Monday, January 16, 2012

Memoirs of Lula Sue Simmons: Part 9, Hog Killing

I remember Mom talking about the times they had "hog killings" when she was growing up in rural Mississippi.  She told me that hog killing was a family affair and that sometimes nearby families would gather together and share the hard work involved in the event.  Dad has also told me similar stories about his family gathering for hog killings.  I used to say "Ewwww, how did ya'll do that?", for just the thought of having to skin and gut an animal would make me nauseated.  They would laugh at me then Mom told me they used everything on the hog except the "grunt".  Things were different then and families did what they had to do to eat, to survive.  They couldn't make a run to the grocery store every other day to buy their food- they had to grow it or kill it.  

Sitting on Alton's front porch one rainy afternoon thinking back to our child hood  we was reminded of how far we have come since child hood.

Picking cotton for one cent a pound.  And we didn't have a choice we just did it.  Scraping cotton or corn all day.  No pay just food, housing and clothes was our pay.  And not much of this.

Killing hogs on a cool fall day.  This was a lot of work and the children did a lot of it.  Scraping the hog after it had been dipped in hot water was a messy and hot job but we all knew in order to have meat during the winter it was our job to help.

The fat with skin on it was cooked out in iron wash pots     the wood had to be stacked near by so the fire was steady burning.  Then we could have lard for frying and making biscuits with.  The skins was used for seasoning and making cracking bread with.  The rest of the fat was used to make soap with. 

We would cut wood for days before hog killing then the pots with skins in them would cook day and night until the lard and soap was made.  The water was pulled from the well in buckets and sometimes the well seem [sic] to be ten miles deep.  The creek under the hill was used to clean the chitterlings in.

Canning vegetables was done on a wood stove in big canning pots.  I can remember my grandma with sweat running down her face   her clothes soaking wet from the heat in that kitchen.

In the afternoon we would sit on the front porch and churn the milk and cream to make butter.  Everything was did the hard way.  No machines to make life easier just of lot of hard work.

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