Tuesday, February 1, 2011

on the way in

Came home to just a few inches on the ground, was even able to dig out the car and do usual night chores without much fuss. Looks like the real ringer is tomorrow, and only around 10-15 inches so we might skate with under twenty total. Two months ago that would have sounded like a ridiculous sentence, but this year has taught me any day above 0 with less than thirty inches of snow at once is a blessing. Manageable. Kind.

Looks like my ride and I are braving the weather to go into the office tomorrow, but he thinks we'll skip out early in the afternoon if it's as bad as the reports say it will be. If that's the case I might be slow roasting some pork here and baking bread. Anyone with a good recipe to share, I would appreciate it. I'm embarrassed to admit I never roasted pork before...my pig cooking skills end at bacon and helping my father pour a can of Coke over the Christmas ham.

I'm reading The Dogs of Bedlam Farm again for some comfort. The book takes place just twenty minutes North of Cold Antler in the town of Hebron. It's about author Jon Katz's first winter alone on a sheep farm in Washington County. He's there with some Border collies in his new/very old farmhouse and deals with -20 nights, lambing, and being a new farmer in a very old farming community. It's comforting to see someone else get through it all, so I pick it up and read about taking rectal donkey thermometer readings and feel like I've got it easy. It's also kind of surreal to read a book about the town and places you live in. Same gas stations, same Agway, same trips to Gardenworks and the Barn in Pawlet. If you haven't read it, check it out. Or visit Bedlamfarm.com

I was asked in a recent post about my plans for the lambs slaughter in the fall. I am hoping to do something like I did with Pig, and have their lives ended here. But unlike pork, lamb needs to hang for a few days before butchering so without perfect weather conditions outside, it could get tricky. I plan on having the animals slaughtered, skinned and such here and then driven over to a local small butcher shop to hang and wrap.

We're a long way from eating lamb chops here though...first they need to be born. We're still about seven weeks from the earliest possible due date (expect the first lambs here around March 19th) but I am starting to dream about them. I woke up this morning to the sound of a crying lamb and jolted out of bed, which freaked Gibson out. It was all in my head, there were no little ones outside, but it was amazing how even the notion flung me into action. If you think this winter has been a wild ride on this blog....just wait till spring. That's the real test.


Blogger Diane said...

We only got about four inches of snow in Galway, but Albany was pandemonium on wheels today. I will not be going in tomorrow. This recipe is not for a pork roast, but pork chops, and is one of my all-time favorites(except they use sweet paprika, and I use Hungarian hot paprika):
http://www.food.com/recipe/pork-chops-with-paprika-sage-cream-264515. This will warm you up after doing barn chores in a foot of wet snow!

February 1, 2011 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger E said...

Yes, lambs will be a real test.

How will you combine lambing and work?
Will you leave a ewe in difficult labor to go to work? What about a lamb that needs a bottle several times a day?

Reconciling a strict work schedule and lambing does not seem feasible.

I sincerely hope it goes well.

February 1, 2011 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

What about doing pulled pork - i have'nt tried it yet but my daughter who is raising teens - boy 18 and twin girls 17 - swears by it. I think there are loads of recipes for it out there.
Take care and dress warmly if you travel tomorrow - and bring food and drink.
BTW - if you or your followers are interested in becoming involved in a benefit for a guy who lost his CSA storage and produce building in a huge fire, go to the post I did today (at http://www.quiltingwithjanet.blogspot.com ) for details and url's
Take care, button up and be safe!

February 1, 2011 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger Sage said...

Stay cozy!

Why do lambs need to hang longer than pigs? Totally curious. I am a true gomer when it comes to the details of animal processing, but I look forward to a day when the knowledge feels like second nature.

February 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

When I cut six or so small slits in in and insert whole, peeled cloves of garlic. Then some salt and pepper. Cover and roast at 250 or 300 until it is as tender as you want it. I find the simpler the better. Good luck.

Oh, and I LOVE Katz!! Great books. The part where Orson is riding down the street on top of the van is one of the best scenes ever!

February 1, 2011 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I am a big fan of James Harriot. His stories always put a smile on my face and a grateful place in my heart that I am not a country vet to high country farm people! ;)

Big changes are coming with the lambs. Can't wait to experience it with you.

