Archive for the ‘Hillside Homestead News’ Category

Home-Grown Pork for Sale

October 29th, 2014 by Susan Odom

At long last I am able to offer my home grown pork for sale! Fresh Pork that was raised right here at Hillside Homestead. I have 3 pigs available for purchase. They were raised right here on my small farm with feed that was grown in Grand Traverse County and purchased from Send Brothers in Williamsburg, Michigan. I supplemented their regular ration with scraps from my kitchen, cherries (seconds that were discarded for imperfections) and lots and lots of windfall apples and a few pears. They will be butchered on Monday Nov 3, 2014 at Ebel’s in Falmouth, Michigan a USDA approved facility, The meat will be available about a week later. There are two ways to order, a side of pork (a half of a hog) or individual cuts.

Home-Grown Pork for sale

Home-grownh pork for sale at Hillside Homestead! These hogs lived a good life and ate well on a small farm.

A side of pork will yield about 75 to 100 pounds on my hogs. There are two fees to pay. The first fee goes to me, the farmer for raising the meat and that fee is $300 per side of pork. The second fee you pay directly to Ebel’s for butchering and processing your meat and their fee will range from $200-$300 depending on your order. If you are interested in a half a hog fill out this cut sheet I will deliver your pork free of charge if you live in Leelanau or Grand Traverse Counties. Please contact me with questions, I am glad to help.

Also individual cuts of home-grown pork, pork chops, ribs, tenderloin and ground pork, will be available to purchase from my freezer. The price for individual cuts is $10 per pound. Please contact me directly to purchase, 231-271-1131 or

I am sorry for the late notice on this pork opportunity! But please do let me know as soon as possible if you are interested. I realize the prices I have listed here are much higher than grocery store prices, but these hogs have lived a good life and eaten well, plenty of space, fresh air, clean water and a muddy, watery wallow on hot days. I have cared for them every day. And the prices listed here represent the true costs of feed and labor. Thanks so much for your consideration


Apple Butter Recipe

October 25th, 2014 by Susan Odom

Once a year at Hillside Homestead we make the supply of apple butter. We follow a common 19th century apple butter recipe which have no added sugar. It makes sense to do this because we use a thirty gallon copper kettle, an eight foot long paddle and one huge roaring fire! It is a big project and best to get it all done in a day. I have some wonderful friends who come and help me do this and it is great fun to share it with the public! So an annual event was born; The Apple Bee.

The apples have just been added and now for the big boil!

The apples have just been added and now for the big boil!

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The Apple Bee at Hillside Homestead – Oct 26 noon to 5pm

September 20th, 2014 by Susan Odom

 The Apple Bee

Sunday Oct 26 from noon to 5pm

Free Heritage Event – Families Welcome

All are invited to Hillside Homestead’s fourth Annual  Fall event, 


The Apple Bee fun will include….
  • Making the annual Apple Butter! We will use a 30 gallon copper kettle outside over a roaring fire and boil down 15 gallons of sweet apple cider and 3 bushels of apples! This is the main course of our Apple Bee!
  • Historic cooking demos in the farm kitchen and tastings too! All things apple and historic will be baked, fried and simmered! Lingering in the kitchen is always part of the fun at the Apple Bee!
  • NEW! Hand sewing experience…Please join Jamie Burton, a sewer of all things oldey-timey, for a quick class on the basics of hand sewing. You’ll learn a few basic stitches and even walk away with your own creation: a scented sachet to add color and fragrance to any room in your house or to tuck under your pillow to help you sleep at night (just like the Victorians did!). There is a materials fee of $5 for this add-on opportunity.
  • Tours of the farmhouse
  • Visit with the farm animals which include, 6 pigs, 8 sheep, a bunch of chickens, ducks, Gypsy the Goose and Champ the horse! My neighbor, Rose Jelinek, is bringing her horse over for the afternoon!
  • And plenty of time for visiting and lollygagging on the porch, in the parlour or thereabouts. I hope you can make it to the Apple Bee!
The apples have just been added and now for the big boil!

The apples have just been added and now for the big boil!


peeling apples at the Hillside Homestead Apple Bee

Miss Sadie peeling apples! Lots and lots of apples

Mary and Jamie cooking and talking with guests in the kitchen at Hillside Homestead during the apple bee

Mary and Jamie cooking and talking with guests in the kitchen at Hillside Homestead

Bubble bowling with Katie!

Bubble bowling with Katie!

Enjoying the tree swing in the front yard!

Enjoying the tree swing in the front yard!


