Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

So Nibbles is in heat...

I know this isn't the pre-Thanksgiving post that you want but it's the one you are going to get. I need to make a note that Nibs is out there screaming her head off, wagging her tail, and looking longingly at..... the pigz. Things could get ugly.

 Bitty - not Nibbles. No one wants to see Nibbles out there wagging her bottom.

Hopefully all that will happen is that 3 weeks from now I'll do a "hot goat" transport up to the breeder. Presumably, Nibbles will shame herself and I won't have to think about it for five months.

But Bitty is very cute and look at this little paw!

Next on the agenda is tracking down a buck for the rest of those harlots. I believe Daisy was in heat yesterday so now I have at least a calender of events, such as it is.

As for Thanksgiving, I don't think I'm up to butchering two pigz this weekend so they are getting a stay of execution and we'll just sit around and eat turkey.

Here are a few more appropriate pre-Thanksgiving posts.

Turkey Day Tools - what you need to pull off the perfect Thanksgiving.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles - since it looks like the Eastern Seaboard is gonna be a hot mess.. you might want to stay home, make some cookies, and watch the best Tday movie ever.

Upside down pear cake - Do you need a stunning dessert that is not pie? Check this baby out. It's easier than it sounds and makes a big splash.

World's Best Pie - What about a not-exactly traditional pumpkin pie? How about this one. Seriously, it is a hit....and a breakfast food.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Are you ready for Turkey Day or are you distracted by a hot goat?


Monday, November 24, 2014

Before and After

I'm still a bit under the weather - and what wild weather we are having! So we'll go for "Minimal Word Monday."

Before...

and after last week's cold snap.

Now it's 64* but the temps will be falling all day and we'll be back to cold.  Any leaves that are left on the trees are coming down today. A big windstorm will be blowing thru soon.

Happy Monday everyone!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sun pigz

This was the pigz yesterday - soaking up the sun.

Sun pigz. Doing just fine. Note the frozen waterer that I had to keep busting open for them.

Today our extremely cold weather broke so instead of being 17* this morning we have freezing rain. Later it will be above 50*. Until it warms up, tho, it's nothing but ice out there.

I can't tell if the pigz would rather have cold, dry, and sunny... or cool and rain. But they did great in the extreme cold. We just made sure they had dry straw in the Hog Hut and just kept pouring on the feed. They never seemed chilled or unhappy. They had plenty of protection from the wind so they just hung out in the sunshine.

But what is this? Why are there only two pigz? Where is the third one?

Bacon.

Ah yes... here is that third one. Looking good!

What? Bacon already? Yep. We ended up butchering the 3rd pig a little while ago. This was the bacon that I made. I didn't think there would be enough of the belly to make any bacon but this turned out really well.

The best part about this bacon is the smokiness - it is like nothing we've had before. I think it was because I used an actual small fire, and very little charcoal. I also used the branch trimmings from an apple tree from last year.

I used the cure for pancetta but then smoked it. The savory spices and the smoke work really well together. We use this kind of bacon for cooking mostly - and not as a breakfast side. Altho it fries up really nicely.

I'll share my bacon makin' links again here for easy access. If you are even thinking about giving this a try - just do it! Really. It's a fun skill and is not complicated. The hardest part is waiting for the cure to cure... then you just need to fire up the smoker and give it a go!

Making bacon - I got my cure on!  Lots of pix of the process - including when I started brining a ham.

Bacon makin' and butcher day tools.

What bacon day looks like. The results of smoking our bacon - it was incredible!

Making pancetta.

A fabulous pancetta. See the results - this one was insane. We don't "roll" our pancetta - but this one was a hog so big that it naturally rolled itself! 

If you want just one reference for making bacon at home then immediately stop what you are doing and order Ruhlman's Charcuterie.Hands down this is the best reference for home curing and smoking. Plus I just really like his books.

We've been making bacon for several years now and my best advice is to just try it. You don't need a lot of complicated equipment or special skills.  Can you make bacon at home? Sure! Who told you that you couldn't? I'm telling you that you can!

Happy Saturday everyone! Do you have one pig down and two more to go?


Editors note: Alright, alright, alright... Obligatory notice that there is an affiliate link in this post. What does that mean? It means that I get a tiny portion of the sale when you click on one of the links, go to the Amazon page, and purchase something. It can be anything - books, movies, a cool hat, or something you need from Amazon anyway. It doesn't cost you once cent more but helps me with the "cost" of this blog. If you like this blog, or if I've helped you at all in your farming efforts, just make a purchase from Amazon from one of the links, my store, or the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page. If you use these links THANKS for your support!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Got my big winnings from the auction!

I've been a bit under the this ridiculously cold weather so let's short hand this...

 Nicholas. Not sold at the auction.

Gas up to the far away auction: about $20
Time: most of the day but it was superfun
Fees to the auction:  $16.50

Total big winnings: $133.50

Getting rid of no-good-nicks and the Loudest Goat Ever: Priceless.

It looks like they sold Darla alone ($75) and the two little ones together ($75). 

So I'll go with "good enough." Wish it was more, glad it wasn't less, and still totally worth it.

Happy Thursday everyone! Looks like we'll get a break in the weather on Saturday. What a week!



Monday, November 17, 2014

First real snow.