February 1, 2011 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

I am sure you have eaten by now, but I just made a pork roast on Saturday and I poured about a 1/4 cup of Balsamic vinegar over it and buried some garlic gloves in it (poke with a sharp knife and then shove the glove in) and it came out great. By the way I am reading your book. It's great. Thanks,

February 1, 2011 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Bee said...

Is there a reason u hang lamb but not pig? We hang all meat in the cooler box for at least three days.
I like to take a shoulder roast and make Mexican carnitas. This is the only time I EVER boil meat....put shoulder in stock pot with quarter onion, three cloves garlic, couple carrots...bring to boil then simmer for an hour or so, until it looks like it will come off the bone. Then take just the pork and put it in an oiled baking dish and bake for an hour until meat pulls easily off bone, covering with foil if needed, in a 350 oven.
Now you can make alot of meals....
Dice the meat and use for enchiladas or burrito filling; shred it and put green enchilada sauce on it for chile verde; shred, put your favorite BBQ sauce on it, toast some bread and make BBQ pork sandwiches....
I'm getting hungry.....

February 1, 2011 at 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you cook pork, rub a little ginger into the fatty portion. Put the fatty side up and cover with slices of lemon held by toothpicks. This will cut a little of the fatty fast. It will be yummy.

February 1, 2011 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I don't know why it has to rest, it was what the butcher told me, and it was also done at the Hogget Cook off last spring.

E, I will be able to use vacation days, come in late, go home every few hours and do all sorts of time bending at work for lambing. My boss and I already talked about it.

February 1, 2011 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger avw said...

Jenna - The crockpot is great for pork and you can leave it all day and come home to dinner already made. I love this site (look on the left hand side to search for pork recipes) http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

and my all time favorite pork recipe is here- http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/sweet-spicy-asian-pork-shoulder-00000000028082/index.html

February 1, 2011 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

My absolutely favorite book for slow cooking meat is "The Best Slow & Easy Recipes" by the editors of Cook's Illustrated. Maybe you can find it in the library? Otherwise, they will have their recipes on the Web.

Glad to hear you're anticipating the storm with such aplomb and I'm really glad you have a carpooling buddy.

February 1, 2011 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Duck said...

My dad always stabs cloves of garlic into a pork roast, and then puts garlic powder, salt, and pepper on the outside. It's awesome. :)

February 1, 2011 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Daisy Driver said...

I'm with Mrs. Bee - pork carnitas are a favorite here. We throw it in the crock pot with a strong mexican beer, some garlic, a couple jalapenos and a handful of cilantro. Once cooked shred the meat and throw it in a skillet with olive oil (lard is traditional) and fry till crispy bits then add salsa. Serve on tortillas. Freezes well. One roast makes about 4 meals for my family. We love it!

February 1, 2011 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

We got a foot today and up to another foot tomorrow, but you're so right in that it's kind of "no big deal" now. This is my first winter here too.

Donkey temp taking - brought me back to when my mare Tag, the 1st horse I'd raised myself, had to go to Tufts vet hospital, and I realized that of all the things I had taught her to be good for, the act of temp taking had never occurred to me, and the staff there had a hell of a time with her. Thanks for the giggle!

February 1, 2011 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

May I suggest the purchase of a digital electric pressure cooker.

In goes a pork shoulder, with seasoning and veggies, set the timer and when you come home at night, supper. Add corn bread and milk.

February 1, 2011 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Serenidy said...

I love slow roasted pork shoulder with garlic, sage and pepper.

1 3-4 lb pork roast
1-2 heads (yes, the whole head) of garlic-peeled. Should be about 10-20 cloves depending on the size of your garlic heads
3-4 tbs dried rubbed sage
salt and pepper

Start the oven @ 450.

Poke 1/2 inch to inch holes in the roast w/a paring knife and slide the garlic down in. Pour good oil over the top (I like grapeseed), then rub in the sage, salt and pepper to taste. Let it set for about 1/2 hour on the counter so it comes up to room temp.

