Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recycling, New Bag, Garden Planning Early

I am a roadside trash digger looking for useful things, and I often look for bins/trash trailers to find things I KNOW I need, that was the key word (know). As far as roadside stuff, 4 ways, get out look around, grab something if I need it, and return the pile as it was or neater.

Most people/companies won't give permission to get into their dumpsters, but it never hurts to ask or if something is on top and you can pinch it real quick, still ask perhaps even an employee will get it for you.

I am wanting to build a small green house or cold frames on my property. So I am going to be seeking out window installers to get some free windows this spring. I also located an area on my property that I can put a small green house and several places for cold frames.

It wasn't until last night did I ever see one of these!!
I think this is fantastic idea, but I wonder how long it will take to rot? Also I wonder how many other chip companies will move forward with this idea. I wonder what other food/application we can use this idea for? It would be wonderful if this could replace all primary holding bags and leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Buy your seeds ASAP this year, my visit to both big box stores are already showing empty slots. I have saved some seed last year as well as received some seeds from my uncle/mark. In order to be more self sufficient I think its important to save as many seeds as you can from year to year. Also trading seeds with folks you know in real life and on line friends is a good way to expand the type of veggies you currently have.

I will doing my smoking video next weekend, I am excited about being able to share this great idea with you. Really makes for good eats as well. Fact that its a natural way to add smoke flavoring, no chemicals are used.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

An Awesome Useful Book To Have.

I have in many post suggested buying Country Wisdom & Know-How as a tool to use to help you along in your journey of living as self sufficient as you choose to do. Here is a picture of mine, note how well used this book is.
This book is filled with more than how to garden, it has recipes, crafts, elixirs, quilting, canning, soap making, lotions, home repairs, animal assistance/health, meat sectioning for small and large game, chicken/duck rearing and under ground storage. To be honest it's just filled with information that will help the novice self sufficient person. Whether your just starting a self sufficient lifestyle or whatever level your at, this book is a must have.

At a small cost of $12.97 this book is worth its weight in gold. Instead of purchasing several dead tree books (paper books) and spending loads of money, purchase this book first. I have personally cooked several recipes from the book, yum yum pigs bum!!!

If you purchase this book, I look forward o getting some feedback from you here on my blog.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Last year's potato baskets - video

How to grow above ground potatoes in baskets for 2010 growing season!




Deer, snow in the back yard!!

We were lined up to get 6 more inches last night, that didn't happen!!! However we did get 4 inches.... I plowed about 10 last night and headed back up this morning on the plow. Only a half inch fell today, and they are expecting another 4-6 again tonite.... But it is what it is, a season that should only come and go when I agree it should. While we're at it, I wanna take time off winter, add it to spring and some to summer, the beginning part of summer too, and the added time to the back side of spring. So I guess what I am saying, we need to create a new season call SPRIMER. SPRIMER is the time taken from winter and placed between spring and summer.

Three cheers for SPRIMER!!!


http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011706.jpg 

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011705.jpg

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011704.jpg

I am feeling a little better today and I was able to eat a full meal today. Although some stuff sat well, others didn't when I was feeling ill.

I counted 7 deer last night that showed up to the feed I put out. I don't do it very much once a year or twice, never the same spot thou. The picture was taken through a window as not to spook the fellas. As you can see they look pretty healthy. The bucks have since lost their horns, and I was pleased to sex the largest deer of the group to be the buck I was I saw last week. Can I get that to go please!!

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/PA1011717.jpg

The other two not in the photo were up the hill a little, just out of the cameras view.

I am looking forward to making my cold smoking video soon, I am saving a leg of deer, I will have some salted cod, some trout, jerky and bologna to smoke all at once. I might do some pork chops as well, but I will need to be careful of my temps. I might smoke a loin as well, I will decide a couple days before. Cold smoking is a wonderful self sufficient way to preserve and add flavor to meats, jerky as well as cheese.

