Pig Smarts… Why isn’t This an Expression?

Written by Lillian Tram on August 31st, 2014

If you’re like most of us, then you have probably heard the story of The Three Little Pigs and know how the third little pig continually outsmarted The Big Bad Wolf, even when his two brothers couldn’t. Perhaps this story even made you question just how smart a pig really is. Or not, maybe you simply blew it off as a children’s story without ever thinking twice. So, just how intelligent are pigs?

 

Do You Have Pig Smarts?

 

 
The truth is that pigs actually are quite intelligent. As far as intelligence goes, pigs are in the same category as dolphins, apes, dogs and 3-year-olds. We all know that they are smart enough to find a trash can if it is left out where they are roaming and, of course, they certainly know their way around a slop bucket. That just makes them hungry, not necessarily smart. Although a good deal of their intelligence seems to be centered on food and the obtaining thereof.
 
The people who study animal intelligence are now telling us that the extent of a pig’s intellect is actually much more extensive than just foraging for food or learning to do a trick. Did you know that they can quickly figure out how to use mirrors for scoping their surroundings in order to find their food?
 
While there is still some doubt as to whether or not they recognize that the reflection they see as themselves – they can in fact use a mirror. As though they would be spending the time in front of a mirror to inspect their hairy chinny chin chins anyway. Why would they do that when mirrors could be used to find a much better sight, such as food?
 
Pigs are also great at remembering where the food is stored at, as well as the size of different stores. They will follow another pig if the pig acts as though it knows where to find good food. In addition to this, the second pig will try to trick the one following it so that it won’t have to share the food. How does that sound for intelligence?
 

 
Pigs have found several ways to show just how smart they are. For instance, they are great at learning tricks. Someone with enough pigs and the time to train them could effectively run their own circus with only pig performers. This is why so many people compare them to dogs.
 
Unlike dogs, however, they are like an elephant when it comes to forgetting something. Lessons learned are practically impossible for a pig to forget.
 
So, maybe the next time you are debating what sort of pet you might like to have, you will consider a pig. Much like your average household dog, a pig is sure to entertain and learn any tricks you choose to teach him.
 
Just beware that you don’t teach him something that you will wish you hadn’t, because chances are that they will never forget it no matter how much you may want him to.
 

 
Oh, and now you have a new expression… instead of saying  someone is as smart as a whip, fox or tack, remember that pigs are smarter than all of these!
 
 

Bacon Lovers Trail Mix Recipes!

Written by Lillian Tram on August 31st, 2014

What’s up with these crazy holidays? Can’t say I don’t like them… most of these so-called nationally recognized holidays are entertaining and fun! For example, guess what today is? National Trail Mix Day! But guess whow those of us who love pigs will celebrate this day? By adding bacon to the mix, of course.

 

Celebrate Bacon Trail Mix Day with Us!

 

 
Bacon Trail Mix! Doesn’t that sound great? To properly celebrate this holiday, here are some yummy trail mix ideas using our favorite food ever – BACON! Proceed with caution… these recipes and pictures will make you hungry!
 
Best of all, trail mix is a great source of protein, which the body needs for energy, but the added bacon boosts the protein level even more! Normally, bacon by itself is a yummy treat but with the following five snack mix ideas, you will definitely please the people in your life.
 
To make any of these yummy bacon trail mixes, you will need to fry some bacon until crisp. Put the crisp bacon on a paper towel to drain. Crumble bacon when cool and store in an airtight container until used for any of these pig-errific recipes!

 

Five Bacon Trail Mix Ideas

 
1. Cheez-Its and Bacon Trail Mix – You will need a box of cheese crackers (Cheez-Its are my favorite), 1/2 cup of crumbled bacon, and honey roasted peanuts. Some additional ideas to include in this bacon trail mix is cashews and pretzel sticks.

 

 

2. Toffee and Bacon Trail Mix – Oh, don’t you just love the taste of toffee? Bet you probably haven’t eaten it with bacon though. This trail mix combines bits of toffee with crumbled bacon and pretzels – I like the sticks best but square pretzels are great too!

