Archive for the ‘Egg Preserving’ Category

Things to do with Lard

July 8, 2011

You probably don’t remember but ages ago I rendered a batch of lard from a fat old pig.  Since then the lard has been sitting in the freezer waiting for me to put it to some good use, which I have finally done.  The first thing I did was to try it as a method of preserving eggs.  Last year we ran out of eggs in the middle of winter, so we thought that this year when the eggs were coming in thick and fast we would try to preserve some.  The method we found recommended was to double dip the eggs in lard, polishing after each dip.

Then the eggs are stored in a cool place.  We did this to 4 dozen eggs back in January, and as Murphy would have it we have not run out of fresh eggs at all this winter.  🙂  However I thought that it was an interesting experiment anyway, so since it has been 6 months we thought we should see how the eggs are going.  As eggs age the air gap at the base of the egg gets larger, you can see the size of the air gap in these eggs and while it is larger than a fresh egg, it is not huge at all.

So we tried to crack a couple, and I would say the yolk was a bit softer and more inclined to break, but apart from that they looked and smelt just fine.  It seems like quite a useful technique.

Then with the rest of the lard, I made good old fashioned soap.  It was just the bare basics – melted lard and caustic soda dissolved in water, brought to the right temperature and mixed up together.

It was not hard to do, I just had to be careful with the caustic.  Once it is mixed I simply stirred it for as long as it took until it started to thicken, then it went into a mould.

It was left to set for 24 hours before being cut into bars.  After leaving it to harden for 6 weeks it was ready to use, and we really like our homemade soap.  It lathers up nicely without dissolving into a mushy mess, and looks lovely and white.  The second batch I made I put some essential oil in to give a nice scent, but I quite like it scentless so wouldn’t bother with that again.

So that is what I have been doing with my lard.  🙂  In other news our neighbouring farmer recently came over with his lovely big tractor and cleared along the fence near a corner of our block.  Now we need to shift a couple of piglets over there to ensure that it doesn’t all just regrow.

Lydia has 26 hens in her bush ranging tent dwelling system now.  They seem quite content and have been safe from predators so far which is just what we want.  I think the next phase is to join TOP, the Tasmanian Organic Producers and see what needs to be done towards going organic.

Meanwhile the pigs are breeding, the calves are growing, the chooks are laying, the menfolk are sick and life goes on.  🙂