Homestead

Methods For Smoking Meat

Methods For Smoking Meat

Smoking Meat

Smoking meat has two complete different purposes, one is for flavoring the meat in order to consume it for immediate use and the other is for storing the meat for a later date. Here in the south both methods are used by many people.

Who does not like to have a rack of smoked ribs for dinner or a half of chicken that has been slowly cooked in a smoker. These are two main meat dishes that us southerners love to consume. Today home smokers are sold at almost any large box stores or you can pick one up online from places like Amazon.

Smoking meat can be an art, like mastering how to make fall of the bone barbecue ribs. Smoking meat for dinner is done by starting the smoker in the morning and letting the meat slow cook at a low indirect heat. Cooking something like a pork shoulder roast with the smoke contained in the smoker while cooking a low heat can make some of the best pulled pork that is delicious and tender

Now if you are wanting to smoke meat for preservation you will need to decide if your going to cold smoke or hot smoke the meat . If your looking to cold smoke the meat you will want to use a brine to cure the meat. Cold smoking is done by hanging the meat in a smoker where the temperature in the smoking chamber is between 75 – 120 degrees. Using the brine can make the meat saltier than normal smoking of meat, but by cold smoking you will need the brine to cure the meat for later consumption. Cold smoking of meat can make the meat last for years even when the meat is not refrigerated.

The second form of smoking meat for consumption later on is called hot smoking. Hot smoking takes less time than cold smoking since the temperature in the smoke chamber is between 14 – 200 degrees. The shelf life of hot smoked meat is less than cold smoked meat since you do not need to use brine to cure the meat. Some people will use a little brine for flavoring purposes but it does not need to be added if you want to stay away from salty meat.

Both hot smoking and cold smoking of meat help to preserve the meat from insects or bacterial growth on the meat. Salt cured meat or un-smoked meat will draw insects to contaminate the for consumption.

Like I mentioned above, smoking meat can be an art just like cooking can be. Try some practice runs using less expensive cuts of meat till you get the hang of it before spending money on fancy cuts of meats that you may ruin. There are thousands of recipes on the internet for smoking meat, give some a try and let us know how they turned out.

Posted by Tom in Homestead, Urban Homesteader
How To Own and Operate A Cleaning Business

How To Own and Operate A Cleaning Business

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Owning and operating a cleaning service.

Every Wednesday night while I am working late at the office our cleaning company comes in to clean our office. Over the years I have gotten to know the owner of this cleaning company and not too long ago I found out that he use to sit in the chair I sit in now working for the same company that I am a slave at.  One night I asked him why he left the security of working for a corporation and went out on his own, he had a simple answer to my question and that was” he was sick and tire of being of being stressed out”. I can totally agree with him.

Owning and operating a cleaning service is not a glamorous or high-tech type of business. But a person that wants to work hard can make a very nice rewarding income for themselves and their family.  The cleaning service business has two main niche markets, the residential side of the business where people clean homes for individuals and the commercial side where you can clean offices, salons, barbershops, the list is endless. A person like the one that cleans our office does both, he cleans a few homes a week and he has a few accounts where he cleans offices in the evening or on the weekend.


A cleaning business can be worked either part-time or full-time, another friend of mine works forty hours a week at a hospital and then cleans condo’s in the evenings and on weekends. She does cleaning about twenty hours a week. She likes the benefits that she receives from the hospital so she stays employed with them otherwise she would be doing the cleaning business full time.

The perk of running a cleaning service business part-time or full -time does draw a wide range of people into this industry. Another perk to this industry is that you can design the business to fit your family needs, like my two friends they operate their businesses in a way to suit their lifestyle and their family’s needs. The person that cleans our office is home most of the day to take care of things at home, like a mister mom, while my other friend does her cleaning mostly in the evenings when she does not have anything else to do. Some cleaning businesses grow their business so they can hire people to do the cleaning while they do all the administrative work from home. Not too many businesses offer the flexibilities like this business offers.

Are you qualified to do this?

The qualifications depend on what type of cleaning service you want to offer your clients. But for any business like this you need to have the determination, patience, be a self-starter, and some business knowledge to succeed. In the beginning, you will need to wear the hat of many people, you will have to be able to market yourself, take care of the books, be able to handle customer relations, be the purchasing agent, and once you start hiring people you will need to be the HR director. Most people that have the desire to running their own business do have what it takes to be qualified to operating a business like a cleaning service.

Where to find your clientele?

