Slaughtering Turkeys for Thanksgiving

...view of a turkey slaughter. I didn’t write this to be a how-to guide, just an orientation to the concepts. It’s slim on details, but big on pictures. We describe the chicken slaughter in more detail in our upcoming book, Making It, which comes out in the spring. The first step is to collect the turkey, quiet it with gentle words and petting, and hang it by its feet. Birds don’t seem to mind hanging like this–they are re...

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Sourdough Recipe #1 The Not Very Whole Wheat Loaf

...minutes until the crust turns a dark brown. 13. Remove the loaf from the oven, but resist the urge to break into it. It’s still cooking and you could get a stomach ache from the still active wild yeasts. Let it cool down before slicing. There’s not much labor involved with making this bread especially if you’ve got a mixer, but it does require some scheduling. You’ll note that the time in the refrigerator gives you some fl...

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Grub

Why start the day with the Wall Street Journal when the real excitement is to be found in periodicals such as Backyard Poultry Magazine? While our broke nation can’t afford missile shields or moon trips anymore, at least it’s comforting to read in the pages of BPM that the citizens of Bonner Springs, Kansas can visit the brand new National Poultry Museum. This month’s issue of BPM also has a fascinating article by Harvey Usse...

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Zombies!

...we realized that walking, even up to 24 kilometers is perfectly feasible, though admittedly beyond that distance it starts to get hard. While we don’t walk such long distances in the course of a normal day, it’s still perfectly reasonable to take trips up to 5k. Incidentally, for you engineering types, there is a handy way of estimating travel distances on foot devised by Scottish mountaineer W.W. Naismith in 1892. Naismith says that...

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Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Recipe

UPDATE : we have a whole (so to speak) new take on making a starter. See our sourdough starter video for a better way to do this. Back in March we showed how to make a sourdough starter with white flour. This month we converted a white starter over to whole wheat and have baked many successful loaves of bread with it. The reason that we have to do this conversion rather than starting out with whole wheat flour is that whole wheat tends to get m...

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The Skunk Whisperer

...through the house. Here’s what my skunk trap-out looks like–excuse the bad picture and remember that it’s not a trap as the exit end is always open: I cut a board to fit around the trap-out and nailed it to the corners of the crawl space opening. The next step is to get a cartoon of myself and I’ll be making the big money. Here’s the Skunk Whisperer removing the Pepsi machine raccoons. As he put it, “They’...

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Passport to Survival

...cked up on Amazon. There’s a more recent edition written by two of her daughters, but I haven’t seen it. Should you be inspired to try your hand at wheat gluten cookin’, here’s some step by step instructions on making your own seitan from scratch on the Forkable blog. Update 1/15/2010: I was just thumbing through my copy of the 1980 edition of the Whole Earth Catalog, and found a page devoted to Mormon survival manuals inc...

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On miso, caffeine and the search for a morning brew

...white, brown…) Don’t let this confuse you. All are good. Just start somewhere and you’ll sort it out. I’m fond the red. • Proper miso soup is made with the classic Japanese soup stock, dashi. You can make it with any stock you like, or do as I do in the mornings and just use water. It’s important not to simmer miso, because heat kills the beneficial critters in it. If you’re making a pot of soup, add the miso...

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Revised and Expanded

A revised and expanded version of our book, The Urban Homestead is now available everywhere books are sold and via this website. And we have a new cover thanks to our fantastic publisher Process Media. No longer does the woman stand behind the man! As for the “expanded” part, new projects include:• How to sterilize jars and bottles• How to make infused oil• Six ways to preserve a tomato• How to make soda bread• How to store grain w...

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A New Fitness Craze: The Kayak Balance Stool

...lding the Greenland Kayak. To make your kayak balance stool, find a piece of scrap wood. I used a 2 x 8 and cut it to fit my ass to toe dimensions. Cut two end boards, each a foot long. Attach the end boards to the sittin’ board with some bolts or sturdy screws. The deeper the curve on the bottom of the end boards, the more tippy it gets. Cunningham suggests a depth of 1 1/2 inches to start. I’d suggest making that curve a bit on...

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