For many years, I had access to pig fat and would render it down into lard. Lard makes great pie crusts and cookies, among other things. But then Mother-in-law stopped raising hogs (sister-in-law took over, but only raising one or two for her son to take to the Fair as a 4-H project) and I no longer had a 'lard connection'.
It's been a few years since my supply of home rendered lard ran out. I had gone back to using vegetable shortening (since lard at the store has preservatives in it to make it shelf stable), but we missed the texture lard brings to baked goods.
So, when DH found out that (for some reason) his mother had raised a hog this year, he requested the when she had it butchered, she please save the fat for me. Visions of luscious, flaky pie crusts danced in his head.
Guess what I was given last week. If you said 'pig fat', you're right. A whole plastic grocery bag full of pig fat.
Which I spent most of Saturday (with the exception of the two hours I slept in, and the other two hours I was away having a super awesome riding lesson) rendering into lard.
I ended up doing the rendering in two batches; one before my riding lesson, and one after. The picture below shows the color difference between the cooled lard (first batch, on the left) and the hot lard as I filled jars while making the second batch (on the right).
The method I used is the same one I blogged about in this post, way back in 2012, which apparently is the last year I had pig fat from Mother-in-law.
My rendering this time yielded 10 pints (or, a gallon plus a quart) of finished lard. With just DH and I home, and a whole lot less food being consumed, that lard ought to last a good while. I'd say a year, at least.