Thursday, September 17, 2009
What Granny Clampet and I Have in Common
What do Granny Clampet and I have in Common? Well, I imagine she rendered plenty of bear fat! I haven't, however, stooped to feeding my family crow gizzards or possum innards.
Today was rainy and overcast. My good friend, Elasta Woman was coming for a visit. Long before I even dragged myself out of bed, our eldest son, "The Archer" (pictured here), had cooked himself some breakfast and went out in search of game. I did a daily devotional with the other kids, got them started on school and hurriedly began straightening up. My husband did math with the kids as usual. Just as Elasta Woman and I had settled in with a good cup of joe and some zucchini bread in burst Archer.
Ecstatic, he told us he had "predator called" in a mammoth black bear. It's weight was likely over 300 lbs. The younger boys loved the excuse to post pone their school work until later on. With lots of hoopla, my husband and all three boys headed off to pack out the meat, fat and hide. The bear was so big that all of them together couldn't drag it out.
We try very hard not to waste anything. It would be such a travesty to me to kill such a majestic animal and not use all of it. This is why I began rendering the fat. I have actually found that rendered bear fat is great for deep fat frying, for baking, etc.. It's organic, doesn't have access to what the "city bears" do, and there are other health benefits as well. Animal fat has been used among indigenous people for centuries. Heart disease and Diabetes were not as prevalent among them until they had access to processed foods. Ok, I'll get off my soap box about that. We also eat the meat (though it has to be cooked very well) and keep the hide.