I’ve been slammed this week, and now have to travel, if I can get out in this blizzard. But last week I put a whole pork belly on the cure. I’d given it a sweet cure, brown sugar, maple syrup and black pepper, because I wanted to smoke it rather than make pancetta. It was done yesterday but I had no time to smoke it.  Our lives get busy, we don’t have time to finish something, sometimes we’re too tired or the kids have a snow day. What’s so great about charcuterie, as with this bacon, is its preserved.  There’s no hurry. I’ll smoke it next week, and until then, it’s going to sit out, somewhere out of the way. The salt cure has taken care of the bacteria. Its drying will prevent new spoilage Read On »

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Helen York shares her five culinary goals for 2011.  What are yours? via The Atlantic.

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To those who celebrate Christmas, merry Christmas!  To all, my best wishes and hopes for great celebrations, being together with friends and family, and a festive and bountiful holiday. Thanks for reading this blog and to those who take the time and care to comment, thanks for the great conversation all year long!

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Congrats to Aaron Haley, a former line-cook and current project manager for a non-profit in Austin, Texas, who won the new immersion circulator from Polyscience.  Aaron writes, “I write about food for several local blogs and I cook quite often for pleasure now, just got done canning a bunch of pickled items last night. I’m dying to cook the perfect 68 degree egg and local pork belly as well as work my way through Under Pressure, might be a new blog. :-)” Congratulations, Aaron, and happy sous viding! Glad you have Under Pressure already—now it will really come in handy. The following are a sampling of the 1600+ comments we recieved: Matt Reed If chosen, I promise to use it only for evil. I will lash it to a frame of jagged metal and splintered Read On »

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We live in a time of unprecedented interest in, and care for, food and all the issues that surround its growing, harvesting, purveyance, and its cooking.  This interest happened because we were on the brink of losing good food altogether, with farmers disappearing and the masses abandoning the kitchen, handing over our farming to Monsanto and giving our most fundamental and exclusively human act, cooking, over to the ConAgras and McDonalds.  (ConAgra, one of our biggest food processors, is that name a joke on us?! Con, against, Agra, agriculuture—against agriculture! At least they’re open about it!) We only become reflective about something we’d previously taken for granted when it becomes imperiled. I’m not saying that rampant diabetes in teenagers, epidemic obesity, social fragmentation and alienation, nitrogen runoff in our rivers and oceans, oceans increasingly depleted Read On »

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