Smoked Turkey Master Class

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We slaughtered one of our turkeys last weekend to take to our friend’s chef getaway.  It dressed out at 17 pounds.  Yikes!  Can you imagine what size they’ll be at Thanksgiving?!  We started way too early.  I suppose we’ll have to slaughter early and buy yet another freezer to store them in.   Anyhoo… we asked Sean Brock to smoke it for us.  Sean was the winner of the “Next Great Chef” episode of the “Food Network Challenge”, is going to be on “Iron Chef America”, won the James Beard “Best Chef Southeast” award in 2010 and his restaurant Husk was just named “Best New Restaurant in America” by Bon Appetit magazine two weeks ago.  Not bad, eh!?   And he’s the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet.  Sean had a mesquite rub mixed up, it included bourbon smoked black pepper.  I wonder why I haven’t seen that at WalMart?  After rubbing it inside and out with olive oil, the rub was slathered on.  It spent about 3 hours in the smoker.  I think it lasted less than ten minutes after carving.  Without a doubt, the best turkey I’ve ever tasted.  We’re going to try it ourselves. Why not, we got a lesson from the best!

A Morning Thing

Jessica, our belty cow, greets us in the morning, eats sweet feed from a bucket, socializes with the herd for a bit, then disappears into the woods.  If you’re not over here by 8AM, you’ll never see her.  I’ve been leading her closer and closer to the barn when I feed her because winter’s coming and she needs to know it can provide shelter.

Such a Big Helper

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Freezer day is a big day on our farm.  We put up 25 broilers and one mean rooster.  Actually, it took us two days, we’re not set up for mass processing yet.  Jenna loves to ‘help’ keep an eye on things.   I guess she knows that chickens aren’t supposed to be in the driveway so she watches them very carefully.   You may notice she creeps up closer and closer on them.  We call her off every so often but she knows just how close she wants to be near them and self adjusts.

Foodie Tattoos

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Chefs have the most interesting food-related tattoos.  These are just a few I noticed last weekend, I should go on a search at next year’s event.  There was even a tattoo artist on hand doing lamb-related tattoos.  I passed.  My tattoos are decidedly not food related.  ;-)

Lamb Without Mint Jelly

Grandma used to prepare a leg of lamb with mint jelly.  I liked the lamb but the mint jelly was gross so I never ever thought to look for cuts of lamb in the grocery store to prepare for my family.  I think the green jelly haunted me.  When we first moved here, I wanted to purchase local beef but didn’t know anyone who raised cattle.  I did an internet search and all that came up was a local lamb producer.  I decided to try some chops and ground lamb and it was delicious.  We bought 3 sheep from him to start our own flock and he’s now a very good friend.  He throws an annual event for his customers and friends, we had lamb prepared every which way.   Whole roasted on a spit, lamb tenderloin tartare, smoked mutton, lamb meatball and pate sandwiches with pickled vegetables, lamb charcuterie, lamb hot dogs, lamb sausage pizza (with my goat cheese), lamb pastrami and bacon reubens, lamb tacos.  And these are just the dishes I got photos of.  It was a fantastic weekend of wonderful food.  I’m full.  And next time you’re out to dinner… try the lamb.   :-)

Not An Indoor Dog

Karakachans shed.. a lot.  FiFi will sit for a treat and lets us pet her but she runs away when we try to put flea and tick medicine on her and absolutely wont’ be brushed.  Oh well.  She won’t win any beauty contests for that coat (but just might for that face).

Beatrice

Beatrice isn’t like most sheep, they are usually skitterish and standoffish.  Beatrice greets me when I come near her.   She likes to smell my face.  She’s my favorite.  I think it’s easy to see why.  :-)

Dopplegangers

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Needlefelting is a craft that can result in some fantastic 3D objects.  You use special barbed needles that sculpt wool fibers, basically by poking and poking them until they do your bidding (while stabbing yourself repeatedly).   I’m just learning myself, but have received some fantastic needlefelted items in craft swaps.  Here’s Bindi checking out her mini-me that we received from a Craftster named Mercedes, who also felted our tiny little Jenna.  I’ve felted a few sheep, but still haven’t gotten the hang of the wire armature inside of the figure.  Needlefelting a great take-along project.  I like to play with it during down time at the farmers’ market, and always have to explain to folks what the devil it is I’m doing stabbing wool in my lap.

What Chicken?

Jenna demonstrates one of her ninja powers … the ability to ignore curious poultry.

She’s Fancy

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Nugget has a tendency to stand out in a crowd!  She’s starting to shed a few feathers again and I’ve been collecting them.  Any suggestions of something crafty to do with her amazing feathers?

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