I also have some canning to do before long, being ill the last week and a half has put me off as I was going to have all my canning done by now. But I will get it done. Sometimes being self sufficient has challenges.

First 100% SS Meal !!!

I feel positive that my diet has been pretty good, the last time we ate out was when we went to the strip district. We don't like to eat out because you just don't really know what your putting into your mouth. I eat more grains/nuts than ever before as well as lean meat. I also am careful about how much cheese I eat and which types of cheese. I know I eat about 6 servings of veggies a day if not more. I have leftovers for lunch about everyday and add fruit.

However, sometimes, somethings, you just can't change. Like bacon, there is no meat that can take the place of bacon, in the world. I am currently reading and understanding how to make my own bacon better as I continue my quest to being self sufficient. Bacon is a comfort food to me, and I think cold be a asset to learn as part of m homesteading skills. This is as much of an adventure as it is a skill I am learning.

I also am careful about my meals during the week. Because I have been so ill, this week has been a rough one as far as food. So I feel a little better today, and decided I would have a meal with some fat in it. Sausage and bacon in the same meal....

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011702.jpg

However my sausage (pheasant and pork loin) doesn't contain huge amounts of fat, in fact has to be cooked in olive oil. The bacon, well it is what it is, under seasoned,  but the peppers are stuffed with cream cheese and chives.

The above meal was all prepared by me, the pheasant I harvested, pork/bacon I bought locally, I grew peppers, smoked the bacon myself, and I grew the corn and vac packed the same day I picked it. The sausage was the last thing I made and its been a couple months in the freezer.

I don't measure the sausage while making it, I tell DS that's good and he stops the stuffer.

Living Longer And Better From Being SS

If you think about it, changing your life to live longer is a powerful thing to do. I am so glad I understood what smoking was all about, to bad I wasn't wise enough to understand it before putting in that first dip/lighting my first cig to look cool. So 18 years of smoking behind me now, and if by grace I don't suffer from some ill affect from smoking, I will be lucky.

Now, being SS has educated me about my body like nothing else, the military taught me but not from a food/water/air point of view. Three years ago when I started to grow my own food, I started to learn what the food was doing. Even up until last fall, I am still under standing my bodies needs for better health, I look at what I was growing in my own garden.



When Freemotion started to talk more about food, it made me look at what I was growing as to the needs of my own body. Sometimes we need to read or understand a point of view in order to except the process to educate ourselves. Like smoking, once I understood the concept, I always knew it ill effects and stuck those damned things in my mouth, I stopped smoking. I miss nothing as there is nothing to miss. I do from time to time get a notion to smoke, like any long term habit, it will take some time for that to go away if it ever does.

I have to go to my yearly physical today and I hope everything will be fine, although diabetes runs in my family I was still clear last year. My sister, 43 just found out she is diabetic, so I have some concerns. My blood pressure is normal, and I plan to start a routine this spring of walking to loose some weight and for my heart.

Since I started this SS thing, my diet has gotten so much better. Though nuts are full of fat, I eat the to help control my cholesterol as well as whole grains and drink lots of water. I even make better bread than you can buy in the store, well at least for less than half the price of buying it.

So, one word of advice, if your reading this and your smoking , your stupid and don't understand your killing yourself with every pack you smoke. Stop now before you get cancer, or you are unable to breath any more. Stop smoking now also makes you sexier as well as you smell better. If your a man and smoking, you look foolish putting that thing in your mouth.

Why did I just have that rant? I think I thought I just wanted a smoke just then, but I don't now. LOL

Capt Phil Harris

Capt Phil Harris

Rest in peace brother, thanks for sharing part of your life with us. We know as well as your sons that you loved them, and with that they loved you too. I am sure as you would look out to sea heading for the crab grounds, you saw mother earth at her best. I am also sure while working your saw her at her worst.

I will always think of you when I eat king crab legs!!

