Running lard through the grinder to facilitate rendering. We go through at least a quart per week. More if I get a hankering for fried chicken. Which I often do
On Saturday a pelting rain fell, turning the snow to slush. I ran in the heaviest of the precipitation, foolishly underdressed, churning my legs fast as possible to build body heat. By the time I turned back, where the road turns from third class to fourth, and the snowplow stops plowing, I was soaked through but warm enough.
The day before I’d skied late in the day, up through a sloping hayfield and into a high elevation sugarwoods Penny and I had first explored the day before that. It’s a beautiful, open, untapped bush; I can ski from here to there in 20 minutes or less, and then the options are boundless. This town perches on the edge of wilderness, or what passes for wilderness in Vermont. Sometimes this feels isolating to me. Sometimes it feels liberating.
I’m pretty sure I’m in the best shape of my life right now. I’ve always been in pretty good condition – this life does not suffer sloth, and we eat real clean. But this year I’ve been tending to my body with increased awareness and intent, and I like the way it feels. Even my bouncing pouch of gut fat – an, old, old friend – is much reduced. This despite frequent and liberal applications of lard and cream and bacon. Friends, let me remind you: Eating fat does not make you fat. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with being fat or at least part of the way there – I think our culture is way, way too obsessed with body weight and appearance. But my point remains: Do not fall for the lie that dietary fat equates to body fat. It’s a load of hooey.
I don’t write about food much, and I’m probably not going to start. But I will say that I think in general people get way too wound up about how they eat. I think it’s unhealthy as all get out. And I’m not saying I’ve got it all figured out, or even care to have it all figured out. We eat the way we do mostly because it fits our life and our budget and our ethos, and because we observe how good it makes us feel in body, mind, and spirit. That’s pretty much the long and short of it. Heather and I keep joking about putting on a “No Bullshit Diet” workshop, but then we realize that probably no one would sign up for a workshop that’s comprised of pretty much one sentence: Avoid processed foods and stop worrying, already. Because sometimes it seems to me that people like fussing over how they eat. Can’t for the life of me figure out why, but that does seem to be the case.
Anyway. It has gotten cold, and what snow remains has frozen into an iced-over sheet. There’ll be no skiing until more snow falls, but that’s ok. And anyway, I keep replaying a moment from my ski on Friday, when I was sluicing down a steep hill through the trees and flushed a fat deer. It bounded across my path in big, arcing leaps, suddenly in a hurry to be somewhere else. I pulled up short and watched it disappear.