Friday, January 27, 2012

Everything But the Oink

Earlier this week we committed to join two other families in splitting up a pig raised at a Nourishing Traditions leaning farm. Great price, no soy feed, no GMO feed. How could I resist an opportunity like that? :)

Since we are blowing through the half grassfed cow that we bought last fall, we actually have enough loose freezer space for the pork. I'm geeking out at all that we're going to learn. I'm teaming up with the two other traditional foodie mamas from these families - we'll be doing our first attempt curing and slicing our own bacon and ham! Fortunately for us there are a myriad of tutorials and videos showing how to do this, and one of these mamas already has her own smoker. I'll probably be on the hunt for a value-priced meat slicer for us, which we'll be sure to use a lot anyway for slicing up roast beef and other meats.

I'm excited that we'll also be receiving some pork jowl. I need to be on the lookout for some good pork jowl recipes, so if anybody has any ideas or links to post in the comments, I'd be so grateful!

Besides meat geekery, I've gone through a "try new produce" kick lately. I've made turnips, jicama, and rutabaga lately, and I am finding myself surprised at how much I enjoy these root veggies, even more than potatoes, sometimes. Earlier this week I did up a nice midwestern red curry with rutabaga and beef that I will post, probably later tonight. Savory and very sating!

Meanwhile, I type this sipping the last bit of heavy cream from our fridge in my coffee. Our Crossfit box's challenge officially starts February 1. It's a good thing that I've been experimenting with these lower carb veggies! There are four top prizes, two per gender. Best body recomposition (fat loss/muscle gain) - Male/Female, and best WOD improvement (Male/Female). Our box has given participants three options: classic balanced diet, Zone portions, or paleo eating.

Exactly how eager am I to tackle this challenge? Well, for one example, I'm giving up my beloved dairy for the six weeks, so you might see a few more dairy free recipes around here. (My family's not giving up dairy, just me. I'm the only one doing the challenge, after all.) I'm also going to be very, very strategic about when I eat the limited amount of carbs that I consume - post workout, as a rule.

Wish me luck!


  1. If you come up with a great way to use the ham hock, I'd love to hear it. Mine is in my freezer unused because I'm not about to make split pea soup with it. :)

  2. On Feb 2nd I wrap up a clean 30 challenge with my local paleo meet up group (which consists of about 75% crossfitters). No dairy, no grains, no legumes, no alcohol, and no sugar even artificial sweeteners. Usually all my challenges have been done solo, it was really nice to do it with a group for a change. Its been much easier to be 100% when having to report into a group.

    In case you need any motivation, even though I am usually 90% paleo and fairly low carb, I haven't budged weight or inches wise in a year plus (outside of going up a bit). I dropped alcohol and dairy for 3 months, I worked out more, I dropped all caffeine including chocolate for another 3 months, nothing helped. Going 100% clean I managed to drop 4lbs and an inch off my waist in the last 3 weeks (I am only 115lbs to start and 27.5 inch waist, so that is a lot for me). It was nice to finally move that scale that is for sure!!

    Best of luck!

  3. I love reading about other people purchasing a large amount of meat all at once. I'm fortunate in that I have a local store owned by a farm a few hundred miles south of me that sells grass fed beef and naturally fed pork in small cuts, but also quarters, halves and wholes. It's where I get my raw milk, too. :)

    Any ideas on what to do with pork side? >_>

  4. Good luck to you! Giving up dairy is hard. I did a vegan diet for exactly one week - Basically out of curiosity only - and the dairy was harder to go without than meat was.

    I am on a new produce kick as well, and also on a new protein hunt - I need to find some places around here that sell crickets and other insects! I would love to see a post about bugs for protein if that's something you are or have ever been into. :)

  5. I don't know about the pork side, Arual. I'll have to wait and see! I have a whole lot to learn about pork.


    I didn't last long in my attempts at veganism either. Have never bought or gathered and prepared bugs. If I do, though, you can be sure it'd be blogged. :-p

  6. treat pork jowl as extra fat bacon or search up how to make lardo.

    re: ham hocks - braise them in some bone broth overnight in a very low oven with some onions and carrots.


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