Hey Pack! Spring is just about sprung here in the Northeast and I couldn’t be happier!
Whoa, hold up! It feels weird to start without a brief explanation. I’ll be doing my best at filling Tara’s shoes for a few months with bi-weekly articles.
Introductions All Around
Everyone, meet M. I. Grey. M. I. Grey meet everyone.
A few words about myself before we get started. I’m a father, a husband, a perpetual learner, a suburban commuter, and for the last year and a half, I’ve been a contributing author to Survival Sullivan and The Survivalist Blog.
I’m blessed with the best family a man could hope for. I have a supporting wife (Lady Grey) and a kiddo that I’m not sure what I did, in this life or the last, to deserve her. Lil’ Grey is the best.
My 9-5 job involves a long commute (e.g., lots and lots of prepper podcasts) and a fair amount of travel (I preferred the Acropolis to Dubai, and I’d go back to Africa in a heartbeat).
I’m a lifelong learner and try to take a class every year. I’ve taken classes on foraging mushrooms, trauma medicine, urban survival, and counter custody (getting pepper-sprayed and tazed isn’t all that bad).
At my core, I’m a prepper. I spend a good portion of my day listening, reading, and writing about preparedness. Every day I hope to be one more step ahead in the game of survival.
I’m not sure I can fill the shoes of Tara, but I’ll try to share what I do and what I’ve learned. Most of all, I want to learn from you!
Ok, back to what I did this week…
Of Cured Meats and Camp Season
We’ve been on a cured meat kick all winter. It all started with a batch of biltong for an article last spring. That’s grown into an obsession. One batch turned into two, then four. The next thing I knew, a colleague from South Africa was sending me 5-pounds of traditional spices.
All winter, whenever roasts were on sale, we picked one up. A week later, we sampled a little biltong for quality control and vacuum-packed the rest. This week we added another batch. We now have a nice pile that is ready for weekend snacks at camp (more on that later).
Around Thanksgiving, I got the urge to learn about curing pork. As with most things prepping, I hit the internet, read, read, and read.
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Armed with a few UMAi bags, a pork butt, and 5 pounds of pork loin we started on the 4-month adventure that ended this week.
Cutting into the Capicola (pork butt) and Lonzino (pork loin) was an experience out of this world. The smell, the texture, and how it melts on your tongue was worth every day!
So why invest so much time into preserving meat? Two words. Camp Season!
We have a little off-grid place about as close to Canada as you can get without mispronouncing “about.” It’s our fortress of solitude. The loudest thing about it is the trout stream.
You see, the road is closed due to snow from November through April. So unless we want to hike a mile through three feet of snow, we wait.
In the years that we’ve owned it, we’ve established a few traditions. S’mores made with marshmallow peeps. Old-time radio on the MP3 player. Cured meats, fresh bread, and cheese for lunch.
Either we’re too busy working to make a traditional lunch, or we’re too relaxed. Meat and cheese fit the bill for both moods.
After the first year, I started in on making fresh bread. Within a few trips, I adapted my home recipe to the confines of camp. Lunch then centered around a warm loaf fresh from the oven.
Now we will have the luxury of our own meats to go with the warm bread. Next is cheese.
Next weekend we will hopefully open the camp season. Supplies need to be brought in. These are mostly soups, stews, vegetables, and pie fillings that we’ve canned in the last 6-9 months. Add in a few jars of dehydrated fruits, and we’ll eat like kings.
Next week will be the airing out, vacuuming, and dusting. But this week there’s packing!
Last year’s list has been consulted. Meals have been planned. Amazon boxes have been brought out of storage. I can smell camp as we pack up the bedding. It’s so close!
This Week’s Questions:
- What have you prepped over the winter in anticipation of spring?
- Have you ever tried curing meat? If so, what has been your favorite?
- What’s the one thing about spring and summer that you are looking forward to?
- Are there any skills that you are researching right now?
Thanks for joining me on one prepper’s journey. I hope to see you in the comment section!