There is one item that has been on "death row" in regards to being removed from our pantry: "vegetable" shortening. I had to put the word "vegetable" in quotations because really, vegetables aren't used to make shortening. I knew that vegetable shortening was highly processed, likely contained GMOs and chemicals, and was full of hydrogenated fats, but butter just wasn't a legitimate substitute for shortening to get flaky pie crusts.
Enter, lard. I know that lard is making a comeback, but we have taken a long time to jump on the lard bandwagon. Just the word "lard" is disgusting. Tub of lard. Lard-ass. Heck, it makes Trevor think of the dude from the queasy-inducing pie eating contest in the movie "Stand By Me."
We decided to hail that bandwagon and give it a try. We purchased 10 pounds of leaf lard from a local butcher (leaf lard is mild-flavored and comes from the kidney region of the pig). In the future, we will be sure to obtain lard, and ideally pork, from humanely-raised, pastured pigs. While I wish that we were doing this ourselves starting yesterday, we may have to explore other options, such as Peter's Heritage Acres.
About 3 hours later, the cracklings were brown and crispy-ish and floated to the top, so we turned the heat off and strained the lard and poured it into jars.