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Thursday's Grind

It was a busy day on the homestead. This morning I spent the first two hours of my day catching up on computer work before taking my morning walk. Outdoor work has slowed down, so I still have to get my exercise. Working out seems like an unfunctional waste of time, but I know it is necessary to keep myself healthy to keep up with chores here.

I spend Thursday getting ready for the weekend. Why Thursday? My weekends are BIG!! On Thursday, I change and wash all the linens in the cabin while cleaning the house. I also schedule in time for food prep for the weekend. I needed to grind pork into sausage for weekend meals, and next week's weekday meals. I like to slow down a little on Friday before cooking a big Friday dinner, so I get in a bit of rest before then. I am thinking pizza for dinner. I am a fan of Imo's style, St. Louis pizza, and I was gifted with some Provel cheese from my parents. Provel is a processed white Italian cheese like Velveeta. However, it is a little healthier and not shelf-stable. Nothing can match it, so I will go all-out with my St. Louis pizza from scratch tomorrow right here in my own kitchen.

Grinding our pasture-raised Berkshire pork for sausage takes a good part of the afternoon. Large pork roasts get deboned, excess fat removed for lard, sliced, and chilled in the freezer for forty minutes while I'm eating lunch and making the bed. Then I coarsely grind the semi-frozen strips, put them back in the freezer while mixing spices. Working quickly to keep things cold, I add my flavorings to the top of the sheet pans of cold meat and then finely grind it in the mixer to mix in the seasonings and binder before packaging.

Only a few ingredients didn't come from our homestead. A few organic spices that I can't grow and powdered milk to use as a binder, so the sausage doesn't crumble away to bits when cooking. Milk powder is a homestead staple here, and I always keep some on hand. It makes delicious bread, pizza crusts, sauces, and works for things like gravy and mashed potatoes when you get surprised you are out of milk.

In a few hours, I have prepped meat for approximately 13 Italian and Mexican dinners. Then I start rendering the ground fat on the stove. I will strain out the fried bits to mix into the dogs dinners. They like fried food too! My dogs have a diverse diet, they do not eat dog food, so this does not make them sick. I will freeze the lard and save it for frying.

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