And more Hope.
A few years ago, if someone told me I should render lard I would have told them they were nuts. A few weeks ago, when I realized I needed to render my own lard, I thought it would be hard to do.
I have since learned that rendering lard is easy to do and makes sense under some circumstances.
Let’s back up a little…
At a Christmas party last year, I met a new friend who raises and milks goats. We discussed our various interests and I mentioned that I would like to try making soap with goat’s milk. She said she loves milking the goats but has too much going on right now to make soap. She then offered to give me the goat’s milk she had stored in her freezer.
So, I set about researching how to make goat’s milk soap and quickly learned that another key ingredient is fat, usually in the form of lard. Hmmm, where do I get lard…
Soon after that I was working with the farmer I purchased our pigs from and mentioned my desire to make soap and lack of lard. She had a freezer full of lard and was happy to give me some.
Now MY freezer is filled with goat’s milk and pig fat. All I need is time to learn.
This is where rendering lard comes in. It is the first step in making my own soap.
Basically, you are cooking pork fat until it is liquid. Then scooping out the liquid and straining it until only solids (cracklins) remain.
It is like saving your bacon grease to be used for something else.
It was super easy.
The hardest part of rendering lard was the length of time involved. It is an all-day process that requires you to stir the lard in a crock pot about every 30 minutes. I was not able to finish in one day. I turned the crockpot off and left it on the counter overnight to finish the next day. No problem.
These instructions from Melissa K. Norris at Pioneering Today were easy to follow. How to Render Lard and Why You Should (melissaknorris.com)
I need lard for soap right now, but I have another reason for trying my hand at this.
We currently have two pigs that we are raising to breed. That means we will have lots of pork in our future and much of pork is fat. So, I will have a lot of lard in my future. It is important to me to use all our resources. If managed well, nothing goes to waste. Rendering lard and learning to use it in soaps, cooking, and baking is part of this process.
Hope arrived at our house six days ago (see previous post). She was about six days old and not able to stand on her own. Since that time, she has worked diligently to get herself on her feet. She has grown stronger each day, fallen often, and improved immensely. She summons her energy, taps into her instinct, and keeps trying. And in between her Herculean efforts she rests.
It has been such a lesson to watch this little lamb try so hard. To watch her muscles strain and fail. To see her tail flit back and forth at her little triumphs. It has made me ponder the will of those who overcome immense physical challenges. The fortitude required. The getting up each day to try again.
It is truly humbling to watch. So exciting. Such an honor.
We are grateful for this lamb called Hope and remember that our Hope is in the Lord.