Welcome, Señor Porcus!

Naming our food is a long tradition in my family, starting with Boris the Bull, who I believed would cause my parents’ divorce (do YOU really understand how large a whole steer is? Yeah, us neither…). Last year we bought half a hog and named it Eric. This year’s participant has been dubbed Señor Porcus. No absent referent here!

Half a half hog - sausageWe picked up our 1/2 hog from Old Pine Farm on Oct. 17th. They have a very nice farm – hogs are pastured with some supplemental feed, not confined to a muddy sty. They are slaughtered on-farm and then sent to the butcher, so there’s no travel stress for the pigs. I feel extremely grateful that we have such a farm near us, and that we can afford to buy our food from them.

Looks like we ended up with about 85 lb of meat (for $300, including cutting and smoking, so somewhere around $3.50/lb). Old Pine Farm is unusual in that they charge a flat price for your hog, no matter what size, and they do not charge extra for cutting and smoking. You get to pick how you’d like your meat cut up. Here’s what we got – showing our strong preference for sausage and pulled pork in this house! My only complaint so far is that the meat is wrapped in Saran Wrap, which I find hard to remove from the meat. Hopefully it will fend off freezer burn – since there’s no air inside the wrapping, it should do that. So long as the wrap is thick enough. We’ll see.

    Half a half hog

  • Loin roast: 10lb in 3 large packages. Wonder if we should have gotten this sliced into chops?
  • Shoulder roast: 20+lb in about 10 packages (will become pulled pork)
  • Bulk Sausage: 18 one-pound packages
  • Smoked kielbasa: 10 – two to four links per pkg
  • Ground pork: 6 – 1.5 lb packs
  • Bacon: 5 lb in one-pound blocks
  • Smoked hocks: 8lb in 2 hocks
  • Ribs, pork butt, other misc: 8lb
  • Plus about 5 pounds of soup bones and 5 lb of fat for lard
  • The tail, the bladder, and possibly the squeal for the Cooking with Laura Project, which I will get to in a few weeks

This filled 2 large coolers and a paper grocery bag; it takes up about 2/3 of our tiny 7cu ft chest freezer and close to half the space above the fridge.

I think this was a steal for $300. I think prices are going up for next year, and they will be worth it.



  1. theslowcook said,

    October 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    That’s a great deal, Emily. You are too smart. I am so ready for a chest freezer.

  2. Kate said,

    October 26, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Hey Emily–

    I don’t have your direct email address and thought I get to you directly this way rather than clog the MLFB list with my sausage order! I’m up to 9 packs now and still haven’t heard back from a couple of friends so I should probably wait a couple of days before finalizing. Your paypal address didn’t come through on the MLFB email–gmail truncates email addresses unless you spell them out (like kateremenwait at gmail.com) so if you could send it to me at my email that would be great. I live on Summit St, right near Brooks and often work from home so I’m sure we could arrange a sausage drop that fits with your work schedule! Thanks!

  3. November 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Tight wrapping certainly helps fight freezer burn. Another important thing is not to let the meat go through freeze-defrost-freeze cycles. Automatic defrost freezers thaw to drain out the frost and then refreeze. This plays havoc with the food. Turn off the auto-defrost if you can and if you are buying get a freezer with the manual defrost option. Manually defrosting a chest freezer is very easy and only need be done once a year or two. Keeping the freezer full reduces the frost build up and increases energy efficiency.

    By the way, speaking of energy efficiency. Three years ago we bought a fancy, dancy new ‘energy efficient’ chest freezer. Exact same size as our 45 year old chest freezer. Guess what. (You know where I’m going, don’t you…) The old freezer uses less than half as much energy as the new freezer. Both are manual defrost, thankfully. The old one has a more powerful compressor too and is honkin’ heavy! They just don’t build them as well as they used to. I was disappointed after measuring the increased energy consumption of the new freezer.

  4. LawnGuy said,

    November 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Thanksgiving at your house!

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