Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Home-Made Scrapple

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

  • Home-Made Scrapple

    Yesterday, we made scrapple from the beef we butchered on Saturday.  Dave got the fire under the butcher kettles going in the morning.  He filled 2 kettles with water and put the meaty bones in to start cooking around 11:00.
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    Around 3:00, the meat was cooked and ready to be picked off the bones.  Dave removed bones from the broth, drained them over bucket and dumped them on the table to cool.  It smelled so good in the shop!
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    While meat was cooling, we quick fed calves, heifers, and Georgie started milking.  Around 4:00, whoever was available, started "picking" the bones clean.  Looked like a daunting job, but went fairly quick, especially after the "milkers" came to help.
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    We were left with 1 1/4 big bowls of meat with just alittle fat mixed in.
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    This meat is then run through a meat grinder.  With the size of our grinder, we ran it through once using a big hole plate and a second time using a small hole plate.
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    After the meat was ground, it was added back into the one kettle that had the strained broth.  Next, we mixed up our "cereal", which is cornmeal, buckwheat flour, salt, pepper, and a little sage (other people add different seasonings, but we prefer just the basics).   The cereal mix is added to the meat and broth.
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    And then the stirring begins none stop!!  It can take about 30 minutes till the scrapple is thick and pulls away from the side of the kettle.   Go Kelsey!  During this time we also do the big taste test!  Everyone gathers round with their spoons!  Can't make scrapple without tasting it to make sure it is just right!
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    It is then ladled into scrapple or bread pans.
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    We got 26 pans!  Wahoo!  We let them sit overnight to cool and set up.  Of course, we had to have some for breakfast this morning!
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    The rest went into the freezer..
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    Now we like to eat ours with either.......fried onions, ketchup, mustard, applebutter or applesauce, and syrup.  Oliver had peanut butter and jelly on his this morning for the first time.  He said it wasn't bad!  What do you eat on yours?  Oh, Tim, I know your mouth is watering....you have to come to PA and we will share.
    Until next time...............

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Butchering Beef

Sunday, 28 November 2010

  • Butchering Beef

    We spent the day Saturday preparing 2 beef for the freezer and canning.  Again, like the description of our chicken butchering day, this will be graphic and seemingly inhumane.  If you eat beef, this process cannot be avoided.
    First, I want to share 2 comical pictures that were taken while we were shuffling the girls around.  This one is not one we butchered, but is going to the auction.  Oh, how stubborn they can be!!  How many farmers does it take to move a heifer?
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    The first thing in the beef processing is killing (of course!) and it is done in a very humane way.  We lured her to a safe area where she is killed - the men hate this part of butchering.  Dave asked that no pictures of that be included on here.  It is just too sad.
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    Ben was the "expert".  He walked us through each step and allowed the boys to participate in whatever they were able to.  He is a good teacher!  The heifer was laid on her back and the skinning process begun.  Please remember that these steps are much easier in a butcher shop setting, where all the equipment and tools are ready to go.  When we do this at home, it certainly is not as convenient.  It works, though, and Ben is itching to have it more professional.  Maybe one day.....
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    Did you know they have a joint at this location on their legs (where Ben is cutting)?  Can't figure out why.
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    Sawzall is used to cut bone.
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    Hung and ready for gutting.
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    Stomachs..........(they have 4)
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    Intestines.........(Dave trying to hold them in bucket).  Did you know that the "old-timers" used to clean the intestines and use them for sausage casings?  
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    Heart.............If we had a heart and a set of lungs these sizes, we would be able to do things effortlessly.......the only thing is that we would need very large muscles and arteries, also!
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    This is the inside of one of the stomachs.  Do you notice the lining of the stomach and the "fingers" attached?  They are what absorbs the nutrients from the hay/grain/grass.   Bovine will eat LOTS of long stemmed hay at once and will fill their stomachs.  Then they will go lay down somewhere, regurgitate that hay and chew it again till it looks similiar to what you see below.  That is what we call "chewing their cud".   Maybe sometime I will explain the 4 stomachs.
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    The naked heifer is then cut in half....
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    The halves are cut in quarters to make it easier to handle.
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    The little boys were given the bones (and pieces) that needed to be trimmed for hamburger.  Ben would do the "professional" cuts - such as sirloin steaks and roast, delmonico steaks and roast, bottom round and top round steaks and roast, etc..   When he is at the butcher shop, they use a saw similiar to a table saw, but here he had to use the sawzall.  Don't worry - it was a brand new blade! 
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    Some steaks and roasts ready to be bagged for freezer.....
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    Cubes that are going to be ground into hamburger.....
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    Cubes to be put into canning jars........
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    Fill quart jars to rim with cubes of meat, add 1/2 - 1 tsp. salt, add lids and process in pressure canner at 10# for 1 1/2 hrs. (90 min,).   Do NOT add liquid to jars.  The meat makes liquid.  It is great to have on hand to add to stews, etc..
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    I forgot to take pictures of the trimmed bones that we use to make scrapple (yes, we make scrapple from beef, it is good!). Hopefully we will be making that in the next day or 2.  I will do a separate post on how to make scrapple.

