Back in the spring, we thought about getting a pig. Two pigs, actually.
Cape Feed and Supply, our local farm store, had a half-dozen piglets living in a little pig house next to their parking lot, eighty bucks each. We were this close.
The deciding issue was fencing. Pigs are very smart. In the five months we’d have them, they’d get very big. And, although we’d try to provide a spacious and stimulating environment, they’d probably be very bored. Smart, big, and bored is hell on fences.
Yesterday, though, I found myself reconsidering, because I made a pie.
Although we didn’t raise our own pig, we bought one from a local farmer and split it with our neighbor. When I filled out the cut sheet for the slaughterhouse, I told them that I wanted every last crumb of that pig. The head, the feet, the organs, and, of course, the fat. A couple months back, I finally got around to rendering that fat. Yesterday, I made pie crust.
I’ve been making pie crust out of vegetable shortening all my life. And I’ve been doing it pretty well – ask anyone who’s eaten pie at my house. But, as of today, the Crisco is chicken feed. A lard-and-butter pie crust is worlds apart.
It doesn’t look quite as good. It gets puffy, and the clean edges of the crimp get lost, but I’ve never been one to sacrifice taste for looks. The flake! The flavor! The crisp edges!
You already knew this, I suspect. And I knew it too, at least in theory. But I’d never had a supply of lard in my refrigerator before. From here on in, I’ll never be without one. Even if it means really good fences.