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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year

Hope everyone has a safe new year's eve and a happy 2009!

When I think back on 2008, I feel so fortunate to have my family, my friends, my health.....
I appeciate all of the nice friends I've met through this blog. You've opened my eyes to the fact that there are so many good people in the world. Thank you all for the kind words, the e-mails and the laughs. You're the ones that keep me coming back to this blog.

Happy New Year, thank you for everything and please keep safe. :)

Friday, December 26, 2008


Hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas!
I appreciate all the well wishes........ I'm feeling a lot better today. Thank you for the kind messages folks. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Christmas!

I'm still battling the cold/flu bug so I plan on staying home and snuggling down into my warm blanket with a hot toddy and some chicken soup. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pepper Rolled Bacon

I was able to try out some of my homegrown bacon the other day.
This is the cracked black pepper rolled bacon.....

Here is the link to how I made the bacon....

I fried 2 sopes until light brown and crisp....

Fried my pepper bacon.....

A couple of my girl's eggs....

Then topped all with some pico de gallo and a sprinkle of chipotle hot sauce....

They were pretty tasty, I really liked the pepper bacon. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Making Bacon Part 3 ( cold smoking)

Ready to cold smoke my bacon.
I am using the cold smoke to add flavor, not cook the meat. The meat is smoked at a temperature of 85 and below.... 65 degrees seems to work out great for me. Only properly CURED meats can be cold smoked. When cold smoking, the internal temperature of the meat is not monitored.. the temperature of the smoke is kept at or under the desired temperature.
After cold smoking, the bacon will be sliced and fried or cooked before using.

Here are links to the beginning of my bacon making process......

Curing the Bacon

Prepping the Bacon for Smoking

I use my little smokehouse.

Loading the bacon into the house....

Before smoking, I let the bacon hang for a couple of hours to make sure it is dry.

I use a mixture of hickory with a bit of apple wood. Bring the cold smoke up to a temperature of 65 degrees.

I cold smoke the bacon until it reaches the color I want. You can smoke as long as you like. I've smoked as short as 8 hours and as long as 18. I cold smoked this batch for 17 hours total.

The finished bacon...ready to cook....

While the bacon was in for the long smoke, I cold smoked a few other items...
Some mozzarella cheese
whole black pepper corns
a bit of clover honey
some pecan halves
a variety of black olives
and a kosher salt/black pepper/onion and garlic powder mixture
These took on the cold smoke for 7 hours...

A couple of shots of the cold smoked bacon...

Before slicing, I wrap and chill the bacon.
Hopefully I will post pictures of the sliced bacon in a couple of days.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Making Bacon Part 2

I recently butchered two pigs and have had the bacon from one curing for several days.

Here is how I cured the bacon..
Curing the Bacon

After 7 days of curing, I wash the cure off of the slab bacon....
I scrub the slab to remove the cure from the bacon, making sure I remove it from the edges too...

I divided the two slabs into 4 pieces.
I left one slab plain, with no added spices after the cure...

This one was cured with Tenderquick and black pepper..... I added a bit of jalapeno powder and more black pepper...

I painted this piece with pure maple syrup...

I made a rolled slab by sprinkling with more black pepper, garlic and onion powder.... then rolled and tied.

The back bacon or canadian bacon in the brine cure....

I soak the cured loins in fresh cool water for about 2 hours to get rid of some of the saltiness of the cure....

I tie these for hanging in my smokehouse.....

I started with two loins but divided one in half.
The larger loin is sprinkled with a cracked steakhouse seasoning.
I sprinkled one of the smaller loins with cracked black pepper and covered the second small loin with maple and a kick of cayenne.
They are ready to smoke. :)

How I cold smoked the bacon...

Smoking the Bacon

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First Snow

My first snow of the season..... you know what that means.

Time to bundle up and make snow angels!!

lol It's not the prettiest angel, but this was my 5th attempt. Try laying down in the the snow when you have two large dogs that love you very, very much. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday Night Fun

To make a very, very long story short, I own a fence jumper.

After letting the fence down to coax her back in with a bucket of grain..........then watching as she went farther down the fence and JUMPED back in..... I did a temporary fix to my fence and climbed into my pickup just as a cold rain began to fall.

My Sunday Evening

While out doing chores Sunday evening, the moon caught my eye... It was beautiful.
The air was so cold and crisp, the sky was amazing. I couldn't resist.......

I placed my tractor rim fire ring right in middle of the driveway, placed a few logs in the pit and fired up my weed burner...

As the night grew colder and the smoke thicker.... I brought out my shop stool, warm work gloves and my safety glasses. I'm sure I looked funny, but I didn't get smoke in my eyes. :)

Before the night was over, three people stopped by to enjoy the fire with me.

It was a nice evening. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Curing Bacon

Time to cure some of my homegrown bacon....

The first slab is getting a dry cure.
I used...
1 TBS of Tenderquick PER pound of bacon mixed with
1 tsp of the sugar PER pound of bacon..
1 1/2 tsp of cayenne
1 TBS of garlic powder
1 TBS of onion powder
1 TBS of cracked black pepper

I mix the spices well.....

Rub the cure into the meat on both sides...making sure I get the edges too. Then I pick up the bacon slab and shake off any excess.....

This second slab of bacon is getting a simple cure of Tenderquick, turbinado sugar and black pepper.... I use..
1 TBS of tenderquick PER pound of bacon
1 tsp of sugar PER pound of bacon and
1 single TBS of cracked black pepper

After rubbing the slabs with cure and shaking off any excess, I tightly wrap each one separately in plastic wrap...removing any air bubbles. I place the bacon in a container to catch any drips. Then set into my fridge for the next 6 to 7 days to cure.

For my loin or canadian bacon, I am using a brine cure...
I am using tenderquick/water brine with...
10 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion, sliced
1 TBS of red pepper flakes
1 TBS of black peppercorns
and 1TBS of dried basil

I clean most of the fat from the back loin...

I disolve the tenderquick into the water and add the remaining ingredients...and the loins
Make sure they will stay submerged... then cover and place them into my fridge to cure for about 6 to 7 days.

Hopefully, I will post the results in a week or so. :)

Making Bacon Part 2

Smoking The Bacon Part 3