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/5951.jpg


http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/41110.jpg

How Much Snow?

Coming out of the garage getting ready to plow snow
Look at the pile of snow on the trash can!!!
http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011681.jpg

Snow on my truck
http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011682.jpg

Driveway coming down the shop, took me 45 minutes just to plow and get to the top.
http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011683.jpg

Here is a pic of shane trying to use his tractor to clear his Moms driveway with a blade on the back, he got stuck and got down to dig out. He continued to clear her driveway.
http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011686.jpg

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011689.jpg

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011687.jpg

Winter Time Pics At Night

Having a whole house generator installed allowed me to have power when it went out. I had it ready to use from the last snow storm, so being self sufficient allowed me to plan better for the future.



http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011676.jpg 

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011675.jpg 

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/P1011678.jpg
So it was 0320 when I awoke this morning, only having just gone to bed 4 hours prior, waking to what felt like a bashed in head.

So enough was enough, I went to the medicine cabinet and took some Sudafed that DW had picked up, I popped one down and two Tylenol and went into the living room before I fell down. At about 0500 my sinuses drained, the pressure behind my eyes just left. Though I still feel a little light headed and a bit of vertigo from time to time, I am still keeping up with the ginger/tea because I think they will help. I also am feeling the effects of lack of sleep on top and I will sleep well tonight.

I shut down the shop at a half day today as the storm moves in and schools were let out early. As I mentioned yesterday, I was going to take some time off work, so I took the rest of the day off. I had finished the cabinet to go into the bathroom the other day, just about the time this cold thingie was in my stomach.

I am not a carpenter, so I gave it a college boy try and did it myself. Turned out pretty good and I am pleased with it, the boss says she is pleased as well. That's all I needed to hear, aren't I properly guided husband?

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011667.jpg http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011670.jpg

Just for some interest if you don't like my cabinet I added some pics of my favorite reads, and a water pitcher made by Blenko, Tequilla Sunrise this color is called.

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011671.jpg http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011672-1.jpg

If your wondering about the cedar backing at the bottom, well thats because of the moths we have here. Nasty buggers, DW once put a top on the she doesn't wear often and a string had been eaten on. So my thinking was if the towels that are in the back don't get used, they won't get eaten either. This was left over piece from when I lined our closet with cedar.

I miss going to auctions, what fun it is when you know what your bidding on... I got carried away once when we got a Fenton water decanter and 12 water glasses for 110.00. I was so excited I jumped up right after the auction closed and yelled YES!!!

Oh how the eyes gazed upon me by the other people in the room after I jumped/yelled. We re-sold that lot and made some big bucks on ebay.

Keeping Green Part 2

Well the sinus thing is in full swing here, and I tried Frees ginger mix, clears your head thats for sure. I am following the instructions and found that boiling the ginger is my method. I chewed on some today but let me tell you its spicy but I know it will handle those free radicals and boost my system. I find that recipe my uncle gave me to be pretty pungent as it contains a lot of raw garlic so for the evening w/ everything its also green tea. Between the ginger/garlic I smell pretty sweet.

Here is a pic of the new window I installed in the dining room, this would be the wind side of the house.

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011664.jpg

I put the paneling back up without trimming for the new window. One reason why waste the time/energy when we are going to be dry walling soon any way? Plus the hole I made bigger for the new switches, the paneling was just shattering rather than cut, and I was using a fine toothed blade. I figure the years that it has been up has cause it/glue to become brittle.

Being sick, out in the middle of the woods, I figured I better run into town and get some supplies before the big storm hits. I also took a tarp I had and covered the girls run up so they can get outside as we're expect 12-14 inches of snow in the next 36 hours. Who wants some snow? I will pack a whole box up and ship it flat rate to you. LOL...

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P10116t66.jpg

I doubt I will attempt the finishing of the bathroom if I am still ill. I haven't taken a sick day off of work in years, I even worked today. But if this thing doesn't turn around tonight, I will have to take some time off work to let my body heal. I always say I am going to take the day off but never do properly anyway.

