Use a tub that has had no tainted lard or meat in it; scour it out thoroughly with two quarts of wheat bran to four of boiling water, but use no lye or soap. Fry the lard until the scraps are brown, but not scorched or burned; remove from the fire, cool until it can be handled, and strain into the prepared tub; when cold, set it away in the cellar. Lard dipped off as fast as it melts will look very white, but will not keep through the summer. No salt should be added, as it induces moisture and invites mold.
For a five-pound piece of meat take a three-gallon stone crock; have some pans of skimmed milk that is turning sour, just getting thick; put some of the milk in the crock; then put in the meat; then put in milk till it covers the meat; now turn an earthen dish or plate bottom-up on the meat to hold it down; fill the crock with the milk; tie a cloth over the top, and set in a cool place; it will keep five or six days in the hottest weather. When wanted for use, wash thoroughly in water, and cook in any manner desired.
For one hundred pounds of meat, take eight pounds of salt, two ounces saltpetre, and four gallons water; put hams in this pickle in the fall, keeping them well under the brine; in April, take out, drain three or four days, slice as for cooking, fry nearly as much as for table, pack in stone jars, pressing down the slices as fast as they are laid in the jars; when full, put on a weight, and when entirely cold cover with the fat fried out. Prepared in this way, they retain the ham flavor without being smoked. The gravy left from frying will be found very useful in cooking.
In the fall, about the first of November, people in the country generally kill a good-sized pig, to last until "butchering time." To cure the hams of such, first rub well, especially around the bone on fleshy side, with one-half of the salt, sugar, cayenne and saltpetre, well pulverized (same proportions as for corned-beef), adding a teaspoon of allspice to each ham; put a layer of salt in bottom of cask, and pack in hams as closely as possible; let stand three or four days, then make a brine of the other half of salt, etc., and pour over meat, putting a good weight on top; when it has lain three or four weeks it is ready for use.
For one dozen tongues make a brine of a gallon and a half of water (or enough to cover them well), two pints good salt, one of molasses, or one pound brown sugar, and four red peppers; bring to a boil, skin, and set to cool. Pack the tongues in a large jar, and when the brine is entirely cold, pour it over them, put on a weight, let remain ten or twelve days, take out, drain, and hang to smoke about two days, then dry moderately, and put away in a flour sack in a dry place. When wanted for use, boil six or eight hours in a pot filled with water, adding more when necessary so as to keep well covered all the time until done; when done, take out and set away to cool, but do not skin till needed for the table.