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Oct 07

Family Recipe Friday: No. Ga. JAY Food, Part 4

The following come of Joe Bailey’s manuscript, North Georgia JAY Food? It’s Growing, Harvesting, Preparation and Other Interesting Stuff with his permission.

HOG KILLIN TIME – FRESH PORK SAUSAGE, TENDERLOIN, SHOULDERS, LIVER PUDDIN (MUSH), SOUSE (PRESS) MEAT, BRAINS AND SALT CURED COUNTRY HAM. 

All this good stuff starts off with a 300 lb. hog that lives in a hog pen several hundred yards from the main house (so the smell does not get to the house unless the wind comes from the wrong direction). The hog is fed 2 times a day in a wooden trough in the hog pen. The hog feed is called “slop” and consists of water soaked corn and the scraps from the household meals collected in the “slop bucket” which sits on the floor in the kitchen next to the stove. When it is time to “slop the hogs” you get the slop bucket and carry it to the corn crib, pour a couple of cups of soaked corn into the slop bucket and go across the road to call the hogs. The hogs at “Mammas” had about a 4 or 5 acre wooded pen to stay in where they could forage for acorns and roots between meals. If they were not at the pen when feeding time came you had to call them up. The call was “Soo-wee, Soo-wee, Pig, Pig, Pig, Soo-wee, Soo-wee” repeated several times in a high pitched voice. I used to love calling the hogs. By the way, this “Slop Bucket” is not to be confused with the “Slop Jar” which resided under the bed in cold weather so the occupants of the house did not have to venture out into the cold to relieve themselves in the “out house”.

The next step to having all the good eatin things about a hog was the “Hog Killin”. This event usually took place “when the moon was right” in either October, November or December and the temperature was expected to be in the 20’s, 30’s or 40’s (Uncle Charlie could always tell when this was going to happen). He would take his bolt action, single shot 22 rifle to the hog pen about 6:00AM on the selected morning when all the signs looked right and shoot the hog he wanted from the two or three in the pen just behind the ear. He would then bring up the team of mules connected to a double tree, knock out several planks in the hog pen and connect the hind feet of the dead hog to the doubletree with a chain. The mules would drag the hog down the road a little piece to a 100 gallon iron pot with boiling water in it. Here the hog was raised above the pot with a block and tackle and dipped into the boiling water to help release the hair from the body of the hog. After removal from the pot large knives were used to scrape the hair from the hog. It would take several dippings in the hot water to get all the hair off the hog. Then the dehaired hog was transported to a large table that had been constructed of saw horses and boards in the yard. The hog was laid on this table and several people (neighbors, relatives, etc.) set upon the hog with knives, saws and axes cutting the hog into the various parts such as hams, shoulders ribs, etc.

The liver was cooked and mixed with an equal amount of cooked pork meat (chops are fine). Then the mixture is ground together with salt and pepper and sage. Add some of the reserved grease from the pork chop frying and mold into a container and refrigerated overnight. We called it Liver pudding 

Contact the Author

Mr. Bailey would like to hear from anyone about their memories of any foods they think may have been passed down from their Jay Ancestors. Just send me a message at linda @ lindageiger.com and I’ll see that Mr. Bailey gets the message.

Joe Bailey owns the copyright for this story and the three images in this post. Please respect his copyright.

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