Incidentally, there is a music group called Lard. It was only a matter of time.
How to Make Homemade Lard
First, you get yourself a shoat, or weaner pig, or better still two. Shoats are pigs that are just weaned. Pigs are young hogs (but the term "hog" seems to be uniquely American--in other countries a pig's a pig). You want to get the vocabulary right. You might get a pig butchered for a pig roast, but you would normally keep feeding it until it was a hog (unless you live in some other English speaking country, in which case you would be butchering either a big pig or a smaller pig). Two pigs are better than one for producing lard since two pigs compete for food, eating far more than necessary in their desire to beat out the other pig. Hence sayings like my father's favorite (when I was late for dinner) "We waited for you just like one hog waits for the other."
So...you keep socking the food to your hogs until butcher day and then you take the good leaf lard (which isn't really lard yet) from around the kidneys and render it. You can render any pork fat, but the leaf lard is the epicure's choice.
Rendering consists of melting at a fairly low temperature for hours. This will fill your house with the cloying scent of boiled fat which will remain with you for days and days.
When all the fat has melted and you have a pot of simmering clear liquid with some browning chunks floating around in it, you take it off the stove and carefully pour it through a strainer or cheesecloth into bread pans where it can cool and become snow-white lovely yummy lard. You may then cut it into slices and freeze it.
A little aside: if something goes amiss in your lard production and you decide to throw the whole mess away, consider it hazardous waste and dispose of it properly. This means do not pour it down the kitchen drain. There is no amount of Drano that can eat through a foot of hardened lard. Do not flush it (same reason). Do not pour it in the dirt outside unless you don't have a dog. Dogs like dirt flavored with lard and while eating it won't kill the dog, if it eats a great deal of it you might want to.
This ends the Saint Report series on Saturated Fats. At least for the time being. As soon as one of the cows comes fresh I will probably be tempted to tell you more than you want to know about butter.
Two can't-miss small-town celebrations are happening this week. The first is Luverne, Minnesota's "Hot Dog Night," July 14 (2005), during which an estimated 5,000 attendees will consume 14,000 free hot dogs, washing them down with free orange soda. Chase's then notes: "Various demonstrations." Of what? What is "Hot Dog Night" all about, anyway? Am I alone in seeing something sinister in this?
Another Minnesota metropolis, Sauk Centre, is celebrating Sinclair Lewis (since he was born there) Days sometime this week. Now, there's a town that can dish it out and take it. (You know--Main Street? Babbit?) The estimated 10,000 participants will be entertained with a parade, park activities including a dance, Miss Sauk Centre pageant, and lots more.