Thursday, August 11, 2011

Survival Skills

I planted chives yesterday in a pot which can be brought inside over the winter. I love chives, which taste like onions, mild and green. According to directions, the more you harvest them the thicker they grow. Now, that's like storing up a whole lotta seasoning.

Now, back on the homestead, I'm reading up on how to render lard. This website gives great directions about hogs.

Of course, with all the wild pigs and bear around here, should things go from bad to worse, we may be eating bear.
How to render bear fat
is an art I may be learning soon.

According to sources, a medium bear can produce up to 2 gallons of lard. That's a lot of frying! Think of the survival benefits of all those calories.

One of the main things a person needs is a good stock pot. None of these wimpy aluminum things. A good cast iron, or stainless steel with a heavy bottom. A person can do this over a fire outside, or on top the stove.

They suggest pouring fat into mason jars. I'm sure plastic would be hazardous. A person would have to let the fat cool first.

We generally eat very low fat. I use canola oil, or olive oil for my cooking and baking. However, I am learning this skill for furture needs.


  1. I know some people up here who have eaten bear, but I hope I never have to. I would feel like I was eating a person. Strange notion, I know, but I tend to anthropomorphize bears. Must have to do with being read The Teddy Bears Picnic over and over when I was a little kid.

  2. I'm with you, bears are not on the top of my food list. People eat grubs though, and that would have to be way worse.

  3. I guess when it's crunch time, you just have to be less picky about what's for dinner. I'll give you some chickens though, so you don't have to eat grubs.

  4. Haha, we plan on hunting real animals, not eating worms, Arsenius. No worries there. I hate these survival shows that make it look like you're a wimp if you don't down a bug. Silly stuff. I could personally live weeks before dying from starvation.

  5. Boiled fat renders a more mild lard with a higher smoke point. Lard rendered by means of frying can tend to have a stronger flavor and much lower smoke point.

    Odd bit of geeky info I suppose. I use/ need to treat my cast iron with higher smoke point oils.. and sometimes.. you really don't want your pies to have that hint-o-pig flavor. lol

  6. Thanks Anne for the good information.When I said thats alot of frying, I didn't mean it as my method of rendering. I was thinking about how many stir fry vegetables a person could make with two gallons of rendered lard. I will definitly take your advice and render by boiling!