Getting started is the hardest part of this business or any business as far as that goes. Most people that I know start by opening the business on a part-time basis. They start by cleaning their friends and family’s homes, then they start passing our business cards to co-workers and people they run into at the local stores. Many stores also have referral boards where you can hang up business fliers or business cards. I would also run post on all my social media sites letting everyone you know what you are doing. Believe it or not, if you do quality work and are fare, ethical and have a good image you will be successful before you know it and the referrals will keep pouring in.

Conclusion

Remember, there will always be dirt and as long as things get dirty there will always be a need for professional cleaning businesses. This business can be a gold mine, just keep in mind though it does take hard work and a self-driven person to be successful at this type of business.

Related Links:

13 tips for being a successful cleaning service

How to start a cleaning business

WIKI – How to start a cleaning business


Posted by Tom in Homestead
Dear Ole Mom’s Apple Crisp

Dear Ole Mom’s Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is one of those desserts that people love year-round. For our family we love this desert especially in the cool fall days. Nothing taste better than hot delicious apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting over the dish. This old fashion apple crisp recipe is a hand down from my mother’s mother and it is so amazing you will love it.

Ingredients

For the apple filling you will need:

4 large granny smith apples that are peeled and sliced thin

3 Tbsp. of butter, softened

2 Tbsp. of flour

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 Tbsp. of milk

3/4 tsp of vanilla extract

2/3 cup of brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

Just a dash of salt

For the crumb topping:

½ cup of flour

½ cup of oats

2/3 cup of brown sugar

½ tsp of baking powder

½ tsp of cinnamon

1/3 cup of unsalted butter cubed.

Just a dash of salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Mix in a large bowl all the ingredients for the crumb topping with a fork. Mix till the ingredients looks like small crumbs then put in the refrigerator.

In a small bowl melt the butter and flour until well mixed. Then add the lemon juice, milk, and vanilla and mix very well and then add the brown sugar and cinnamon and salt. In large bowl pour this mixture over the apples and mix together so all the apples are coated. Take the apple mixture and put in a 8×8 baking dish and spread to an even layer. Now take the crumb topping from the refrigerator and spread over the apples.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit to settle for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve warm with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Posted by Tom in Homestead, Recipes
North Korea Shows the White House In Their Crosshairs

North Korea Shows the White House In Their Crosshairs

With North Korea threatening our way of life here in the United States we need to be ready to take care of ourselves. In this article that the Washington Post published just a few hours ago North Korea is showing simulated attacks on the us here in the United States and declaring that us “the enemy to be destroyed is in our sights”. Continue reading…

Posted by Tom in Homestead
Mukluks Boots Are Ideal For Homesteaders

Mukluks Boots Are Ideal For Homesteaders

What are Mukluks

 

Mukluks sometimes called kamik are warm and soft footwear originally created by the Inuit and Yupik tribes of the Arctic areas of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia. They look very much like traditional moccasins with high boot tops. Mukluks were traditionally made from the skin of reindeer, seals, moose or bear. Today they are made of suede and other natural and man-made materials. Mukluk Boots are becoming a popular commodity online. With their unique style and special fit they have become the ideal item for this winter season.

Mukluks

You’re out in the woods and hiking the snow covered trails what feels better than a pair of warm dry feet. When your feet are wet and cold your whole body gets cold. Nothing beats a pair of warm boots to keep your feet nice and toasty. I have tried several different types of boots but either they leaked or they made my feet sweat until I tried a pair of Mukluks.

Many people have never heard of the word Mukluk and then there are some that never venture out in the cold and snow without putting on a pair of these wonderful boots.

So to those that have never heard of these boots we will now introduce you to this winter footwear that came from the Arctic areas of Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia.

What Wikipedia Says About Mukluks

The History of Mukluks

The mukluks are soft, warm and dry foot apparel that has been used in the northern part of the United States since the seventeenth century. The word “mukluk” originated from the word “maklak” which was a Yupik word.

There were two groups of people that wore the mukluks before the Western explorers found out about them; this was the Inuit and Yupik groups from the Arctic. When the Western explorers arrived and were scouting out the territories in the north and Canada they too adopted the mukluk footwear to keep their feet dry and warm.

The mukluks back in those days were made of deer, seal, moose, or caribou hide and the boots were lined with fur from beavers, squirrel, bear, rabbit, or some other form of wildlife. The boots came up to the top of the ankle or up to the mid-calf range. Mukluks back in the day of the explorers were good footwear for the harsh environments but they did wear out fast. And with using all natural material it was not an easy task and took several hours to make a pair to replace the worn out ones.

