“Rain-connaissance Mission” 2016

For my own future reference: the next time Adam suggests a destination and his description includes the words: freezing rain, icy, wet and bring your skis, I would do well to push back, especially on the bring your skis part.

In case you’re in south central Alaska and wondering where winter is, heads up: it ain’t in Turnagain Pass. Snow level is high, snow accumulation is low and it rained most of Friday night/Saturday morning, likely ruining whatever good snow there might have been.

I’ll tell you what, though. The sound of rain on a burly tent while you and your love sleep close, in zipped-together bags, nice and toasty, sure is a nice way to way to spend a Friday night. 

Watched pots don’t burn. Trying a double-boil setup to heat homemade lasagne for backcountry dinner.

The Ride to Suffrage

Do you know the role the bicycle played in women’s rights in the late 1800s to early 1900s? Sit down, history buffs. The bicycle provided independence and easy transportation for women in the USA. And once women took to bicycling, they quickly realized their clothing needed to change to be comfortable and safe on bicycles.

From The Atlantic: “Yes, bicycle-riding required a shift away from the restrictive, modest fashion of the Victorian age, and ushered in a new era of exposed ankles—or at least visible bloomers—that represented such a departure from the laced up, ruffled down fashion that preceded it that bicycling women became a fascination to the (mostly male) newspaper reporters of the time.”

And changing fashion was just the first spoke in the wheel for women’s lib in the USA. According to Suffragette Susan B. Anthony, “the bicycle had done more for the emancipation of women than anything in the world.” If you want some good reading on the subject, check out posts from Crazy Guy on a Bike and The Atlantic.

Fast-forward to 2016, when the United States of America had its first female nominee for a major political party for the office of President. Imagine, less than 100 years ago women were fighting (and bicycling to the fight) for their voices to be heard as equal citizens and their right to vote. And this year, we were fighting to elect a woman to the highest office in the land.

At home and around the world, women are still fighting for equality. The election results from last night demonstrate that the United States of America is still fighting for equality. How far we’ve come, and yet how far we have to go.

I voted and rode my bicycle and pantsuit with pride yesterday. We are woman, we are strong and we are going to keep rolling.

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Pig Haul 2016

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This was Ty. Weighing in over 180 lbs at Chugach Farm in Chickaloon, Ty was raised kindly and fed well. His fullname was longer, Japanese and meant: Use all the parts. Ty is our first ever pork share, for lack of a better term.

Adam and I went in on 1/2 a pig with JP and Bro, our Valley friends. Part of the deal was we processed it ourself. Enter YouTube. Seriously, with the help of three solid YouTube videos  we familiarized ourselves with the primal cut, the H bone (or was it ache bone?) and so much more. My favorite instructional video was this one. I loved the French Chef’s style. (If you’re interested another good video is here).

We worked for 6+ hours, cutting bones and meat and trimming fat. Of course, we had to stop and sample the meat periodically. Adam and Kimbrough experimented with cuts and marinades and I happily sampled.

In the spirit of Ty, we are using everything! You can guess pork chops, tenderloin, rib meat… There’s also hocks, ham steaks and soon-to-be handground sausage. I’m most excited to cure and smoke our own bacon (following this recipe) and… render our own lard.

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Seriously. We’re going for it! There was a ton of fat on Ty, as you might imagine. We split the trimmings between sausage and lard. Here’s a post on the benefits of lard and the receipe we’re following to bring it to life. My No-Fail Family Pie Crust recipe calls for a ton of shortening – I’m looking forward to substituting our product instead.

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