Pigs Foot Soup: Getting Through Tough Times As A Family

by Sarah on November 14, 2012

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10391167 s 200x300 Pigs Foot Soup: Getting Through Tough Times As A Family

Today we’re eating pigs foot soup.

Thick and gelatinous, seasoned with onions and garlic, enriched with swiss chard and lentils, sharpened with a dash of cider vinegar.

When we didn’t have much money at all years ago, we got the pigs feet for free from our neighbor who sold free-range pigs. No one else eats them around here. So they were ours for the taking.

Back then, my kids didn’t really know what was in it. They just knew that it was rich and delicious.

The pigs foot soup nourished us when money was tight.

Today they know the full ingredients list. And even though I now have a solid business and we’re doing better financially, it still nourishes us.

But in a deeper way.

Because it’s a constant reminder that no matter how tough things get, you can find a way.

If you look, you’ll find resources you may not have known about. If you add some creativity and get to work, you can create something that nourishes you and your family no matter what the weather is outside.

In essence, don’t let doubts and fears blind you from what you can do.

It’s a reminder that frugality can give you riches.

When my husband lost his job years ago, we were able to put our money where it counted: Into taking care of our health and our family. And building our businesses and our farm.

We weren’t compelled to run out and take whatever jobs we could get. We weren’t compelled to allocate precious funds to commuting costs, work clothes, etc. We could reset our sights on what we really wanted to do. And put our resources into making that a reality.

When I look back to the time when my husband was out of work and I was busy juggling credit cards and bills, I realize that things weren’t really that different from now.

Back then, even though each purchase was fraught with debate . . . even though we heated water up on the wood stove to save money . . . and even though we ate pigs foot soup frequently . . .

Things weren’t that different.

Our children still sang silly songs, argued and got into wrestling matches with each other or with us.

My husband and I still discussed the news and made sure we had our evenings together after the kids went to bed.

As a family we still enjoyed exploring the woods and hills on our bikes or on foot.

We filled our freezer with blueberries each summer after a day of picking on the mountain. And put them in our oatmeal on winter mornings.

Money can’t buy love. It didn’t buy love then. And it doesn’t now.

So I know a lot of families are worried about what tomorrow and the next few months and years will bring. I understand because in the big picture there are some big problems looming over us. It’s impossible not to be aware of them if your eyes are open.

But I also know that you can pull together as a family and take care of what’s important. You can maintain control over your lives in many ways.

You can.

Take care of your health.

Take care of your family.

Spend time together.

If there is anything you need to hold onto fiercely when the going gets rough, it’s your health and your family.  These will get you through anything.

Don’t just bemoan what’s going wrong.

Don’t let the anxiety overwhelm you. Bear in mind that when you stress, your children sense it and stress too.

  • Instead fight back by taking control where you can.  Take control with exercise. Exercise is the best biological destresser in the world. It happens to be free. And exercising together as a family will give you more time together and help you defuse the pressure.

Don’t let money control your choices.

  • Use your resources wisely so you can focus your energy on sustaining yourself for the long haul. Cut spending where you can. Look for innovative ways to make do. And invest in your health, your relationships and in strategically building a life that makes sense.

You may find that nothing can be better – no matter how much money you have – than eating a good bowl of pigs foot soup. 

This kind of soup nourishes the strong person inside of you who can do more than you may understand.

Got some thoughts on this? Please comment below . . .

Got a butcher or farmer willing to give you some pigs feet and interested in cooking up some of this delicious, healthy soup? 

Here’s a basic recipe for pigs foot soup. Hint: You can make this in a slow cooker or I’ve left it simmering on our woodstove. The key is to let it simmer for several hours:

1. Wash 4 pigs feet with a scrub brush and white distilled vinegar. Bring some water to a boil and plop the pigs feet in it. Let them boil for only 2 minutes or so.

2. Remove them and cut or scrape off any remaining hair.

3. In a large Dutch oven, put a dollop of olive oil and saute up 1 chopped onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2-3 chopped carrots, 2-3 chopped celery stalks.

4. Add the pigs feet, beef bouillion (I like Better Than Bouillion), 2-3 cups beans (lentils or canellini work well), 2 bay leaves, thyme, black pepper, 8-10 cups water depending on how much soup you want.

5. Add in any additional greens or seasonings – kale, swiss chard, spinach, cabbage all work well. I’ve added cayenne, paprika and turmeric on different occasions. Let simmer for several hours until the pigs feet have dissolved and the beans are cooked.

6. About 10 minutes before serving, add a dash of cider vinegar. Also optional, dumplings: Mix some whole wheat bread flour with enough water to make a dough that you can knead. Knead for a few minutes and then roll into dumplings of any shape you like. Drop them into the soup and let cook until they rise to the top. Stir occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom.

Note: For more great ideas about eating traditional foods that have long been forgotten (like pig’s feet) check out, The Food Renegade.

my pic YHHB edited 1 150x150 Pigs Foot Soup: Getting Through Tough Times As A FamilySarah Clachar has built a thriving health copywriting business from scratch while being a mom . . . nurturing a strong marriage . . . and running a small homestead farm. Along with a BA in biology, she’s got two decades of experience teaching and researching about natural health. Her articles have been published in Life Extension Magazine, Health, Mothering, A Taste For Life, Nutrition Business Journal, and Natural Foods Merchandiser.

Over the years, she became keenly aware how important strategically working to maintain her health was for her business. And even more importantly, how good health factored into enjoying the rewards of having a successful business.

At Your Healthy Home Biz, Sarah has combined her expertise in health and her experience running a freelance health copywriting business into a special resource for home biz owners, freelancers and solopreneurs. Your Healthy Home Biz provides inspiration and a system for transforming your workday so you can run your home business without running yourself into the ground.

Want More Details On How To Energize And Transform Your Work Day? Sarah’s created a FREE report just for you: The Simplest Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Business, Your Waistline And Your Life. Go get your copy now!


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  • Billy Barker

    I think one of the best things we can do as a people  is what  God’s word tell’s us to do.Pray for God to change the president’s heart . Only He can do that when we pray His Word.

  • Katie

    This is a really lovely article. When our family started down a long path of hard times, it was so important and enriching to draw together. It led to greater nourishment of our souls as we were forced to make changes in our lifestyle. We really had to question what was most important to us. Drawing together has really taught us the value of experiences together, and just of love in general.

    Our bodies have become much better nourished, as well. Before the economic crisis really hit our family, we ate what we thought was a healthy diet of some whole foods and some processed foods. As our budget decreased I was forced to research ways to reduce the amount if money we were spending. I was unwilling to reduce our diet to cheap processed food. As I researched I really began to find information that led me to change our diet. I found communities online that really helped support our education about real food, and how to deeply nourish our bodies with the constraints of our budget. To be honest, we very much more enjoy the frugal and nourishing meals that we eat now. We’ve also found a local community of like minded folks, which is also very nourishing for our souls.

    Thanks for the great article. This was a nice thing to reflect on today.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.clachar Sarah Clachar

      Katie, thank you for sharing your story. It’s true – as we learned to
      eat more simply and from scratch due to economics, our diet became
      better. In fact it’s really hard to eat out now – even though we can
      afford to more – because it’s too salted, sweet, etc. Even with
      vegetables, fresh organic veggies from the store don’t taste anything
      near the vegetables we pick fresh from our garden. No comparison.

      Most importantly, I’m glad you made similar discoveries to what we did- what’s important.

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