Old Time Tennessee Hog Killing
In the fall or winter of the year all the neighbors would get together for a big hog killing. The time was right when the weather turned cold enough to safely butcher that years fat hogs.
It was a community event, folks came from all around for a day of good county visiting and hard work.
The men would kill the hogs and scald the hair off in a vat of boiling water, heated with firewood. Then butcher each hog getting them ready for the women to cut up for packaging and make sausage to taste using their secret seasonings. Then it was time for cooking off the lard, city folks might call it shortening.
Old stories were told by the elders and tales of that years farming season of who grew the best corn might be the talk of the day. The younger men and boys helped as well, learning the trade they would use to feed their family when that time arrived in their life, marrying, raising a family and living off the land. Passed down for years, hog killing was just the way of farm living, the way to feed your family all year long. Then next week it was off to your neighbors farm to do it all over again. Tennessee style hog killing, ham don’t grow in a can.
By Robert Reynolds