A good number of you I know, have followed and even participated in, my Search for The Lard. Notable efforts were supplied by Jennifer, who searched, photographed and posted her search. My father-in-law bought lard for me in St. Louis, where he said there are entire grocery storeÂ aisles devoted to the stuff. The lard he delivered to my home (by car, 800 miles) never got put into a crust, however. I put it in the freezer downstairsÂ and then there was an incident where someone left the freezer door ajar which naturally went unnoticed for several days. The lard was among the many unfrozen items we had to throw out.
This Lard brought to you with Cheese
In June, we went toÂ a Jaggers Family Reunion in Rockport, Massachusetts where my husband’s uncle found some lard in the local grocery store. That’s him there on the left, posing with The Lard. If you’ve ever lived in Memphis, Tenn. you may think you recognize him. You do.
THIS lard got left behind at the house in Rockport. I was officially vacationing and so didn’t bake a pie while it was in my possession and then forgot to pack it in the cooler before we began our long drive home.
Dishing up the Peaches 'n Cream Pie
IÂ know there’s lard out there — even here, in Charlottesville, but something has stopped me from making the trip to Reid’s (or any of the other lard-stops my readers have pointed out. I haven’t been baking much at all. In fact, the last from-scratch pie I created was in August — the delicious Peaches ‘n Cream Pie I baked for my friends.
In October, I helped out at a volunteer event at PACEM
— a dinner to which I contributed fruit trays and a couple of store-bought pies. I know — the shame! But my work and travel schedule did not allow for anything BUT a trip to the grocery store, so there you go. I was sharing my disappointment that I hadn’t had time to bake pies for the event with a fellow volunteer and friend who said, “I used to bake, but then I decided it was bad for my family. So now I grow.” She had brought some delicious home grown tomatoes and peppers to the dinner. What she said stuck with me, though. I can’t bake as often as I did. It’s not the right thing to do for my family. So I’m limiting my baking to special occasions. It’s OK — I had to learn, and learning took practice and a pie-a-week was what I needed at the outset to learn how to bake a really fantastic pie. Now I know how — and feel confident in my pie making mad skills. Special occasions will do just fine, thank you.
Back to the Search for the Lard. I’ve really stopped looking. I know it’s out there in case I change my mind, but for now, I don’t want it. My new friend Melissa taught me that there’s more than one kind of lard — there’s artisan lard and leaf lard and if you’re up to it, you can even render your own lard. Melissa was advising me to use vinegar to cut the piggy taste of lard when, as the words “piggy taste” fell from her lips I thought, “Um. Maybe I’ll just stick to my all-butter crust and my shortening and butter crusts. People seem to like those just fine and there’s NEVER any concerns over a piggy taste. Ever.”
In case you’re still interested, or on your own Search for The Lard, Melissa has generously provided some links to Lard Resources, below.