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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Butchering, canning cushaw, prepping for winter

Our weather turned colder this weekend after a couple days of rain. The rain is always needed but I could live without the cold weather. After the sun came out yesterday it wasn't too bad. Rodger and I got out and got the 2 deer skinned out and the meat processed for the freezer. I takes a while to skin, de-bone and cut up the meat and grind the burger. So now we have a good bit of meat in the freezer. The deer had been hanging for about 2 weeks in the summer kitchen with the air conditioner running to keep it cool. That method seemed to work well. I had some other projects that needed to be done. One of which was butcher off the 3 excess roosters we had. So the plan was we butcher them today. Last evening 2 of the buff roosters didn't come back to roost. I guess they went across the road and it got dark and they couldn't find their way back up here. Needless to say something made a meal of one of them. But we still got the other 2 butchered and I made the stock and got that canned up this after noon and Rodger cleaned the building and put down fresh straw for the pullets. He moved the nest box in the building for them as well. They all will need it soon hopefully. One hen is already laying. While I waited on the stock to cook down I figured I may as well make use of the time I had out in the summer kitchen. I cut up and peeled 2 of the big cushaws and got those ready to can. So they were all cubed up, I washed them, packed them into quart jars, covered with water, put the lids on and pressure canned them for 40 minutes. By time the chicken stock was done the cushaw only liked a few minutes. I still had time to chop the green tomatoes that I had picked last evening before they got frosted on. I had 8 bags of those to freeze for fried green tomatoes later on. We also chopped a quart zip top bag of bell peppers to freeze. I am sure my joints will hate me tomorrow for using my hands all day. But for now I think the preserving is caught up. At least till the first weekend in December when we butcher hogs. That will be a killer big job. That will be a lot of meat to process. The hogs will both be killed the same day, then the lard rendered the second day. But if the fellers get more deer during modern gun season we will have those to process as well. Plus the half of beef we are getting too. I may can some of the deer meat for sure this year. With the beef I really don't think I will have any freezer space. But that is a good thing. We just know we will have a good supply of meat on hand to do us till next fall.
It has been a long day for sure. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


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