9.26.2013

Smoke House

Many people don't know what a real smokehouse is because the only smokehouse they have ever experienced is a barbecue restaurant. Well, I'm here to tell you about the real deal. Back in the day, people farmed their land providing food for their families. There were no big chain grocery stores or bulk buying like at Sam's Club. And if there was a store most people had to drive a long distance to get there. People lived off the land. What a great concept! Maybe we should go back to the old days of simple living. There were smokehouses on most farms because people would raise hogs, have a pig killing, hang the meat in a smokehouse, cure it and then have meat for their family for the winter. That's just what you did. Yes, I said a pig killing-get over it PETA. God made man to have dominion over the animals and he provided them for us to have food. And there is nothing better than fresh smoked pork on your plate. My grandparents actually had a "slaughter house" on their farm. It was a large open barn  with a huge fireplace in it-so big you could literally stand in it. This "house' was where all the action took place on the farm when there was a hog killing.

Recently, my family and I traveled back to Virginia to visit our families. My husband's family is selling the home farm and we wanted to enjoy it one last time before it is sold. We ventured in several of the barns and around the fields. We ended up in the old smokehouse. We took the kids in and explained how a smokehouse was used. I have posted pictures of the original old smokehouse on the Thorton farm. It's like taking a step back in time.


The Smokehouse


Can you see the charred wood inside the smokehouse?
The house literally fills with smoke to cook the meat.

This is the salting table-this is the underside-but the meat was placed
on top and seasoned before it was hung up to cure

Wood for the burning stove

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This is where the farmers kept the fire stoked to smoke the meat.
Some olds brooms left in the corner

My husband demonstrates how the meat was hung up with
 one of these poles on the racks.


That small piece of wood across the top is what the meat hung to by a string-
using the wood pole it was laid across the wood beams to hang securely.
While we were in the smokehouse-a "big" mouse ran out of the fire barrel straight for me-I of course screamed and ran out snagging my new jeans on a nail and ripping a hole in the rear. My girls and my nieces thought it was funny so they posed like mice for the picture!