Making room in the freezer

Step one, consider asking hubby to help.

Step two, realize that this job has to happen now, on a warm day, which is fleeting, and that the skins must get out of the freezer asap.  Hubby leaving today, certainly too busy for this woman’s work; no wonder squaws had to do this.

Step three:  thaw out bloody hides and then wash them in a tub of water.  Heave the nasty, dripping things onto a fence.


Step four: spray hides with ice cold water from a hose.  Drench yourself with the freezing water and get splashed with bloody, manure water.

Step five: Try and find your sharp knife so you can scrape and peel off fat and any meat on skins. Give up, knowing that they have all gone to a party with stray socks or are in a pocket of hubby or little girl.

Step six: Contemplate that considering today the government shut it’s doors that perhaps a WMD or other weapon regulated by the ATF could be employed for this task, now that the bureaucrats have taken a paid vacation.  Consider driving past those closed doors and giving them the finger and see if anyone decided to remain on duty.


Step seven: Referee the pig drama at your feet, trying to be fair and throw bits of fat to each one, evenly. Ignore their squeals of protest that you are not giving fat treats out fairly and while they are screaming at each other, chickens rush in and take the prize.

Step eight:  Enlist daughter to take scraped hides and lay in the cattle trailer to layer salt on thickly while you keep scraping and finish before too dark to go milk.


Step nine: Leave largest and hardest hide for last, look around and find it missing.

“Mama, what exactly are you doing?”

“I’m cutting off all the fat and bits of flesh off the hides so that when you salt them they will dry evenly and then I can tan them.”

“Well, Callum sure has lots of fat still left on him.” (She even knows the names of the sheep by their hides.)

“Please go get his hide out of the trailer and brush off the salt. I have not scraped him yet.”


Step ten: Keep spreading salt on daily until hides are dry.

Step eleven: TBD

6 thoughts on “Making room in the freezer

  1. We have been working on a hide from one of our steers. I would be very interested in hearing how your hides turn out. We have our hide stretched and nailed on a very large board. I believe we are almost ready to remove it from the board and begin to soften it. I am interested in learning different processes for tanning.

    • I have to say that my tanning experience did not turn out well. I kind of gave up in the second stage as I did not want to brain tan… and could not figure it out. Too many things got in the way. 🙂 I sure would love to hear how yours turns out! I would love to try again someday.

      • We were not interested in brain tanning either. We stretched it out and nailed it down. Then we took off as much flesh/meat as possible. Next we heavily salted the hide. It has been setting that way for a few months now. I am hoping to take a look this weekend and continue on with the next step. If all goes well we will be taking it off the board and stretching it, along the inside, back and forth around a tree to soften it up. I will keep you posted!!

  2. Pingback: Grassfood Recipe Page | grassfood.

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