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  1. #1
    Super Star Member
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    Default Does anyone remember? I do. Share your memories..

    While clearing fallen branches yesterday morning from the trees bordering the creek, during one of my breaks, my mind started reflecting on some memories from my earlier days. With the advent of cooler temperatures, I started thinking about hog killing that was done in late Fall and the early Winter months, when I was growing up. This practice was a Community effort. The place where this was done varied throughout the years. Firewood was gathered, and the scalding tubs were set up. Hoists, tubs, tables and all other necessary equipment were all mainly brought on-site. After killing and gutting the hogs, they were placed in the tubs for scalding. They were then hoisted and the hair was scraped off the skin. The carcass was then cut up into different sections. The hams and shoulders were salted down and wrapped for storage. Sometimes the loins were cut up and sometimes they were left whole. Ribs were cut and the slabs used for bacon were normally left whole. Trimmings for sausage were gathered and the sausage was also ground on-site. BTW, you were required to bring your own seasoning. The fat was placed in lard cans and was later rendered for lard by the individual owner. The events were always carried out in an organized and friendly atmosphere, and all that participated, went Home with the cuts that were derived from their hog or hogs. Men, Women, and Children all participated. The Wives and Women would serve the BEST coffee that you ever tasted, and the food that they prepared and served, would make a King sick from envy. Even though you were tired, after all was said and done, you went Home with a sense of accomplishment. Especially, knowing that you had meat to help sustain your Family during the upcoming Winter months. Please share an early memory that you remember. I am positive that your fellow members, here on TBN, would enjoy reading about a past memory from earlier days. By doing this, you will have a chance to reflect upon the memory. Thanks for listening.
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone remember? I do. Share your memories..

    I can sure remember the hog killing, but in the late '40s, early '50s, we did it a bit different from the old days. My dad didn't like the skin scraped and left on so the hogs were skinned. For those with little "skinning" experience, when you skin most animals, you cut some, but just pull or peel the skin loose in places, but with a hog, you cut every inch of the way; much more work to skin a hog.

    So our hogs were dispatched with a .22 rifle shot to the brain, throats then cut to bleed out, skinned, then hoisted with a block and tackle and single tree attached to a tree limb, gutted, and cut in half by sawing right down the backbone. They were then taken to town to the "locker plant" for the butcher there to finish the cutting, packaging, and freezing.
    Bird

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Does anyone remember? I do. Share your memories..

    Fall reminds me of leaf burning. When we were kids, we had to rake the yard by hand, usually on nice sunny cool days when you'd rather be playing with your friends. We had about an acre and a half with 65 oak trees. You could rake that yard and the next day it looked like you didn't touch it. We'd rake the leaves towards the gravel driveway and my dad would light them with a propane torch. We had iron rakes to tend the fire and garden hoses on and ready. The leaves farther from the driveway were raked into piles, then hauled with tarps to the driveway. We'd run through the smoke and we'd wince from the intense heat after dropping a fresh load of dry leaves on the burning ashes as they flared up. We'd always stop for lunch that mom would make. After lunch, burning would continue well into the evening. We'd turn the ashes with the iron rake and look for hot spots. The last thing to do at night was to soak it all down with the hose. That was the stinky part.

    I've told the story in the past about my dad setting the entire yard on fire before I was born and almost losing the house and my mom having to run a block to get to the fire department pull box. She complained to the fire chief that the box was too far away, so shortly there after, the fire department installed a pull box right at the end of our driveway "just for you". Mom was mortified. After speaking with my sisters, it turns out the fire chief just had the box moved from the end of the block to the middle of the block, which actually made more sense since it was an isolated neighborhood, but the effect was basically the same on my mom... the neighborhood all knew why that box was there!

    Anyhow, after that, a working hose was always pulled out, on and ready. Several years later, mom developed asthma. Fall became the worst season for her with all the heavy leaf burning. She was having a coughing spell on a particuarly smoky day and had a brain aneurysm. She lived through it after surgery, but we never burned leaves again, instead, opting for dumping them over the side of the hill in a ravine at the back of the property. That turned out to be a much better solution and it was a great source of fun to slide 60' down the leaf pile all fall and winter.

    7 years later, on another smoky day in November, mom had a second aneurysm and passed away. That will be 25 years ago this November. We seem to lose a lot of family members in November... mom, my dad 8 years after that, his mom the year before... I think some folks pass on not wanting to go through another winter, perhaps. Others not by choice. Me? I still love the fall because it is leading up to winter. Everything starts over fresh in the winter. Summer goes by too fast.
    MossRoad

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  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone remember? I do. Share your memories..