Roast @ 450 for about 20 minutes to give the roast a good head start, then turn it down to 300 and roast until your meat thermometer reads 185 (should take about 3 hours). Let rest 1/2 hour under foil before you cut it. It should be tender and fall apart when you poke at it w/a fork.

Reserve the juice and fat that come off the roast and use it like an aujus (you can choose to seperate out the fat if you wish, but it's not really necessary if your pork is lean enough).

Enjoy with a big hunk of crusty bread and some home canned green beans. Pure porky joy!

February 1, 2011 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dont worry about lambing. Its your first year so they will for sure lamb at 3am when you are home :) and in the worst possible weather. (mine chose thunderstorms and downpours)you'll be fine just tired! last year out of 30 ewes only two needed help.They say it gets better (and easier) every year. I'm hoping thats true I have 50 ewes that will be lambing in march. I would hate to have to eat my words!

February 1, 2011 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna- wife says slow cook in crockpot-add veggies if you want-can be done when you get home and will really be tender- good work sandwiches also- let us know what you do---------9 in tx tonight

February 1, 2011 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

The book you mentioned sounded wonderful. I just went onto a used book site I belong to, and miracle of miracles, they had it, I requested it and it's on its way to me. Can't wait to read it. Stay warm!

February 1, 2011 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

The River Cottage Meat Book is full of yummy things to make out of pigs.

February 1, 2011 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Jenna- are you only slaughtering ram lambs and keeping the ewes? Just wondered if you were looking to increase your flock....

February 2, 2011 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Stay safe. I have a new video on my blog showing us three dogs romping around in the snow in Kansas. We have less than a foot unless you count those 3 to 4 foot drifts out there. You stay safe and keep yourself warm!

February 2, 2011 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Michael, I have that book. LOVE IT!

Keeping ewes, yes I am.

I need a crock pot!!

February 2, 2011 at 6:27 AM  
Blogger Chance said...

Jenna, so I am on my way over to Amazon to order the Jon Katz book. I realized that it might be another source of support if you had a "Jenna's bookshelf" link to Amazon on your blog. I know your recommendations are independent and I value them, but with an Amazon link, the farm would get a percentage of any books and music orders...just a thought. Stay warm today!

February 2, 2011 at 6:32 AM  
Blogger Lisa D. said...

Another pork recipe for you.

1 pork shoulder, 2-5 lbs
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp oregano
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c vinegar or citrus juice
2 tsp salt
chopped chilies (optional)

Combine garlic, oregano, oil vinegar, salt and chilies.
Rub paste into pork, and leave for 1-8 hours.
Roast for 3-4 hours at 300 degrees, or 8 hours in a slow cooker on high.
Meat should fall apart when done. Serve with rice or homemade flatbread.

February 2, 2011 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Simple as ALC said...

Yes you need a crock pot! My "secret" is to slow cook a roast in root beer, although I'm going to try actual beer next time and see how that tastes. My teenage son gives me the most heartfelt "I love you, Mom" whenever I make bbq pulled pork sammies. We just got pegged with a couple feet of snow in Chicago. Yay snow day! Boo shoveling (although it's better than sitting behind a desk so I'll take it!) Hope you don't get hit hard!

February 2, 2011 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I can't wait for our new kids to come (same time as your lambs drop)! I think about them a lot these days too. :)

Pork loin - top with sliced onion, thyme & rosemary, wrap in foil, bake at 300-350 until done (depends on the size. If you cut it into 1-2 lb portions, it will take an hour, maybe 1.5 hours)

If you have a slow cooker, I have some wonderful recipes for loin and shoulder roasts - carnitas (NOT cooked in lard), posole and pulled pork. If you're interested, I'm happy to send them! Funny how people cook pork differently depending on where they live. Most of my pork recipes are Mexican or staunchly southern. :) Also, Ground pork is great stuffed in bell peppers or cabbage rolls, just about anything can be sliced paper thin for stir fry, and if you have bulk sausage, it's very yummy stuffed into an acorn squash with brown sugar. If you have any Italian sausage, you can make lasagna or pasta sauce with that. Smoked ham hocks make incredible ham bean soup or red beans & rice. Heehee...apparently I might know my way around a pig.

February 2, 2011 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger karen said...