 

 

3. Munchie Crunchie Bacon Trail Mix–  This one adds a bit of spicy flavor to your bacon trail mix but there is a little more prep work involved. You will need to place the following dry goodies for this bacon trail mix idea in a roasting pan: 3 cups of Crispix breakfast cereal, 5 cups of Tostitos round tortilla chips (white or yellow), 1 bag of microwaved popcorn, popped (I prefer Kettle Corn!), 1 ½ cups of pretzel sticks or squares, 1 cup of Craisins, and 1 cup of pecan halves or mixed party nuts. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
 
For the seasoning, you will need to place the following ingredients in a small saucepan: ½ cup of real butter, ½ cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of chile powder, 1 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
 
Pour the saucepan mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Bake for one hour in the oven, stirring at regular intervals. Pour the delicious bacon trail mix onto wax paper while it is still hot. Allow the mix to cool before storing in airtight bags.

 

 

4. S’more Bacon Trail Mix –  Now, this one is probably going to be your favorite if you love chocolate and big fluffy marshmallows. Incidentally, yesterday was National Toasted Marshmallow Day – how cool is that? You can celebrate both bacon and marshmallow days with this recipe!
 
Grab a big mixing bowl and add one cup of Golden Grahams cereal, one cup of honey flavor Teddy Grahams, 1/2 cup of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Chips, 1/2 cup of Milk Chocolate M&M’s, one cup of mini marshmallows, one cup of dehydrated mini marshmallow bites (comes in a cylindrical container near the store’s supply of hot cocoa) and 1/2 cup of bacon pieces (Was that angels singing?).  Stir well and dig in.
 

 
5. Kentucky Bourbon Bacon Trail Mix– Now, this trail mix may not be the healthiest snack ever, but hey – we are choosing foods that complement the delightful taste of bacon. Here are the ingredients you will need: one 15 ounce bag of traditional Chex Mix, one cup of pecan halves, 1/2 pound of crumbled bacon or 6 to 8 slices, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup of real butter, 1/4 cup of light corn syrup, 2 tablespoons of Kentucky bourbon (Jim Beam!) and 3/4 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder.
 
Heat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with foil. Spray the foil-lined sheets with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (Chex mix, pecans and bacon) and set aside. In a saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until bubbling around the edges.
 
Continue to cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat. Allow the saucepan mixture to cool for two minutes before carefully adding the bourbon and Chipotle powder. Pour this mixture over the dry snack mixture, and toss until evenly coated.
 
Spread the snack mix across the two pans and bake for fifteen minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the mixture is caramelized. Allow to cool completely, which should take approximately one hour. Break into pieces and store in refrigerator, inside an airtight container to seal in freshness.
 

 

Try these awesome recipes as they are or adapt them to suit your own personal tastes. Leave a comment if you loved them!

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10 Insane (But True) Facts About Pigs

Written by Lillian Tram on August 27th, 2014

No matter which feature you love best, those plump little bodies or little pink snots, pigs are truly adorable… and even irresistible to some. We all know that pigs are unique and intelligent animals, but did you know these 10 insane (but true) facts about pigs?
 

10 Insane (But True) Facts About Pigs

 

 (And… ten insanely adorable piggy pictures that you will love!)

 
1. Pigs are great communicators: over 20 vocalizations that they use to communicate with each other have been identified. No matter what the situation, pigs have a specific squeal, oink or grunt that has a distinct meaning.
 

 
2. Pigs are very social creatures who are constantly playing, exploring and interacting with each other. They love contact and form close bonds with one another and individuals. They also love to sleep nose-to-nose and snuggle close to one another.
 

 
3. Like humans, pigs dream while sleeping. They also love many of the same activities that humans do, such as: listening to music, getting massages, sunbathing, playing, exploring and playing with soccer balls.
 

 

 
4. Cambridge University Veterinary School, Professor Donald Boom states that, “[Pigs] have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly [more so than human] 3-year-olds.”
 