Today with modern machines and new versions of leather goods and the addition of rubber soles mukluks are easier to make and last much longer than the traditional mukluk. Also today you can purchase mukluks in a variety of colors and styles. You can also add decorative items like beading, tassels and pom-poms. Traditional mukluks and moccasins are still made today and people from all walks of life and people and from all over the world are wearing this awesome footwear.

With traditional boots like snow mobile boots or other winter boots the material does not breathe. When the boots don’t breathe or allow air to circulate around the feet the feet will perspire and this can become a factor of frostbite of ones feet. With mukluks the material does breathe and this allows for good ventilation in order to keep the feet dry of perspiration. This has been a huge factor to make mukluks a huge success.

This wonderful footwear not only keeps your feet dry and comfortable these boots allow your legs and calves to receive a great workout while at the same time improve your posture and reduce back pain. Nothing more could be better than having comfortable footwear and at the same time help your health and look stylish all at the same time.

Today many boot manufactures often use the style and design of mukluks in making their own modern footwear Uggs are being designed and manufactured to resemble the warmth and strength of today’s mukluk. But nothing beats the original design and comfort of the traditional mukluk.

Have you ever worn a pair of these wonderful boots, if so let us know what you think of them.

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Posted by Tom in Homestead, Lifestyle
Ideas For Building Your Emergency Food Bank

Ideas For Building Your Emergency Food Bank

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Idea’s for building an emergency food supply

Are you and your family ready and stocked up with emergency food supply? Or have you been trying to build up an emergency food bank but find your family eating all the food that you are trying to save? For most of us in the beginning building a food bank was frustrating and felt like hitting your head against the wall. Most people including myself felt the need to do everything at once and get it over-with, but this is just not realistic. This project can be easy to do and it can be fun if you have a plan laid out to accomplish the goal.

Advice from experienced preppers

Here are a few links from experienced preppers that can help you get a plan but also answer some common questions that newbies usually have. By using some of the guidelines by experienced people you may end up with a better list of food supplies and it may even save you some money. Just remember that once you get your pantry or food bank filled you will want to tweak it now and then to make sure items stay fresh and preserved. Purchasing to much of some items may be a waste of money because the item may go bad, again this is why it is best to plan ahead and be realistic in what you purchase and store. By doing some research and reading what experienced preppers have learnt themselves over the years can and will save you time and money.

Thanks for stopping by, leave us some comments on how you are building your food supply.

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Tips for food storage.

Best foods to stockpile

50 tips for emergency food storage

Posted by Tom in Homestead
Homemade Mosquito Repellent That Works

Homemade Mosquito Repellent That Works

Homemade Mosquito Repellent Recipe

Here in Florida families are outside all year long. We want to enjoy the beauty of the lovely weather that Florida offers. There is an enemy that we all battle and some of us battle more than others and that is the disease carrying mosquito. The worst thing for me is that I love the outdoors and my body is a mosquito magnet, if there is a mosquito within 25 miles I am sure that it will find me and suck my blood.

Continue reading →

Posted by Tom in gardening, Homestead, Recipes
Ideas To Help Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Ideas To Help Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Mortgage and automobile debt

For many people that are trying to homestead the one problem that many people have is debt. Two of the largest debt’s that families have hanging over their heads are mortgage debt and automobile financing. Today let’s take a look at ways to help pay off your mortgage and get this number one debt off your back. In future post we will talk about ways to pay off your auto loans and work on ways to be debt free.

Tip number one

Automate an extra payment to your principle along with your regular monthly mortgage payment. What I mean by this is when making your regular monthly mortgage payment add an extra $25 a month towards your mortgage principle. The reason I pick $25 a month is this is a nice low dollar amount that I am sure most people can find just by cutting back a few bad habits. If you set this up to automatically come out of your account and go straight to your principle you more than likely will not even notice the money being gone. After you are comfortable with $25 dollars a month then step out and increase it to $50 dollars a month. You will not believe how many years you will cut off your mortgage by paying the principle down monthly with just a few added dollars.

Tip number two

Many Americans are paid on a bi-weekly paycheck principle. If you were to set-up your mortgage payment to be paid bi-weekly instead of monthly. By paying half of your monthly mortgage payment ever two weeks you will shave off many years off the term of your mortgage. The reason for this is when you pay bi-weekly you will be making an additional monthly mortgage payment which will go directly towards your principle thus reducing the loan amount of the mortgage and saving you years of mortgage payments.

