Field Notes / DIY

Recipe - Pizza Dough

Recipe - Pizza Dough

It starts with the dough.

When trying to do more with less, having a consistent and delicious pizza crust on hand is always a win.

Michael Smith
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Recipe - No Knead "Sourdough" Bread

Recipe - No Knead "Sourdough" Bread

Bread. It deserves so much more than I can give it here in this paltry blog post. There are religious, cultural, and now dietary rants centered around this mythical mix of flour, water, and yeast, (and maybe another ingredient or two...salt? honey?).
Michael Smith
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Project - Meat Processing Room

Project - Meat Processing Room

One of the great projects we tackled this summer was building out a meat processing room.  Having a dedicated space to cool, cure, hang, and process the beef, pork and chicken that we raised and butchered on the farm grew from "great idea" to almost a necessity.
Michael Smith
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Project - Pig Self-Watering System

Project - Pig Self-Watering System

After two sets of pigs, boy have we learned a lot! In the spirit of the old David Letterman Top 10 Lists, here are the top 10 things we have learned about pigs:

  1. Pigs are friendly
  2. Pigs are mean
  3. Pigs will eat just about anything
Michael Smith
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Rendering Pork Back Fat - Silky White Porcine Luxury

Rendering Pork Back Fat - Silky White Porcine Luxury

There are a lot of things we have learned in our short time owning a little farm. Some are dramatic (cows trying to leap fences) while some are so subtle and so simple and yet provide tremendous joy.

One such item is lard

Michael Smith
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Recipe - Pancetta, Italian-Style Bacon

Recipe - Pancetta, Italian-Style Bacon

I have made “American-style” bacon, pastrami, guanciale, corned beef, jerky, and a few other items that now fill our freezer. In most cases I have found that you can definitely save money by doing it yourself, but it certainly takes time and effort.

Now that you have your own pork belly, we should talk about one of my absolute favorites, pancetta. 

Michael Smith
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Recipe - Home Cured Bacon

Recipe - Home Cured Bacon

I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give. -Thomas Jefferson

I have purchased all kinds of bacon over the years. From the thin, slimy stuff, to thick-cut, “artisanal” bacon, and now my very own.

Michael Smith
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Recipe - Beef Stock

Recipe - Beef Stock

One of the staples of the pantry should be beef and chicken stock and since you probably received a bunch of bones from the beef you committed to this year, you should be able to make a lot of it and store in restaurant-style take out containers for the fridge, ziplock bags laid flat in the freezer (not the best) or pressure canned for your larder. 
Michael Smith
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Recipe - Chicken Stock

Recipe - Chicken Stock

In addition to making beef stock, you should ALWAYS have chicken stock on hand.  Whether you raise your own meat birds or even grab a rotisserie from your local grocer, keep the bones and make your own stock! You will love it!
Michael Smith
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Pickling - The Basics

Pickling - The Basics

Pickling can be daunting. Our goal is take the fear out of it, so YOU TOO can pickle!

Following is a comprehensive pickling recipe that is good for cucumbers, carrots, asparagus, beans, peppers and so much more. It is written assuming you will have your family or friends

Michael Smith
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