Appears in

The Farmhouse Kitchen

The Farmhouse Kitchen

By Mary Norwak

Published 1991

  • About
Butter was an expensive commodity in the past, so lard and dripping were mainly used by country families. Lard was obtained from the cottage pig, and dripping saved from roasting beef, pork or lamb joints.

Lard was obtained by cutting up the surplus pig fat into small pieces and ‘rendering’ it or ‘doing it down’ over a low heat. As it melted the fat was poured off until it ceased to give, and this resulted in pure and delicious lard, often flavoured with a sprig of rosemary. Throughout the nineteenth century, country children had lard spread on their bread instead of butter. When the lard had been extracted, there remained crisp crunchy pieces of fat, called, variously, ‘scratchings’, ’cracklings’ or ‘fritters’. These were often eaten rolled in salt, or added to a mixture of apples, dried fruit, brown sugar and spice in a delicious pie, or added to a cake mixture.