Wednesday, November 30, 2005

my fantasy

I'm going to move to White Mountain Kettle in Mifflin County, PA. This is a picture of it from Google Earth, you can CLICK on it for a bigger version:



White Mountain Kettle is in the heart of the ridge and valley provine. It's also just over the ridge from possibly the most famous trout river in the Eastern US: Penn's Creek.

I will build a small cabin in White Mountain Kettle. I'll kill lots of dear and bear and salt cure the meat. I'll have to have lots of salt. I'll cut the meat up into 10-15lb hunks and place them in 55 gallon white oak barrels. I'll add about 12lbs of salt and 5lbs of very thick maple syrup (which I'll have collected and boiled down myself of course) to about 10 gallons of water. After about 10 days I'll rinse the hunks of meat and hang them in the smokehouse where a small pignut hickory wood fire will be kept burning until the meat's just brown enough.

I'll fish for big trout in Penn's Creek and smoke them too. In the small mountain streams of White Mountain Kettle I'll catch tiny wild Brook Trout, 4 inches long, smoke and eat 'em bones and all, 30 a sitting.

The corn harvest was good this year. 400 pounds of kernals all told. I traded a gallon of last year's batch (it was at least proof!) for 100lbs of malted barley corn. The still needs a little work as it was leaking during the last runs of this past November. And I'll need to rebuild one of the smaller white oak barrels and give it a new char as the wax patches irritate me. And I have the time. And maybe I'll pull a sample off the only 5 year old barrel I have left when I get the first of this years batch cookin'. Haven't touched it since January, might as well see if it's still good.

I'm weird, what can you do?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you really harvest corn this year? Or was this a reference to your burely mountain man fantasy? I know you and Adam were distilling whiskey, but...well, it's not clear what exactly you were referring to.
Get it together Dunn!
I can think of a couple of other supplies you would need up there in your mountain retreat. First, a woman would be great. She could run a kiln and make her own glazed pottery from locally foraged clay. You'd come home dragging a deer behind you and she'd greet you inner thighs covered in the day's adventures. I think a goat for fresh milk and dairy products would be nice along with few chickens for free ranged eggs and the occassional roaster. I think all of this would keep you very busy, perhaps busier than you would lkike to be, so maybe you'd have to have two women.

Darren Dawkins

D Hanks said...

I'm definitely coming to visit. Rivers wants to know if you'll have some cows?

-dhanks

Matthew D Dunn said...

Yes. I really harvested 400lbs of corn this year.

And yes Daniel. Definately you should come and bring an electrofisher. Not too traditional, but much easier.

Ryan (Beer) said...

That fantasy sounds like the life. My only suggestion would be to have a couple of those barrels set aside for some funky Pennsylvania backwoods homebrew.

Oh and keeping 2 women happy sounds like a lot of work to me, ... but maybe not for Dunn.