Double-Blind Taste Test


Found Object

The pigs dig up a lot of odd things in the fields and gardens. Bottles, farming implements, axe heads, boots and other assorted sundries. The funny part is they don’t dig much – but where they do dig they find interesting things. My guess is they can smell the iron, boot leather or other stuff below the soil much like hunting truffles or tasty roots and grubs.

I saw them messing with the item above and put it on the stumps by the fence while I was checking lines. What is it? Care to guess in comments? Clues: it was probably made in the middle of the 1900’s, the age of infernal conflagration machines. Flip, flop and limping home or not at all. My guess is it was being used for logging, hopefully in the winter. It is iron, probably six inches wide and 14″ long. I’ll explain more below.

While you’re looking at the photo notice the snow depth relative to the fence line… That is the top wire of our four wire high-tensile 12.5 guage electrified perimeter fence around the south field. Probably 40″ high in that spot.


A funny thing happened the other night and I have a confession – I’m a food snob. I didn’t even know it until last night. I like good food but I’ve never been particularly picky, being willing to eat virtually anything. Food is more a fuel for my body than anything else. But last night I learned differently.

Last night we did a double-blind taste test with:

1. a generic brand of Hot Dogs we have bought from the store for years.

2. Applegate Organic Beef Hot Dogs from the health food store – a national producer.

3. Local pasture raised beef Hot Dogs from the coop food store.

4. Our own pasture raised pork Hot Dogs that we began making this winter.

I had not anticipated the results at all:

Everyone but our young (4yo) daughter spat out the generic hot dogs (#1). We’ve eaten them for years with nary a complaint but now they taste awful in comparison. I was shocked. Lili, one of our guardian dogs said they were just fine and I let her have the rest of mine.

#2 was okay but nobody particularly liked it. It’s “Organic” but not all that good.

#3 was good. It is a good beef hot dog.

Astonishingly, everyone picked #4, our own hot dogs, as being far superior. Okay, so maybe we’ve gotten used to them but it was a blind test.

I never was picky about food, or at least I didn’t think I was, but apparently I’m a food snob now… :) Truth is, the store bought foods don’t taste as good as what we raise. Once we get raising something of our own, be it eggs, meat, veggies, fruit, what ever, we don’t tend to want to go back to the store versions. We notice it on occasion when we have to buy store bought eggs. They just aren’t the same. It’s funny how we get so spoiled.


So what is that mystery item? Why was it there? Hmm… It’s rectangular iron. Holes in it. Very heavy… Ah-ha! It’s a section of tread off of a small bulldozer. Lloyd Hutchins, the gentleman we bought our land from had a small bulldozer which he used for logging and other things. He might have been pulling wood when the tread on the dozer broke in what is now our south field. The plate looks fine so it is odd that he left it there – normally he would have kept something like that as it might be useful later.

Outdoors: 32°F/14°F Sunny
Farm House: 58°F/46°F
Tiny Cottage: 62°F/53°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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11 Responses to Double-Blind Taste Test

  1. pablo says:

    The man who built our lake lost a blade from his dozer. It’s somewhere out under the water now or buried in the dam. He didn’t charge me for it.

  2. Lisa says:

    I had to laugh at your hot dog snobbery! When we lived in Singapore and went to the movies for the first time there, I was craving a hot dog. But they looked kind of pale rolling around on that machine. Try it, said hubby, they are probably made without all the food coloring and will be even better! So got one, took a bite and …arg! it was a chicken hot dog! Not only was it not what i was expecting, but the bite kinda *grew* in my mouth! Yuck!

  3. Danny says:

    I thought it was a piece of roof a shingle or something like that but that didnt fit your clues at all. I never would have guessed. Pretty cool about the ax heads. Do they find indian arrow heads too?

  4. Alecto says:

    Yes, well, my sixteen year old ate your bacon, your ground pork and your ham steaks and is now entirely clear that it’s Walter’s pigs or nothin’! (which means ‘good luck with that darlin’, til next year or Grandpa brings you some)

  5. Patti says:

    We had a simular experance with pork chops. It was the first year we bouhgt pork from Sugar Creek Farm here in Town. We had been enjoying it for a few months when I came across a frozen package of pork chops and thawed them for dinner. On bite and I said”ICK How could these have gone bad in the freezer???” Then I realized they were the last pork chops I had bought from the store and they were not rotten. A huge taste difference!!!

  6. noble pig says:

    A piggy farm…how cool is that! Sounds like you have some good dogs! I love your site, enjoyable!

  7. I know what you mean. Since we’ve been eating our own home rasied eggs, I can’t imagine trying to stomach store bought. I’d ratehr just go without.

    You had me drooling over the hot dog taste test. I’ve yet to taste a hot dog I like, so I wish we lived close enouh where we could buy your pork. I’m betting that I’d finally find a hot dog I liked….

  8. LauraP says:

    Oh, yummmmm, hot dogs without all the ‘extras’. Yep, I’m a food snob, too. As for that mystery metal, it’s a favorite game here on this old farm. It ranks right up with ‘what do you suppose that bone came from?’

  9. Alison says:

    I never meant to become a food snob, and I still don’t think of myself as one. But I know exactly what you mean. Once you get used to real food, it’s hard to go back. The great news for us laypeople is that it makes much of the junky stuff totally unappealing. Not all of it – at least not yet. But some.

    (I actually have had trouble with hotdogs since 7th grade, when my ahead-of-her-time cooking teacher told us what goes in to most hot dogs. It was the kind of story that sticks with a person. Your hot dogs I would eat, though).

  10. Kristin says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your column since I came across it when trying to price out our pigs earlier this fall. Thanks for all the enlightening and lively information. We now produce most of our own meat on our farm (I refuse to have bovines on the property, so we get our beef from a neighboring farm) and of course fruits and veggies. I understand the food snob sentiment. It’s impossible to go back!

  11. David G says:

    I understand becoming a food snob. I started making my own sausage last fall and after I ran out of pork, I bought some from the store. It tasted bland, I used to love this brand too. Most of my pork is hunted wild so it has much more fat and flavor than what is available at the store.

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