Cooking Chitlins in Your Crock Pot
Chitlins were always a special treat.
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My father, may he rest in peace, came from the deep South in the US, not always a friendly place for a black man in the early part of the 20th century. He was born in Florida. Mom and the rest of us were born up North. He would tell the rest of us about eating hog mogs and gator tails.
Chitlins was something else that he ate. Chitlins are often associated with black culture, although they are also very much a white Southern meal, too. Chitlins, also known as chitterlings, are the small intestines of pigs. As a kid I loved eating chitlins. I loved eating chitlins so much as a kid that it always seemed like a special occasion when Mom served them.
The meal would usually consist of greens, potato salad, chitlins, hot corn bread and butter milk. Oh, and there was plenty of hot sauce for the cut up chitlins. You can’t eat chitlins without hot sauce.
There were plenty of cut up onions and tomatoes for the greens and butter for the hot corn bread, too. Dad would also put asparagus on his greens. I hated asparagus. Aspargus is slimmy.
The chitlins would come in ten pound buckets. The most important part of preparing the chitlins was cleaning them. Chitlins have a lot of fat and grit in them and they have to be cleaned well. The fat had to be pulled off and the chitlins had to be thoroughly cleaned two or three times to get all the grit and whatever else was in them out of them. And wow did they stink up the whole house. A ten pound bucket would yield five pounds of clean chitlins. Mom taught me how to clean the chitlins, and I was often assigned to clean the chitlins. I didn’t mind. I was the oldest son and it obviously meant Mom thought I was the most responsible. Yes, I was a Mama’s Boy and I’m proud of it: mother’s little helper.
In those days there were no crock pots, or, at least I didn’t know anything about a crock pot; but today, once your chitlins are clean just throw them in the crock pot, cover them with water and let them boil until they are tender and throw eating healthy out the window for at least one day.