Chaurice Sausage

Here’s another sausage recipe we’ve made a few times and enjoyed:  Creole Chaurice Sausage.  The recipe comes from the Times-Picayune Creole Cookbook from 1904.  Andouille is the Creole sausage that everyone’s heard of, but a well-made chaurice deserves as much recognition.  Its name indicates Spanish roots related to chorizo.  Chorizo has evolved along divergent paths, so chaurice doesn’t taste like the more commonly available Mexican chorizos, but it does share similarities with some Spanish fresh chorizos. I ran into one issue of ingredient ambiguity.  I don’t know for sure what they meant when… Read More

Chicken Mobile Home, Part 1

After years of using cobbled-together, disheveled shelters for the laying flock, I’ve decide it is time to build a substantial shelter. Three years ago a neighbor down the road gave us his old trailer.  He custom built it for for raising pigs so it had a shelter at one end and slatted wood decking.  The decking was rotted out, but we removed the shelter, bolted it to skids, and it has served us as a portable farrowing hut.  The trailer meanwhile languished in the weeds, acquiring a fine lichen patina. This week we dragged it out… Read More

Old Yeller and Pig Farming

Last week I read Old Yeller to the kids.  As our family is attuned to the agricultural details of books, it engendered some discussion of the livestock husbandry practices of the story’s Texas frontier settlers.  I can’t vouch for the historical accuracy of the account, but there was strong internal consistency and attention to detail, so I got the impression that the author, Fred Gipson, did thorough research.  Another factor lending credence is the agreement between Old Yeller and what I learned from reading Virginia DeJong Anderson’s scholarly work Creatures of Empire:  How Domestic Animals… Read More

Sweet Italian Sausage

I thought I’d put together a few blog posts on some of our favorite sausages and include the recipes we’re currently using.  Note the temporal adverb “currently”; these recipes are always under development. Probably the best place to start is Sweet Italian Sausage.  This is the workhorse sausage around here. Sausage really only needs a few things to be great:  ground meat, salt, and lots of fresh minced garlic. The first two make sausage, the third makes SAUSAGE. Here’s the recipe we used for the last batch.  We tried many recipes but we… Read More

Feeding the Farm Dog

The farm dog has an important role so we try to give an adequate compensation for the services rendered. Lando eats a local, organic, raw-foodist diet.  This isn’t any sort of carefully sequenced, portion controlled diet.  It is more of whatever comes to hand, and on a farm with livestock, there’s really no shortage of food for him.  One day it might be a stillborn piglet.  Or liver and bones left over from a pork order, since a lot of our customers don’t want the offal.  Or roadkill rabbit.  Or stomach caul fat, intestines, and skin on… Read More

Ducks and Snow

Ducks love water when it is liquid but they seem to feel betrayed when it freezes.  When moving through deep powder they use a swimming stroke to propel themselves, floating their breast out over the snow in front of them and half walking, half paddling with their feet.  They usually get disgusted with the whole thing and turn back to the calf shed where they spend their winter days. Chickens are more adventurous, spending many hours out in the snow.  They have a special weather adaptive technique we haven’t noticed the ducks employing:  they… Read More

New Tractor

Well, I’ve gone and done it:  signed on the dotted line for a new tractor. It is a 2014 Farmall 65A (same as New Holland Workmaster 65, just different red paint instead of blue).  It is out of state at a different dealer’s lot, so it should be here in a couple of weeks. For now I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival.  And feeling the pangs of buyer’s remorse.

Lean and Mean

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) is a lobbyist organization representing most of the major meatpacking organizations in the United States.  Their website explains that their “history dates back to Chicago in 1906 when the Institute was created in response to the passage of the Federal Meat Inspection Act.”  These are the folks who protected the meatpacking industry from the public outcry following the publication of The Jungle.  And they are carrying on that legacy today, advancing their “mission is to shape a public policy environment in which the meat and poultry industry can… Read More