State Penn University Professor Stanley Curtis has discovered that pigs are capable of abstract representation and can play video games, which are controlled by a joystick.
 

 
5. Contrary to popular belief, pigs are actually very clean animals. They keep their bathroom area as far away as possible from where they eat and sleep at. Within hours of birth, a new born piglet will leave its mother’s nest to go to the bathroom.
 
Since pigs are unable to sweat, they often bathe in mud or water in order to stay cool with a preference for water. One woman even created a shower in the barn for her pigs, which they learned how to operate on their own.
 

 

 
6. While nursing, mother pigs will “sing” to their piglets. Newborn piglets learn to identify their mother’s voice and run to her when called, they can also learn to recognize their own names.
 

 
7. A full-grown pig can run up to 11 mph. They have also been known to find their way home over long distances and have an amazing sense of direction.
 

 

 
8. A pig’s snout is extremely flexible and strong due to the round disk of cartilage in the tip and they have an excellent sense of smell.
 

 
9. Pigs rarely show aggression and are generally very peaceful, aside from when a mother and her young is threatened or provoked.
 
Johannesburg Zoo director and biologist, Lyall Watson, states in his book (The Whole Hog) that, “I know of no other animals [who] are more consistently curious, more willing to explore new experiences, more ready to meet the world with open mouthed enthusiasm. Pigs, I have discovered, are incurable optimists and get a big kick out of just being.”
 

 

 
10. Pigs do not actually ‘pig out’, they are very slow eaters and prefer to savor their food.
 

 
These 10 crazy, but true, facts about pigs are sure to give you a new appreciation for these unique and amazing barnyard animals. If you already knew this information, I bet you enjoyed the pictures! I’m willing to bet you said ‘aww’ at least once.
 

Top Five Fabulously Famous Pigs

Written by Lillian Tram on August 23rd, 2014

Everyone loves pigs! Even if they don’t want to own one, they still like them. This is why pigs have made it big on the silver screen. Some pigs have even became celebrities unto themselves. Here is a list of five of the most famous pigs in history.
 
 

Five Fabulous and Famous Pigs

 
 
1. Porky Pig
 

Created in 1936 by Warner Bros., this little piggy has ruled the silver screen for more than 70 years. Originally one of the foremost characters in their Looney Tunes series, after the introduction of other characters such as Daffy duck and Bugs Bunny, Porky became more of a sidekick and icon with his lovable stammer and his “Ble, ble, ble, That’s All Folks!”
 
 
2. Piglet
 
First appearing in Winnie-the-Pooh books by A.A. Milne in 1936, and inspired by one of Christopher Robin Milne’s stuffed toys, Piglet is Winnie the Pooh’s very best friend. Even though he is a “very small animal” with a somewhat timid disposition, he often wins the hearts of many with his occasional attempts at being brave and conquering his fears.
 
 
3. Arnold Ziffel
 
First appearing in the show ‘Green Acres’ on CBS in 1965, Arnold Ziffel was an American Yorkshire pig who acted as the son of Doris and Fred Ziffel. The humorous show depicted Arnold as being able to do virtually anything. He could change the TV channels, write, play piano, attend school and much more.
 
Throughout the series he became a “Porky Picasso” whose suggestive painting was banned, worked as a “paper pig” delivering papers, fell in love with a dog, drafted in to the Army and much more. 
 
 
4. Miss Piggy
 
Created by Bonnie Erickson and Frank Oz, Miss Piggy first appeared on Herb Alpert and the TJB in 1974. While she was originally created as a minor character, Miss Piggy’s capricious nature eventually developed her into one of the main characters of the show.
 
Believing that she is destined for stardom, this diva often tries to convey sweet feminine charm, but usually will fly into an unexpected rage with her trademark karate chop (often at her overly reserved boyfriend, Kermit the Frog).
 
Miss Piggy was one of the first, and possibly the only pig character to ever have developed into a tried and true celebrity in her own rite.

