Are Those Pig Feet?! | Back Home Again: Are Those Pig Feet?!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Are Those Pig Feet?!

A week ago I took a vacation day and went to an Amish farm in southern Kentucky to pick up a hog that we had butchered and split with another family. I don't have any photos because, well they're Amish and don't like their picture taken. 

However, it was such a cool experience - a completely different way of life. I grew up in a city surrounded by several Amish communities, but had never been to an Amish farm or home before. Places like Nappanee or Shipshewana in Northern Indiana are known for their Amish "tourism" but going to someone's home was completely different. 

LaGrange County Courthouse - Indiana
The LaGrange County courthouse...complete with hitching posts for buggies!

Alan thinks I'm crazy, but it was really interesting to me to watch them butcher a pig by hand, and to be able to take an active role in the process. I was responsible for packaging all the cuts and rendering the lard. I also got to help put the sausage in its casing.

There were several things that I learned too. I figured everything would be hand-powered - and it was, but they used propane, diesel and gasoline to power the hand grinder. I also figured that they would use candles for light, but they used propane lamps when it got dark. I know it depends on the community and that some communities may not use any sort of power whatsoever, but it was like stepping back in time to the early twentieth century. Very, very cool. Figuratively and literally! The day I went also happened to be the day that the high was 20 the morning. The temperature dropped throughout the day and by the time I left it was 9 degrees with a below zero windchill. Let's just say that by the time I left, I was very glad to get into my car that had heat!

I am, however, very grateful to the farmer and his family for opening up their farm to me and letting me experience it for a day.


  1. Funny thing about pig's feet. My Italian grandma would eat pickled pig's feet out of a jar. I was just a kid and she asked me to try one. Um, no way! Oh, they smelled so, so bad. She kept asking me to try one and I just plain refused. I think that's the only food I haven't tried when it has been offered!

  2. Yeah, they discarded the feet. I don't think they liked them either!


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