Saturday, October 15, 2016


The Farmer
has lived in Southern Ontario for 57 years.
He has seen Staghorn Sumac growing wild all over the place.
Yet he has never tried eating it for some reason.

 That is about to change.
Thanks to The Farmers New Neighbour.
The New Neighbour is of Pakistani decent.
His Wife is is of Persian heritage.

The Neighbours have been enlightening The Farmers with new flavours.
Some spicy hot and some spiced with flavourful new tastes The Farmers have never tried.

The Farmer knows that sumac is a spice used in eastern cooking.
He thought he would treat The Neighbours to the Canadian version of the spice.
The Neighbours loved it and are now going to harvest their own sumac trees.
With some instruction from The Farmer.

So into the tree he goes with the snips.
After breaking the fruit down into the dehydrator it goes.

Unlike the eastern version that is more berry like.
The Canadian version is a fuzzy little seed. 

After 4 to 5 hours shuffling the layers top to bottom helps even out the drying.

After drying for 12 hours shaking in a sieve removes some undesirables.

 Now its time to break them down to remove the stems.

 Its a btt of work to get the seeds all off but you dont want woody bits in the spice.

 They are so soft and fluffy.
All we want is the fluff though not the seed hidden within.

Into the coffee grinder they go a handful at a time.

 Just pulsing on and off so as not to break the internal seed.

Now into a sieve again and over a bowl stir the mixture around with a spoon.
Shake a bit tap the screen a bit as well to get the red powder through the screen.

 There will be a few fine bits of white from the seed 
but if you don't pulse to much it should be minimal.

 The seeds go into the garbage.
They may sprout in the compost and no one wants that.
Thousands of sumac trees popping up in the garden is not what compost is for.

 What a nice taste to liven up baked fries.

The Farmer couldn't resist making skordalia dip with this years fresh garlic to go with the fries.
Leave out the lemon juice. The sumac will give the citrus burst needed.

 That being completed.
What will The Farmer have to drink with his sumac fries?
How about some cold steeped sumac tea.
Just break apart the berries, dump them into a mason jar and add water.

12 hours later strain through cheesecloth and refrigerate.
The Farmer tried hot steeping but it became bitter.
Though the cold steeped juice can be heated without becoming bitter.
The Farmers Son a.k.a. The Brewmaster says the seed should not be heated.
Maybe the seed free spice could be wrapped in coffee filter paper and hot steeped.

Thats it.
Happy foraging

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Doll House

The Farmer's Wife 
wanted a doll house

So what's a Farmer to do?
The Farmer gets The Farmer's Wife a doll house.

Rather boring without furniture so...

The Farmer gets The Farmer's Wife furniture.








Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rope from used bale twine

Repurposing Bale Twine
Into Rope

The Farmer is not a cheapskate.
In fact if you ask The Farmers Wife
he tends to spend too much at times.
That said he hates to waste good stuff.
Everyone has an opinion of what good stuff is.
In this case its all the twine that gets tossed out.
The Sheep went through 175 bales of hay this winter.
That's 350 pieces of twine destined for the land fill.
Hmm what to do what to do........


The Farmer may never need the rope.
It may hang in the barn forever.
But one day it may be needed.
When it is called for 
The Farmer may remember where he put it.

So on with it already. 
 A bale of hay is where we begin

Locate the knots

Locate the scisors

Be a bit knotty.
Err cut them off.

Tie 12 pieces together leaving a foot or so to tie in at the end.
Hang them at chest height.

Separete into three sets of 4 pcs.

Now Braid.

When about 24 inches from the end stop and grab a new piece.

Tuck the new piece in and braid over top of it.
Repeat this for all three strands.
Make four braids after adding the three new pieces.

Now cut one of the short pieces and braid over top of the stub.
Make two more braids to get past the stub then add three more.
Now when you get near the end you will have staggered ends.
You may have to trim a bit off one or two of them.
Just enough to make the sets of three even.
The Farmer adds the new pieces when the stubs are six inches long.
This way there are about three braids before the stub is gone.
Try to direct the stub so it is braided under.
Its time consuming to do all twelve pieces.
but it makes for a nice strong splice.
When you have the desired length rope leave a foot unbraided.
Tie a scrap piece around to stop the braid from unraveling.

Now you need a handy dandy rug hooking tool.
Less than $3 at W@((mar+
Find somewhere comfortable and have a seat.
Remove the scrap. 
Bend one of the three strands of four over top of the other two.
That will lock them into place.
Push the tool through the braid and pull one strand through.
The Farmer tried to pull two strands through and broke the tool.
So one at a time pull the strands back through the rope.
It gets easire to follow the pattern of the rope as you go.
Finish both ends this way and it will never unravel.

This is the best end The Farmer has made so far.
We'll pretend all of them are just as nice.


More rope

A hardware item can be used to make many into one.
One never knows when a long rope will be needed.
But having a long one for a short job is a pain in the butt

 Happy Braiding!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Home Made Sausage

Sausage 101

The Farmer is always pricing meat
When the price is right its sausage time
$1.99 per pound this time round.

Here it is all sliced to fit grinder's throat size

The Farmer and The Farmers Wife
enjoy creating new flavours
This time it was wonderful

4 onions 4 peppers chopped

4tbsp Montreal chicken spice
2tbsp Fennel seed
1tbsp cayanne
1tbsp sugar
Grind in coffee grinder till powder

Soak the casings as well

The Farmer tried a new technique this time
instead of dipping the pieces of meat in the spice mix
he spread the meat out and evenly sprinkled the spices

The onion and peppers were evenly spread as well
This way grinding accross the pile keeps the mix even

Dump and mix by hand a bit

It should be fairly evenly mixed by now

The Farmer always cooks up a bit before stuffing
You can't add anything after its in the casing

Now fill the stuffer and load the casing onto the tube

Leave a few inches or the meat will blow past the seal

Crank until the mixture is at the end of the tube

Tie a knot and away we go
Set the oven to 350 to preheat

One revolution on the crank of this machine makes a nice 10 inch link.
The Farmers Wife cranks and The Farmer twists the links and cuts them
After cranking a few out they get some into the oven
they'll be hungry when they're done

Counting the ones in the oven they cranked out 33 sausages
The casings ran out and they didn't want to open new ones
1.5 lbs of left over mix will be fried up and put with pasta tomorrow

The Farmer and The Farmers Family feast tonight