Richard: My daddy never did have a sow. But there would always be one or two or three people in the neighborhood … one would have three or four sows, and another would have one or two boars. So, you’d take the sow to the boar and get her fixed up and sell the pigs to somebody who didn’t have a sow or a boar. It was always somebody who had pigs for sale. You killed hogs always in December.
You had to wait for cool weather, see. There was no such thing as ice box, as refrigerators back then. You’d depend on salt. You killed hogs after it turned cold, from the 5th to the 20th of December. And then, as soon as you got straight, January or February, that’s when you got your pigs for the next year.
You had them in the pen, and you started feeding them. In the wintertime, you could turn them out and let them fend for themselves on the rye and stuff, but after you planted your crops, of course, then you had to put them up. Feed them corn and slops. Everybody had a slop bucket in the house.
Nora Lee: Whatever slops you had, even your dishwater. Dishwater – you would use it.
Richard: Put it in the slop bucket to feed the hogs. Everybody had a smokehouse, that’s true. You salted everything, see, and you hung it up in the smokehouse.
Nora Lee: Your sausage, also.
Richard: And we did bacon. It was put in the smokehouse. Of course, it’s salty as brine, you know, has to be to keep.
Nora Lee: Lard. We used to trap lard.
Nora Lee: Chittlins. I never did eat chittlins.
Richard: No, the blacks always ate the chittlins. They always got the guts.
Nora Lee: We used to make scrapple. It’s the liver and kidneys and …
Richard: It’s some of the – golly they’re awful – heart, liver, kidneys …
Nora Lee: Homemade scrapple is much better than what you can buy today.
Richard: That was a delicacy, and you had that right after you killed hogs. See, you didn’t have any way to keep anything unless you salted it.
Nora Lee: Tenderloin we used to can. My mother used to can that. Oh, it was so good.
from an interview with Richard and Nora Lee Parks, summer 2009