12 March 2009

What's In Your Freezer?

If you go back and read the comments to my post on the Kenneth Maue book, and further back to my post on the 14 year old grapes that I baked into a pie, you'll find that the same person twice confessed to having a bat in her freezer.  

I have a pig tail in my freezer.  It's not the kind of pig tail that you see on cute little girls.

A couple of years ago, we bought a whole pig. The whole thing - snout to trotters. We got the pig from someone we know, and visited it while it was still standing. He had it slaughtered for us, we had a butcher cut it up, and some of it got smoked. It was a bargain, and it kept us in pig for a good while.

All of the porky goodness is long gone, save the tail. The tail is still in the freezer, nicely vacuum sealed into sturdy plastic, looking for all the world like a pig's tail.  I'm kind of loathe to part with it, but what the hell do you do with one pig tail?

The other day, I checked my many cookbooks. I was sorely disappointed that the 1953 Joy of Cooking doesn't even mention pig tails (especially since it does tell you how to skin a squirrel), and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall just glosses over them in The River Cottage Meat Book.

But, as one might expect from a book subtitled "Nose to Tail Eating", I hit the jackpot with a recipe for Crispy Pig's Tails in Fergus Henderson's The Whole Beast.  He waxes rhapsodic about the tail of the pig:

On other pages I have sung the praises of how the pig's snout and belly both have that special lip-sticking quality of fat and flesh merging, but this occurs in no part of the animal as wonderfully as on the tail. Like an ice cream on a stick, a pig's tail offers up all the above on a well-behaved set of bones.  By the by, dealing with any slightly hairy extremities of pig, I recommend a throwaway Bic razor (hot towels and shaving cream not required). You must ask your butcher for long tails.

The problem is, the recipe calls for "8 long pig's tails" to serve four people. To get eight tails, we'll need to buy seven more pigs.  We haven't got enough freezer space.

28 comments:

catnip said...

Um. Ewww? Although it does make me think of the first Little House book where the girls fight over who gets the roasted pig's tail. Apparently it tastes pretty good. But still eww.

Kelly said...

That makes my 3 year old bean soup look nearly edible.

de said...

Though no expert, I am unimpressed by the measure of that pig's tail.

Harriet M. Welsch said...

It's so funny you wrote about this. AJ and I just went to a local (as in non-chain) grocery store and discovered that they have a wild collection of meat products including pig tails, which come three to a package. I'm pretty sure I can't ship them to you, though.

Libby said...

I thought of that episode in the first Little House book, too (though I wasn't sure if it was in that one or Farmer Boy, which is also full of all kinds of farming/cooking esoterica. But, um, it never ever made me want to try it, I have to admit.

Woman in a Window said...

You are a wicked, wicked woman!

Apparently you can put it on a stick and roast it. Just that easy. My daughter just told me. It's in the first Little House book. So there.

Now, what do I do with my bat?

Mental P Mama said...

I would just go ahead and make the call. Throw it away.

kathy a. said...

yep. some things in the freezer just are not worth keeping.

Mayberry said...

But it's like ice cream on a stick! You can't throw it away! One pig a year, 7 years--easy.

Nadine said...

Hmmm, what do you do with it? You give it to your child to take to school for "p" week, or maybe "t" week. We're on "t" week right now!

Kyddryn said...

I have the head and ass of a red-velvet cake armadillo cake in my freezer...it looks like a frozen necropsy gone wrong.

Shade and Sweetwater,
K (who has eaten many, many things but will not be trying the pig's tail recipe, thank you any way)

heidi said...

I would defrost it & feed it to one lucky kitty :-)

Rachel said...

Okay, I don't think we'll ever be buying a whole pig, but if we did, my kids would totally want to keep the tail (and probably the snout) in our freezer. My daughter insists on keeping crab and lobster claws when we go out for seafood.

Also, my grandfather eats pigs' feet.

nutmeg said...

I would keep it so I could place it inside the chocolate icecream. Then maybe there would be some left when I went to eat it.

nutmeg said...

I would keep it so I could place it inside the chocolate icecream. Then maybe there would be some left when I went to eat it.

Mad said...

OK. A warning to vegetarians might have been helpful here.

painted maypole said...

wow.

thanks to hurricanes, my freezer gets cleaned out pretty regularly.

Well Read Hostess said...

Joy of Cooking also gives elaborate instructions about how to blister and peel a beaver tail.


heh heh.

I said beaver.

The LIbrary Lady said...

Hey, I grew up eating tongue (cow's) which everyone but Jews seem to think is disgusting. And it's NOT, though between the fat and the price I haven't had it in years.
So perhaps pig tail is worth a gander.

Though if you roast the pig's tail ALA Laura Ingalls, you also have to blow up the bladder for a balloon for Miss M to play with. Or did they not give you the bladder? :D

jenn said...

wow. that's beats my frozen tennis ball (and I wouldn't try to eat that either!)

MsPrufrock said...

Hmm...disappointingly, we only have ickle freezers here so I have nothing more than vegetable purees (to sneakily add to the kid's meals) and fish fingers in ours. I guess the weirdest thing would be beet puree, though I suspect that's normal to a lot of people. I'm kind of disgusted by it though.

bernthis said...

Ummm....ew? Sorry but I just don't know how I could touch it. You are definitely a brave woman

Kelly said...

I would say a hearty thank you to the tail's original owner, and then throw that sucker out.

katiez said...

I can buy ears, snouts and trotters at my local supermarket... If I ever see 7 tails I'll let you know. I'm sure they'd get through customs.

Kyla said...

Josh is a hunter. We have most of a pig (wild) in our freezer, too....no tail, though.

Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

Another very odd thing we have in common! I frequently have pig tails that look just like that in my freezer. I buy them from a local farm - they are treats for my dogs.

So if you have a doggy friend, they would be happy to take it off your hands :)

daisy said...

My husband would be happy as can be with a pig's tail, but I couldn't decide whether to laugh or gag when I read this! Too funny!

underthebigbluesky said...

i'm thinking there must be a dog somewhere who might enjoy it...right? i could just see my girls rolling their eyes and squishing their noses now. np little house moments here.

and i do have to say i'm extremely disappointed in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, he's my go to meat man.