Monday, 4 February 2013

 Lester is up a ladder.......


.....the sheep are still out grazing on Station Field because there is still a heap of water blogging the entrance to Home Field, which is the main field. It has been a rough winter for them, not cold, but wet wet wet, and Station Field is grazed right down now. We are giving them the homemade hay bales we made last year, I cut grass for them every day, and they have grain supplements. I think they must have known it was going to be tough because most of them have had only one lamb each this year. Last year nearly everyone had twins. Meanwhile the goats and Elise are being kept in a lot because of the wetness and lack of grazing. I think that we are going to cut the fence wire along from that water logged field entrance tomorrow to make another entrance so everyone can get out onto Home Field, which is now rested. That plan came into our heads today after Lester spent all day pumping the ditch out in front of that field entrance, but with overnight rain it filled right back up again. 

.......Maz and Blue continue to be hooligans: Maz is on the left and Blue on the right.



Should have been a vet visit this afternoon but other things happened, so tomorrow then. 

.....rummaging in Number Two chest freezer, thought I had pulled out some home raised pork chops, which once defrosted proved to be a neat little hunk of meat which had got squashed under other joints. Time to have a go at making bacon then.



........ had bought a huge bag of salt already, so ready to go. 

The recipe went like this: 25% brown sugar, 75% large crystal salt (not table salt) (4 ozs:12 ozs) Mix together, then rub into washed and dried meat. Done. This photo was taken after two hours, and you can see the moisture coming away from the meat already. Seven days is how long it takes apparently.  Won't be able to smoke the bacon though as we have no smoker yet, but at least we have made a start at the dried meats. 

Haven't milked the goats again, as we have a problem with separating the young from their mums. Need to make a gate in the Tall Barn between Elise's pen and the goat's pen because we have decided that morning milking is going to be better than evening milking, just in case Lester and me are tied into working at our computers. Goats milk is gorgeous! Can't wait to get a regular supply coming into the kitchen. 

So, Day One for the bacon cure, and six to go!

Lester has now come down the ladder, after having had an inspection of the work Jean Pierre is doing. He is now baby sitting our two puppy girls, who sound like they are having another patch of puppy mania, so I am off to join in the fun!

16 comments:

Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, my mother used a metal 45 gallon drum to smoke our bacon when we were on the farm, it was a temp solution but it worked. you could also use an old charcoal BBQ. Oh, and those little doggies are so cute, even though they are little brats. The work on the house is looking good. Stay dry and warm.

Denise said...

What I want to know, Vera, is are you going to be making goat cheese?

X

Vera said...

Horst, as ever you give me good advice. We do have a big metal drum we might be able to use, so will have a look into seeing if it can be converted. Hope your hip is not giving you too much trouble.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

yay bacon! great work for sure. i have a friend who smoked his bacon in his kids play house. all you really need is an enclosed space and a low fire. i have a drum smoker and its fabulous. oh i just love those pups! :-D

Vera said...

Denise, we are and I researched the recipe today!

Ohiofarmgirl, definitely going to have a go at smoking bacon then, and just to say that I find your blog absolutely inspirational.

rusty duck said...

That roof is looking fabulous - hope Lester was impressed.

John Gray said...

I have not salted my own pork..but will do my next lot
You've inspired me

Horst in Edmonton said...

Vera, what kind of wood are you going to use for the smoker?

Vera said...

Jessica, he is very pleased with the way things are going, although worries about the speed at which it is happening! I just keep plodding along, trying to keep a home running amongst the dust and mess!

John, I have been putting off having a go at doing bacon, but it is so easy, and what is this about 'the next lot' - does this mean that you are going to more piggies?

Horst, not sure yet.... have plenty of oak and I think that Lester might be having a go at pruning the fruit trees. Any ideas as to what is best?

The Broad said...

Vera, I wish you could sell me some of your energy! What an inspiration you are!

Niall & Antoinette said...

I was going to suggest an old drum for your smoker as well. We have friends who use a tall metal filing cabinet. They just took out all the drawers. It works fine and what they produce tastes great :-).

Love those wee hooligans!

Cheryl said...

Hi Vera I just found you through john grey's blog and love reading about your life as a smallholder.
Never made bacon before, interesting how long it takes to cure.
Amd my friend just got an adult female goat qith two kids. She was wondering how long it takes to wean the kids. How old r yours?

Vera said...

The Broad, well I don't have masses of energy all of the time, often you can find me flaked out in a chair!

Niall & Antoinette, those wee hooligans are asleep at the moment and we are tiptoeing around so we don't wake them up, otherwise we can't get things done!

Cheryl, hi, thanks for visiting. I am not sure when you wean kids. Ours are a couple of months old, so we are going to separate the kids just for overnight, milk their mums in the morning, then let the mums and kids be together for the day. We think it a bit grim for both mums and kids to take the kids away completely, so we are going to share the milk between the little ones and us. Is your friend going to milk her goat?

Zimbabwe said...

Making your own bacon, wow you really are getting jacked up down there. As for the puppies they are soooooo cute. I have a small smoker which I just use for fish, or sometimes chicken. The taste is amazing. Good luck Diane

Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, fruit wood like apple branches would be great. You can also buy wood chips for smokers. Best would be to querry on the net which is best wood for smokers.

Vera said...

Diane, I am trying to get Lester enthused about making a smoker but he is not particularly interested at the moment. I think I might have a go at sorting something out myself to see if this will enthuse him!

Horst, I have heard that fruit wood is good for smoking, but as you say, I shall have a look on the Internet for other people's advice about what wood to use. Of course we still have to get the smoker sorted out!