January 28th, 2015 by Ed Bruske
We weren’t crazy about the processed ham we got from an earlier pig we purchased from our friend Mike, so this time we decided to skip that part and just take the ham fresh. Wow, are we glad we did. We ordered the hams cut into roasts, and have been cooking them lately with delicious results. Maybe it’s the local, lovingly raised Berkshire pig that’s so unctuous and full of flavor. Whatever–we are sold on fresh ham.
This one was rubbed with North African spices–cumin, cinnamon, garlic–along with some cardamom and of course salt and pepper. After roasting it in a 350-degree oven to an internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit, I smothered the roast with a mustard-maple syrup glaze and finished it under the broiler.
I reheated some for breakfast next to a horseradish-cheddar omelet made with our own, fresh eggs. The ham goes extremely well with sweet pickled green tomatoes. I canned these from our garden in D.C. four years ago. They’re still fabulous–better than ever, in fact.
Next time you think to make ham for dinner, think fresh.
January 21st, 2015 by Ed Bruske
About the worst thing that can happen in the depths of January is a two-day thaw accompanied by heavy rains. As sure as day follows night, all that lovely snow will be melted away only to turn into a sheet of ice when temperatures return to sub-freezing normal.
With the right gear, I manage to carry on. With metal cleats strapped to the bottom of my boots, I deliver food and water to the animals. With the miracle of studded tires, I can easily get up and down the driveway in the pickup.
I tread carefully over the gleaming surface of the farm, looking for areas of texture in the ice because even metal cleats have difficulty gaining purchase. Believe it or not, the livestock are just as bedeviled as we humans. Cow and sheep slip and slide on their way from paddock to feeding stations. Emily, the pregnant heifer, normally skips and runs when sees her bucket of grain coming. These days she picks her way on tip-toes ever so carefully.
I’ve found a new guilty pleasure watching the chickens emerge from their coop in the morning. Unsuspecting, they take wing toward their feeder, only find no traction when they land. They fall on their butts and slide, scrambling on cartoon legs to get erect again.
With so much winter still ahead of us, there’s no telling how long we’ll be stuck in this position. Just remember these images next time the mercury reads -15 and you find yourself yearning for warmer days: careful what you wish for.
More Recent Posts
It was a chilly 13 degrees below zero when dawn broke the other morning and the least alarmed seemed to be our livestock. Even the chickens were out and about unfazed. It’s just us humans who take special note of these extremes. But where would we be without electricity when the world is frozen over? […]
Read more »
Our animals aren’t deterred by freezing temperatures. They’ll continue to graze as long as there is grass to eat. I only wish I’d been able to save more grass for the winter. Part of our management challenge is finding a balance between the number of animals we raise and the ability of our pastures to […]
Read more »
For what seemed the longest time, our farm was covered in eight inches of the most awful, slushy, slippery kind of snow. Then suddenly, something like spring descended upon us. It began to rain and one morning we woke up to find all of that snow had melted away. Revealed again were pastures of very […]
Read more »