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I simply love back to basics living. It is truly  a self-sufficient life.
I now work from home, marketing online and sharing my story and telling  others how  they to  can escape the stress and beat the inflation rates.

Finally moved to my 231 acres in TN. God is good. Now I just market online and keep the ole homestead working.

Monday, November 3, 2014


FINALLY! Got the other pig in the freezer. I'm curing the bacon and the hams now, next step the smoker as soon as they are cured.Hey I'll tell ya what! The bacon and ham are out of this world, turned out super great!

This time I made breakfast sausage, last time I made Italian. I've been really busy with my classified ad site, people seem to love it, I'm always getting nice notes, check it out when you get the chance. It is for all of middle TN. http://cookevilleads.com

Oh good news I put in a larger raspberry and blackberry bed along with added blueberries.
I'll upload some more pics. Next project is to build a chicken plucker after that fence the back fields for cattle. Speaking of back field, check this out I went to the back fields just to check things out and found a herd of goats.

they came from another hollow. Gave the owner a call and they all went back home.

Before I forget here are some pictures of the first pigs bacon and hams in the smoker ready to go. Dang they are so good.

Personally I love homesteading, eating good healthy food, gardening everything that goes along with it. More later. I raised 2 hogs last year and gave most of it away, looks like I'll have 3 next year. I'll be adding my cure recipe soon for the bacon and hams, I'll also put my sausage recipe here for ya.

Well it's time to fill the freezer. I raised two pigs this year, I just put one in the freezer, whenever you have two pigs one always gets bigger than the other, so the big one is now gone.
I got to tell ya their is nothing better for you than home grown pork no hormones and antibiotics. It got cold here in Tn down to 34 so I put it down about 5:00 pm let it hang over night and cut it up the next day. It worked out perfect. Glory to God! After checking all the organs and them all looking good, it was time to start processing.

It could not have been better, I cut pork chops, boneless chops, bnls roast, hocks, bacon. I saved all the fat for processing deer. I boned out all the hams, except one picnic. I'm going to smoke that and use it for a new England boiled dinner. Today Oct 5 I cured all the bacon. This year I made the cure for brownsugar and pepper bacon, it will cure for about 7 or 8 days then in the smoker. The hams are also in another cure and will be their for about 10 days then into the smoker they go. They make great Christmas gifts. Today I made about 6 lbs. of ground pork to mix for meat-balls, then 25lbs went into Italian sausage. It all turned out great. I make all my own seasoning this year and was very happy with the results. I'll do the other one the first of Nov. That with the garden and the chickens it will be a good year with very little shopping, except for paper products, coffee, sugar, flower stuff like that.

I'll upload some more finished product pictures as I get them done. I wanted to have the whole process on video,but was not equipped to do so. In the spring I'll be building a chicken plucker so things will be simple. Hey if you live in the state of TN. visit my classified ad site. http://cookevilleads.com cookeville Peepa Joe's classifieds. Feel free to place ads. Buy-Sell- Swap-Trade. Enjoy!
Please feel free to leave comments.

Here is how I cured my bacon. It was fabulous. I'm very happy with it you just have to do the math for whatever wt. you have.

Home Cured Brown Sugar and Black Pepper Bacon
¼ cup salt
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons coarse black pepper
½ teaspoon ground bay
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon of pink salt (Cure #1)
3-4 pounds fresh pork belly
Before we get too deep into the recipe I am sure some of you are wondering – what in the stinking heck is pink salt (Cure #1)? First let me tell you what is it NOT. It is NOT Pink Himalayan Salt. That stuff is great but it won’t do anything to make bacon.
Pink salt or Cure #1 as it is called is more than just salt. It also contains 6.25% sodium nitrite. (There is a Cure #2 but they are not interchangeable.) This is NOT table salt and should never ever be used as such. Do NOT I repeat DO NOT eat it raw. It is for curing only and when not in use should not even be left in the confines of your kitchen so that it is not used accidentally to season your French fries.
Besides providing that awesome pinkish color and pure bacon-y taste to the bacon (nitrite free bacon just pretty much tastes like spareribs) sodium nitrite helps inhibit botulism so if you plan on cold smoking (below 100 degrees) do not skip this. If you are oven or hot smoking/baking (above 160 degrees) you can omit it if you hate bacon that much.
Ok. Back to the recipe.
In a plastic container mix the salt, brown sugar, black pepper, bay, garlic, onion and thyme together well. Taste to make sure you like it. You do not HAVE to taste it but if you want to taste it you want to make sure you do it BEFORE you add the pink salt. Remember what I said earlier? It is for curing not for eating. It tastes like BLEACH and can make you sick.
Once you have tasted the seasoning and like it add the pink salt (Cure #1) and mix well. This is your cure. Now apply this curing mix all over your pork belly. Push it into the cracks and crevices of the belly. Get the whole thing good and covered.
Now take the seasoned pork belly, lay it in a deep glass baking dish. Cover and place in the refrigerator and forget about it for 7-10 days. You can under cure bacon but you can not over cure bacon. So make sure you leave it at minimum a week.
Ignore the juices and water that accumulate at the bottom of the pan. It is harmless and expected. The cure will also slowly start to disappear but that just means it is working. After 3-4 days (I know I said ignore for 7-10 days but you know you were thinking about that bacon anyway…) flip the pork belly, re-cover and put back in the fridge..
After a week or so remove it from the refrigerator and give it a good smell. Does it smell rancid or rotten? Don’t think twice just toss it away. Sorry but there is no saving rancid meat. Try again and this time make sure the whole thing is good and covered with the cure mixture.
Smell good? Then under cold water rinse off as much of the cure as possible and pat dry.
Planning on smoking it? Then we need to let it sit overnight and let it form the pellicle.
Basically you take the meat and put it on a rack in a pan “suspending the meat” so airflow can hit it on all sides. This dries the surface of the meat out and forms a sticky layer on the outside that helps with smoke penetration.
No smoker? Cook your bacon in the oven. (No need for the pellicle.) Set the oven to 200° and cook it until 155° internal at its thickest part. There are too many variables to give an exact time such as thickness, but expect a good 1.5 hours per lb.
Hot Smoking: Run about 200°-215° and cook until 155° internal at its thickest part. Expect a good 1.5 hours per lb.

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