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An article by Barbara Woodall Taylor. Author of, “It’s Not My Mountain Anymore”

Hog Butchering

In November, when the mountain air become chilled and heavy frost covered our isolated world like sparkling diamonds, my folks readied the home place for hog-butchering.

Mama whetted butcher knives and washed big pots and pans. Dad sat by the firelight turning dingy pages in the Grier’s Almanac, looking for the right signs and the first full moon.

”Don’t ever slaughter animals on a new moon, you won’t have enough lard t’ grease th’ gun barrel,” he said. Most old timers paid strict attention to the lights in the heavens. They believed God placed them there for “signs and seasons.”

After the hog butchering and processing was complete, hams, shoulders and middlin’ meats was salted down, then laid on crude smokehouse shelves to cure.

My folks kept all the hog except the squeal. Sausage was canned, lard was rendered and rinds were saved to make cracklins’

All true Appalachians know the luxury of cracklin’ cornbread. Here’s Mama’s recipe. She never measured anything, but it’s hard to mess up.

Directions for Cracklin’ Cornbread

  • About: 2 Cups of sifted old-timey cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • About 2 cups of buttermilk (or enough to make the mixture pourable into a greased iron skillet)
  • 1 cup cracklins’
  • Bake at 450 degree for about 25-30 min.

You can make a meal off that, an onion and a glass of sweet milk!

All that remains around the old home place is the old weathered smokehouse and memories frozen in time of Dad entering it to turn the meat, dressed in baggy bib overalls.

Hog Butchering 1



He was so thin, the hind pockets looked like they were shaking hands with each other.

Let us know how you like the article by Barbara Woodall Taylor in the comment window below.

Barbara is the author of, “It’s Not My Mountain Anymore”. She is a contributing author of the noted Foxfire Books.

You can order her book below or on her web site @ It’s Not My Mountain Anymore

I have been reading Barbara’s book and it is one of those you just hate to put down! From her wonderful knowledge of the country slang, the holler and mountain people to her wonderful wit, it is jam packed with just wonderful down home goodness! This book and country people go together like homemade cat head biscuits and jam! They were just made for each other.

Barbara is a critically acclaimed author of the Foxfire series of books also and has become a brilliant writer in her own rights and among her own people! Mountain people!

When reading this book you will want to pour you a tall glass of good ole southern sweet tea and really enjoy!

From The Appalachian Mountains comes an absolutely authentic voice written by a veteran of the phenomenal Foxfire Books in north Georgia.
It’s Not My Mountain Anymore is balanced and satisfying. Moving stories blend with mountain flavor that will moisten eyes and bring laughter.
“I cherish my copy.”…Earl Hamner, noted author and creator of The Walton’s series.
”Some books are the real deal, this is one of them.”…Gwen Mansini, VA
“What a VOICE!”…Andrea Robinson,  Random House
Sit back, sup red and enjoy reading a native Appalachian best seller.


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