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Chronicling our homestead. From simple projects to slaughter/butchery.

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Andreas Suter

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Tonight's activity is more sausage making. One is sweet Italian (paprika, toasted fennel, salt, pepper, sugar, garlic) and the other is our trusty breakfast sausage (ginger, sage, salt, garlic, pepper).

The steps for most of the sausages we make are pretty simple. Add spices to the meat/fat, grind, add water, mix for a minute or so, and it's ready to be stuffed or stay loose. I especially like that a small amount can be fried up to taste and the spices adjusted if needed, so you can dial it in. I chronicled it a bit better when we cleared out space in the freezer last year (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AndreasSuter/posts/KRpWzyQRkfm).
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Andreas Suter's profile photoBeau Muzzy's profile photo
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+Andreas Suter OK thanks I'll check those out
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Andreas Suter

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Restoring an old rig builders' hatchet Aubrey found in the lean-to. No idea what I'll use it for but it's fun to restore just the same. A nylon wheel brush on the drill press and 10 minutes of effort, and it's looking good. There are gentler manual ways to restore metal but considering it's a hammer I'm not too concerned about wheel marks on the steel.

Continuing my good fortune on the local garage sale groups I scored an oxy-acetylene torch setup (tanks, cart, two sets of hoses, 4 torches, and countless tips) for $50. The seller said the tanks were empty but I hooked them up and they're at least 80% full. When buying tanks it's important to look if they're marked "Rental" (these weren't) or have company names on the collar, which can get you in some hot water without ownership papers.

I'm excited to have a metal cutting option other than cut-off wheels on the angle grinder.
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Kb1ltg's profile photo
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HI, Love the old tools also. You have found yourself a "Shingler's Hatchet" or more modern "Drywall Hatchet". The blade was used for cutting down cedar shakes, the hammer end for nailing them off and the nail notch at the bottom of the blade to slide up and between shingles to pull nails out from in between shakes. They make great kindling killers, most drywallers use screws nowadays even on the ends of the panels where they were typically nailed off with a more modern version of this tool. I cant see whether the hammer end of the hatchet is serrated or smooth, the smooth one would be the "Shingler" version, the serrated version most likely the "Drywall" hatchet. Keep up the good work! Check out rust removal via electrolysis, great way to keep old tools looking good!

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Andreas Suter

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From the last few days: slicing and packaging lonzino (air-cured loin), coppa (air-cured shoulder), and filetto (air-cured tenderloin with fennel) (not pictured).
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That looks delicious. When do I come for diner. ..😊
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Andreas Suter

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Our main source of heat in the winter are our woodstoves. We've had an ancient stove upstairs that's served our needs for a few years now, but it was always quick to lose heat and ate through wood, so it wasn't great.

This week we replaced it with a much more efficient system (a Jotul F400 Castine, double-wall piping). The difference is night and day. We're still breaking it in (the paint needs to cure, so the fires are small and the off-gassing is intense at times), but we can't wait to fully make use of it.

Our fierce dogs Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. and Mojo approve.
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Jim Hamel's profile photoBill Gardner's profile photo
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Love wood heat with my stove as well. Cold wet weather and the heat feels so good !!
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Andreas Suter

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For my 100th post to this collection, I want to say thank you.

Thank you for following our homestead. Thank you for the +1s and comments. Thank you, spammers, for keeping me on my toes at all hours, ready to delete your nonsense. I never dreamed that this collection would grow to over 20,000 followers in half a year, but I'm grateful that it has.

I know not every post is everyone's cup of tea, but I hope you've found what I've shared useful. I've been asked to go into more detail about whatever it is I'm posting about, and I will endeavor to do so.

I will keep the photos coming, and I'm considering video as well. If you have feedback or suggestions of what you'd like to see, or have questions, let me know! Aubrey and I both want to help make this stuff more accessible to more people, so we appreciate hearing about what people get stuck on, or want to know more about.

2017 promises to be at least as busy. We've hit a good stride with raising animals and we'll likely do more with our gardens in the new year. I've had plans to complete the workshop/woodshop and with any luck it'll happen in 2017.
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👍
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Andreas Suter

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It's a good thing we have a lot of indoor projects because we seem to get at least a dusting of snow each day and have for the last week and a half.

Curing meat is in full swing, slicing and packaging and hanging more as space becomes available. Tonight we're making salami, which will ferment for a few days and then dry slowly in the chamber.

Pictured (from the weekend): Pancetta stesa and pancetta arrotolata. Basically, one is fully cured and ready to eat and the other needs to be cooked (like bacon). They're both delicious in their own ways.
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Juanita Smith's profile photoRocko Dibiase's profile photo
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Bacon! Bacon bacon bacon!
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Andreas Suter

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Installing vises today. They both need a little love but they'll be a lot nicer to work with than the work/clamp table I'm currently using.
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St. Eve's profile photoRhonda Weigandt's profile photo
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Are they for holding meat grinders down or just clamping onto things?
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Andreas Suter

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'Tis the season for smoking. Today I'm smoking a bunch of bacon and Canadian bacon (this is in addition to yesterday's smoking of nearly the same amount). This is a new recipe we're trying, using honey instead of maple syrup (our usual) in the cure. It was a bear to work with, slathering honey/salt on cold pork, but I think it'll be worth it. The bacon was cured for around a week and will be smoked over applewood until it's done (~5 hours) and then this afternoon/evening is Round 2, smoking hams and hocks (cured in brown sugar and salt).

The other new recipe we're trying this year is a bacon recipe from +River Cottage. It isn't smoked but is instead cured and hung for a while. I'm curious to see how that turns out. I need to post an updated photo of the curing chamber because it is getting full!
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Julie Cochrane's profile photo
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where is the maple syrup and ice cream a breakfast must.





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Andreas Suter

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Preparing another ham (rear leg) for prosciutto. It's a pretty straight-forward recipe as long as you have the time:

The leg is buried in salt for a few weeks (about 1 day for every pound), until firm. Depending on the size of your ham and container this can take a lot of salt, so buying in bulk is a good idea (we've used about 50lbs of salt this season). It's then washed, patted dry, and the exposed meat is covered in lard and black pepper (to prevent drying out and bugs), wrapped in cheesecloth, and hung for at least 6 months.

There are countless recipes on the web but we use the one from the book Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.
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eli uncompromised's profile photo
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+Andreas Suter thank you. ..I'm trying your technic. 
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Andreas Suter

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This weekend we processed the last two pigs for the season. Thankfully the weather held out and it was mostly sunny with no snow. It did get down to single digits overnight so the split halves are a tad frozen.

Now begins the task of butchering.

Thank you, April and Marco. You were good pigs.
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Cowboys fbfan's profile photo
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+5G ZaiZai lol I already asked that
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