>Making Cracklings

>We were able to spend last weekend cutting up our own pork. The farmer was busy thus allowing our family of 4 the blessing of using his saws, knives & stainless steel tables to cut up our meat.

We learned a lot doing it this way, rather than the farmer doing it for us…
I learned a new way to render lard & make cracklings at the same time. Here is the ‘jus’ of it.
I learned this method  from a man, who I am sorry I did not save his blog, cause he lives in Montana in deep, deep snow with some great ideas besides cracklings..& cannot give him the credit, Oh BOY..I found him..googled paper bag & cracklings..here he is..http://www.flickr.com/photos/starmeadows/
Anyway, I took the paper bag, put the lard inside, closed it tight by crumpling the bag, placed it into my roasting pan, put it in my wood stove oven leaving the door open so it would not burn. I wanted a slow, low heat cook…
Here is the end result…I did not have to strain the lard. I poured the lard into the jar, salted the cracklings & wala..so delicious & easy…

I read at one site to leave the cracklings on the shelf, not in the fridge. So I am experimenting doing so. If it goes bad, I will let you know.

found mushroom, anyone know what it is? is it edible?


>Bone Broth

>This is the time of year we have broth on the stove. I cook with a wood stove & it allows me to keep the bones always cooking & hot. Ready to eat food for the hungry.
Here is a typical cooking day. 

Ribs or bones from steaks. Chicken carcass works too. Into the pot with spices (salt, pepper, fennel or cumin), coconut oil for flavor or lard or butter sometimes~about 3 TBSP, sometimes onions or celery (whatever is on hand). Cover with water & lid & let it sit to cook all day. 
Often it is there for two days, meaning, we keep adding water to the bones & replenishing the stock. I have the space to move this stock to a warming section of the stove so its not boiling out. Or I can place it on the warming shelf.
We add rice, or potatoes or couscous for a more filling snack or meal. We will have bread with butter or crackers too.
This picture shows a spent pot of bones,now ready to go to the dogs. Treat time!
more great recipe ideas can be had at: 

this is our fourth day of snow~& at least our 4th dumping for the season~not normal for us here on the Cumberland Plateau. Normally after a day or two its gone. Having come from very northern states SD & Chicago, we know what long term snow is, we chose not to live in it like that..but this year..well it came to us.

Day 5 still snowing~ 17 degrees
it is so silent outside, peaceful, but cold~
chickens are snowed in with a heat lamp, food, happy hens
he just wants someone to come out & play!
as I said..this is just not normal for us..maybe its the “change”
we were promised~(
the snow has stopped its 11 a.m. & 31 degrees but feels like 2!
the chickens must have noticed it got “warmer” they have ventured out into it