 
 
5. Babe
 
Created as the star character in the book ‘The Sheep Pig’ by Dick King-Smith in 1983, Babe became an international star when the book was adapted and released as the box-office-hit: ‘Babe: The Gallant Pig’.
 
Featuring an amazing cast of quirky farm animals for friends, Babe goes on a series of misadventures. When he is almost chosen for Christmas dinner, he sets out to show that he is useful and deserves to live by showing the farmer (Authur) that he is a sheep herding pig. Babe’s adventures, determination and gallant actions earned him a place in the hearts of many.
 

 
This list of five of the most famous pigs who have made the “Pig Hall of Fame” successfully remind us, yet again, why pigs are one of the most amazing and best-loved creatures in history!
 
Who is your favorite of these most famous pigs? Do you have a favorite that didn’t make out list? Let us know!
 

DIY Pig-tastic Bacon Butter Recipes!

Written by Lillian Tram on August 19th, 2014

Bacon… and butter, two of the tastiest foods EVER! But have you thought about combining them into one? Bacon butter! Here are some yummy, delicious (and did I say awesome?) recipes for making your own flavored butter!
 
Perfect on a stack of hotcakes and even better on fresh homemade buttermilk biscuits, this bacon butter is a real family pleaser! There are even recipes for a bacon butter corn and turkey rub!
 

DIY Bacon Butter Recipes

 

 

 Not in any special order, here are some bacon butter recipes. Check them out and tell us which ones you loved best… if it is possible to choose just one. I’m just not sure it’s possible.

 

Corn on the Cob Bacon Butter Recipe:

 

You will need to mix together the following: one stick of softened butter (You can use salted if you like, but the bacon brings salt to this recipe, so I recommend the unsalted butter!), one tablespoon of dry ranch dressing mix, and 1/4 cup of crumbled bacon, freshly fried and drained on a paper towel.
 
This is absolutely scrumptious on corn as well as several other foods! The ranch lovers in your family will be hooked!

 

Turkey Bacon Butter Rub Recipe:
 
You will need a food processor (or Ninja!) for this recipe. In the processor, combine the following ingredients: one stick of unsalted butter (same reason as above!), six or eight pieces of freshly fried, drained and crumbled bacon, six leaves of sage (or the equivalent on your spice rack, if fresh isn’t available), one tbsp. of thyme leaves and 1/2 tsp. of fresh ground pepper.
 
Process until this mixture is smooth, and scrape onto Saran wrap. Shape the processed butter into a log and wrap tightly before placing it in the refrigerator.
 
Allow the butter to sit for a few hours or a few days, allowing the flavor to develop. After your turkey is prepared, cut the log of bacon butter into thin discs.
 
Using your hands, carefully slide each disc in between the skin and the meat of your turkey. Let the turkey to sit for a few minutes, allowing the bacon butter to soften underneath the skin.
 
After a few minutes of softening, massage the discs of butter to spread the bacon butter out more evenly under the skin. Follow your original recipe for roasting. The turkey should taste wonderful!

 

 

Bacon Butter Recipe for Breads (and Nearly Anything Else):
 

 
Adapted from Bon Apetit, this bacon butter is absolutely divine and adds a remarkable flavor to everything! With this recipe, you can use a butter mold for a pig-tastic table presentation.
 
You will need the following ingredients to begin: one slice of uncooked bacon, finely chopped, 1/2 cup (or one stick) of softened, unsalted butter (the bacon brings salt to this recipe), one tbsp. of bourbon, one tbsp. of pure maple syrup, and one tsp. of brown sugar.
 
When choosing whether to use light or dark brown sugar, remember the difference between these two is the amount of molasses. Personally, I use the dark brown because the rich flavor pairs well with the scrumptious taste of bacon. You can also add a pinch of salt to this recipe if you like, but remember there is already salt content in the bacon. You don’t want too much salt as this may overpower the other flavors.
 
