Making Homemade Bacon

“The only thing better than bacon…. is MORE bacon”  This classic quote from my Grandfather could actually be made better: “The only thing better than more bacon…. is HOMEMADE bacon!”

“I’ve never tasted bacon like this” said my husband this past weekend – i fried up a ‘rasher’ of bacon and served it with fresh eggs and english muffins…. to.die.for. The flavor of my cure was subtle, the texture of the meat was delicate and flakey: this was definitely not store bacon. Slicing it it evenly was next to impossible, but it was actually fun to have thin and thick/ crispy and meaty pieces to try. I still have 3 bellies to experiment with and i can’t wait to try some slightly different flavors, though this was as delicious as it needed to be!

Making bacon might sound like touchy feely, hippy, homesteader, foodie nonsense – but it is actually really simple. The only ‘special’ ingredient you need is Pink Salt which you can get on Amazon or from www.ButcherPacker.com (they have supplies for all your curing/sausage making needs).  An essential book for anybody wanting to learn how to smoke/cure/sausage make is: Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing (Revised and Updated). They break down the basics and leave room for experimentation. I used their basic bacon cure recipe and added a few flavors of my own: maple syrup, crushed red peppers and cracked black pepper. The resultant bacon is just SLIGHTLY spicey and has a subtle richness from the maple. I really wish you could taste it!

Making bacon is a very simple process: Brine (coat in salt/sugar mixture and let sit in the fridge in a plastic bag for about a week, flipping every other day), smoke (for a few hours in a smoker, or until it reaches 150 in a proper smokehouse), bring up to temp (150) in a low oven. Cut off the skin, cool, package, enjoy :)

Finding fresh pork belly might be tricky depending where you’re located, but you should be able to get some from your local butcher, market or farmer’s market. I purchased half a Red Wattle hog from a neighbor and had the butcher leave all the ‘spare parts’ for me to try my hand at curing. I borrowed the same neighbor’s smoker to add the smoke flavor – but think next time i’ll just use my propane grill – place the belly on the top rack to one side and put wood chips on the other side with low heat on. A few hours in smoke does it then you finish off the warming process in a low oven until the belly reaches 150 degrees (a meat thermometer is essential).

I can’t wait to post more bacon recipes soon! And to eat more bacon! Have you ever made your own bacon or sausage?

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Filed under Chicken, Cooking, Preserved Food

Custom Pet Portrait by Fiber Friends: Cody from Singapore

I sent a little Fiber Friend on a long trip last week and he arrived safely in Singapore to meet his real life muse, Cody the Pembroke Welsh Corgi!

Cody’s mom requested a wide smile, so that’s what she got. Open mouthed Fiber Friends are a little tricky, but the result is quite fetching, don’t you think?

In between custom orders i’ve been working on some fun seasonal items. Get your cute and collectible Fiber Friends in time for Easter!

Find holiday collectibles, custom pet portraits and more Fiber Friends at www.FiberFriendsOnline.com!

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Filed under Dogs/ Corgis, Felting, Fiber Fridays, Fiber Friends, Fibers

Happy Birthday, Pocket!

My breast pocket is full of sweet potato and duck cookies: Pocket get as many treats as she wants on her birthday!

Pocket is 4 years old today. Born to Fiesty, a striking 20 pound corgi with a wide white blaze over one eye in Bandera, TX, Pocket has always been a country girl at heart, though she started life in a small backyard in Austin, shared with 4 hens bigger than her. She hated the traffic and longed for an open space long enough to chase a flying frisbee without bashing into the fence. She’s always been a great helper, though i do think she thinks she’s a chicken…

Lucky for her and us, she now calls 17 acres her territory, including her own creek to splash in. I’d never had a ‘house dog’ before and must admit not enjoying potty training in Texas July, aka still 90 degrees at 1 am for the third potty shift. Now, i can’t imagine not having a corgi at my side everywhere i go, from the studio to the bathroom to the barn…. She’s the best sidekick!



She’s always been a little thing, difficult to keep weight on her athletic frame. She runs fast enough to be an ideal Flyball dog and isn’t afraid of 11 mile hikes. We switched her to a whole prey raw diet several years ago and she has flourished on it! Ranging between 20-21 pounds and rippling with meat tearing muscles, she’s as healthy a corgi as i’ve seen.

Pocket on her ‘gotchya’ day, at 2 am, after hours in San Antonio traffic:

My diligent obedience training began day one and has truly paid off: she can now go most places leash free and be trusted to be calm and gentle with even the smallest charges to look after. We hope to continue her herding training soon so that she can be a true working corgi on our farm – we need her help with all these pesky critters!



With no human children of our own, Pocket is truly our fur-baby. She’s also the muse for my small business, Fiber Friends and helps me to connect with corgi lovers all over the world. I hope we can celebrate many more birthdays with our sweet red and white Texas girl.


I love you, Pocket! Happy birthday!

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Filed under Dogs/ Corgis, Pocket Pause

Private Lessons and Workshops from Fiber Friends

Who would have guessed…. i really like teaching!  I must admit – it’s taken me a while to warm up to the concept of teaching, despite having 3 generations of teachers behind me. I have now taught just about all ages, from tiny kiddos almost too young to hold a needle to retirees looking for a fun skill to fill their time. Not being a mom or person very familiar with children, I’d say i enjoy the older kids better than the young ( honestly – 8 or 9 is pushing it when it comes to handling very sharp needles!). But, i had no idea i could have SO MUCH FUN teaching, until yesterday!

Thank you to the 9 ladies who joined me at Stash yarn shop in Corvallis, yesterday. Teaching grownups equals maybe my favorite thing ever. :) I can’t wait to teach more classes and i hope you’ll consider being my next student. Check out the sparkley new page at Fiber Friends Online with info on how to hire leetle ole me to teach you how to needle-felt. I’m actively looking for students anywhere from 12 years and up and will consider the younger kids for basic classes. Group discounts are available!

Just look what you could make (and keep in mind these little animals had their finishing stage a bit rushed):

I hope to teach you soon! I’m currently working on my spring and summer schedule, so contact me today with workshop ideas and requests and check out my  website for more info on pricing and workshop schedule as it develops.

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Filed under About, Fiber Friends, Fibers, Me