Monday, June 20, 2016

Now is the Summer of This Content

Bacon in its early stages.  For this year's attempt, I am going back to a dry salting, at a rate of 1.75% vs. the weight of meat.  Generous but not excessive amounts of ground black pepper were added, along with cumin and cayenne pepper.  

It looks great.  I was worried when I got the belly that it was so thin.  But wedging it into the cambro I got for makin' bacon seems to be contracting it and thickening things a little.  The salt is finding its way in, and the lean is pinking up nicely.  I suppose that must have a contractile effect?  There's a little bit of water in the bottom of the tub, but not really that much.

I'm about to quit my job.  It feels so good to be on the brink of a new beginning.  Very encouraging is how excited ma femme is for me.  I hope I get a lot done in my time off before whatever happens happens.  I have a list of Things to Clean, Things to Fix, and Things to Make.  They are full and filling up.  I shall not want for lack of things to do.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


Brewing tea: some for me, some for the tea mushroom.

I recently went on a winter camping trip, and it was very cold.  Normally this is not a problem.  We also walked very far with heavy packs.  Normally this is also not a problem.  Our camp stove did not work properly.  This can be overcome.  All things can be overcome.  

Just not all at once.

I don't know whether the cold and exertion weakened my immune system, or whether the snow we melted and neglected to boil (because the campfire was going out and it was getting dark and I was starting to shiver more than I like) had something in it.  Maybe it was those things combined with the heavy, fatty, dairy-rich meals I had on my return.  Let's just say that on the Oregon Trail of life I was one of the innumerable victims of dysentery.

So to counteract the bad bacteria I had picked up, I went to the store and bought everything I could find with good bacteria in it.  Three kinds of 'kraut, kimchi, GoodBelly juice, and some NessAlla kombucha.  Within 24 hours, I was feeling better.  I've been sticking to a much healthier diet for about two weeks since then; I feel great, and I'm losing weight.

Making pots upon pots of high-quality whole-leaf tea continues to be part of my "routine" so there's plenty of tea around to make kombucha. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Candi Sugar

Come closer...


Closer still...

Too close!

No, wait, that's actually the most delicious thing I've ever tasted. 

I made some Belgian candi syrup to add to the Westvleteren 12 clone I will attempt to brew.  I bought some readymade syrup to compare, and what I made came out pretty close.  And it was a lot of fun, watching the sugar boil and slowly evolve as the temperature crept up.  It seems to take forever as its climbing up (a watched pot and all that) but then it's all panic as you approach the target temperature.