RicelandMeadows


Stocking Up
October 28, 2017, 7:00 pm
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

bacon

October 28, 2017

The harvest time is upon us, in fact, its waning. Lots of woodland creatures are busy gathering the last of their winter stores. We keep working towards a full pantry ourselves. This smoked meat will provide many meals. It is made from our hogs slaughtered and processed here on the farm. The smokehouse ran for over twelve hours, but it was worth it.

bonelessham

We make our hams boneless. They cure well and taste wonderful. I de-bone them then inject a salt brine into thick parts. Next they soak in that same sugar/salt brine mixture for 6 or 7 days. I then roll and tie them with string. Once they are tied, I place them in the cotton nets seen in the photo above. The netting helps them congeal as they smoke and cook. This makes for a very nice product. They are very tasty too.

As I look around the farm, I am pleased with what I see. The compost has all been spread on the fields, making room for the coming winter manure. The farm equipment has been cleaned , lubricated and stored for the winter. The bull and ram are in with their respective ladies, the woodshed is full and the speltz are up and growing well.

The animals graze the last of our pastures. It was a great grazing year, with timely rains and fertile soil. The autumn leaves are in their finest color, though many have fallen from the trees. Winter is knocking. Soon, a blanket of white will greet us, but until then, we will continue to make ready.

A long time ago, my grandma read me a story about “The ant and the grasshopper”. I will never forget her telling me, “Be like the ant. Stay busy. Work hard and prepare for the coming storm”. I follow that advice. It gives me a great feeling and peace of mind. Thanks grandma Rice for setting the example and showing us all the way.



For Better or Wurst
March 30, 2016, 10:29 pm
Filed under: March 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

cheddar wurst

March 30, 2016

Monday was a cold wet day. I decided it would be a good time to make a few batches of sausage and smoked items. Today is Thursday and I am finally finishing those tasks. I over extended myself a little! I think it is worth it. The Cheddar wurst in the photo tasted real good with a bowl of soup today at lunchtime.

It wouldn’t have been so bad, this week, but I should have just picked one favorite thing. I could have made that one product, cleaned up and waited until next time. Nope! I made five different things. Each thing required a different cook and smoke cycle time. It’s fun for me…and it’s a darn good thing!

Today, as I was finishing up a batch of snack sticks, my wife came out to check on me. Maybe she came out to take pity on me, I’m not sure. She pitched in and helped wrap and bag up all the lunch meat. Then she jumped right in to the day’s clean up job. By the time I was pulling the cooked snacks out of the smokehouse, she was turning off the water in the big sink. The work was done. The clean up was done. I guess she did marry me for better or wurst!



Hanging Out
December 17, 2015, 10:19 am
Filed under: December 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

002

December 17, 2015

Many teenagers “Hang Out”, which means goofing off, sitting around and visiting with friends. Around here it means fall butchering! I am in full swing. We are working our way through the family’s pork right now, but beef processing is on the horizon.

It is a wonderful thing to have our washhouse. Cutting meat is easy when you are in out of the weather. Clean up is a snap with running hot water and a big sink. All of our equipment is in one place and laid out for easy use. Yes, I am very fond of our little “slaughterhouse”. We call it the washhouse, because it doubles for a canning kitchen, a maple syrup filter washing and clean up stop and the home of our on farm smokehouse.

I made this seasons first bologna yesterday. I made enough to freeze for lunches later, as well as, plenty to eat now and share with friends. I enjoy the art of sausage making almost as much as the job of sausage eating :o)

I will say that I lose a little sleep, because I take this job serious. Once the sausages start to cook, I babysit the smokehouse until the job is complete. Sometimes into the wee hours of the morning, I can be found red eyed and waiting for a few more degrees on the thermometer. It’s worth it though, when I pull slab bacons, bolognas and cottage hams out of the hot smokehouse. It smells wonderful and tastes just as good.

bologna 011

Yum