I don't like being sick, I guess nobody does, but me, I only get ill a few times a year, or couple times a year. When I am sick I am a big baby and I get on DW nerves. Moaning and groaning will get you nadda around these parts but better yet a smack down for whining and not taking anything over the counter. So I stopped whining verbally and just getting on with it. If it doesn't turn around by Monday I will have to go see Doc to get some help. I will fight it out for now.

I am ready for spring, and I swear on a slice of bread, if that ground hog doesn't see his shadow next year. I am going to shoot him and stew him in my pot with veggies, and eat him.

Keeping Green Part 1

Well during the snow storm, while walking pass the window in the dining room, I felt a draft coming in under the sill. As I felt my hand across the entire sill, the draft was steady if not worse. So with some reason to address the issue, friday evening I ripped off the paneling around the door and edge of the window.

The marble sill fell out, there was a 1/8 gap over the door, and the 1 inch thick insulation was installed properly. I suspect the insulation R rating is R-3 as the thickness/color would suggest. Most of it was put in correct but gaps at the top and bottom allowed air to pass through the walls. I suspect that the whole house has only R-3 insulation as it was the same I found in the bathroom last year.

I had a coupon for the soft touch insulation, as well as 3 dollars off 3 rolls of fiberglass. I got these at the home show, and the savings covered thecost of my entry fee for both me and DW. DW had the same coupons so I went ahead and made all the purchases.

So I shut down the power, removed the paneling, removed the old insulation carefully installed the new R-13 insulation, and I like the soft touch stuff. Though it was easy to work with, unlike standard fiberglass insulation it didn't have the tabs to pull out and staple. Instead you have to pull tight againist the side of the sud to staple it. Now, if I didn't have a 50% coupon I wouldn't have bought it in the first place. I also won't ever purchase it again in the future because of cost and not having the edges. My person view is its a rip off and a lot more work. Its easy to wear goggles, gloves and mask.

I ordered a replacement window that measures 73 3/4 x 54 5/8 it is a double paned with argon filled inside. The cost of the window was $509.74 which was a little out of my budget. So I am pulling the extra cost for a better window from my SS fund. The $130.00 that I am putting will be returned by not using as much firewood to heat the house. This part of the house is the wind driven side, hence the importance of this getting done before the rooms in front of the home.

I am having a sparky come in Wednesday to run new electrical wires to all the old 12 volt lighted switches, this cost is 380.00 and was figured into the budget as extra cost. He will install new 120 volt switches as per code and updating the house.

This total project will still be less than 1,000.00 dollars, and we should start getting a return from our cost right away.

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011615.jpg http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011619.jpg

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011617.jpg 
http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011616.jpg

This Is A Lot Of Snow

And it, snowed, snowed and it snowed some more.

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011598.jpg http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011599.jpg

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011601.jpg http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011600.jpg

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011604.jpg http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011605.jpg

Last night as the big storm moved in, I was shoveling off the side deck over looking the valley below, when I decided to take a break. As I looked into the night sky, snow was falling, icey type of snow, and some would glitter from my outdoor lamp post in my back yard. It was pretty to see, but I couldn't take any pics as the snow was falling pretty heavy.

This morning I took those pics of the sun trying to make its way through the snow storm, but the snow would win in the end. Though the snow is a pain in the rear, I had missed it when I lived in Virginia. I was up early this morning plowing out the drives so folks could get in the parking lot.

I had a job to deliver in Latrobe PA, just 10 miles away from the farm I grew up on. So just for food to my soul I drove back to see it. I wouldn't have drove back there if I wasn't driving my Hummer as the old road was covered in 14 inches of snow. The house has long been gone, the hill we used to sled ride down still looked inviting as it always did in the winter. It really makes me sad to see time take its toll on such a wonderful place to me. Some of the repairs I did or help do were still there, as if it were done yesterday in my minds eye.

