Gridiron Lifestyle: The CHFF smokehouse & root cellar
Since the dawn time, humans preserved their harvest in various forms, whether curing, smoking, pickling or canning.
Hams, jams and alcoholic beverages all had their origins in this quest for preservation. Raw pork didn't last too long, especially in the days before refrigeration, but salted and smoked hams would keep for many months. Fruits, as everyone knows, rot very quickly, but they lasted for ages mixed with sugar, boiled down and turned into preserves. Freshly harvested barley and grapes also had a limited shelf life. But turned into beer and wine, they'd help sustain people through a winter when other forms of nutrition were scarce.
It's amazing how quickly modernization has pushed these life-sustaining skills to the fringes of society. Tell someone today that you make hams, bacons or pickles, and they generally conclude that you must be some sort of gun-toting, toothless hillbilly (hey, we have teeth).
The truth is that making your own food from scratch can be a cool way to pass an autumn weekend - without the threat these days of starvation hanging over your head should you fail. At least once a year, we spend an entire three-day weekend drinking Bavarian rauchbier (smoked beer) while tending to the fire as we cold smoke our hams and bacons for the rest of the football season and upcoming holidays. Coupled with modern conveniences like television and extension cords, you don't even have to miss any football. What a country. Plus, once you get a taste of your own homemade hams, pickles, bacons and sausage you'll probably give up on the flavorless, mass-produced versions you buy at Wal-Mart.
The best part is that your tailgate guests and neighbors will be truly impressed when they see you slicing up homemade bacon in the parking lot. They'll be even more impressed when they taste it.
This is just a short collection of some of our favorite recipes. We'll be adding plenty more in the future.
Kerry's homemade corned beef
A new book by Food Network star Alton Brown includes this recipe for refreshing pickles brined in Kool-Aid that he discovered in Mississippi.
Homemade Canadian bacon (peameal)
Yes, you can make tasty Canadian bacon at home. It's easy.
Hog Maw (Roast Pig Stomach)
Yes, that's right, roast pig stomach. Hey, be a man for once in your life and at least see what it's all about.
Doc's homemade pickles
The CHFF's own Doc McConnell is usually making pickles or pickled himself. His homemade pickles are pretty damn tasty and so easy to make you'll never buy a jar in the store again.
Homemade pork breakfast sausage
Smoky homemade bacon
That's right ... you can make a little bit of porky heaven yourself from scratch!
Smoky venison breakfast sausage
It's that time of year when we make our world-famous (sorta) smoky venison breakfast sausage. If you only make on sausage in your life, try these tasty, smoky dark-brown little beauties.