Rendering Lard from Pork Fat

We made lard this past weekend; at least, my husband did while I washed the jars , cleaned the kitchen and make pumpkin puree from a sugar pumpkin.

Homemade lard

We raised our pigs in the woods behind our chicken coop; we started them in early spring and they were ready for butchering this past week. Each weighed in at 300+ pounds and even with plenty of fat in the sausage and on the roasts and chops, there was enough to put up a dozen quarts of lard.  It’s really easy to make lard at home.

How to Make Lard

  1. Cut the pork fat into small cubes.
  2. Put the fat in the pot and the pot on a  burner.
  3. Turn the heat to low.
  4. Stir periodically as the fat begins to melt off.
  5. Ladle the melted fat through a strainer and into clean, dry mason jars.
  6. Allow jarred lard to cool.
  7. Continue ladeling fat off until there are only the browned cracklings left.
  8. Save the cracklings for baking projects, salad topping, etc.

Rendering lard outdoors

We made our lard outside this time, both to avoid creating the fatty odor indoors (we were hosting a dinner party only hours later) and to free up the stove. The propane Coleman stove was perfect.

Making lard from pork back fat

We used two different types of fat: the back fat (pictured above) and the belly fat or leaf lard (pictured below).


Homemade lard


Lard making 8

While still hot, lard is a pale yellow color:

jars of lardBut it cools to white or off-white and can easily be spooned out of the jar for cooking, baking and frying.

And just in case you didn’t know, lard from grass-fed/  forage raised pigs is a good fat to have. And it’s making a comeback:

Lard book of recipes


The Vitamin C Treatment of Pertussis

Vitamin C treatment for pertussis

Whooping Cough & The Vitamin C Protocol

It all started this summer, when we heard there was a case of pertussis in our county. My mom friends and I freaked out calmly researched the best ways to prevent and treat pertussis naturally at home.

Lucky for us, a friend of mine in SC had just been through it with two of her kids, who caught it from a vaccinated cousin this spring. She pointed us toward an article on the Vitamin C Treatment for Whooping Cough by Suzanne Humphries, M.D. Reading that article gave me a sense of calm and the fear subsided. Her approach was reassuring, and she provided a solid, proven protocol complete with the best types of vitamin C and dosage information.

As a preventative, knowing they’d been in contact with cousins of the little girl with confirmed pertussis, I began giving my children a combination of vitamin C powders (whole food acerola powder as well as the more potent sodium ascorbate) every morning. I was just doing normal doses, more than they’d get in a chewable C but still just as a daily supplement. For acerola, that was 1.5 tsp; the sodium ascorbate was just 1/4 tsp.

The Cough … and the ‘Cure’

When Nicholas,who’s 4.5 years old, began to cough at night, I thought it was irritation from the chlorine — we were at the pool nearly daily in August, and he was still perfecting the whole ‘don’t get water in your mouth’ thing. But after the second or third night, I began to wonder. I gave him vitamin C, just the sodium ascorbate kind, at night too. And then he typically made it to morning without coughing, even though we weren’t giving him as much in the beginning as we did later on.

I put the word “cure” in quotes out of caution. I don’t want to get in trouble with the FDA.  But  let me be clear, the vitamin C allowed my son to heal without the prolonged, damaging cough inherent to pertussis and other respiratory infections. 

I upped Nicholas’ doses of C in response to his needs. The other four kids were getting 1/4 tsp sodium ascorbate (or 1.5 tsp acerola) once a day; Nicholas took four times that (1 tsp sodium ascorbate) several times a day. If he coughed at night, I got him more; the cough would stop and he’d sleep. He never reached bowel tolerance; which means his body needed and used every bit of the many, many doses of vitamin C he received.

As long as he had enough vitamin C, Nick didn’t cough. His eyes looked a bit watery/ red; I could tell his body was fighting something, but he wasn’t sick. I kept him home for a few days when he was first coughing, but when the cough was gone thanks to the constant vitamin C, we went about life as normal. We visited cousins; I first told my sister about his cough and the vitamin C treatments we were doing and she said to come anyway. We brought a bottle with us, dosed all 9 kids daily,  and left it for them when we went home, just in case.

Was it Whooping Cough?

In retrospect, I suspect that my son had pertussis/ whooping cough this summer. Initially, he did have the fever and runny nose and mild cough. Then the fever was gone, and I thought he was fine (of course, we were doing vitamin C so he had few symptoms). There were just two times that he had real coughing spells and we heard the characteristic “whoop” at night; within 5-10 minutes of an immediate higher dose of vitamin C, it was gone. Nobody else caught it, not the brother who shares a room with him nor the rest of his siblings; not his cousins, none of our pool friends. The vitamin C perhaps allowed his body to fight it to the point that he was minimally contagious instead of highly contagious.

Maybe it was some other respiratory thing and not pertussis; but my husband, myself and my RN sister all think it was quite likely whooping cough. Had there been a  need to take him to the hospital or doctor, we would have, of course, and a swab test would likely have given us accurate results in the beginning. With the vitamin C and plenty of fluids, extra rest and lots of sunshine, he was fine, and we never took him in.

In the end, we’d been giving the high dose vitamin C to him for over a month before we naturally tapered back down; he stopped asking for “my vitamin C please, mama” as his body slowly stopped needing so much. Now he’s back on the regular daily supplement dose with the other kids.


  1. The Vitamin C Treatment for Whooping Cough – Updated, by Dr. Suzanne Humphries, M.D.
  2. Testimonials from families who have used her vitamin C protocol
  3. Why is Nobody Studying Vitamin C in Whooping Cough?
  4. Curing the Incurable by Dr. Thomas Levy, M.D.
  5. Lypho-Spheric vitamin C recommended by Dr. Levy
  6. Sodium Ascorbate vitamin C powder (non-GMO)