    We had a fun time together again preparing for the future.  We started about 10:30 and finished up about 8:30.  Dave & I did chores in the afternoon while the boys continued working on meat.  Humbly grateful for family and for the provisions that the Lord sees fit to give us.
    Until next time..............

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Sunday, 14 November 2010

  • Regression

    Regression - the act of going back to a previous place or state.  That is exactly what we did yesterday - regressed!  In this day in age, farmers have a huge selection of equipment to choose from.  It is amazing how life has changed over the years for the farmers because of the continual improvement in the equipment to make their jobs easier.  It just was not so for the farmers many years ago, and yesterday we were able to sympathize with them better.
    We had purchased a very simple baler so we can bale our own hay and not depend on someone else coming in and doing it for us.  We wanted a baler that bales small bales and not these big square or round bales and we were able to find one that was in good condition.  It works great....once it gets started.  I have named this baler the "pray over baler", for there were quite a few times we were all ready to bale and it just seemed hesitant to get going.  I would plead with God (to myself) to please let the baler start, for Dave does not need to deal with mechanical problems.  It would start puttering and off we would go, having a good time baling slow and easy.  Well, yesterday, they were ready to bale.  The hay was in nice neat rows ready to be picked up.  Mr. Pray Over Baler decided he was not going to start on such a beautiful day and after many hours of searching for the problem, Dave gave up.  No, I did not pray over it this time, for I was away at an appointment and then was busy in the house, not even thinking of praying for that fella, and Dave was unaware of my previous habit of pleading with God for it to start.  I am sure he whispered a prayer in his frustration, but with that baler, you have to plead!   Well, we had one option....pick up the hay by hand.....and that is exactly what we did.  After some of us raked the rows into piles, others came along and picked them up and threw them on the wagon.
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    The 2 munchkins would keep trampling down and we would keep piling it on..hay the old way 008
    Miss Carrie did an excellent job of driving...
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    and we were done in no time ......
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    Poor Dave...he was having a hard time working through the guilt of making his family work like this, even though not one of us complained.  We took it as a challenge and we met it head on!   But, in Dave's mind, this just added to what happened last Saturday.  They were dehorning heifers, not thinking anything was wrong, until one died in the process.  Here there was an electrical problem in the receptacle box and the heifers were being shocked through the dehorner.  Dave, holding it, could not feel the electrical current.  Plus, on top of all of this, there are big, bad things happening in agriculture, just because the government has it's fingers in it.  The future of our farming career is questionable, but it will not be the end of our lives.  We have learned so very much in our years of farming and maybe some day we will share that journey on here, but not today.  Today, we march forward, forgetting those things which are behind and looking forward to those things which are before us.  From the bottom of my heart, I can still praise the Lord!  The trials have been necessary for our spiritual growth and I look forward to the future and what He will do in our lives, even if it is through more trials.  "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings: that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy".
    Until next time..........