Brining and Smoking, Ham, Bacon, and Fat Back

Now we’re really experimenting.  We’re going to brine and smoke our own ham, bacon, and fat back using homemade brine.  People have done this for ages and not everyone died from it.  And yet I find myself googling “will ‘ropy’ brine kill you?” Back a week or two ago, before our bacon turned into a…

Lard and Cracklins

Lard and cracklins cook at the same time and it sometimes said “you can have good lard or good cracklins”, perhaps not both.  Apparently we throughly embraced the “good cracklins” side of things, so I’m not even going to talk about our lard right now.  It’s pretty embarrassing lard.   To start out we brought…

Liver, Kidneys, Heart, and Spleen

Innards are what my daughter calls “man’s food”.  In other words, “I’m not eating that”.  But you can eat it and it’s really quite nutritious.  We save the liver, kidneys, heart and spleen.  I’ve never cooked a spleen before, but I found a recipe so we’ll see.   The liver is the easiest to find…

Homemade Sausage Casings

There is shockingly little information on how to make your own sausage casings on the internet or in any of my books.  Either this is because it’s a bad idea and everyone knows it, or everyone just thinks it’s a bad idea and hasn’t tried it.  So tried it.  It’s really not as horrific as…

Hog Killing Day

There are philosophies to hog killing, and ours is of course the best.  Our philosophy is guided by two main principles.  One, the animal should be as calm and happy as possible, and  two, no one but the hog gets dead.  The first principle is important because not only is it indicative of your quality…

Butchering Hogs on The Homestead

All butchering days start pretty much the same way, but not necessarily how you might think.  It starts the day before, where most things start, in the kitchen.  Usually there’s lots of help for hog killing, and help needs to be fed well. So I start with meal planning.  It’s unlikely that people are going…

Canning Broth – The Practice of Everyday Economy

On of my favorite ways to practice everyday economy is canning broth.  This year post-Thanksgiving turkey was $0.19/lbs.  It’s hard to be more economic than that.  But unless it’s a holiday I’m not actually going to roast a whole turkey, so I part them out in sections to re-freeze, then all the leftover bits go…

Pond Landscaping Update

It’s amazing how much can get done with the right machines and people.  We’ve been able to take advantage of the mostly nice weather to get a lot of work done around the pond, and it is about done.  You can now drive all the way around the pond, and park and fish if you…

How To Make Perfect Homemade Bread

So, I know a lot of you are trying to make your own bread at home this week.  I know because I always buy 25 pounds of flour when I shop and where is the flour now? Gone, gone, gone.  No flour in the store.  So now that you have a 25 pound sack of…