Sunday, March 14, 2010

Makin' It From Scratch #7 - "Hamburger Helper" & Lard

I love the Chickens In the Road blog by Suzanne McMinn! She has such amazing ideas! Now, I'm not a huge fan of Hamburger Helper, but when I found out you could make it from scratch, I was amazed. (Perhaps I'm easily impressed?) Anyway, I had to share this in my little Makin' It From Scratch series. I've tried a few of the versions, and I must say that when you're in a hurry or can't think of anything to make for dinner, this stuff is a lifesaver! The best thing is that you can make the different versions up in advance for extra speediness later. Give it a try!

Go HERE for homemade "hamburger helper".

And I just found this other post by Suzanne that talks about rendering lard and how to do it in your crock pot. Even though I worked at an historical village, talked about rendering fat, pig slaughtering and sausage making, I was always grossed out by the idea of lard. (Which was rather silly of me. But I did think the sausage making with sheep intestine casings was fun... go figure.) This blog post really opened my eyes and I am seriously thinking of rendering my own lard!

I really wish I had grown up on a farm with animal slaughtering being apart of every day life - providing our own food. Then maybe I wouldn't be so scared by the thought of it. My whole life I've been separated from the source of the food I eat. I'm used to seeing the end product in a can, box, or encased in plastic. I really don't think that is any way to go through your life.

The historical village I worked at (Conner Prairie) actually has pig slaughtering days in the fall where the public can go and see the slaughtering done. I don't know of many places where you can take a vacation to see a pig slaughtered. They do everything right there - draining the blood, butchering the pig, rendering the lard, making the sausage, and even smoking the pork in the smokehouse. How educational! I love how there are still opportunities for people to get back to their agricultural roots. And that is what I'm trying to do - one tiny step at a time. Lard rendering - here I come!

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