Yesterday’s haul

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What’s the first thing that happens when you sell some pigs? A huge load of produce of course. Fortunately a lot of it was cabbage which the cows love so today I will be spreading joy in the pasture to the cows.

A well used kitchen

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We are talking to different people currently about remodeling our kitchen. Its 32 years old so its about time. As I talk to different vendors I try to explain that our kitchen is used a lot and used hard. They knod knowingly like they have heard it before. I say, no, you don’t understand. I mean we REALLY use it a lot. Still they look placatingly at me. I was thinking on this when a single event occurred to me so thought I would document it. Maybe then I can direct these potential vendors here so they understand.

We decided to have some friends over for a party. I had a bunch of good coconuts from the Mexican farmers market. I decided that we would have an anti-winter theme and have umbrella drinks for the girls, complete with being served in the coconuts. Of course I had to involve a belt sander and other random tools but in the end we had tiki drinks and a lovely party with great friends.

The next day SWMBO went to open a cabinet and noted that the handle was broken (see picture above). Confused how this could be, she inquired with me, “What happened to the cabinet?”

Without pause or explanation I said, “There was a coconut incident.”

The funny part is she shrugged her shoulders and has never mentioned it again. “There was a coconut incident” was sufficient. I didn’t need to explain the saber I was using trying to cut the top of the coconut off or anything else. Just another day at Ninja Cow Farm kitchen.

So vendors, when I say we use our kitchen hard, we aren’t just talking about butchering animals on the island. I mean there is flying fruit and whirling knives. Please plan accordingly.

New scar

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I am one of those people at a party that you don’t want to start comparing scars with. Either I am monumentally stupid, or I’ve done a lot of things. Probably some of both. Either way I have a lot of scars and with scars come stories. I have scars from bow and arrow fishing, knife wounds, getting hit by falling steel, having liquid steel dripped on me (thanks Mr K), hole punchers, table saws, bicycles, motorcycle wrecks, and these are just the highlights. However I now have a new mark that ups my street cred, such as it ever was.

What you see above is a pig bite. That’s one side of the wound, just above the knee. I can’t really see the other side. While loading the piglets into the trailer and then sorting the pigs out of the trailer we didn’t want in, I managed to get myself between Penelope and her kids. Miguel was letting Penelope past the partition and I turned my back on her to keep the rest of the pigs from running out too, something they are very good at. Well Penelope saw the opening, then turned back towards me and took a bite out of the back of my leg. I never saw her coming. Luckily I wear Duluth Trading Company firehouse work pants which are heavy and thick 11.5oz cloth. If I had been wearing anything less I would have needed stitches which would have been unfortunate because I doubt Mrs K could have stopped laughing at me long enough to sew me up.

So it turns out that Duluth knew what they were doing when they made the following commercial.

Miguel spent the rest if the day laughing at me. It felt deserved.

As I’ve said before, tattoos are for people who haven’t earned their scars.

White stuff?

I was off the farm this morning heading East to see a customer. I left well before dark and just before false dawn I noted white stuff in my headlights. Snow ?! Could it be? Nothing on the roads so I felt it was kind of neat to see a few flakes. 15 minutes later as I continued East the sun began to come up and I found that everything was white. As the light got better I was able to take this.

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Will spring ever get here? I had to get an emergency load of hay from my friendly hay farmer yesterday and I will likely need another load before this winter is over! That’s another $1000 of hay on top of what we’ve already spent. Where are my warm dry winters I love so much?

Smoked honey

I could write a description of smoked honey. The technique, the usage , the nuances of the flavor. How if you mix a bit in some bourbon what it does to the drink. Instead I submit to you this picture as evidence of whether it is good or not. This is the pan we had the honey in.

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Smoked honey is Bok Bok approved.

The smoke house at 7 degrees

On Thursday I fired the smoke house as I do each morning. I just love the look of the house venting a thin stream if smoke. It’s like watching a fire, but more productive. This particular morning it was only 7 degrees when I took this video. That may explain why its so short.

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Before I fired the smoke house, I took the opportunity to remove some if the items we have in there smoking. Mostly cheeses. This particular cheese is mozzarella cheese that I made from our milk. It went from warm cheese, to a muslin and hung in the smoke house immediately. It developed a very nice rind and took on a good amount of smoke in a couple of days. I shredded some into the scrambled eggs for breakfast before storing the rest away. Good stuff. Actually breakfast was really good all around. Scrambled eggs(our eggs) with ground pork (our pigs) mozzarella cheese (our milk and our cheese) and cantaloupe. Alas, it’s the wrong season for our cantaloupe. Still, pretty local as an average.

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I also pulled the other cheeses we had smoked , along with the cashews. The cashews are no good smoked. They took on a petroleum flavor which isn’t from and fuel as we don’t use any. It’s just the way they taste smoked. Maybe if I had baked them first. Everything else has smoked nicely though. The salt is really good. Any ideas on what to smoke next? We have a month of smoking ahead of us.

Another ham

20140204-074647.jpgOur third ham went into the smoker today. The first two look about ready to come out but I will leave them till Brian gets here to give them a once over. The fourth very large ham still resides in the cooler, quietly salt curing. It shouldn’t be too much longer till its ready to turn golden in the smoker.