Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sobering Finale

I suppose my blog is not much different from any other personal blog in that it is an essentially ego-centric medium. Since it is fundamentally about me and my interpretation of reality, its tone and timbre will always reflect how I happen to be feeling when I post to it. Now as I'm typically not someone who takes life too seriously posts to my blog are, if not exactly upbeat, mirthful and full of incredulity over the exuberant irrational behavior of practically everyone besides myself. (Don't worry, I know I'm not exempt. I'm just incapable of true self-awareness.) Cheerful, in other words, yeah Cheerful.

Well, I'm breaking with tradition today. So if you don't want to read me whine, surf away.

After what had been an enormously productive couple of days, my week came to a miserable and grinding stop on Saturday when in the wee hours of the morning my body was infiltrated by the incubus, Ralph. For those of you who are not familiar with the lexicon of medieval demonology, an incubus was thought to be a minion of Satan that would enter your sleeping chamber and penetrate you against your will. Of course, the incubus as explanation for waking up in the morning feeling like a demon has been having its way with you all night has been totally discredited, and we now know that at least one incubi, Ralph, is really a stomach virus.

Soo...I woke up at at 1:30 on Saturday morning and lay abed listening to Ralph grow inside of me.
From time to time Ralph would speak to me in Ur, the universal language that everyone understands but no one can write without running the risk of ridicule for publishing obscenity. He spoke to me of how impossible it was for me to resist his will to grow and dominate my body. He also spoke of the impermanence of my life and how if he did not kill me, then one of his buddies someday surely will.

At about 5:30 Ralph ended his ministrations and had become a bolus. He was done with me, and left while I was brushing my teeth prior to getting ready for work. I felt immediately better (Who wouldn't, Ralph sucks.) but my head was swimming when I got to the farm to find that the 2 hogs we had been waiting for were monsters. By no means the largest that hogs can be, but just big enough to be more of a challenge than I needed in my present condition.

Thank goodness Christian the Apprentice (shown warily circling a half carcass in the photos above) was there to help me. Otherwise I'm sure I could not have broken them down myself, and at least one of them would still be hanging in the cooler getting funky.

The yield on these hogs? Well, we got about 300 pounds of meat and fat for grinding, more than 50 pounds of loin for roasts etc., 10 pounds of tenderloin, and lots of bones. I also harvested two slabs of bacon for pancetta that weigh about 12 pounds each.

When I got home at 6:00PM I went directly to bed and did not get up until 7:30 this morning.


redman said...

that's a serious beast, Bob.

Crazy Raven Productions said...

Holy pork! Hope you're feeling better soon... Ralph ran amok amongst my family recently, too. Stomach bugs are a beast.

The Foodist said...

Feel better, something bad in the realm of stomach viruses has been going around here as well.. I blame the crazy weather.

Thats an impressive hog!

Linda (aka IdahoRocks) said...

Those bloody 4-H ers, they really grow them big. Something about country fair rule judging.

My friend, Elizabeth, once raised a small spotted pig for me, I forget the breed. It was a great pig and very tasty, but the butcher practically laughed me out of the shop because it was only 95 lbs. Her name was Mia, she had a good life with mud facials, mud baths, homemade slop, etc. But she just didn't grow into a huge hog and by the end of summer, and wanting to get our pigs in before the county fair backlog, poor Mia gave her life for us at 95 lbs.

Hope you're feeling better soon....

boberica said...

Get well soon!

citqs said...

Take it easy and let yourself get well. Some pathogen tormented me recently and I tried to do too much too soon . . . and it socked me with vertigo. Rest. More.

Christian the Apprentice said...

Yes, the hogs were seriously huge, each side was a task in it's own right.

I can attest, as I know because i have inherited the incubus, that pushing through this bug to do ANYTHING is a miracle. Bob is truly a trooper.

I will post my perspective soon, but back to sleep as I am trying to shake this death sentence.

boberica said...

So, is it safe to assume that their will be some hams hanging??

Bob del Grosso said...

Thanks for all the well wishes. I'm out of the woods now and ready to rumble with something other than my guts.


I did not make any hams this go round. The carcases had been peeled badly and the fat was torn out in clumps in many places. The hams would have been too uneven to cure well. I suppose I could have brined them but they'd still be fugly.

boberica said...

Nobody likes a fugly ham!
I must tell you about the Mangalitsa hog cut that I got from Heath Putnam at the market in Seattle on Saturday...It was belly with the rib on, so they were 2 inch horizontal strips done on the saw. I braised them like belly...Everything is different now.