The best parts, and those usually used for roasting, are the loin, the leg, the shoulder, the sparerib and chine. The hams, shoulders and middlings are usually salted, pickled and smoked. Pork requires more thorough cooking than most meats; if the least underdone it is unwholesome.
To choose pork: If the rind is thick and tough, and cannot be easily impressed with the finger, it is old; when fresh, it will look cool and smooth, and only corn-fed pork is good; swill or still-fed pork is unfit to cure. Fresh pork is in season from October to April. When dressing or stuffing is used, there are more or less herbs used for seasoning - sage, summer savory, thyme and sweet marjoram; these can be found (in the dried, pulverized form, put up in small, light packages) at most of the best druggists; still those raised and gathered at home are considered more fresh.
Peepare your dressing as for Dressing for Fowls, adding half an onion, chopped fine; set it inside. Take a young pig about six weeks old, wash it thoroughly inside and outside; and in another water put a teaspoonful of baking soda, and rinse out the inside again; wipe it dry with a fresh towel, salt the inside and stuff it with the prepared dressing; making it full and plump, giving it its original size and shape. Sew it up, place it in a knealing posture in the dripping-pan, tying the legs in proper position. Pour a little hot salted water into the dripping-pan, baste with butter and water a few times as the pig warms, afterwards with gravy from the dripping-pan. When it begins to smoke all over rub it often with a rag dipped in melted butter. This will keep the skin from cracking and it still will be crisp. It will take from two to three hours to roast. Make the gravy by skimming off most of the grease; stir into that remaining in the pan a good tablespoonful of flour, turn in water to make it the right consistency, season with pepper and let all boil up once. Strain, and if you like wine in it, add half a glass; turn it into a gravy boat. Place the pig upon a large, hot platter, surrounded with parsley or celery tops; place a green wreath around the neck, and a sprig of celery in its mouth. In carving, cut off its head first; split down the back, take off its hams and shoulders, and separate the ribs
Score the skin in strips about a quarter of an inch apart; place it in a dripping-pan with a very little water under it; cook it moderately at first, as a high heat hardens the rind before the meat is heated through. If it is very lean, it should be rubbed with fresh lard or butter when put into the pan. A stuffing might be made of bread crumbs, chopped sage and onions, pepper and salt, and baked separately on a pie dish; this method is better than putting it in the meat, as many persons have a great aversion to its flavor. A loin weighing about six pounds will roast in two hours; allow more time if it should be very fat. Make a gravy with flour stirred into the pork drippings. Serve with apple sauce and pickles.