Enjoying the view at Hillside Homestead

Enjoying the view at Hillside Homestead



Historical Mad Lib – Fun at Parties – Downloadable Copy!

June 22nd, 2014 by Susan Odom

Well here we sit on the longest day of the year as we prepare for our big Farmhouse Frolic tomorrow! We are all so excited, we will be waxing eggs, bubble bowling, making rhubarb sauce, playing games, watching pigs, ducks and chickens and so much more!!!!

Visiting with the chickens--just one fun activity at the Frolic!

We have had just a wonderful day preparing! Such great and wonderful friends I have here to help!

One thing we could not quite fit into the schedule was a ‘mad lib’ found in a wonderful book called “The American Girls Handy Book” which was published  in 1887! It is called “Biographical Nonsense” which is basically a mad lib! I am providing it here as a download! Print it off and have a blast! Who know that there were historic mad libs. Great fun at a party!


I hope to see you all at the Farmhouse Frolic!


Turnip Kraut

March 12th, 2014 by Susan Odom

Yes, you read that right, turnip kraut. That is my most recent historic food experiment.

Turnip Kraut - my first try at fermenting turnips.

Turnip Kraut – my first try at fermenting turnips.

I’ve made sauerkraut for years, the old way, nicely shredded cabbage layered with salt and allowed to naturally ferment in a crock. I had read and heard that it could be done with turnips and I always wanted to try that. And then like magic the turnip fairy came and brought me about 25 pounds of turnips. So when I found the turnips on the porch I knew what I had to do.

By the way Nic Welty runs a nice farm around here called 9 Bean Rows.  And some have said they have seen him drop off turnips on porches, although I’ve never seen that myself. I don’t have to see it, I believe in the turnip fairy!

Now-a-days ‘krauting’ is called lacto-fermentation or cultured vegetables. It is all essentially the same thing. It is a way of preserving vegetables. Pickles use vinegar. Jam uses jelly. Kraut uses fermentation.

So I followed the recipe at the top of this page, circa 1930. And then just today a great historic foodie friend, Pat Reber, sent me this recipe from Philadelphia in 1909…

Turnip Kraut.-—Peel and grate enough turnips in a crock to make a layer about 2 inches deep in the bottom of a 1-gallon jar. Sprinkle a teaspoonful of salt over it. Grate enough to make another 2-inch layer. then a teaspoonful of salt as before, and so on until jar is full. Cover with a plate that will fit down inside the jar. Put a weight on and tie a thick white cloth over top. A smooth clean rock is good for a weight. Some people use smoothing iron for such things, but that is not good for the kraut, nor the iron, either. It will take kraut 10 days or two weeks before ready for use. Should be kept in kitchen where it is warm. The Practical Farmer, Nov. 10, 1909

The two recipes are very similar. I opened up my crock of turnip kraut today…… well not quite. I tried to open it up but the wooden disc I put inside to keep the kraut down under the brine was swollen stuck! I paused for a moment and wondered what will I do? Then it dawns on me; I should ask the guys at Woodbine to help me. Woodbine is this amazing place in Suttons Bay where lumber is turned into furniture/art/apple butter paddles, machines are refurbished or reinvented, old boats are made new, flesh forks are straightened, unique metal parts are fabricated for making cider and many more wondrous and amazing miracles that I can barely understand. The machinery there astounds and there is this really nice cat named Oliver. I knew those guys could get that disc out of my crock. Those guys are great.

Jim, Gary and Fred, in intervals tried a few different approaches, which was all very entertaining. In the end a small saw was produced and the disc was removed without damaging the crock or the turnip kraut. Gary and I tasted some right away and were both quite pleased. It is nice to know that a girl like me can get a little help at place like Woodbine. It is all is so serendipitous. Jim, you know, is responsible for the beautiful built-ins in my house.

The dining room hutch that Jim built. Made of walnut.

The dining room hutch that Jim built. Made of walnut.

Anyway – back to opening the turnip kraut… once the kraut was opened and it was tasted I have to say I am very pleasantly surprised. I’m not a huge fan of the turnip, cooked with other root vegetables it is pretty good. But man oh man, this turnip kraut is just the thing. Crunchy, tangy, a bit peppery hot, strong flavored, not too sour – oh my gosh I’m sold. I like it better than sauerkraut.  It was not that hard to make and only took about 2 weeks to ferment.

Turnip Kraut in the crock

Turnip Kraut in the crock

I plan to serve it as a relish with meals, I think it will go well with pork and poultry and sandwiches with meat. It would also be very nice with some dry cured sausages, cheeses, quince paste and a few walnuts and I think some Riesling.

Turnip Kraut – I’m impressed.