A Sacred Thing

We just finished our main season for harvesting animals, and someone asked me recently if it makes me sad to kill them.  Most people, even meat eaters, can hardly imagine killing an animal themselves. After many years of growing both the meat and the vegetable part of our food, I have come to realize that…

Holiday Madness

Everyone always tries to do too much for the holidays. Our version of that this year was an apparent fit of madness in which we decided to take advantage of the cool weather and slaughter a giganormous pig just before Christmas. Bee was actually our first Gloucester old spot to have piglets on the farm….

The Longest Night 2017

Today marks exactly a year since we left our house in town to live in the middle of nowhere with our garden and animals.   I love the long,  dark nights of winter,  when you can wake up in the middle of the night and feel the quiet emptiness around you, and the soft breath of…

Bacon

The bacon is finally finished curing and air-drying.  It turned out quite good this time, and we got almost 20lbs of bacon from one pig, after curing.  This means it was probably originally 25 or so pounds fresh. When bacon is cured traditionally, salt and a small amount of sugar, spices and seasonings are rubbed…

Chicharrones and Pork Pie

      The Chicharrones (or, as they are called here in the South, Pork Rinds) are just the pork skin sliced and baked for awhile.  In general, we scald and scrape our pigs, not only because cured hams must have the skin-on, but also so we can save the skin for these delightful, crunchy…

Scrapple

    Spleen   Kidneys The lungs, or as they were known in times past, the “lights” Scrapple is a perfect breakfast food – it is meaty, savory, and sticks to your ribs.  It is delicious and nourishing, and a perfect way to start off the day. I like it because it is a delicious…

Sausage

  Sausage seasonings being mixed – we only use pure organic herbs and spices and sea salt.   Sausage being mixed   The results   Black Sausage Ingredients   Liverwurst getting ready to be made There has been some confusion about the pig classes we are offering.  I think in being overly flexible about what…

Pâté Progression

  I thought it would be interesting to show what goes into the various tasty things we made over the weekend.  Naturally, I am starting with the most photogenic end – the result.  Most Americans, I think, would be a bit squeamish when it comes to looking at a picture of raw liver.  They are…

First Pig Harvest

Getting started….   All of these fresh organs are used to make delicious traditional foods….     We harvested the first of the spring piggies over the weekend.  Everything went so well, and we were careful not to pack too much into one day this time.  The scald water was the perfect temperature, and scalding…

Oxtail Soup

Everything went well on Friday – and yes, I do have a pot of oxtail soup on my stove right now!  I made some changes to my usual recipe and used soaked cassava instead of potatoes, pumpkin instead of carrots, and Shungiku (an edible chrysanthemum) and cutting celery instead of celery.  It made me happy…

A Break

We finally got around to processing the rest of the turkeys.  There were only seven left, but we had to 1) Clean out the lower room, which is a nightmare of junk 2) Move in the new freezer and set it up 3) Wait for a weekend it was not raining. We ALMOST got #3…

First Attempt At Bacon

  Inspired by the River Cottage Curing and Smoking Handbook, Ethan cured some bacon last week.  It’s good, but not quite what we expected – it’s a little heavy on the juniper berries and bay leaf.  Not bad at all, but I guess we’re used to Southern-style bacon.  We’re going to try it again with…