My camera is back in Oregon, at the magazine, getting outfitted so I can shoot the videos Dave wants me to shoot. So I’m out of photos, temporarily. I looked through my old ones and was so shocked to see bright red tomatoes. It sure cheers me up when I look outside into a Christmas card-like scene — all clinging white. It’s sometimes nice to know that it will go away and spring will come again and with it will come bright colors, ripe vegetables, and the smell of damp earth.

I’ve been grinding the fat from the pig we had butchered and rendering it, one turkey roasting pan at a time, in the oven. Yesterday I got four quarts and a half pint. I’ll be grinding/rendering again tomorrow again. I should have at least three batches. And the lard is beautiful, snowy white, all sealed and ready to go in the pantry. Just think of all those pie crusts and fried potatoes. No, I don’t overdo eating lard; we have just pretty much quit using margarine and cooking oil/shortening and are opting for good old natural fat. Now the experts are even telling us it’s good for us. My, how the worm turns!


  1. I just did my first batch of lard. Amazing. So much fat cooked down to so little left over. My recipe didn’t say to grind, just to cut into 1″ cubes. that was the hardest part. I tink grinding would have worked better and cooked down faster. I did it in the oven in a roaster. Next time I will grind it. Thank you. Can’t wait to make a pie crust…

  2. Lanette,

    No, I haven’t done an article on rendering fat. Good idea! You can render both beef and pork fat but the beef fat has less uses because of both the higher melting point and taste. You usually use beef fat (tallow) to make soap and candles where pork fat (lard) is very useful in many different ways from frying to pie crusts. No it doesn’t make your pie crust taste like meat. It just tastes richer and is flakier than those made with shortening.
    It’s definitely worth the effort!


  3. Have you written an article on rendering fat? I would be interested. Is it the same with beef or is pork better to use? I’m trying to imagine pie crust made with render fat. Does it not take on the taste of the meat flavor? No, I defiantly not from the South, so this is foreign to me.

  4. Yes, it’s funny how the old ways are now proving to be the better ways!

    Regarding the tomato picture, I just received my Totally Tomato catalog and have already filled out my order! I can’t wait ’til spring!!

  5. Boy what a person wouldn’t tempt another with! Just think what we would give for a fresh garden ripened tomato right now?? Hope you and Will and your family have a wonderful Christmas and blessed New Year!

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