Pig rather a disappointment. Butcher said it probably weighed as much at Xmas as now. Its feet were bad “faisy legs” he called it but pig was quite healthy and meat beautiful but a bit stringy I think. 12st 10lbs, it ought to have weighed 20st. Still it is better than none. Jean and I cut up fat and sorted meat, cutting it ready for mincing and washed the brawn meat etc. before dinner. Then Eff came and we made sausages, haslet, duck, and 5 small pork pies. I got them cooked too and the brawn simmered several hours so won’t take long on Mon. Boiled the pluck, heart, tongue and a piece of sticking piece for mince pies. Jean took Aunt D[aisy], Mrs [Rose] Brown and Aunt J[essie] a fry each, she thought it was fine taking frys out. We gave G.ma and Eff chine, sausage, tiny bit of sparerib, scraps and fry and shall send brawn. Must send Connie something. It was nice to have a pig again. Tomorrow I must make mincemeat and make saus rolls and m. pies also bone pie, have stewed the bones. Then we can send Ron a taste. The extra hour of daylight was handy last night as the sun shone into the kitchen and I got cleaned up before dark. It was an awkward day to have the pig but could not be arranged otherwise. C Carter killed it for us and salted it. Father would not take the risk of salting. Rene did not come, expect she will turn up to-day.
Eva came an hour or two in the evening. Says they can’t get dried fruit anywhere. I have always been able to get enough currants and sultanas so far but not small st. [stoned] raisins lately. I have about ½ lb large Val. R. to put in mincemeat tho’. Got a little extra tea this week it seems there are ample supplies at present (sub rosa) and Mrs H[all] let me have 1 lb sugar extra. I did not ask for it. Father has 5 days holiday ended Tue night or Wed morning. Think he is enjoying the few days relief.
‘Brawn meat’ comprised various parts of the pig, including from the head, hocks, feet and skin. The meat was boiled to make ‘brawn’, a meat jelly. (For this and other pig-related items, chapter 5 of ‘Nobbut a Yellerbelly!’, Alan Stennett, Countryside Books, 2006.)
‘Haslet’ was a meat-loaf made by encasing selected parts of the pig-meat (e.g. chopped pork, liver) in a piece of the ‘apron’ before cooking. ‘Duck’ was a small individual savoury haslet, a variation on the general recipe.
‘Pluck fat’ from around the pig’s heart added a suet-like flavour to mincemeat.
The ‘sticking piece’ was pork meat from the neck. ‘Sticking’ referred to making a cut for bleeding, as part of the slaughtering process.
Jean’s Aunt Daisy was Will’s sister. (See 5th Jan 1941.)
‘Pig’s fry’ was used here to mean the same as ‘Pig Cheer’ being given out. ‘Fry’ sometimes referred to a fully prepared and cooked dish, for which there were various recipes, made up from a selection of the items.
Chine, a traditional Lincolnshire dish, was pork meat taken from either side of the backbone (strictly with the bone retained), usually salted and stuffed with parsley. When stuffed it was wrapped in cotton sheeting and boiled in a ‘copper’. ‘Christening chine’ was the biggest and best cut from between the shoulders. Smaller pieces of chine were sometimes roasted without stuffing.
‘Copper’ refers to a ‘copper boiler’ which typically incorporated a metal cauldron (generally cast-iron) with a brick surround, over a fireplace, in a scullery. May missed this arrangement, which she had been used to at ‘Sunny Side’. (See ‘A Yellowbelly Childhood’, Frank Forster, Seacroft Press, 2007, p24.)
Connie (‘Con’) was a daughter of Will’s eldest brother, George and Rose. Like Rene, Connie was a Red Cross member.
Bone pie was made from small chopped pieces (1- 2 inches) of spare-rib (rib bones with some meat attached), stewed and cooled before making into pie. The bone pieces were removed while the pie was being eaten.
Charlie Carter was a butcher in Hogsthorpe. His son, Claude, was a farmer.
‘ Val R.’ – Valencia raisins, probably meant here, would typically have been large soft and juicy.
‘Sub rosa’ – ‘under the counter’ or ‘not strictly according to regulations’ – referred in this case to rationing.
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?