Hi Jenna,
I cook my pork roast in the crock pot several ways:
with 1 cup BBsauce and chopped onions and garlic
with 1/2 cup teriaki, 1/2 cup seasame ginger marinade and 2 tbls of hosin sauce
with 1 cup salsa, chopped onion celery and garlic

I always saute the onion, garlic and celery in butter and oil before adding to the pot. Cook on low all day and come home to yummy dinner. Serve over rice, cous cous, millet, mashed potatoes etc. You could also do this in a dutch oven but not sure of the time to cook it. Here is a link for when you do get your crock pot

Karen from CT

February 2, 2011 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

We need a CAF cookbook. Just sayin'. Add it to the list.

February 2, 2011 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

This is for chops, but I bet you could alter it for a roast.

Chinese 5-spice powder
garlic powder

Sprinkle all the above on both sides of the chops. Go easy on the Chinese 5-spice--it's strong.

Saute in butter in a skillet. When 3/4 done, remove. Melt butter in skillet, add flour to make a roux. Add 1/2 water & 1/2 hard cider & stir to make a deelicious gravy. Toss the chops back in & let them finish up in the gravy. Serve with mashed taters.

February 2, 2011 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hey Jenna,

It's been a while since I have read your site. I see that things are going well for you which I am glad for. I would like to make a suggestion for something to add to your site. You have an "about me" section but it would be great if you could add an "about the farm" section and have a list of the current residents of CAF. Your population fluctuates a bit and has changed since the last time I was here. It would be great to see an up to date census of the farm.

:) A loyal reader

February 2, 2011 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Glad things are looking up for you. And the groundhog didn't see his shadow, so an early spring predicted. Maybe those robins know something.
Do you know about Victorian Farm on Youtube? There are 36, usually 10-minute segments. Fascinating. I think there is also an Edwardian Farm.

February 2, 2011 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Non-stick cooking spray
1–1¼ lb pork chops
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp minced ginger (fresh or powdered)
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, partially drained

For thicker sauce, drain more of the pineapple juice before combining with other ingredients. You can also put the pork under the broiler briefly to make it crispier.
Preheat oven to 400º F, and spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place pork in baking dish in a single layer. In a bowl, combine soy sauce with brown sugar, ginger, red pepper, and pineapple. Pour over pork chops. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, basting frequently.

February 2, 2011 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Peacemom said...

Hey Jenna, I've got a yummy pork roast post on my blog, made two of those for Christmas, one smoked, one fresh...


They came out sooooo yummy! Enjoy...we're gonna end up with about 15 inches total over here in NH, but it's freezing rain right now, so who knows? Stay safe!

February 2, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger DarcC said...

I love a to cook a pork tenderloin by slicing a slit down the middle and filling it with apple-cranberry chutney with raisins and onions. Bake in the oven at 350 to desired doneness. Yum.

February 2, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Kyler and Sylvia said...

For recipies in general, definitely check out America's Test kitchen cookbooks. They're my go to book for much of my cooking. And, for the kid in me, they explain Why something works :-)

Their book The New Best Recipie has the most pork recipes of all their books that I've seen, including one for pulled pork.

February 2, 2011 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Stace said...

Pork in a crock pot is awesome...My mom got me an electric pressure cooker for Christmas though and I use it ALL the time. Meat comes out so tender and it's done in less than an hour.
I'm looking forward to seeing all the recipes you get on here...My two pigs will be slaughtered this month..that reminds me...I need to find a bigger freezer!! :)
When we had our lambs done, we had the guy come here and slaughter, then he took them to the butcher for us and we picked them up a few days later. As far as lambing goes..I had two ewes that had some issue...but I found that overall...they just popped them out without assistance...I'm hoping this year is the same!

February 2, 2011 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Zev said...

Makes me feel less crazy to know there is someone else who is awakened at night by the sounds of animals she doesn't yet have. :)

February 2, 2011 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger google@westvon.com said...

E - She's only got 5 ewes at the moment and they're not maidens, but experienced moms... I would think that most will happen without a hitch... And she's got a vet next door... you make it sound as if people can't do things unless it's all or nothing... I think it's awesome that she's giving it a try and she'll do fine... if one needs a bottle, she'll probably bring it to work! They seem to not mind dogs and pups, and I recall her bringing Finn in all the time when he was young...

