Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My 1940 Kitchen

The Pig Day countdown is well underway.....only 5 more days until the four hogs we've been raising since spring start on their trip to Freezer Camp.  We have arranged for a couple of guys, Felix and Devin, to take  care of the dirty work in exchange for one whole pig.  We'd hired them last year for the first two pigs we raised and were very pleased with them and made the plan for the four pigs.....they didn't think their landlord would be pleased if they raised a pig in the cellar.

We also have two friends who hunt coming, bringing a critical piece of equipment:  guns.  At least one of the wives is coming, and another friend of mine will come to visit and to join us for lunch in the festive atmosphere.  My folks will come for food and Dad will help (at least supervise!) with some the messy work.  That brings the count to 10 or 11 people.

My plan is to mostly stay in the kitchen, barefoot, where womenfolk belong.  (HA!  As if...!)

Seriously, preparing good nutrient-dense food for all the hard workers, out there in the December in New England weather, is a very important job and I start today.  Actually, I started some time ago when I made the corned beef.  Right now all that lovely grass-fed beef is boiling and will be chopped for the breakfast meal:  Corned beef hash with our organic potatoes, Lumberjack quiche with our eggs, goat cheese, swiss chard, onions, and more corned beef (since we don't have any bacon....yet!), and chevre lightly sweetened with local raw wildflower honey and covered with raspberries.  Lots of protein and good fats and just a touch of carbohydrates to keep the body fueled for several hours of hard work.

On today's job list is also making some mixes to reduce the workload later in the week:  pie crust mix, cookie dough (I may have to roll some oats, gotta check....ground the flour last week and froze it), biscuit mix, and crust mix for a cheesecake.  If there is time, I may make the soda today, too.  Oh, and more chai  tea concentrate....that gets better with a few days of aging.

So much to do!  My list is on the fridge, and there seems to be more tasks than time.....gotta run!



  1. We butcher our own beef and pork and chickens. Mostly we do it on our own. We do 1 cow, 1 pig and 50 chickens each year. The chickens are done in September, the pig in early October, and the steer as soon as the cow is bred in early summer. (We need someone to indicate the heat.)

    For me the hardest work is getting the cold room (for hanging the meat) and the butcher shop we built in the barn really super clean. I clean very thoroughly the day before: ceilings, walls, floors, all surfaces.

    The day of I wipe down all food surfaces before starting. Then when done, completely clean everything. This is the part I could really use help with.

    The butchering and packing is easy compared to the cleaning. But it's still a couple very long days.

  2. Wow, I'd love to raise a bit of beef, but we'd have to buy all the hay. I'm actually considering getting a bottle dairy bull calf but think it may be too much to handle here....can we talk sometime? Through the WAPF group?

    We just hang the sides in the garage, and I line my butchering table with layers of heavy paper and change it out as needed. Yes, the clean up is quite a chore! But it sure makes ya feel wealthy to have all that wonderful, healthy food put away, doesn't it?

  3. Sure, I'd LOVE to talk. But I don't do Facebook. A friend sent me the link to the soap video.

    I just love having a year's worth of food put away. And knowing I grew it with the best methods I could do.

    Before we built the cold room, we had to wait, as I assume you did, for it to be cold enough to hang. But then there was the year it was January and -25F and we had to run heaters to thaw the carcasses. That was the last straw. We built the cold room the next year.

  4. Yes, we have to watch the weather closely. It was a problem this year, since it was so warm....we had to keep moving the date further and further into the winter....and we were running out of food for the pigs. We made it just in the nick of time! We face some of the challenges my grandfather must've faced.

    Can you have your friend contact me via fb and I'll give her my email address privately?