Brooding and Brining

Happy Monday!

Once again, sorry for the silence and lack of recipe sharing. It’s been a crazy few weeks. Many of you already know, but for those of you who have the rule to not ask a woman if she’s pregnant unless you see the baby crowning (I think it’s a very good rule), I am about 7 weeks away from having a baby. Due to this, I often find myself making grand proclamations about all the things I am going to accomplish, and then I go to bed. Today, I am going to complete a new post!

I know each time we get new chicks, we write a post about it. It’s just so amazing.  We find ourselves sitting and watching them. There are countless other posts in our blog about how the chicks get here and the stress of keeping them alive, especially in the early weeks. Here’s some videoof the latest group for you. This brooding bunch are Freedom Rangers. In 10 weeks they will be delicious meat birds.


Also this week, Eric was asked by his sister, Ellen, to prepare the meat for his niece Zayna’s graduation. For you regulars at the Ralston Creekside Speakeasy, The Zayna is named after her. After some thought, Eric decided to smoke a number of turkey breasts thighs from our turkeys we raised last fall, in addition to the pork that Ellen requested. First he put the bird into a brine. The brine he used this time is the following:

2 gallons of water

1 1/2 cup salt

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 heads of garlic

2 Tablespoon peppercorns

2 Tablespoons corriander

3 onions

2 bunches of chives

2 limes

2 oranges


lemon balm

Eric let the meat soak in the brine for 48 hours. Then it was time to put the meat in the smoker. Eric and his brother Mike put the turkey in around 3:30 on Saturday. Eventually Ellen showed up and Ellen’s husband Sam followed about 45 minutes later. The rest of the afternoon was spent making different types of mayonnaise and listening to Eric’s siblings banter. This is actually one of my favorite things to do.

Eric is also the youngest of 5, but his mom had 5 kids in 7 years, while my mother had 5 in 15 years. While I am close to my siblings, there is something different about siblings that are this close in age. It’s fun to just sit back and listen to them tell stories. There is no way to get a word in between all of them and Sam. The stories of historical familial happenings flow at a constant pace. I’m always amazed at what new story I hear, and my respect for Ruth, Eric’s mother always grows a little bit more.

IMG_0624IMG_0621Eventually, Sam and Ellen had to get back home to their kids and house full of relatives. Milo had to go to bed, and I needed to continue being 32 weeks pregnant in solitude. Eric and Mike stayed out with the smoker past dark. Around 9 pm I heard them make the way into the house. Eric let the meat sit over night, and in the morning he sliced it. Around 1pm we made it over to Ellen’s house with the turkey, mayo and pulled pork. At 2 pm we celebrated Zayna’s graduation. All of the food was amazing.  Eric has decided this is how we will prepare our turkey for Thanksgiving this year.

On the farm front, things are progressing along. As the weather cooperates, Eric and the crew are getting more and more in the ground. Today over 30 fruit trees were planted, last week the cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and lettuces made it into the ground. The garlic and strawberry beds are also coming along nicely.









Thank you all so much for your continued support. Eric and I are so fortunate to have such a great group of customers. We really are looking forward to this growing season. Fortunately, the baby will be done growing by July 15th. What? Too much? I think I’m hilarious!



About saltforkfarms

A small organic farm in Iowa that raises Standard Breed laying hens and hybrid broiler chickens suited for a pasture-based system, as well as varieties of vegetables and fruit suitable to our Eastern Iowa climate. We grow food, we eat food, we sell food!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Brooding and Brining

  1. Amy Culberg says:

    Love those chics!

  2. steve menzel says:

    Eve you are hilarious. Hope you are feeling well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s