Hey, a god pork roast recipe is to lightly season with sea salt, then add a good dash of chopped garlic powder and a nice dribble of honey and roast slowly in a low 325 oven for a few hours... perfect!!


February 2, 2011 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger layzbugs said...

You do need a crockpot. It will make whatever pork recipe you choose to make succulent and soft. "Slow and low" anything is delicious!

February 2, 2011 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

There is a simply terrific episode on Edwardian Farm where they move their flock to graze on Dartmoor.Due to working I had missed watching episode *live* so was catching up watching them on Iplayer whilst propped up in bed(bliss!) I sat there and suddenly thought uh oh, I moved the laptop, flung on my dressing gown and flew like a rocket to the door,somethings up with the flock,whats going on then... I stood there shivering,nothing...I whistled,they come to my whistle, there was a few confused meeeehs? ma?! whats up with ma?? whys she out here in the daaarkkkk maaaaaa!!

Then it dawned on me...it wasnt MY flock outside, it was the diggeldy flock on the PROGRAMME!!!!!!!!!

It was THAT point I knew I had *it* coursing through my veins x x x
GTM x x x x

February 2, 2011 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

Not Spring, *Mud Season* m'dear.

February 2, 2011 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

Here is a Pulled Pork recipe that I've used with great success. The only thing I changed a bit was the spices because I was missing some of the spices and had a Cajun seasoning mix and used that as a substitute. The directions are clear and the method given worked wonders with the pork I used. It turned out amazing!


February 2, 2011 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Chance said...

Sherri -- I concur. Her sheep know what they are doing. I'll be surprised if she manages to catch them lambing, more likely a little surprise or three on an unexpected morning. Having to bottle feed lambs is rare with the heritage breeds, and as you pointed out -- a flexible employer helps and in the old farming communities there are always 4-Hers and such who would love to foster a lamb during the week. I suspect her lambing season will be only a little hectic and a lot amazing; I am really looking forward to the blog posts of joy and wonder. Counting down the weeks....

February 2, 2011 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger megan said...

Homesick Texan's blog is a good source for all things pork.

February 2, 2011 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

My favorite pulled pork recipe:
3 lb. pork tenderloin or Boston butt roast
1 c. water
18 oz bottle BBQ sauce (or make your own)
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Directions: Combine pork roast, salt, pepper and water in crock pot. Cook on high for 6-7 hours. Drain contents of the crock pot, reserving 1 c. of liquid. Shred pork with fork. Combine remaining ingredients, pour over shredded pork and mix well. Add reserve liquid if necessary, to keep pork moist. Cook on low for 1 hour. Serve with sandwich rolls, coleslaw and your favorite sides.

I typically use a Boston butt along with a honey BBQ sauce because that's what we like best. Mustard and vinegar based BBQ sauces are also quite tasty.

February 2, 2011 at 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a pork roast, my very favorite marinade is super easy! Strong black coffee, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup, in equal amounts. Mix together, pour it over your roast, and cook. Delish!

I took a snow day yesterday, and spent the day removing the 18+ inches of snow, bringing wood into the house, and from the woodshed to the porch (in case the roof of the wood shed collapses). I also roasted a home grown chicken, made stock, and measured a warp for my first hand woven dish towels. I wish I could really stay home every time there's a big storm :)

I'm expecting my first kids (angora goats, not human) at the end of May. It's not easy to be a solo farmer, but knowing you're out there doing it too helps me keep on pushing through :)

February 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Hi Jenna! I'm an avid reader! One of my favorite things to do with pork, particularly loins or roasts is make a marinade of mustard, honey, a little olive oil and apple cider vinegar and roast in the oven, adding some more over the top halfway through cooking. This goes great with baked sweet potato fries and a salad.

I use equal parts mustard and honey, usually about 2 tbsp for a small tenderloin, about 1 tsp oil and 1-2 tsp cider vinegar. Whisk and pour over your meat and let sit for 30 mins or pop it in the oven. Homemade honey mustard is excellent over the sw. potatoes too.

best of luck with your many tasty recipes!

February 4, 2011 at 10:59 AM  

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