On my drive back home, my mind starting thinking on how time has passed in my life. This year I will be 40 y/o and looking/being back on the farm today has just given more faith in why I moved back here and live a slower calmer life style. I supposed if given a chance to go back and make some changes in my life, perhaps I might as I do have a few regrets. But they are done now, and the only changes I can make better are the ones today and in the future.

I know most of you know that living a more SS life can be like one big rewarding chore, and today it was like more of a gift to live a slower working/rewarding life style.

Now that we are getting snowed in tonight, I have two fires going. The light smell of the smoke in the living room from the wood burning is just as I remembered it as a child. Tonight, I have come in from plowing the snow that fell today and stand by the fire to shake the chill off. Back on the farm, I would stand by the kitchen wood stove to shake the chill off from sled riding. Its remarkable how much you can feel about your life today and reflect back on it when you were a child.

I took up my mothers method of child rearing, as my real father was nothing less than a beast and a barbaric ahole. That sits where its at, my mother was sometimes heavy handed, but not without reason or nor was she quick to use such methods. Mom was a teacher really, she understood we were kids, and kids not only make mistakes, but we were in fact learning about the world. Though I stand 6-2 weigh in at around 270 pounds, it would easy and quick for me to be hot headed and deal with issues like my father. But today, reflecting while driving home, I am proud of myself for being a teacher father. I am sometimes quick to scold the children with firm/nice words, but never scold with name calling/bad words. I also get rewards of watching my children work through problems with the skills I have taught them.

Why all the reflecting today? I dunno, but I do it sometimes and seeing the farm today I think is what triggered my thoughts of reflecting.

If mom were alive today, I wouldn't be the same person. Perhaps I wouldn't have worked so hard to get where I am today, living back home in PA. But I know that she would be pleased with her 14 years of hard work of raising me.

I am making Sunday Moms Snow Day in honor of my mother, to my wife by waiting on her hand/foot and cooking up a storm. Just because hard working moms need a extra day a year to feel special

Winter Is Here!

The snow keeps coming and coming, I keep plowing/shoveling/plowing as the lake effects snow pounds us.

I made some gifts for certain folks including my mentor Jim, who isn't doing really well right now. I figure he won't get out and work his body some or even walk a couple miles a day to help himself get better. I know I have taken on several health issues in recent months only because of the ill effects to my health.

I continue to be smoke free, and from time to time I do get those urges to smoke, but they soon pass.

The kids have settled with the puppy having to go, although as unemotional I can be in real life, I tend to keep a kinder heart and softer words for my children when dealing with matters like this. The simple idea that Sarah needed instruction I couldn't give her is what I explained to them. DS works outside with me often so he understands me more. As far as DD goes, her tears of hurt tends to make me explain it to her more and more. I can see that she is hurting and I want to fix the problem, but the solution isn't a good one, hence the problem in the first place. So I just relax and offer a shoulder to cry on and offer words/ideas of our new puppy in the near future.

In a few weeks I will begin and finish a few projects that need to get done and so I can say I finished the jobs. I have to finish the bathroom as well as a new ceiling light in the kitchen. Again, I am so pleased I got the storm doors finished last fall, what a difference.

Seed magazines are already arriving, next to MEN and Nat Geo, they good reads for throne sitting and garden planing.

I know several fruit trees died last year, I will replace those as well .

I better go, I got dinner started, and its my night to cook.

Also I installed a new outdoor light in the snow, while 8 inches sat on the ground. The first one didn't work. I removed it trouble shot the wiring, looked good, took it back, purchased a new one different brand installed it and it works fine.

Ice, Pond Accident Very Sad But Positive

So pictured here is the aftermath of what happened today.....

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011560.jpg

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011566.jpg

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011565.jpg

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011561.jpg

While plowing the driveway, the tractor was almost out of gas, so I drove it up to my shed to gas it up. I heard what sounded like a pack of coyotes from on top of the hill.

