"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Sunday, April 4, 2010


This post is actually a bit delayed: life has been rather hectic around here lately, what with all the baby goat activity. In the the last three weeks, we've had three births, two of which required intervention (including a screaming bombing run to the vet at high speed with a bleeding, bleating mama goat in the back). We've had disbuddings and complications of same, and we've had illnesses of varying severity among the adults. We've wormed and trimmed hooves. We've had a steady stream of visitors to the farm looking at the babies, and I've sold every last one of them, including the ones I thought I might keep. We have harvested our first quart of milk.

Of course, other activities HAVE been going on, activities which have absolutely nothing to do with goats. It's just that nobody would guess that by reading this blog. I actually felt compelled to put a post on my facebook page that said "Aimee insists that, all evidence to the contrary, her life does not revolve entirely around goats." Really.

I have attended church and dyed eggs for easter with my kids. I have been cleaning and cooking and supervising as usual; generally fulfilling my function as the superego of the family - a thankless task if ever there was one. Tonight I finally (with the help of a bottle of wine) finished the taxes.

And, somewhere in there, I scheduled the pig for slaughter. I think it was wednesday. The men from Keizer meats came out and did their thing. I wasn't home but Homero was. Unfortunately, Homero told me that this time the pig was not cleanly dispatched: he moved his head at the last second and was shot through the jaw. He ran away and the men had to chase him down and hold him and shoot him again in the head.

I am really really glad I wasn't there for that. I arrived just about ten minutes later, after the pig was good and dead and laid out upside down on the sawhorse. The men were just getting started with the skinning and gutting. Homero had already told them he wanted all the bits that they usually throw away, so I went and got a couple of large clean bowls. We were given the liver, the heart, the feet, and the head.

That's the head, there, in the picture at the top, just as they tossed it in the bowl. I washed and trimmed the liver and stored it in a gallon sized ziploc bag in the fridge, but I refused to have anything to do with the head or the feet.

Once, many years ago when Homero and I were still dating, he brought me some fresh pig's feet and asked me to find a recipe and make him some tacos de patita. It's amazing what young love will drive you to. I did my best, but the smell of boiling pig's feet utterly defeated me. I ended up saying something like "I love you, but I will NEVER allow pig's feet to be boiled in my kitchen again."

Not to repeat myself, but it's amazing what ten years of marriage will drive you to. As long as he was willing to do it all himself, who am I to say no? It's his kitchen too. And I have to give the Devil his due: the soup he made - which involved not only feet but tongue - was seriously not bad. I mean it! I must have done something wrong all those years ago.

It's been a while since I posted a recipe here. I'll ask Homero for his foot-and-mouth soup recipe. I know you don't think you are interested, but there is a surprising amount of meat on a pig's head. It seems a shame to let it all go to waste. I mean, if you ever find yourself with an extra one.


Rachel B. said...

That's ashame about the buthering incident. If I was there I would have been cool and collective until that happen, then I would be an emotional wreck. But this is what we signed up for, right?
I use to watch the travel channel a lot (I still try but it's hard to find something that's not all about food. You know, where they actually go some place) Anthony Bourdian drools over anything pig related that's going into his mouth. One episode, they picked at the head saying how tender and delicous it was. And it look good! Did does make one wonder why they throw the head away.

AnyEdge said...

Thank GOD for this post. After all the Pesach rituals, I have a BUNCH of extra pig heads (not to mention Christian babies...what the hell do I do with all of them?).

Hey: how do you get the porcine offal pentagram stains out of a cashmere pashmina? Club soda? Rain Dance?

Olive said...

Aimee, you are an amazing woman of many talents. The type of woman my husband THOUGHT he was getting when he married me. LOL. I DID try, but.....................

Cattle Call Farm said...

My daughter was setting beside me when we read you post. Her comment AHHHH, EWWWWWW, what is it??

polly's path said...

So glad you weren't there for the shooting mishap.
I bet that soup was good, but I doubt many have extra animal heads laying around waiting to be cooked. We disposed of the head that came with our heritage pig, slaughtered by the meat people. We actually let them keep it. I didn't know what they were talking about when they asked if I wanted the head.

And, a delayed Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! for that pig head picture.

penelope said...

holy crap woman! Can you atleast call your sister and warn her before you put up a picture like that?!?! The "warning graphic" title doesn't do any good as there is no way to see it without also seeing the picture.

Aimee said...

Sorry sis folks with computers get a preview - that's the best I can do.

The Idiot Gardener said...

Pig's heads are the stuff of dreams. There are just so many good bits it's hard to know what to eat first!