February 2024 Newsletter

An early spring or a late winter?

Happy (late) New Year!

Ted wrote a great article looking back at 2023 and forward to 2024. You can read the article on our website, but we didn’t post it here because… well, it’s February!

Products You Should Try

Maple Ham

We started making this late last year, and it is a winner! Thin sliced, smoked ham, using the same recipe as our “Old Fashioned Ham Roast”, but with the convenience of a ready to eat luncheon meat. We have been putting it on grilled cheese or fried egg sandwiches – a delicious innovation. Once you try it, you will want to keep a supply in the fridge, ready for quick meals or the lunchbox.
Summer Sausage: This is another convenience food, a real treat when you don’t have time to cook. Goes great with fried potatoes and baked beans (my favourite) and awesome in sandwiches.

Pork Ribs

“Spare Ribs” as we used to call them are one of the most underrated cuts of pork, in our opinion. The secret is in the cooking and seasoning and everyone seems to have their own recipe. We like to roast ours in the oven of the wood stove all day at low temperature and use only some light spicing to bring out the rich pork flavour which is the hallmark of outdoor raised pigs. Meat falls off the bones and leftovers are like candy, served cold the next day.

Bakers Lard

This is the rendered pork fat which bakers of old revered for pastry making, before “shortening” made from vegetable oil was a thing. So if you make pie crust, you should give it a try. We have it on hand for all frying. Makes wonderful french fries. I suspect most of you are aware that the hydrogenated vegetable oil that is used in many processed products is no asset health-wise.

Breakfast Sausage

This becomes the 6th entry in our stable of sausage varieties, joining “Garlic Farmer’s Sausage”, Smoked Garlic, Plain “Pepper and Salt”, Mild Italian, and Honey Garlic. In the smaller casings these little guys fry up quickly for Sunday brunch, and are getting rave reviews.

Calving Begins

The new crop of 2024 calves is coming on fast, making for some exciting adventures for Mark and Ted. The mothers are pretty possessive of their newborn babies, and some of them will hide the calf and tell it to stay put out in the field. This happened last Friday night. We had seen a new calf in the morning, but with a blizzard shaping up there was no new calf in the barn when we checked after dark. It took us quite a bit of hunting to find this mostly white calf, in the snow, tucked into a sheltered spot in a grove of spruce trees. Mom was outraged when we picked the calf up and started off toward the barn, following with the most threatening bellows and indicating her intention to run us down if we didn’t cease and desist. Finally recognizing the real danger to life and limb, we maneuvered the calf over the woven wire perimeter fence and proceeded to the barn safely. Not an ideal situation! In the future we will try to keep them in the yard when calving in winter.

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