My thinking was that they had come down from the mountains since it snowed looking for food.

I run to the house because the kids were out sled riding, my thinking by sounds I was hearing, they were packed up and just up around the pond. DD was inside, DS was shoveling snow from the steps, I told DW to get him in as I explained what I had heard up at the pond.

Getting the combo correct, I got one of my high powered rifles out, located the already loaded clip, loaded my weapon.

About 2-3 minutes had passed by this time.

Armed, loaded, and ready to kill, I headed up the mountain toward the pond where the snarling/howl/barking was coming from. As a hunter, and a soldier, I used a method of scanning the area which covered the most ground quickly with my eyes. I searched quickly and didn't see a thing. I was looking for a pack of coyotes, and than heard the noise again.

There in the pond was our family dog peanut, howling and about dead.

I have a solar light that was mounted to a pole on our pier, I grabbed broke that off inoder to break the ice, that snapped off twice, I ran back down towards the house and yelled for DW, didn't see her. Returned back to the pond where I used the butt of my weapon to break the ice, the dog had yellow snot like stuff coming from her mouth.

It was so short, it wasn't helping. I got up ran back to the house, where DW was coming up the hill and I told her to hand me the axe near the wood pile. We returned and I started to bust more ice with the weight of the axe laying on my stomach on the pier.

I told DW to go get something longer, I was busting a path through the ice towards the dog. She return minutes later with a spade shovel, the dog stopped yelping, and her ears went flat, she was ready to die, I saw it on her face and in her eyes, she had given up.

So with a couple hits with the shovel, nothing, and than the hardest wop I could do, laying sideways arm extended, the ice finally gave way, and I took the shovel and pinned the dog againist the ice edge and pulled her along till I pulled her out.

We got her in the house covered her with blankets and called the vet. The vet asked us to check her core temp, it was 89 degrees, the vet told me to get her in the tub in warm water right away. So we did, and after we dried her off, and put some blankets on her, she seemed very tired and sad. Called the vet back, she said to give her some food, and that seemed to make her feel better.

She seems to be okay, no organs seem to have shut down, but she is going to the vets tomorrow.

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/aaP1011557.jpg

Deer Meat Canning, Another Self Sufficient Way To Put Food Up.

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011530.jpg http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011531.jpg

Here is some photos of different ways I like to eat my deer.

The pictures is the canned deer meat I put up last January, the big tough doe I harvested during muzzle loader season. I like to let the canned meat to sit at least 8-9 months on the shelf before I eat it. When pop the jar open I remove the fat and the dry parts if any sitting out of the juices. Deer fat doesn't taste nice to me.

I will get my 14 cast iron pan, dump the meat and its juices from the jar into the skillet, add salt/pepper, garlic powder to taste, pinch of brown sugar, a drop of molasses, and 2 tablespoons of butter. While mixing these up I will add 2 cups of 2% milk. While I wait for this to heat up, I will add 1 1/2 tablespoons of corn starch to a little cold water. Once the pan gets boiling, I keep stirring adding the corn starch quickly while stirring.

Once it gets to a thickness I like, I pull it off and dump it onto bread, rice, taters, even corn bread now. I never ate very much corn bread growing up, as of a matter of fact hush puppies was the closest thing and we had those with fried smelt. But later, in the south, I would learn to like eating corn bread.

I cut my meat into small chunks after removing the blue skin, raw pack my jars leaving a head space of one inch, place hot lids on top, band, drop them in a pressure cooker for 90 minutes. Just another wonderful self sufficient way to food in the pantry.

Trip To The City

We decided to head into the big city yesterday, so we headed to the Strip District in Pittsburgh.

The Stripe District is made up of old world markets, everything from clothes to hand made food from every culture in the world. Indian spice shops, Mexican food and clothing, Asian food and supplies, and then there is my favorite shop in the world, the Italian/cheese shop.

