Monday, October 31, 2016

All Hallows Eve

Halloween used to be my favorite holiday.  Gathering a costume, going to a party & general shenanigans.

Then with children it became all about the trick or treating.  Watching the initial hesitant "trick or treat" with downcast eyes that morphed over the years into a fearless bravado of being allowed to get candy from strangers.

But the girls are older now, off to a party with friends, the costumes mostly created from her closet (In this case casual Widowmaker with clothes she has worn to school and a cosplay wig.  Rhiannon purchased a witch hat to wear with 3 year old dress she uses for RenFaire and her favorite combat boots)

Chris and I, also older, used this year's holiday as a break between the work of harvest and the rush of the winter celebrations.  We gave out candy from the side gate, sharing a pizza and a couple hard ciders.  We listened to the Rocky Horror Picture Show after, of course, Everyday is Halloween by Ministry  (released in 1984 - we are aging punk/goth after all.)  We built a fire in the firepit and talked, enjoying the relatively few trick or treaters.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I have been cooking a lot with lard lately.

I am very interested in not using shortening these days and butter does not always translate well.  I have been making hashbrowns, frying eggs, and sauteing vegetables.  But this has not been the hydrogenated store bought lard, but some I made myself.

A month or so ago I purchased 3 lbs of leaf fat from Jodar Farms at the Boulder County Farmers Market.  I quick search on Google gave directions for using a crock pot to render it.

Now I have rendered lard in the past, but both times I cooked it a little too long on the stove - not only smelling up the house, but creating a light brown product that was only fit for the birds.  (Literally - I made "suet" cakes to hang outside/give to the chickens in the winter

This in mind I ground the fat with the meat grinder then filled the crockpot and turned it on low.  I plugged it in outside, but it turned out to be unnecessary - in an hour the lard was done, no smell.

After straining the cracklins, I poured the lard into a container to cool in the fridge.  The cracklins were placed in a cast iron skillet on the stove.  (2 birds, 1 stone - the pan needed to be seasoned)  Once drained again on paper towels I froze them, for a use as of yet unknown.

Today I am baking my Grandma Lundborg's raw apple cake, using lard in place of the shortening the recipe calls for.

Update 10/7 - cake is gone and a request has been put in for more, so success