Saturday, March 24, 2012

Big day, and a good dinner

The weather has been so warm here. Today it cooled off a bit, but a good day for playing in the dirt. I cleaned out two big raised boxes and one small one out at the farm (no pictures today. Hopefully tomorrow). No planting, just prepping. I might do some planting tomorrow, if I can still move ;). After hauling wet hay bales in a wagon, digging, hoeing, and some chicken shenanigans I am pretty sore and tired! I have a blister on the arch of my foot the size of an olive pit, but it is very deep. Wrong shoes, and loose socks. Somebody brought their dog to the farm and was not keeping an eye on it. It was chasing chickens, who ran into their pen. Eventually the dog got into the pen, and all the chickens ran OUT. And across the field, and into a hedge on the neighbours property. Now, when I say hedge....I am not talking about a row of bushes. I am taking about a thicket several feet wide, branches intertwined. There was a perfect little path in the very middle, just the right size for chickens to walk down. On one side was the yard, on the other the steep bank of a ditch. One of the others in the group and I took long sticks and managed to herd the chickens back down the path inside the hedge, and convince them to cross the field and go back home. Three of them did NOT want to go back at that moment. They LIKED the hedge. One was roosting up in the branches, and the other two were walking back and forth and mocking us. After much more poking and prodding into the hedge while dangling over the edge of the ditch, we were finally able to convince two of them out. The last hold out took more convincing, but I think it realized it was alone, and chickens don't like to be alone. She walked right out of the hedge and into the waiting arms of my fellow chicken wrangler. She seemed happy to be carried back to the farm. Meanwhile, the little dog managed to actually catch a chicken. He was pulled off, and we were still over at the hedge. After we had them all back, the owner mentioned she "might have seen a chicken go under the trailer". We couldn't find her at first. Then I spotted her, wedged way in the wheel well. Scared to pieces, poor thing. We had to dismantle part of the barrier around the trailer to get her out, but I was able to pick her right up. I had to reach at a funny angle and managed to pop my arm out of joint for a minute. I HATE THAT. It was the chicken that had been caught by the dog. No damage, as far as we can tell except for losing a few feathers. Now, she did help us a bit. But she abandoned the job way before I would have, if it were my dog that caused the problem. Then proceeded to putter around doing her own thing while we got scratched up by hedges. Yes I am a little bitter LOL. By the time I got home I was starving. I filled corn tortillas with salsa and cheese, tossed in some chickpeas and added more cheese and salsa on top. Mixed up some guacamole type dip while my "enchiladas" were in the microwave (I know. But I was HUNGRY). Man oh man, that was some good eating! And I ate it all too, even though I made too much. Hopefully tomorrow, pics of the farm, the chickens, and a houseguest (dogsitting LOL).

Monday, March 19, 2012

That's some good pork!

Not too far back, I bought a "pork share" from here. Berkshire pork is a heritage breed. It has deep flavour, and a LOT of fat. The meat is darker than your typical grocery store pork, and I have to admit I had to modify my cooking methods a bit. Lower, slower, give it time to render and tenderize and give up it's juicy goodness. And give it up it does. Tonight I used some of the ground pork to make "torpedoes". Mix ground pork with seasonings (I used garlic and onion powder, some bbq rub, a good dose of pepper, and some tomato/chicken bouillon instead of salt). Add some breadcrumbs. They help catch the juices and hold them. Add a beaten egg (a fresh egg from a chicken that lives in a trailer works the best, but do what you can. Tee hee!). Mix well but lightly. You see, this pork has FAT. And you want that fat to stay in pieces, rather than smear all over. Plus you don't want to compact the meat. Shape into vaguely sausage shaped things (torpedo shapes) and brown in a skillet on all sides. My rolls were very tender, so turn carefully. Once each side is browned, slap a cover on them so that the insides can steam and cook and they can firm up a bit. Turn every once in a while for even browning. Once they are cooked through, drizzle on some bbq sauce to coat, and let sizzle a few minutes more to carmelize and coat the torpedos. Since I am allergic to celery I have been experimenting with fennel (both cooked and raw). Tonight it was a slaw made with thinly sliced fennel and some store bought french dressing I am trying to use up. Talk about a sum greater than the parts! And of course, frozen baked fries LOL. The entire meal, including defrosting the flat frozen package of meat took less than 30 minutes and tastes better than anything I could get at a restaurant or drive thru. No pictures tonight. Because, let's face it. A meat torpedo kind of looks like a poop on a plate ROFL.