Tallow Time

I just finished rendering out batch #2 of beef fat to make tallow. Two down, two to go. The first batch was my learning curve. I realize now I could have rendered so much more if I had ground the fat first. But live and learn, right? My goal is to render down all the fat I have stashed in the freezer and ultimately make tallow candles. Why? Well, because I can. I could also make soap with it, too. But that is a larger process as first I would need to make lye, and I’m fresh out of wood ashes…so that will be left for another day…

One of the things we strive to do is to honor and respect everything we raise, be it animal or vegetable. We don’t like to waste anything that has given up its life for us. So vegetables and fruits are eaten, dried, canned, preserved, pickled…and their scraps are composted or fed out to various animals as ‘treats’. The same with the meat we raise. When we process our poultry, we find a use for every part. Our larger animals are processed by a mobile butcher. So I had to request for him to save back the fat for me to use, which he nicely packaged in 5 lb increments. Of the steer we had done, I was able to get 20 lbs of fat. We tend to raise our animals lean, so I was grateful for what I could get. Someday when we do the entire process at home, I want to cure my own leather, too. Wouldn’t that be something?

There is a ton of information and YouTube videos on rendering, if you are interested in seeing the process. What I think is magic is the way the yellow colored fat turns a creamy white when it is cold. Pretty amazing. And yes, when the time comes to make candles, I’ll be re-purposing some old 100% cotton shoelaces and other strips of cotton fabric I’ve set back to make the wicks. You didn’t think I’d actually buy wicks, did you?

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One Response to Tallow Time

  1. allyn says:

    i really enjoy the philosophy behind the farm! and you’re so resourceful, laura! amazing.

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