Chop the uncooked bacon into tiny pieces and fry until crisp before placing on a paper towel to drain, saving a tsp. of the bacon fat for this recipe. In a small mixing bowl, combine the bacon, reserved tsp. of fat, butter, bourbon, brown sugar and maple syrup. Season now with the pinch of salt, if desired, and mix well. Your bacon butter is ready to store using airtight jars in the refrigerator until needed, for up to two weeks.
 

Do you have any great bacon butter recipes?

 

Let us know if you try one or all of these by commenting below!

 

How to Speak Pig Latin

Written by Lillian Tram on August 16th, 2014

You may think that Pig Latin is an actual language but in truth, this is just a fun game to play with the English language. No one is sure where Pig Latin even originated from, the earliest mention is known to have occurred in 1869. It is even believed that Thomas Jefferson used Pig Latin letters to his friends. Originally, Pig Latin was likely dreamed up by juveniles who wished to converse in a special code not everyone could understand.

 

Do you know how to speak Pig Latin?

 

 

So, how does one learn Pig Latin? Pig Latin is  the easiest second language you will ever learn. However, claiming to be bilingual after learning Pig Latin won’t earn you any brownie points with your boss or get you a raise – unless you happen to have a really, really fun job.

 

Easy Steps to Speaking Pig Latin

 

To learn to art of Pig Latin, words that begin with consonants must be properly spoken. Basically, you will make Pig Latin words from those which begin with a consonant or consonant cluster by moving the consonant(s) from the beginning of the word to the end. Then, all you have to do is add the suffix of “-ay” to the word’s end.

This creates single consonant words like ello-hay for hello, uck-day for duck, and “Pig Latin” becomes Ig-pay Atin-lay. Words with consonant clusters in their beginning will change a little differently. In Pig Latin, the word “switch” becomes itch-sway, “glove” becomes ove-glay, and longer terms such as “fruit smoothie” becomes uit-fray oothie-smay.

If the word starts with a vowel, the approach to Pig Latin fluency is only mildly different. When words begin with vowels, you only need to add “-yay” to the word’s end. Some easy examples include: I-yay for “I”, are-yay for “are”, and as-yay for “as”.

 

 

The rules of Pig Latin change only slightly for words with the letter “y” as these can be a little more tricky. If  the “y” is at the beginning of a word, treat it like a consonant. Example: “yellow” becomes ellow-yay

 

The normal rules of Pig Latin will apply if “y” is the second letter in a word with only two letters. Example: “by” becomes y-bay

If  “y” is at the end of a consonant cluster, this is treated like a vowel and is not moved to the word’s end. Example: “rhythm” becomes ythm-rhay

Compound words in Pig Latin are the most fun when they are split up, making the conversation more difficult to understand.

Example: “bedroom” changes to ed-bay oom-ray and “toothbrush” becomes ooth-tay ush-bray.

Learning Pig Latin

Learning Pig Latin is only beneficial if there is someone to secretly converse with. Also, learning the rules of Pig Latin and practicing with someone can be a lot of fun! You will be able to carry on top secret conversations!

At first, Pig Latin is a little tricky but the challenge and the practicing can be a lot of fun. The more you practice, the better you will speak Pig Latin. Speak and write notes with your friends in Pig Latin for great practice.

Because Pig Latin is not an actual language but more of a fun hobby, you may come across others who form their words a little differently. It is normal to find variations to this humorous language.

Memorizing a few of your personal favorite phrases will help to speed communication considerably. Example: “What’s up?” becomes At’s-whay up-way?

When conversing in Pig Latin, speak slowly and enunciate your words correctly. Your friends will be more able to understand you, and you won’t have to repeat yourself so much.

Technology and Pig Latin

 

 

If you need some help converting English to Pig Latin, or Pig Latin to English, there are numerous apps and websites online to help. Do you learn better by playing games? If so, you are in luck! There are several games online to improve your Pig Latin.

 

Easeplay eavelay ouryay ommentscay erehay, inway Englishway orway Igpay Atinlay!

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