Here it is... the first real snow. I'm noting this because it's kind of early and entirely annoying.

But hey! I get to use my "snow only" coffee cup!

The dogs are over joyed by the snow. Zander and Kai don't want to be inside at all. Zander has been woofing for me to hurry up so he and Kai can get back to goofing in the snow.

Kai couldn't be happier about the snow.

At this writing it's still snowing but should clear off this afternoon - then things will get dicey. Tomorrow will be a crippler with possibly record breaking cold - windchills will most likely be below zero. I'm expecting the barnyard will have an inside day.

The goats are extremely angry about being cooped up together but that is their tough too bads. Unfortunately that is also my "I guess I can repair that later." They are destroying the inside of the Turkey House and have busted thru all the latches. I needed the dog and my husband to help keep them in so I could feed and water them yesterday.

Sure I could let them out - where they would promptly start bawling about how cold it is and what is this snow and will I pah-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze let them back inside that nice warm Turkey House? Goats. I need to tell them how shockingly easy it was to dump those extra ones off at the livestock auction...and I didn't even say goodbye.

I think Zander is going to help me with them this morning. I'm pretty sure those goats won't be so lippy with The Black Death giving them the stink eye.

Happy Snow Monday everyone! Are your goats inside? Are they mad?


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goat Notes: who is in heat.

We are still gripped by our cold snap and it will only get worse in the next couple of days. This morning all of the remaining goats were chilled. We ended up putting them all in one side of the Turkey House. This should be interesting....

Nibbles, back in the salad days of early summer when everyone was happy.

We'll see who and what is still standing out there tomorrow because as far as I can tell... most of them are in heat. Like I said... should be interesting. They haven't killed each other. Yet.  And so far no one has busted out looking for a man....er... buck.

Which leads me to my yearly griping and complaining about goat breeding season. I don't know why I do this to myself.  You you will recall, keeping a buck did not work out for us at all. Altho he was delicious, I am not putting myself thru that again. Good thing Nibs turned out to be just fat.

I need to look around, begrudgingly, and find another buck - who will be here for a limited time ONLY. I have a line on a couple of options so we'll see what happens.

Today, Sunday 16th:
Nibbles = in heat
Debbie = in raging heat

Which puts their next heat about Dec 7th or so.... so more May babies.

I'll have to see how Dahli and Daisy are doing but they were not acting like loons this morning. I had to get the dog to get ahold of Debbie. She gets an F- for today. The dog gets an A+. 

I'm pretty disappointed that none of the ladies were interested in that little buckling. But I guess they just thought he was some kind of upstart and didn't want anything to do with him.

And now that I have my goat notes done I'm going to make a monstrous, meaty bolognese and sit around by the fire.

Happy Sunday everyone!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Do you vindaloo?

Do you vindaloo? I do!  Actually while I love Indian food I don't like to make it.  I get turned off by the extra long list of ingredients - especially when some of the spices are hard to find. Let's face it - most ethnic food is just better at restaurants. Unfortunately around here.... it's hard to find a real Indian restaurant.

That's why I was so glad to find this recipe for vindaloo!  I made it for dinner last nite with pork. It was really really good - and easy to make.  

And here is the best news - if you make pickles.. or pickle just about anything... then you probably already have the ingredients.

Since we both really liked this dish we'll be making it again. I need to jot down a few notes so I remember it for next time. Also I kind of got lost in a few of the steps as I had to improvise. I also prepared all of the spices, in their correct measurements, in little dishes so I could do all the steps without having to dig around in the spice rack.

It helps me if I can break up the ingredient list to go along with the steps, so this is what I did.

Marinade:
About a pound of meat
A couple red chile peppers - but I should have used hotter ones and not just the mild jalapenos.
White vinegar to cover.

Next time: marinate for longer (I only had about an hour so I should have started earlier), use hotter peps or add a few red pepper flakes. Two whole cayenne peppers? Zoikes! Not on your life - I'm more of a 1 or barely a 2 star girl. 

The meat is browned and then removed from the pan. Keep the marinade for later.

Cumin, mustard seeds, and cinnamon sticks go into the pan until fragrant. I broke up the cinnamon sticks but next time I should keep the pieces bigger so they are easier to take out for serving the final dish.

I did not have black mustard seeds but I used the yellow ones that I had for pickling. I'll remember to get the black ones the next time I'm up at Penzey's.

Next into the pan:
Onion - minced in my little handy chopper.
Garlic
Ginger

Fried until soft and translucent. 

Then add:
Brown sugar
Paprika
Tumeric

Now add the water, the left over marinade, and any peppers that didn't sneak in with the meat.

Bring to a simmer and then add the meat and any drippings.

I mostly covered the pan and let it cook for about 40 minutes. It would have been better if it would have cooked for longer but by then the house smelled like heaven and we couldn't wait any longer.

See? That wasn't so bad. And having everything " mise-en-place" made it much easier.

Our sweet Peep - she is kind of spice colored....

So where are the pix? Um.. yeah so... we ate it all. Next time I'll take pix of the steps but for now we just really wanted to make sure I got these notes down we can do it right next time.

Happy Saturday! Do you have a favorite Indian recipe? This could be mine but I'm going to be trying his recipe for butter chicken next.



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