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Several years ago, Chef Brett handed me a Christmas present with three little spice tins produced by Bourbon Barrel Foods out of Kentucky. While all three samples were tasty, the one that stood out the most was the Bourbon Smoked Paprika – a true paprika with a little bit of heat and a ton of smoke. Within a month, this single spice became one of the most important dried herbs in my kitchen. I used it on eggs, in salsa, in stews, in stir fry, on steak, on chicken – on everything. Just a tiny bit of this spice packs a flavorful punch.

Today, we are Cooking With What We Have by rolling a roasted chicken into a tasty stew and here is what it will be:

  • 1 chicken carcass and related left over chicken meat
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 diced onions
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • 1 large cubed potato
  • the last 8 ounces of last week’s green chili stew
  • 1 quart green beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp bourbon smoked paprika

Directions: Cook in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken bones – salt and pepper to taste.

What happens with this stew is that the bones make the water into a great broth and the additional liquid from the green beans and other vegetables mellows into it for additional flavor. The bourbon smoked paprika lends that smoky overtone to the soup.

Like the Himalayan salt I like to keep on hand, Bourbon Barrel Foods’ Bourbon Smoked Paprika is something I always have in my kitchen. One of these tins usually lasts a year.

The only drawback to this product at all is the packaging. I find it difficult to unscrew the lid on this style of tin, perhaps because as I get older, my gripping power appears to be waning.

I cannot recommend this product enough. Full disclosure, the Amazon links do result in a tiny commission for me.

Today’s topic was suggested on the Mewe chat group. Someone wondered if I could give a breakdown of project tracking systems and pros and cons. Then Mama Sauce showed up in town and I thought what better way to do this than to interview her – the person who has been with me through practically all of the gyrations and tribulations of FIVE different tracking systems until we have landed on what we use today.

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It is Wednesday so it is a homesteading day and what better topic to think about, dream about and focus on when it is 95 degrees outside and 95% humidity, than preparing for winter? 

#HollerHatWednesday: WHY IS SHE WITH THE TRN AND what is everyone around her doing?

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 Today, I talk about some of the mental instability that is increasingly visible because of tools like Mewe and Facebook – and to encourage reactions in kindness.

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You’ve heard me talk about the Encyclopedia of Country Living before on the show. This is a guide to everything household from growing food, to cooking a rattle snake, managing livestock, to handling a birth at home. Carla Emory set out to collect recipes and processes from the moment she began her life in the country. She noticed that much of this information was being lost as people grew old and died. What started as a book she thought would be written quickly grew into a giant reference.

And yet, the Encyclopedia of Country Living is also a good read. Carla’s writing style is accessible. She does a great job if interspersing stories with processes. And she knows her stuff.

If I only had one book that I was allowed to have out here in the Holler, this would be that book. I keep it close at hand for reference for anything from canning times to bacon curing ratios. In fact, I have bought two copies of this book because I wore out my first one from reading it so many times — and I do not usually read things more than one time.

If you are already on your homestead, dreaming of going to one, or simply interested in learning new skills as part of your urban homestead experience, this is the book to get.

A look at the homesteader as a whole person. What makes a homesteader successful or not successful? Well, it turns out that there are some things that many successful homesteaders have in common and today we will talk about four of them.

#HollerHatWednesday: Where is she and who is she with?

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Today we talk about today and its role in building the life you choose to live on your terms. Because today is the first day of the rest of your life.

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Today is Friday so we have a thought of the walk and there has not been one of these in quite awhile since I took Fridays off in July. And today’s topic was sparked as part of a conversation over on our Mewe group about bullying. Because kids are mean, right? Or is it the artificial situations we put them in? But we will talk more about that in the main content of today’s show.

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Today, we will address a set of homestead/food freedom related questions: What to do with too much squash, composting outhouses, keeping your animals alive in the heat of the summer, small business finance, self-publishing and more.

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Today, I am on vacation so we have a replay episode and this is one from just about a year ago. It is all about #My3Things. This was the initial kickoff of that concept on this podcast and I thought it would be fun to revisit it a year later and think about how things have grown over this past year, the relationships you have developed with one another, and how many things we have all gotten accomplished in that time!

Now…off to sip a cocktail by the pool!

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Make it a great week!