Tip number three

The whole idea of paying off your mortgage early is by cutting years off of the term of your loan and the easiest way to do this is reduce the principle. What my family and I have done is to deposit large chunks of money periodically towards the principle. Some ways that we have come up with these deposits is by thinking outside the box. A couple ways that we came up with the extra money to put towards the principle was to have a garage sale twice a year. Instead of taking the profits from the sale we took the money and put it towards the principle on the mortgage. Another suggestion that we did was to take our tax return and put this towards the principle. Whatever way you can find to take extra money and apply it towards the principle, do it! You will save thousands of dollars in interest by lowering the principle of your mortgage.

Tip number four

Most people have no clue about tip number four.  I love tip number four since we use credit cards that offers points for all our purchases. Disclaimer – we pay off the credit card at the end of the month so we do not add up debt.

Many people like us use our credit cards to pay for everything in order earn points for vacations or other frilly things. But there are some cards that you can have the points convert automatically to mortgage interest payments. So every time use this type of credit card you earn points which automatically get converted over to paying down your mortgage principle. This is a great tool that takes the guess work out of paying off your mortgage early.

Tip number five

Pretty much everybody can think of a way to adjust your lifestyle in order to save money to put towards your mortgage principle but tip number five is near and dear to my heart which is starting a side income. Making money on the side either by having a hobby or offering a service for people that you can do in your spare time is very rewarding and there is no limit how much money you can earn. There are many ways to earn extra income without taking on a second job that you may hate and regret. Just keep your eye on the goal and that is to pay off your mortgage and get out of debt in order to free up your income in order to be a happy homesteader.

Here are some resources for guidance on earning extra income

 

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Posted by Tom in Budgeting, Homestead
Is Your Spouse A Happy Homesteader

Is Your Spouse A Happy Homesteader

Happy Homesteader

I remember the day that when I told my wife that I wanted to start looking and researching on how to live off the grid and become a homesteader. The look I got was a look that I had never seen her show before “The Are You Nuts Look”. I believe that when someone goes to their soul-mate and brings up the idea of homesteading they probably receive the same look.

Why is that

I believe that a lot of people have the misconception that homesteading is the same as what people see on the television show American Preppers. This is what my wife thought when I brought the idea up to her. She was under the assumption that I had lost my mind and was planning to prepare and hunker down for the zombie apocalypse. This was not my thoughts at all.

For me it was not too hard to explain to my wife what my thoughts were on homesteading since I have a sister that has been homesteading for about thirty years. I was able to show and explain to my wife that we needed to make some lifestyle changes in order to save money, be less dependent on others and the government and be more self-sufficient. This did appeal to her, from that point forward we set out a road-map to help guide us to a lifestyle of living off the grid.

Set realistic goals

Just like I stated above homesteading is a lifestyle change for the family and it needs to be approached on a gradual basis especially if your spouse is skeptical. My wife was born and raised in the Miami area so you could say she is a city slicker at heart. Where we live now is very conducive to living off the grid. But it has been a gradual adjustment in order for my wife not to get overwhelmed with a major change to her lifestyle.

Since my wife was a city girl the concept of having work done on the homestead was just a matter of making a phone call to a contractor. This was one of the first changes I had to break her of. Over the past five years she has gone from city girl to a girl that has used almost every power tool to man plus she has driven backhoes, graders, and many styles of tractors. It was a gradual metamorphous but in five years she has come a long ways.

Be open minded

One of the lessons I had to learn was to be open minded and listen when my wife said “NO”. Homesteading is a lot like a hobby along with it being a lifestyle change. Everything does not need to be done immediately and burn yourself out working from sun up to sun down seven days a week. When my wife said NO to cutting down seventy five trees in one weekend I did not take it well but I listened to her and I am sure it save my back from getting injured. When she did not allow me to cut down the huge trees up against the house but to hire it done I am sure that she saved our home from damage of a tree falling the wrong way onto the house. Listen to your spouse they may save you from getting injured or causing major property damage that will cost you more to repair than it would have if you hired the work done.

Conclusion

Homesteading can be fun, relaxing, financially rewarding and enjoyable as long as you and your partner are both on the same page. Do not try to do this alone if you are in a relationship and the other person is not on board. If you are in the beginning phases of homesteading, sit down and express your feelings to your partner and work on goals together and make sure that the both of you are on the same map of where you want this lifestyle change to go.

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Posted by Tom in Homestead