March 30, 2010
Another thing that stands out in my memory is the pigs eating coal. The coal that we burned in a coal burning heater. Black hard coal. The pigs would crunch on it like it was peppermint candy. My brother and I would feed them more coal than a pig should be allowed. I often wondered why Grandmother let us feed it to them. I have just recently learned that coal was a nutrient that pigs needed. Old people knew this from generations before them. My grandparents knew this would not hurt the aniamal and was possibly even good for them. We were going to eat an animal that had eaten coal, seems strange.
The killing of the hogs was always an eventful day. We had a man that came early on the day we were to kill them. He must have been the expert on the actual shooting of them. The slaughter was also done in a professional mannner. The throat had to cut at the right time for the blood to not escape into the meat we were to eat. The removal of the hair was also cool to me. This was done at a small creek a couple of miles from where we lived. There was a large square tub that the dead pig was placed in. The water was boiled by building a fire under the tub. The water heated so that it was hot enough to scold the hair off of the dead pig.
With the hair removed the pig then was brought back to our house. The expert pig killing black guy then cut the pig into the parts we knew as our winter meals. The pig was best for our breakfasts. Sauage that was made the way we did no longer can be found.