Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



One of the Family

It’s National Pig Day. Have you ever had the opportunity to know a pig personally? They are an intelligent, caring, trainable creature. My daughter has one named Niko, who is one of the family, just like her dog, Sasha.


Sasha is a Boston Terrier and Niko is a pot belly pig. They play together like two dogs, love to have their bellies rubbed and compete for the best spot on the couch. The only real drawback is when Niko jumps on your lap, his hooves leave bruises. Oh, and he doesn’t lick your face, but will steal your snacks if left unattended. Yes, he is litter trained. He doesn’t like strangers and hates to be picked up, sort of like my cat. His “fur” is wiry and his nose feels like wet plastic. He’s a messy eater, but cleans up every last bit he drops in the process. We love to hear him snuffle in his sleep.

I always make time to pet the pig when I visit my daughter’s house. I don’t know how he does it, but I will be petting his back and talking to him, then he drops to his side to have his belly rubbed. He doesn’t move like a dog or cat in order to lie down, he just drops, suddenly, onto his side. It is the funniest thing, then he looks at me as if to ask what I’m waiting for. When I rub his belly, he closes his eyes and takes it all in. I’m sure he is purring on the inside.

National pig day was created to acknowledge all the attributes of swine.  Whether you have one as a family member, eat one, or read about one, pigs are wonderful creatures. One note of caution, a mama pig with piglets can be very dangerous to an intruding human they don’t know.

Scrapple? What’s That?

Scrapple is arguably the first pork food invented in America. For those who are not familiar with scrapple, which is also known by the Pennsylvania Dutch name “pon haus“, it is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal, wheat flour and spices.  (The spices may include, but are not limited to: sage, thyme, savory and black pepper.)  The mush is then formed into a semi-solid loaf, sliced and pan-fried

The immediate ancestor of scrapple was the Low German dish called panhas, which was adapted to make use of locally available ingredients and, in parts of Pennsylvania, it is still called Pannhaas, panhoss, ponhoss or pannhas.

I’m not personally acquainted with Scrapple so I included the above from the National Day of calendar.  When I mentioned it to my husband, he said, “I had it once in a restaurant near York, Pennsylvania,  and hope I never have to eat it again.” So much for the idea of making my own. I then looked up the contents of Spam; they are very similar except potato starch is used to hold things together instead of cornmeal. Maybe I will give one of the many recipes I found for scrapple a try and not call it that! It seems like it would be a good side dish for that weekend breakfast when no one wants to get dressed and there’s been too much bacon consumed recently. Seems anything covered with maple syrup as they suggest would be good!

Let me know how yours turns out!


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