Monday, March 19, 2012

I made corned beef from the brisket of the dairy cow we had to put down this past August. I used the recipe in Charcuterie (rapidly becoming one of my favorite books-borrowed from a friend) minus the garlic.

I have never been a big fan of corned beef purchased from the supermarket, it is just too salty; you can’t soak or boil enough salt out of it. This corned beef was just right. I think it is the first time I really enjoyed it.

We also had pigeon this weekend. A friend was thinning out his racing pigeon herd and told us they were good to eat. They were okay. I think I overcooked them, but even so they were okay, very dense meat. Half of them I wrapped in homemade bacon and baked. The other half I soaked in milk and then battered flour and spices and fried. I think the one wrapped in bacon turned out better-but what else would you expect?

We started plowing a portion (~ ¼ acre) of the field we are leasing this week. I expect we will be planting some peas there by weeks’ end. Today I am purchasing a walk-behind horse/mule plow board with a turn plow, sweep, and shovel attachments. It is very good working order and reasonably priced. He had another which possibly had never been used, but it didn’t have all the adjustment features as this one does.

Our horse does a good job with the forecart plow, but it is an awful lot of weight to be pulling. We are hoping that the walk-behind will conserve some of his energy so that we can actually plow more territory in a day. However, this will present some new challenges. I believe a mule or a calmer horse would walk straighter lines than does our quarter horse. When plowing with the forecart, it is fairly easy to keep the wheel in the furrow, but once we get to cultivating, the horse doesn’t seem to want to walk those straight rows. So we will see how it goes. If we can get him to walk straight rows, the new sweep attachment will greatly assist us in cultivating and keeping the pigweeds down.

There is a big working horse and tack auction in Troutman, NC this coming weekend. Many of the horses/mules are Amish trained. AND I am told if you wait around towards the end, you can get some great deals on dead broke to ride and pull animals. Unfortunately I don’t think our budget will allow it this spring.

It has been so warm we took a chance and put a small patch of sweet corn 2 weeks ago. It is up now and looking good. We put in another patch this weekend. In another 2 weeks we will put in our final bit of sweet corn.

The warm spring makes me think we are behind in planting, but really we are doing okay with peas, lettuce, broccoli, radishes, etc already in and up.

Oremus pro invicem!

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