Monthly Archives: December 2017

The Best Bacon

 

I wanted to try smoking and seasoning and curing my own bacon. When I was a kid my folks would smoke pork and I helped out with it some. I couldn’t really remember how they cured the meat so I did a little research, the internet is so handy, and came up with a plan.

I had a 10 pound pork side to work with so I cut it into 4 pieces that I could get in to ziplock bags and used a salt cure with pure maple syrup. Here they are finished curing about to go on the smoker.

All hung up on hooks and and ready for the smoke.

This is what it looks like after about 4 hours at really low 100 degree smoke.

After getting the desired amount of smoke I wanted on them I raised the temperature and brought the internal temp to 160 and pulled it off.

Once they cool off you go ahead and slice the rind off and save that for a pot of beans. Cut them down to whatever size you like and freeze them. I cut mine down to about 1.5 pounds each and froze them whole since I don’t have a slicer. I just pull one out and slice with a knife the amount I want to fry and enjoy!

It’s really tasty and all naturally cured with no preservatives.

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Have fun.
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The Best Biscuits Ever

Sky High Biscuits

I love to make these biscuits! They are super easy and don’t need any rise time or kneading.
Start by mixing all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, I like to use a whisk or a large spoon to make sure its mixed will.

I like to cut the butter in at room temperature but I have completely melted it and poured it in, it works either way.
Add your milk and mix with a spoon as much as possible, you will have to get your hands in it to get it all together. It will seem really wet and that’s ok, I like to put oil on my hands to keep from getting the dough stuck to my hands.

I put a generous dusting of flour on the clean counter and dump my dough out.

Next roll it out to about 1/2” thick, be sure to flour your rolling pin or it will stick.

Use a glass or a biscuit cutter to cut all the perfect ones you can then combine and re-roll the scraps to use all the dough.

Place them on a baking sheet with a bit of space in between each one.

Homemade biscuits

Remove from the oven when they just start to brown. They rise really well and taste fantastic!

Sky High Biscuits

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Wise Traditions

 

This past week we traveled to Waco Texas and went to visit the Homestead Heritage Community on the advice of a friend. I was very impressed with the quality of everything they had for sale and their structures. Particularly their structures! We were in the cheese making shop when I finally asked where they got all the large hand hewn beams that were pegged together (no nails or screws). The lady in that shop said those particular beams came from Canada where they had taken down a barn and brought it here to reconstruct it, carefully numbering everything so they could reassemble it the way it was.
Some of their cheese is aged 7 years.

I spent some time in the blacksmith’s shop talking to the craftsman there. They made all the railing and hooks and hardware for nearly all the buildings on the site and their work was really impressive.

They call themselves “an agrarian- and craft-based intentional Christian community”. They are definitely craftsmen! From the working waterwheel grist mill to the weaving shop to the wood working shop and the basket making shop it was all very impressive.

We also had lunch at the cafe where most of what they serve they produce right there on their farm and it was delicious!

The cafe was a cedar log structure that was cut from local trees I’m guessing from the looks of them.

If you are ever down that way it’s well worth the drive to go and visit. If you live in that area and you like to make things with your hands they offer classes to teach you lost ways and traditions they have nearly been forgotten. Here is a link to their website.

Work hard.
Have fun.
Make a difference!

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