Pigs Should be 12 Feet Long

I always go through twice as much bacon as I do the rest of the pork.  If pigs were 12 feet long, I think my eating habits would match the pig!

In between last year’s pigs and this year’s pigs, I picked up some great thick pork bellies from the Amish where I got my side of beef.

After a week in the cure… Bacon is in the tub and pancetta is on the cutting mat…

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The pancetta is hanging in the basement to dry and the bacon all went in the smoker this afternoon…

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In all, almost 40 pounds between a couple pieces from last year’s pigs and the two new pork bellies.  I made maple cure with and without pepper and mild cure with and without pepper.

I wonder if Nate Setser will read this and come by for his pepper bacon sample that he missed out on last go around…

Another benefit of a 12 foot pig would be more loin… and more Canadian bacon!  Here’s my first attempt at curing Canadian bacon…

 

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IMG_2191That will make for some tasty pizza topping!

I love bacon… ahhhh 🙂

 

Making Peace

I love pears.  I even love the industrial mushy school lunch pears.  I have two pear trees in my yard.  The pears are hard as a rock or they are rotten and never anything in between.  I was on the verge of deciding to cut them down out of frustration.  And then… I decided to try pear sauce.  And the trees have earned a reprieve.

I cut the stems off and quartered about 9 pounds of pears.  I put about an inch of water in the bottom of the stock pot and boiled the pears with the lid on for about an hour.  The pears then went through the strainer attachment of the kitchen aid.  So much easier than all those recipes that say to peel and core the pears… I added 1/2 cup of demerara sugar and 3/4 t cinnamon to the batch and called it good.  I froze three 20 oz containers and put an almost full container in the fridge.

Now I love pears AND my pear trees.

Peach Cobbler

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Lynette’s peaches made for a tasty cobbler for dessert tonight. Stick of butter melted in the dish with batter poured on top followed by peaches. Simple is good. Same way I make my black raspberry cobbler.

Spencer thought it was cool to see how easy the peaches peeled, so I thought I’d document it for posterity. Cut a shallow X in the bottom of the peach. Drop it in boiling water for a minute or two. Pull it out and put it in a bowl of ice water. I did 6 at a time today. After a minute or so in the cold water, peel the skin off in 4 pieces by pulling the edges at the X on the bottom. I used to do the same thing for tomatoes… until I but the KitchenAid attachment… now I just quarter them and go 🙂 I did half a bushel today and canned 6 quarts of tomato sauce. But I digress…

The cobbler was delicious with a nice cold glass of raw milk. I prefer the way the batter rises around the raspberries rather than the way it turned into more of a dumpling from all the peach juice. Apparently nobody else noticed though because half of the 9×13 pan is gone…

Pizza Oven To Be

I’ve been threatening to build a pizza oven all summer. I even “outsourced” my pig farming to nice fella I met at the farmers market and who bears an uncanny resemblance to Zac Brown. This year’s pigs are hamp-duroc crosses with hamp coloring:

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I went out yesterday and mowed the area for the patio and marked off the patio plan. Here is the view from the deck last year after the pigs cleared it:

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Here’s the view yesterday after I mowed and painted:

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And finally an iPad artist’s rendition of the pizza oven, fire pit, picnic table and adirondack chairs:

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Spencer dug out around the tree stumps today. Next up is to cut down the stumps below ground level to be covered up with dirt and/or limestone.