), you could follow her directions for boiling the head meat, then chopping, seasoning, cooling and shaping it. You would have head cheese. And while her description of Ma’s cooking off the fat in big iron pots over a wood stove might not inspire can-do confidence in a first-time lard renderer, it does, in fact, give a reasonably complete picture of the process, down to the skimming and draining of the crunchy solids, the cracklings.Om nom nom. Plus, he includes recipes! Hurray, Laura Ingalls Wilder, greatest of writers and first food writer I ever cared about.
Eating, reading, and Laura Ingalls Wilder
I have a deep love for Laura Ingalls Wilder--at first, when I was little, almost entirely because she was another Laura, but later because her adventures were so awesome. Now I have another reason to love: her written food-gasm. Pete Wells writes: