How Much Freezer Space Do I Need For My Pastured Pork?

Have you been considering one of our boxed pastured pork shares or a custom whole or half, but not sure if you’ll have enough freezer space to store it?

I’ve found myself standing with the freezer door open trying to calculate mentally in my head how much space I have.

Maybe if I move this meat over here, and stuff these veggies in the door, ewww…and that looks like it could be thrown out, I could make more room.

I bet I’d find a lot more room too, if I’d take the time to defrost my freezer.  It’s amazing how quickly the ice seems to build up.

About 33% of us have an additional freezer at home.

But whether you have a top freezer on your fridge or three stashed in the garage, we’ll help you calculate your space.

Here’s a quick little breakdown on how much space you’ll need for our different sized pork shares, and how to measure your freezer.

PASTURED PORK SHARE

1/8 ~ 15 lbs
1/4 ~ 35 lbs
1/2 ~ 70 lbs
Whole ~ 140 lbs

FREEZER SPACE NEEDED

1 cu. ft.
2 cu. ft.
3 – 4 cu. ft.
6 – 7 cu. ft.

If you do not know the size of your freezer or how much space you have available, follow the steps below to calculate it.

Don’t get nervous if you don’t like math.  I’ll try to keep this simple.

Now would be a good time to defrost that freezer if you haven’t done it in awhile.

It usually takes less than 24 hours.

We place all our food in coolers and try to keep them in the coolest place of the house.

Unplug the freezer and let it thaw.

Wipe up the extra water with a towel, plug her in, and you’re good to go!

It’s best to let the freezer get back down to temperature before you start refilling it.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the time to defrost your freezer, you can still get a good idea of the space you have.

These steps are on how to measure your empty freezer, but let’s face it.  Unless you defrost your freezer, it’s not going to be empty.

And to be more accurate on the room you have, you’ll wanna leave your food in there and just measure the empty space.

5 Steps to Measure Your Freezer Space

1

2

3

4

5

Try to condense all your items into your freezer in as little space as you can or move to the side to take measurements.

Height: Measure inside the freezer from the bottom to the highest point it can be filled without obstructing the lid for a chest freezer, or to the top for an upright freezer.

Or the height of the area you have available.

Width: Measure inside the freezer from one inner wall across to the other. Record the number in feet.

Depth: Measure inside the freezer from the front wall, or door for an upright freezer, to the back inside wall. Record the number in feet.

Multiply the three numbers together. This will give you how many cubic feet you have to fill with pastured pork.

I sure hope that didn’t get your brain spinning in circles.  

I know I have to slow down and read through the steps a couple times slowly to make sure I understand myself.  LOL!

Go check out what Pastured Pork Share might be best for your family!

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The Perfect Pig for Our Pastures

Awwwhhh…….what a cute little piggy!

Did you just get the image of a little pink piglet in your head?  Me too!! 

Rarely are our pigs pink.  I love all the variety of color that comes from the Idaho Pasture Pigs (IPP) we raise.

Never heard of an Idaho Pasture Pig?  Don’t worry, most people haven’t.

They are extremely friendly and docile.

The kids love spending time in the pig pen.  No, not their messy rooms!  LOL! 

Each and everyone has a unique personality and name.  Since the breed originated in Idaho, we started naming them from different places in Idaho.

Fuitland
Payette
Cali

But as our herd grew, and we traveled farther to get new lines, we started naming them after the places they were born.

Another aspect we love about our IPP’s is they have great mothering qualities. They farrow, usually unassisted, in their huts.

Sow with litter in A-frame Hut.

As a kid we raised pigs.  When they farrowed we put them in crates to keep the babies safe until they were old enough and learned to stay out of the way.

Their A-frame hut acts like a farrowing crate protecting the pigs on the sides, but allows Mom and piglets to come and go as they please.

This allows them to be outdoors in fresh air as animals were intended and not in confinement.

There is a time and a place for confinement, but we try to avoid it as much as possible.

In the spring and fall, our place can get pretty busy.  Including boars, sows, feeders and piglets, we currently have 74 pigs wandering different pastures and farrowing pens on the place.

They love to graze on green pastures. While their diet can’t solely consist of grasses, they do well on very little grain as compared to a commercial hog.

Their short upturned nose is an ideal trait for grazing.

People chuckle at them and think they look odd, but I’ve been raising them long enough now that I think commercial hogs look like anteaters with their long noses.

It’s not uncommon on a warm day to see a pile of pigs or piglets basking in the sunshine.  Some of them even appear to be smiling.

Being out in the sunshine, eating and roaming the pastures, allows for them to create pork that is packed full of nutrients.

I think it’s the best pork, I’ve ever eaten.  Some of our customers have commented it’s more like beef than the pork they’re used to, but with a pork flavor.

If you’re ever out our way, we love visitors to the farm.  

Give us a holler.  We’d be happy to introduce you personally to the pigs and other critters on the farm.

In the meantime, sign-up to receive our emails.

Each month we will be introducing a different species we have on the farm.

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The Most Moist, Tender & Delicious Ham with these TIPS!

Mmmmm.. the smell of ham and fresh baked rolls drifts throughout the house.  Your mouth waters as you pass the cheesecake you made for dessert sitting on the counter as you head to the oven to check on your ham.

Ughh!  You’ve spent all day prepping and cooking for your Easter meal to find out your ham is dry and chewy when you pull it out of the oven.

I’m here to help you create the most moist, tender and delicious ham ever!

First off, what type of ham are you going to cook?  You’ve got a few options.  

Typically if you purchase a ham from the grocery store it will be precooked, and simply requires reheating.  

When you purchase your ham from the butcher or your local farmer, it may or may not be cured/smoked or precooked.

If your ham is fresh, you’ll just have to make sure you get the meat temperature up to 145 degrees F to be fully cooked.

So, do you want boneless or bone-in?  Here are a few pros about each.

Bone-less: easy to carve
Serving size: ½ lb per person

Bone-In: better flavor & juicier meat, leftover bone to make soup
Serving size: ¾ to 1 lb per person

Spiral-cut: already sliced, glaze can spread throughout the ham because of the slices, cooks a bit  faster.
Serving size: ¾ to 1 lb per person

8 NO FAIL TIPS FOR THE PERFECT HAM

  1. Thaw Your Ham

Make sure your ham is completely thawed.  1-hour prior to cooking, set it out and let it come to room temperature.  This will help keep your ham tender and juicy.

Diamond shaped scoring on ham.
  1. Score the Skin

Making a diamond pattern, use a sharp knife to cut through the fat and skin layer of the ham.  Not only does this make your ham look professional and beautiful, it allows the glaze to seep down into the meat.

  1. Glaze Your Ham

Get creative and glaze your ham! Mix up the ingredients of your glaze while your ham’s cooking. When you’re down to the last hour of cooking, brush your ham with the glaze every 15 minutes or so.

  1. Cover Your Ham

Always keep your ham covered whether it’s with aluminum foil or a lid if you’re using a deep dish.  And, be sure to cover it back up everytime after you apply the glaze.

  1. Add Moisture to Your Ham

Add a cup of water, apple or pineapple juice to the bottom of your pan.  This will help to keep your ham moist and add flavor!

  1. Cooking Your Ham

Use a meat thermometer for best results. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the ham, but make sure you avoid the bone.  

Precooked Ham: 140 degrees F
Fresh Ham: 145 degrees F

Here’s a quick little table on how long to cook your ham!

Ham Roasting Guidelines
Bake at 325 degrees F
Slow Cooker on Low

Boneless Ham1 ½ to 2 lbs
3 to 4 lbs
6 to 8 lbs
9 to 11 lbs
45 min to 1 hour
1 to 1 ½ hours
1 ½ to 2 hrs 40 min
2 hrs 15 min to 2 hrs 50 min
Bone-In Ham6 to 8 lbs
14 to 16 lbs
1 ½ to 2 hrs 15 min
2 hrs 20 min to 4 hours
  1. Rest Your Ham

Allow your ham to rest covered for at least 15 minutes when you pull it out of the oven before you start carving it.  This gives the ham time to reabsorb much of the juices back through the meat.

  1. Carving Your Ham

Boneless ham: Simply carve away with a sharp knife.

Bone-in ham: perpendicular to the bone, cut the ham into thin slices.  Then, cut along the bone to release the slices.

Whether you are feeding a crowd or enjoying a ham steak for just the two of you, follow these simple tips and we know you will not be disappointed!

Check out our favorite Easter Ham Recipe below!

I want to hear how great your ham was! 

Email me and let me know!

MOUTHWATERING SWEET & SPICY HAM

yield:  18 SERVINGS  prep time: 15 MINUTES  bake  time: 2 ¾ HOURS   total time: 3 HOURS

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup orange marmalade
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1- 6 to 8 lb Rural Roots Ranch
  • precooked bone-in ham
  • 1 cup water
Courtesy of Taste of Home

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, marmalade, and mustard in a small bowl. Set aside. 
  3. Score the surface of the ham, making diamond shapes ½ inch deep.
  4. Insert a whole clove in the center of each diamond.
  5. Place ham in a shallow roasting pan.
  6. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the roasting pan.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake until your ham reaches a temperature of 140 degrees F, about 2 hours.
  9. Brush ham with some of the glaze.  Continue to bake your ham for 45 minutes, brushing with the glaze every 15 minutes.  Don’t forget to recover your ham after each glazing.
  10. When ham is done, allow to rest, covered for 15 minutes before carving.
  11. Carve.
  12. ENJOY!

Adapted from Taste of Home

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Just How Many Meals CAN You Get From 1/2 a Pig?

Have you ever thought, my husband and I couldn’t possibly eat ½ a pastured pig in a year? 

When you sit down to do a little math….oh, but wait!  Let me do that for you!  You’ll be surprised at how much pork you really do eat in a year.

So…let me break it down for you without getting too complicated.

The average American eats about 52 lbs of pork a year. Mostly in the form of bacon.

Mmmm…bacon.  I have lots of bacon lovers in my family.  And who wouldn’t love more bacon?!

Okay… got a little side tracked there on the bacon.

52 lbs a year for you is only 1lb of pork a week.  Add in your husband’s share and that’s 104 lbs of bacon, oh, I mean, pork a year.

I bet now you’re thinking,

So how much meat DO you get from a ½ a pig?

+/- 65 lbs.
OR
8 months supply of pasture pork

Now, if you’re a carnivore like me, I can tell you now, that you’re going to consume your pork a little faster.  But if you eat your meat more like you’d add a condiment to your salad, it’ll last you considerably longer.

Carnivore Portion
8 oz

Condiment Portion
2 oz

More than likely you have one of each in your household.  Which gives you the option of about 104 meals for you and your husband.

At two meals a week, ½ a pastured pork share could last you up to 1 year.

104 meals!  Yah, sure, only 104 MEALS!!  How am I going to come up with enough different meals to not be sick and tired of pork by the end of the year? 

Well, I’ve got that covered too!

Let me help you out, by giving me your contact information below.

You’ll be notified when I post new recipes along with a future blog post on 104 meal ideas to help you eat through your ½ hog.

You and your husband should have no problem enjoying your great tasting pork before it starts to lose some of its freshness.

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Are You as Agile and Fearless as this Farm Animal?

Ice Cream

Oh, to be as agile and fearless as a goat.

It makes sense to me why people would think goat yoga would be a good idea.  Now, I’m pretty sure it’s for the experience of being on the farm with the goats, but man, I want to be able to move like a goat!

Fun Fact: Did you know goat yoga originated in Oregon?

Goats are some of the most amazingly talented animals in the ways of movement and balance.

I used to secretly snicker to myself when people complained about turning 40. “Just wait,” they’d say. “When you turn 40, overnight you’re going to feel like you’ve aged 10 years. You’ll have aches and pains you never knew you had!”

Yah…suuuurrre.  But let me tell you!  They weren’t joking.

Last year, I turned 40. And while I’m not old, it definitely has me looking at my health and body in a new light.

It’s amazing how those little accidents you had as a kid such as, playing sports, getting dumped off a horse, or thinking just this one time, it’ll be okay to ride the hay truck back to the house, even though you’ve been told what seems like millions of time by your parents not to, and the load decides to come of the truck with you in it (Yep, that was me) comes back to visit you.

Maybe I need to take up goat yoga!

Roxie, Christmas, Silver Bells, Samson & Samantha

The other day, when I was putting a bale of hay in for them, the babies thought it would be fun to tightrope walk on the twine that ties the bale together.

The twine is only ⅜ of an inch wide.

Yet, there they are, confident as can be and having a grand time.

It reminded me of the image I’ve seen across the internet of the goat on the rock cliff.  I’m sure you’ve all seen it.  No idea how he got there or how it will get down, but fearless!

I’m sure that goat never had a doubt in his mind that he couldn’t do it.  There’s been many times I would have loved to have mustered up a little of his courage.

I definitely could use a little of his courage and determination to stick to an exercise routine.  I don’t know about you, but this is something I really struggle at.

Goats also have some of the best personalities.

We have goats that like to smile, maaa back to you when you talk to them, give you the eye, LOL.

But let me tell you, they can also be a real pain in the butt.  Their fearlessness and agility makes it real hard at times to keep them in their pens. 

And when they get out, they get into everything they’re not supposed to. Kinda like a toddler who figured out how to open the pantry door and get into the bag of flour.

Our son got his first three goats as bottle babies from his Aunt, and his herd has grown from there.  Bottle babies know no boundaries because they think they are one of us.

I love watching them follow him around the pen, just as they did when they were babies.  Now, with their babies trailing behind them.

So while most people might think of a cat when it comes to being agile or a honey badger when it comes to being fearless: I think of a goat. 

What’s a quality you admire in a species of animal?

Comment or send me an email.  I’d love to hear from you!

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Sundae & Samantha
Francine
Roxie

Sixty Minute Roll Recipe

Who doesn’t love homemade rolls? Especially when you smother them with butter. The smell of baking bread is SO delicious it makes my stomach ache.

But honestly, who has the time to spend laboring over making bread?  I know, I don’t.  Especially during the week when it’s a rush to get dinner on the table.

With this recipe, you aren’t limited to enjoying fresh baked goodness around the holidays.  

These are quick, delicious and may help ease a little of the stress of getting dinner on the table.

Dough in a way is similar to a stress ball, only better because you get to eat it afterwards!  

But you don’t have to enjoy these just once!  I have three great ways I like to make them.

  • If you’re looking for a quick addition to dinner, these can be out of the oven in as little as 60 minutes.  That’s it!  Not hours of rising, just one.
  • But they are also excellent for freezing and pulling out in the morning on evenings when you are too busy to go through the whole mixing process.

I tend to mix up a few batches of these on the weekend when there is down time, then pop them in the freezer.

Take them out for a great quick weeknight dinner when you have a long day at the office.

Pair these rolls with one of our pork roast and you’ll enjoy a simple meal that takes very little effort.

  • And my final and favorite, they make the best Cinnamon Rolls!

Share this recipe with your friends, so they too can enjoy a great meal on stressful week nights.

And don’t forget to grab a pork roast for dinner!

SIXTY MINUTE ROLLS

yield:  18 ROLLS  prep time: 45 MINUTES  cook time: 15 MINUTES   total time: 1 HOUR

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 ½ to 4 ½  cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packages Active dry yeast (4 ½ tsps)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter

EQUIPMENT:

  • Stand Mixer
  • Dry & Liquid Measuring Cups & Spoons
  • Non-Stick Baking Spray
  • 9 x 13 inch Baking Dish
  • Spatula
  • Clean towel
  • Oven mitts
  • Clean surface

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Turn your oven on to Warm.  This is usually about 170 degrees F.
  2. Using the dough hook with a stand up mixer, I like to use my KitchenAid®, thoroughly mix 1 ½ cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. 
  3. In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, or similar size bowl, melt the butter for 15 seconds in the microwave.
  4. Next add the milk to the butter.  Heat in the microwave for about 1 ½ minutes.
  5. Gradually add the warm liquids to the dry ingredients and beat at medium speed for approximately 2 minutes or until everything is mixed well, scraping the bowl occasionally. 
  6. On low speed, add the remaining flour ½ cup at a time to make a soft dough.  Dough should look soft and smooth and mostly cling to the dough hook.
  7. Use a lightly floured surface to knead the dough a few times and form rolls.   Form rolls by pushing the dough through your fingers formed in an “okay sign” and pinch off.  Rolls should be about the size of golf balls.
  8. Place rolls into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan that is lightly greased with butter or sprayed with nonstick spray.
  9. Place in a warmed oven.  Turn off the oven and leave to rise for 15 minutes.
  10. Pull out of the oven and place in a warm spot in the kitchen with a towel covering.
  11. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  
  12. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  13. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush some melted butter on the tops of the rolls.
  14. ENJOY! 

FREEZER VERSION:

  1. Follow steps 1-7, in step 4, do NOT warm the milk.  Just add to the melted butter.
  2. After step 7, making dough into balls, place the balls separated on a greased cookie sheet.  Let them sit in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from cookie sheet and place in a ziplock bag or freezable airtight container.

When you’re ready for rolls for dinner, pull out as many as you need in the morning and place in a greased baking dish.  Let sit out on your counter till dinner with a towel losely overtop. 

When you get home, preheat your oven and bake as above in steps 11-14.

CINNAMON ROLL VERSION:

Additional Ingredients:

¼ cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
sugar

  1. Follow steps 1-6 above, but increase the sugar to ¼ cup.
  2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a rectangle about 12 by 18 inches.  Dough should be about a ¼ inch thick.
  3. Melt 1/4 cup of butter.  Using a pastry brush, spread the butter on the dough, making sure you get close to the edge.
  4. Now spread the brown sugar evenly on the dough and sprinkle on the cinnamon.
  5. Starting on a long edge, roll the dough tight into a long log.
  6. I like to use a bread knife, but you can also use string or dental floss to cut about 1 inch wide slices from the loaf.
  7. Lay the slices flat in a 9 x 13 inch greased baking pan or cookie sheet.
  8. Place in a warmed oven.  Turn off the oven and leave to rise for 15 minutes.
  9. Pull out of the oven and place in a warm spot in the kitchen with a towel covering.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  12. To make a frosting to top them off: Whisk enough milk (about 1 tablespoon)  into 1 cup of powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.

Make these in the evening for a sweet after dinner dessert. Mix them up without heating the milk and leave in the refrigerator to rise overnight.  You’ll have a mouth watering breakfast.

Or freeze them like the freezer roll instructions and take out the night before.

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A Chicken and Its Egg

Last Fall, we received several chicks in the mail. It happened to turn cold earlier then we had expected and only half of them survived the trip.

This Spring, the 15 pullets starting laying.  Our leghorns were the first to lay, then the Easter Eggers, followed by the Black Stars.  And surprisingly our Blue Andalusian is laying almost daily.  I put her in the order because I liked her coloring and thought the kids might want to show her for 4-H.  Her breed is not noted for being good layers, they are more of an ornamental chicken.

Last of all is our always reliable Cinnamon Queen.  This lady laid large brown eggs all through winter with rarely a day off!  Several of her companions made it to our soup pot and the Speckled Sussex’s will be joining them this weekend.  We had hoped they would start laying but have so far only received approximately an egg a day from the six of them.

It’s always exciting to walk out to the coop and see what colors of eggs will appear. I thought you might be curious as well.

EggsChicken & Egg

And you can’t forget to include our handsome rooster.  The kids named him Brewster. He is a Brown Leghorn.

Brewster the Rooster

Life Keeps Us All Busy

Oh, my word!  It’s been months since I’ve posted!  Sometimes life just happens. As a matter of fact, new life in our family.  At the end of January, Wilhelm joined our family. Taking care of a newborn and his four siblings has been a handful for me the last couple months.  Especially since Mr. Roots has been away with work since little Wilhelm was only 10 days old.  Unfortunately, that is the life of a military family.  I am very thankful he was at least able to be here for his birth.  There are many members of our military who have missed out on their loved ones arrivals.

I’ve created many To-Do lists.  Something I usually find very encouraging.  But when you see it day-to-day and are not able to cross off anything, it becomes quite discouraging.  So, none of those for now.  We are just doing what we can to get to the day-to-day tasks: dishes, laundry, house, homeschool, sports and 4-H.

I do enjoy airing out my house and doing a deep clean every spring and fall.  The calendar may say it is spring, but here in Alaska our 8-10 inches of snow and ice just melted away a few days ago.  We finally made it above freezing during the day for a whole week!  The kids, anxious for spring, decided to set-up the trampoline on the only piece of ground the snow and ice has melted on.  It happens to be the entrance to our shop. Hopefully by the time Mr. Roots gets home the snow will be melted enough to move it onto the yard.

With Spring usually comes the cute little animal babies.  We haven’t had much success with that this year on our little farm.  In February, we purchased a sow who was suppose to be bred and have piglets the last week of February.  But she did not. Ellie, the sow, came into heat shortly before her piglets were suppose to be born.  I did some research and AI’d (artificial insemination) her.  She should be due now June 26th. I’ll have more about  that later.

We also tried to breed the kids’ rabbits.  Spots, the doe, was due to kindle.  Didn’t happen.  We put the other doe, Fudge, in with the buck and she will be due to kindle on May 3rd.  Their are ways to palpate a rabbit to verify they are pregnant.  Will keep you posted on her.  I hope to have lots of pictures of cute little baby bunnies.

The kids got to pick out their 4-H pigs last weekend and bring them home.  Their pastures/lot is slowly becoming uprooted as they make themselves at home.

And our butcher chickens are due to arrive in a couple weeks.  We’ve got a temporary structure/pen we are going to put up for them that we are excited about and hope to show you the process!

Life on a farm is always busy and never boring!

 

Into the Pot!

In September and the first part of October, we acquired our flock of laying hens. They are quite the hodgepodge of breeds.  Or you could call them a nice barnyard mix. 🙂  We have an Easter Egger, Silkie, Barred Rock, Barnyard mix, 3 Cinnamon Queens, 2 Welsumers, and 6 Speckled Sussex. We prefer to raise White Leghorns because they are such prolific layers.  Before our move to the Kenai Peninsula, we had four.  Each of which laid an egg a day, even though the winter!

dsc_0034-2
White Leghorns

speckled-sussex
Speckled Sussex

During the spring and early summer months, we usually raise around 25 butcher chickens. In the past, we have chosen to raise Red Rangers for butcher.  They finish out in 12 weeks weighing around 6-8 lbs. The boys raised several for fair this year.  We are looking at experimenting with a variety of meat birds this coming year.

dsc_0029-2
Red Ranger

Some people prefer to raise chickens which are multi-purpose.  For our family, we have found it is more profitable for us to have two flocks: one for eggs and one for butcher.

Our egg production had dropped, so over the weekend, we retired four of our laying hens.  It’s typical for egg production to taper off in the winter months.  There has been multiple studies done which show after a hen is 3 years old, their productivity decreases significantly.

Chickens Egg Laying Reducing Over Time
Graph from http://www.happychickencooop.com

The kids and I spent several weeks running back and forth between the coop to try to catch the hens on the nest to see who was laying. When we did, we would take a zip tie, strap it loosely around their leg, and cut off the extra tie so it would not catch or hang up on anything.  I had the brilliant idea that we should stick a game cam in the coop, then we could catch the chickens coming on and off the nests.  I think this will be a new investment for spring when our young pullets start to lay: going to have to do a little research and find out what brand will work the best.

The older the chicken, the tougher the meat.

We make fairly quick and easy work of butchering the chickens.  The kids do the catching, Mr. Roots is in charge of decapitating the birds, and I skin and remove the insides.  Skinning is quick and easy.  No messing with all those feathers!  This summer, the boys were able to experience plucking birds they raised for 4-H and they did not enjoy it.  The eldest is looking into how to build a chicken plucker for next year.

The butcher chickens were packaged in shrink wrap bags I purchased online from http://www.poultryshrinkbags.blogspot.com.  They worked great! You dip them in near boiling water and they shrink up nice and tight around the chicken.  Looks very professional. For our older hens, I tossed them right into the stew pot. Cooked off all the meat and made broth. Then packaged the shredded meat into freezer zip lock bags in potions for making soup or meals.  Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is one of my kids’ favorite meals.

Done with that chore till next summer when it comes around again!

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Gram’s Potato Salad

There are several recipes I have picked up from my mother that I have not yet found one that can rival it.  Her potato salad is one of them.  Today, I took the time to measure out how much I put in for the ingredients.  I’m the toss it in type.  I rarely measure.  And this one I’ve learned by watching, there is not recipe.  It’s mostly based on the cook’s taste.  So remember as you go, you may want to add a little more or less to your liking.dsc_0066Toss the potatoes and eggs in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Test by poking with a fork to make sure they are done. My potatoes are medium sized and took about 20 minutes to get tender.dsc_0069Drain, peel, and dice to bite size pieces and toss in a bowl.  How do you like my purple potatoes?  I love the color they give.  We grew these in our garden this year.dsc_0070Add diced cucumber.dsc_0077Relish, mustard, pepper, onion powder, garlic salt, and celery salt.  Stir together well!dsc_0080Yum!  Doesn’t it look great!  Tastes good too.  🙂

Gram’s Potato Salad

Makes 6-8 Servings

  • 6 potatoes
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 3/4 cup sweet relish
  • 2 TBsp Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • Paprika (optional, you can sprinkle over the top if you like as a garnish)

Boil potatoes and eggs over medium heat in a saucepan.  Cook until tender, approximately 20 minutes.  Drain, peel, and dice potatoes and eggs to bite size pieces.  Mine are about 1/2 inch cubed.

Peel and dice cucumber.  Add to potatoes and egg.

Add remaining ingredients to potatoes, egg and cucumber.  Stir well.

Cover and chill in fridge until ready to serve.

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