    When I was a kid growing up, I loved Winter, but maybe for reasons different from others. In the Winter, I didn't have to work with that garden hoe in the garden, or keep harvesting stuff all the time, no mowing to do (with a manual reel type mower), no weeds to chop down (with a yo-you; now known as a weed knife, I think), and we got to eat supper earlier. You see my Dad said you could work outside until it got dark, so supper was never until after dark, and dark came earlier in the Winter.

    Of course, the really cold weather wasn't so enjoyable when I had to go milk that cow and feed the hogs.
    Bird

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone remember? I do. Share your memories..

    You know, thinking about it, winter was pretty much play time for me, too, except for shoveling the driveway when it snowed. Other than that, it was snowball fights, sledding and ice fishing all the time.
    MossRoad

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Does anyone remember? I do. Share your memories..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    I can sure remember the hog killing, but in the late '40s, early '50s, we did it a bit different from the old days. My dad didn't like the skin scraped and left on so the hogs were skinned. For those with little "skinning" experience, when you skin most animals, you cut some, but just pull or peel the skin loose in places, but with a hog, you cut every inch of the way; much more work to skin a hog.

    So our hogs were dispatched with a .22 rifle shot to the brain, throats then cut to bleed out, skinned, then hoisted with a block and tackle and single tree attached to a tree limb, gutted, and cut in half by sawing right down the backbone. They were then taken to town to the "locker plant" for the butcher there to finish the cutting, packaging, and freezing.
    We also used a .22 rifle to dispatch the hogs. But we normally threw a burlap sack over their heads first. By doing so, they, more or less, calmed down and didn't move around so much.
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Does anyone remember? I do. Share your memories..

    Quote Originally Posted by MossRoad View Post
    You know, thinking about it, winter was pretty much play time for me, too, except for shoveling the driveway when it snowed. Other than that, it was snowball fights, sledding and ice fishing all the time.
    Did you ever make ice cones by adding vanilla extract to the snow?
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Does anyone remember? I do. Share your memories..

    Fall always was the beginning of college football in my memories. Lots of games watched with my Dad.

    MoKelly

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone remember? I do. Share your memories..

    Quote Originally Posted by creekbend View Post
    We also used a .22 rifle to dispatch the hogs. But we normally threw a burlap sack over their heads first. By doing so, they, more or less, calmed down and didn't move around so much.
    We never tried the burlap bag idea. We'd just let the hog out of the pen and put some feed, usually corn, under the tree where we wanted to hoist the hog, and shoot it while it was eating. There used to be fellow in our area who could come, kill, skin, gut & cut in two a hog or a calf for the hide, but when hide prices went down, he wanted the hide plus $5 and that's when we started doing it ourselves. But the last time Dad called that guy to come kill a hog, he said he was busy, but his son would come do it. The boy was probably in his 20s and sure enough, the hog turned its head and the boy shot it in the cheek, so then we were all chasing a squealing pig all over the pasture before it came back up by the barn and settled down. My dad and that boy's dad never failed to drop one in its tracks with one shot.

    Did you ever make ice cones by adding vanilla extract to the snow?
    No cones, but we made snow ice cream with vanilla, sugar, milk, and snow. Of course with a good milk cow, we had plenty of milk, so in the summer, we had a wide mouth gallon glass jug and we'd put vanilla, sugar, milk, and ice cubes in it, put the lid on, shake it up real good and pour ourselves a cold glass of milk shake.
    Bird

  10. #10
    Super Star Member brin's Avatar
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    Georgia - Mt. Vernon by The Store just 5 miles east and right by the big oak tree then to the creek.

    Default Re: Does anyone remember? I do. Share your memories..

    All this about Hog killing makes me laugh....When we were living on our Farm ( we still own it...just don't live there ) we had all the requisite animals...chickens, pigs, cattle, ducks..anyway...I wanted to go into the beef cow business as a hobby, I had my own business so it was to be a hobby and we would raise some for our own table....At one time I had 21 head....We only were able to eat one steer and every time we cooked a meal either my son or my wife , as they were about to take a bite, this is Willie - he was sure a cute thing....Now that killed my appetite....from then on I sold the calves and rotated the bull and traded the older cows but our raising meat for our table days were over..

    Boys...never name your cattle....
    Bob

    WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.


    NH - TC-29 , FEL, Bush hog, Bush hog brand finishing mower, Post hole digger, 6' Back blade, sub-soiler, Pallet forks, 20KW PTO Generator , 21 hp Murray Mower
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