Hog killings were big days like Christmas

I was born in 1932 …. and I can remember my mother saying that we fared a lot better in the country than the people did in the city during the depression years because we had our own food. 

Bundick family hog killing, Assawoman, VA, circa 1938 (courtesy of Thomas family)

Bundick family hog killing, circa 1938 (courtesy of the Thomas family)

 We had our hogs and we had hog killings … and they were big days, you know, like Christmas or something, when the family would get together and the cousins and the aunts and the uncles to help one another.  Everybody would come and slaughter the hogs (which probably sounds gross to our generation or to your generation) but that’s where we got our meat – our hams and our scrapple and our sausages and we made our own lard.  So, we had the necessities of life right on our farm.  

We grew our chickens.  We had our own eggs.  I remember going to the store with my mother and she would carry eggs to exchange for groceries.  … We really didn’t need many groceries in those days.  Flour, sugar, things like that.  I remember her carrying a large quart can to have molasses pumped out of this big barrel into the quart jar, and we had a cow, and so we had our milk, and Mother made her own butter.  We had our own vegetables we grew … of course, we had a garden, but we had a farm and we grew potatoes. 

We had three black men who worked for us regularly – always.  And my mother, she cooked for them, and they ate two meals a day … in our kitchen.  She made biscuits every morning.  And, of course, pancakes and all that … fat meat she fried that’s no longer good for us now.  

We had a lot of meat … We had hams in the smokehouse, so when you got ready for supper, if you were going to have ham, you went down to the smokehouse. You had a big butcher knife that you sliced a couple slices of this ham.  And then you always had potatoes.  … We had our own eggs; we had chickens and ducks and so we lived pretty well on the hog, as they say.  

from an interview with Patsy Bundick Thomas, winter/spring 2009

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1 Comment

Filed under animals, economy, food

One response to “Hog killings were big days like Christmas

  1. Peter Holland

    I really like it. Very easy to read. I also love the photo on top of the opening “homepage”.
    Great job. Peter

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