Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bounties abound

I promised a post on seasoning cast iron within the week of my last posting and here’s my next post, two weeks later, and it isn’t even about cast iron. *sigh* I decided that I wanted to wait and make the post with more new to me vintage pans, and I have two Favorite Piqua Ware skillets set aside just for the project. It’s unlikely that I’ll get to it until Monday at the earliest but I’ll do my best.
As you might imagine by all the game I’ve posted about processing, our freezers are quite full.
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Believe it or not this makes me happy. The pile of meat on the shelf below it lifted the shelf when the door was closed and it popped out of it’s slot. The rack of ribs resting on the loose shelf was the culprit. Nothing was damaged although my feet took a beating from the meat avalanche when I opened the door. Since this was taken I’ve processed that buck and another hog.
While I had the most recent hog sitting on ice and milk in my coolers Lowe’s put their canning supplies on sale and I was able to visit three of my local stores and clean them out.
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I scored some six hundred jars, 998 lids (the kids insisted on putting two lids I already had into the picture to make it an even thousand lol) a band tightening tool that I love was on sale for 1/3 the average price online so I bought several spares, and some mixes, pectin and other odds and ends that they had on sale, all for a minimum of 50% off. Having all of this stowed away in my attic is a huge relief to me. I was down to my last 5 empty jars!
The next morning I got busy with the hog and I canned pulled pork, cubed pork, made ribs for dinner and then sliced up one of the hams for jerky at Cave’s request. I don’t like the idea of hog jerky. All the jerky that we make is essentially raw meat soaked in a salty solution and then dehydrated, but for some reason the idea of pork jerky really bothered me so I did something that I don’t always do. I followed the guidelines. After it was dehydrated I put it in the oven at 200 f for an hour or so like the USDA suggests doing with all home made jerkies and I’m more comfortable with the idea of eating it now. I really can’t place a finger on what bothers me so much about the idea of pork jerky. I was really reluctant to taste it, but it tastes just like any other jerky, to be honest.
Since then I’ve been cleaning out the freezer and canning. It’s a good thing too, because a local grocery store had 8oz tubes of breakfast sausage on sale for $0.50 per tube this week, so we bought 40 or so pounds. I spent the day yesterday browning and canning sausage. I managed to get 14.5 pounds put away before I pooped out. I double stacked the canner, 7 wide mouth pints on the bottom and 1 wide mouth pint and 10 regular half pints on the top. It probably was a bit much as the tops of the jars were just a hair under the edge of the pot, when I put the lid on the canner I had to gently shake it to get the cover lock vent situated between the jars, and I had to do the same thing to get it to drop after it had cooled off. I can’t recommend that you stack your canner that full, but it worked for me and I’ll probably do it again.

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Hog Jerky gets the Hag seal of approval. Here he is asking nicely for a piece. He’s 25 1/4 inches at the shoulder, 75+ pounds and just turned 8 months old. He’s still in the gawky stage and that tells me that he’s got a bit more growing to do before he starts filling out. The breeder says typically his dogs stop growing up and start growing out around 18 months, if Hag runs true to that timeline he’s going to be a lot bigger than either of us expected, especially after the months of setback he suffered as a small puppy.
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I used Lowe’s pick up at the store online ordering system to make sure that they weren’t sold out of jars when I got there, and while I was picking up the order at the second store our gunsmith called and let me know that my IJ M-1 Carbine clone was ready to be picked up. I zipped on over there and decided to snap a picture of gratuitous prepper gun porn for posterity before I packed it away. That’s the birch stock that I finished for it. The gunsmith complimented me on it again, and I did do a nice job even if I say so myself. I’m thinking I’m going to strip and refinish the walnut stock on my 10/22 soon, along with the stock on my Mossberg 151, and possible the one on my mosin. I’m conflicted about the mosin, on the one hand I want to keep it the way it is, on the other hand I can scratch the lacquer off with my fingernails and it’s not doing much to protect the wood anymore. I thought about thinning out the lacquer that’s there to cover the scratches but there are some bare spots that are large enough that I believe the resulting coat would be too thin to protect. I don’t think I’d use stripper on the mosin, just lightly sand with fine grit paper until it’s cleaned off and then put on several layers of a hand rubbed oil finish. I prefer oil finishes, especially in the hot and humid climate where we live. In my experience oil expands and contracts with the wood and doesn’t discolor like other finishes do.
Since it will be months before it’s at the top of the list I have plenty of time to ponder and research, but I’m open to opinions and suggestions.
Hope y’all are hanging in and prepared to weather the interesting times coming up.

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edited because my stock is made from birch and not beech. Sheesh, I should know better than to blog when I'm tired.

7 comments:

  1. And I was so proud of myself for scoring a paltry 240 jars thanks to your alert on the sale prices, which more than doubles my previous inventory. Compared to you, I don't even rise to piker status.

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  2. You should be proud of your score! Don't compare what you need to what we need too much, remember, we have five people to can for. My worries now are where to store all of it once I've filled them since our attic is not temperature controlled. Looks like I'll need to reorganize the cupboards and see if I can find some room.

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  3. I've been known to reach down and rescue one single solitary jar from the weeds of my father's farm...so good for you. Go ahead, refinish the stock on the Mosin. It won't harm the value.

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    1. Stephen, the thought of being able to just pick jars off the ground has me salivating. Thank you, kind man.

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  4. P.S. if I didn't blog when I was tired, I would never blog.

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    1. I think that's part of the reason I only blog 4-5 times a month :)

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