Day by Day

Monday, November 07, 2011

Be a Man, Food Production

I'm sure that as I write this a whole lot of people are going to be nodding their heads.  But for those who don't, I'll break it down for you - a real man knows how to take raw ingredients and make a full meal.  And I do mean "raw".  I'm not talking about grabbing a pre-packaged steak at the supermarket, I'm talking about grabbing the entire beef tenderloin, cutting the sliverskin off, and cutting nine steaks off it.  Not cutting up bread and rubbing garlic on it, but taking flour, salt, sugar, water, butter and yeast and turning out a loaf or two.  Making your own sausage.  Jams, jellies, preserves.

Making your own FOOD.

Why do it?  Because it's something that everyone needs to know how to do, as you cannot always be guaranteed a supermarket will be nearby.  And because if you ever pick up a package of food and read the ingredients, you will invariably find something that you cannot pronounce unless you're a chemistry major, and a whole host more that you just don't want to put into your body.

Look folks, corn syrup is not natural.  Your body cannot break it down.  High Fructose Corn Syrup is in damn near everything, and it's nasty.  You don't need it, I can guarantee that it's not doing you any good, and I can also guarantee that if you're a normal person you're eating absolute SHITLOADS of it without even knowing it.

There's also the fact that making your own food is cheaper.  I can make my bratwurst for about $2.00 a pound.  Try to buy a pound of brats for two bucks at the store.  And my bratwurst tastes better, is healthier for me, and causes my friends to commit homicide for a chance to get some.

Now, what does it take?  Time, and a few kitchen implements that you might not already have.  If you have a Kitchenaide type stand mixer, you can make sausage, bread, just about anything.  We found a meat grinder/sausage stuffer combo on sale, so we picked that up.  Any hunting or outdoors supply store will have meat grinders, sausage stuffers, all kinds of utensils you might need.  The local Gander Mountain has collagen casing and natural hog casing for sausage as well.  Most department stores will have some sort of bread machine if you don't want to actually turn out a loaf by hand.  Bread can be frozen if you make a bunch of loaves at once, so I normally do three batches and the Mrs. tosses most of it in the freezer until we need it.

So the next round of Be a Man will focus on food production.  I figure it'll be nice to talk about something other than how Obama and his cronies are ruining this country.


North said...

It was frustrating that because I liked to cook when I was young it was viewed as not masculine. Sad, really, considering how many chefs are male.

I persevered. Now I out cook most women that I know.

Yeah. Warming up something that other people made is not cooking. If you can't cook from scratch and from nature you can't cook.

See my blog post on Jack Daniels Pork, BTW, for a great recipe.

Amusing Bunni said...

Dave, your Wife is lucky to have you!
Real men Cook!

Jessica said...

My husband loves to cook, loves to grill, and loves to make recipes up as he goes along. I agree, real men cook!

I just started making bread (hubby knows how already) and am wondering, how long does bread keep in the freezer and what do you wrap it in?

Goober said...

I've been killing and processing my own food for 30 years now. Sausage making, and so forth. I refuse - REFUSE - to buy pre-made ingredients for my recipes. My wife grew up in a family where making spaghetti meant opening a jar of ragu, heating it in the microwave, and boiling some enriched noodles. She was astounded the first time she watched me open a jar of home-made tomato sauce, and season and herb it up just right with some home-grown hamburger and sausage and dump it on noodles. Her comment was it was just like she had in restraunts.

Instead of buying a ragu sauce, with a million preservatives and typically more salt than you should eat in a week, buy a can of tomato sauce, tomoato paste, and some diced canned tomatos (after you review the ingrdients to ensure that it says Igredients: Tomato. Water. Any "Sodium biphospate" or other crap like that, get a nother brand). Go to the spice aisle and get a jar of McCormack italian Seasoning (dried herbs). Fry up a pound of hamburger, salt, pepper, and salt to taste after draining the meat. Add the cans of tomato stuff. Season to taste again. Simmer for a while. Not that damn hard, even if you don't grow the herbs or can the tomatos yourself, to make a meal from wholesome, non-additived ingredients that tastes way better than the stuff in the box.

Ranter - the biggest part of freezing bread is getting it wrapped up tightly enough so it doesn't freezer burn. The best way to do this is to freeze it until it is solid outside of any wrapper or just in a bread bag, then once it is hard as a rock (a day or so?, pull it back out of the freezer and vacuum seal it in a vacuum bag (like a seal-a-meal or foodsaver). DO NOT thaw it in the vacuum bag. When you want to use it, remove it from the vacuum bag immediately upon removing it from the freezer or it will squish into a hard puck when it thaws. Using this method, it should be freezer stable for as much as a year. However, I've pulled bread out of the back of a shelf in my freezer that was three years old and it was just fine.