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

Monday, February 1, 2016

Clam Chowder

The Best Clam Chowder Recipe Ever

The Farmer stumbled apon a recipe for "Real New England Clam Chowder"
The author has a beautiful post but The Farmer still wants to showcase his own work.

Food Basics has frozen cooked clam meat available.
It isn't in liquid, just frozen meat.
It actualy tastes nice and is tender as well.
This is half of a $10 bag

The Farmers Wife chopped up 4 cups of celery with clean leaves included

The Farmer is the go to guy when onions need chopping
Two large  cooking onions did the trick.

Potato is one of the main ingredients.
These are local white purchased at Gallaghers Farmers Market this fall

Pupo's Food Market is The Farmers go to place for meats

This was such a nice salted pork belly.
Nice ratio of fat to meat.

The fire alarm had to be relocated for a while during the rendering process.
This took a while and a few adjustments to the flame to sizzle without smoking.

The Celery and onion deglazed the pot nicely

After two Litres of milk were brought up to simmer the potatoes were added.

The Farmers Wife stirred for the first twenty minutes keeping a very light simmer.
Just tiny bubbles around the edge.
The Farmer stirred for what felt to him an eternity but was probably twenty minutes as well.

The fat was starting to rise and pool on top when the potatoes were cooked.

As instructed in the recipe The Farmer strained out all the solids.

This is a beautiful picture of the liquid before blending.
Pictures of the blending process were never taken due to a tragic event.
Lets just say The Farmer has learned to never plug in a full blender without 
checking first to ensure the switch is turned to the off position.

Once the mess was cleaned up and the pureed liquids were reunited with the solids
A quart of cream was added and the mix was brought up to serving temperature.

Very Homogeneous indeed.
The blending brought the fats back into the sauce nicely.

Through the process time was taken to drain the water used to thaw the clams.
They were chopped into thirds smaller ones in half.
All the drippings were caught and transferred to the pot.
Now that everything is done cooking in go the clams.
The Farmer and The Farmers Family like a bit of zip so 
a few dashes of Tabasco sauce  was added.
Salt and pepper as well

This was a lot of work but well worth the effort.
This is the best chowder The Farmer has ever had.
Next time he may even seek out some fresh clams.
There isn't much claming going on in the great lakes region though.

The farmers Wife found a surprise in one of the potatoes.
It wasn't a likeness of The Virgin Mary.
Not even an angel but it does appear to have wings.

Happy Cooking !

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Festival Wagon

The Festival Wagon Project

Its been quite some time since the farmer blogged.
He retired a year and a half ago after 30 years working for the man.
So now he can't figure out how he had time to work.
Many projects have come and gone.
He is gleefuly doing things he wants to do for a change.
Thing is though without work stealing his life away things don't seem as bloggable,
Its just his life now and he's loving it.

Any way to the task at hand.
The Farmer's Granddaughter is two now.
She needs a ride.
Not just any ride she needs a stylish ride that will set her appart from the rest.
But she can't drive , cycling is still a ways off an a tricycle is just soooo normal.
So Pops and Granny.
AKA The Farmer and The Farmers Wife have decided to get creative.

Behold the Gypsy Caravan / Festival Wagon project

Pops has done his part now
Granny is creating the Gypsy art that will adorn the sides and back.

So all the art was complete so Jan 26th it all came together.
In The Farmers 180 year old dingy basement.

Next stop will be the big city.