Chicken Processing Workshop with Patricia Foreman

In September we had an opportunity to attend a hands-on chicken processing workshop at the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.  The workshop was presented by Patricia (Patty) Foreman, Michael Badger, and Matt Wilkinson.  If you know anything about poultry, you’ll know that these folks are kind of the celebrities of the chicken world.  And they did a fantastic job of leading our group from a live, clucking, flapping chickens to a ready-to-package set of chicken cuts. I’ve butchered plenty of deer, squirrels, and rabbits before.  But I’ve never slaughtered and processed a chicken.  It’s really a very different process.  But it’s really pretty simple when you have experienced people showing you how, and giving you feedback in

Amanda’s Country Kitchen – Country Style Deviled Eggs

I’m so happy my daughter has taken an interest in what I’m trying to do with our channel, and wants to help. Here’s our first attempt at capturing her passion for cooking. Not certain if we’re going to leave this all on the SSP channel, or start her own. But for now, we’ll put it here. Thanks, and enjoy!

Apiary Tour

The Children of the American Revolution group Amanda belongs to arranged for a tour of Burgh Bees, an apiary located near downtown Pittsburgh, with a mission of education and the promotion of beekeeping. Amanda and Abby were so excited to visit the apiary. They (and we) learned a lot, got to experience what it’s like with literally thousands of bees flying around, and even got to taste to honey freshly-dripped out of the hive through our veils. It was fantastic. Not sure if me or the girls had the most fun.     The staff at Burgh Bees couldn’t have been nicer, and I even got a lead on their Fall Beekeeping 101 course in October. Wild horses (or swarming bees)

Ugly Drum Smoker – Part III

We’ll build the charcoal basket, make and install the grate supports, and do the final assembly. It is really a pretty simple build. The materials are easy to find and inexpensive. And the results . . . Well, the results speak for themselves. Having already used this smoker three times in the last two weeks, I can tell you it works like a charm. I’ve done smoker sausage once, and pulled pork twice. I’m thinking maybe ribs this weekend. If you’re interested, I’ll be posting a parts list with prices, and some constructions notes/sketches sometime in the next couple of weeks to help you with your own build. Thanks for checking it out, and please subscribe to see more of

A Productive Day

While the girls are off visiting family, I’m getting some work done.  Yesterday I changed the thermostat and bypass hose on the truck, did the yard work, weeded the garden, and maybe most importantly, got the first real harvest (aside from an earlier bean pick) from the garden.  Not too shabby for a day’s work.

Mmmmmmm, crabs

My family and I vacation in Hilton Head, South Carolina every couple of years.  It’s your typical family vacation with sun, and sand, and a whole lot of doing nothing.  This year, while visiting the pier at Harbor Town, we saw a couple of guys watching a couple of thin ropes trailing down into the water.  When I asked what they were doing they said they were crabbing, and opened a cooler to show me half a dozen or so large blue crabs.  Mind . . .  blown!  You mean I can go out on a public pier and catch my own seafood dinner??? That night I went back to the house and started Googling everything I could find about

Ugly Drum Smoker – Part II

This week we’ll walk through part two of our Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS) build.  We’ll go through the burn out, the grind out, and the assembly of the smoker body.  That leaves us only the charcoal basket and the grills before we’re ready to smoke some tasty brisket! Hope you enjoy.  And, as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a comment or shoot me an email. Thanks!

Home Wine Making (Part III)

In part 3 of 3 in our home wine making series we look at second clearing, bottling, and corking.  If you haven’t seen the first two videos yet, go back and watch from the beginning on the YouTube playlist. If you like this, check out the other videos on our YouTube channel.  Better yet, subscribe to the channel so you can be alerted when new videos post. Please leave any questions/comments in the space below.  And let me know what topics you’d like to see in the future pertaining to DIY, homesteading, and the self-sufficient lifestyle. Thanks!