Salted dried fish hanging from the rafters, serous... thousands of different cheeses, blocks of fetta the size of shoe boxes, weird shaped 6-7 pounds of fresh unsalted butter, 20-30 5 gal buckets filled with all sorts of olives and pickled veggies. Old world smoked and dried meats, salami of a dozen different types.

After purchasing 3 pounds of Double Gloucester, 2 pounds of fresh made fetta, 2 pounds of 5 County Cheddar, we headed to the bread shop where we purchased several loafs of different breads. We than headed to the Asian market where I picked up some Kimchi and Gogi Gui (korean bbq) sauce.

If your ever around Pittsburgh, its well worth stopping in for the day shopping in the District. Everything is very cheap but of good quality. Always bring a cart or back pack to carry your stuff around.

The money we spent yesterday was the money we saved from not smoking anymore.

Homemade Sausage!!!

I spent the day making some different sausage, ground right here on the homestead. The pork was 1.79 a pound which was raised by a local farmer and his clan. I had visited his farm last year, so placed and order for pork last spring. The pigs are feed grain and trashy veggies from the local markets. Fruits, veggies it all goes into their food. With 20 pigs in one huge pen, I'd guess 1.5 acres. I ordered 1.5 hogs.

I decided to put a twist on a Andouille recipe I found on line, I started with the original, tasted it, took out some stuff, and added more of the stuff I like. I cooked a small sample of that, and again adjusted the recipe to my liking.

I also took a big ole block of cracker barrel cheese, 1 pound and diced it up to add to the pork and the other top secret meat. Now I wouldn't tell my friends that I put in 2 pounds of pheasant meat that I harvested this week into the sausage.

The meat list includes the 2 pounds of pheasant, 6 ponds of pork, and 2 pounds of just pork fat. I will save about ten pounds of the fat to use in cooking, the rest I plain to render down to make some good ole pan licking lard.

I must admit that I wasn't keen on cleaning my own casings, not that have them anyway. So I purchased some pre-cleaned from a local butcher shop. It was a bit difficult to handle because it was so slippery, but once I towel dried the outside it was much easier.

I was able to make 44 links about 1 1/4 around and we're having some for dinner tonight. I was able to vac pack 6 packs with 6 links in each one.

There is something to be said about making your own, and when it turns out to taste better than you hoped, well you just wanna reach around and pat yourself on the back. This is a self sufficient skill I enjoyed doing with my son who also had a great time helping and felt proud of himself when we ate some for dinner.

I twisted the links, but will use linen string to tie the ends off next time, its a learning process in the works.

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/sausage.jpg http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/sausage3.jpg

http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/sausage4.jpg http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/SS%20living/sausage2.jpg


As for the meat grinder for the kitchen aid, I love that thing !!! I had also purchased this stuffer on sale, plus I had a free shipping code.

Often we will brag up our food that we make, the day I was making it a friend of the family stopped over. Like always I feel good about giving some away if I should get a visitor.

Later that evening I got a text message from Jody who said OMG that was so good, u tech me how to mk it.

Than of course I gave some to Mark, he said it was the best sausage he had ever ate that I made. I started making my own sausage when I found out what goes in the stuff bought locally or at the market. Eating pigs hinny holes, ears, and snouts just doesn't appeal to me, no matter how you cook it.

I was thinking about mailing a couple of these wonderful kits to my ss friends on line for xmas presents or for bartering.

Good Eats Homemade That Is YEAH!!

Here is a couple pictures of the quality meat I smoked earlier this week.

W/ flash on
http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011513.jpg

W/ flash off
http://i608.photobucket.com/albums/tt169/modern_pioneer/P1011514.jpg

Taste ten times better than genoa salami by the giant lunch meat company w/ its fake smokey taste.

I wish you could taste it...

Amazon Contextual Product Ads