Sunday, August 23, 2009

Homemade Bacon - an inbetween update.

So... I made it.

In fact it's been over a year since I made it. Why didn't I post anything? I'm not sure. Up until recently I didn't have the motivation to post much of anything on this blog. Not that I didn't want to post things - I just wasn't in the mood to actually do it. But I'm trying to change that; at least write what I can - picture included or not. So I'll give you the rundown on the bacon I made last year.

I got two slabs of pork belly from Savenor's on Charles St. I ordered *pink* curing salt online. And I combined the two with kosher salt and for each slab a different flavoring. The first was going to be chipotle maple but I couldn't find chipotle powder. Instead I just used chili powder and maple syrup. The second slab was flavored with lots of black pepper and some liquid smoke seasoning - seeing as I don't actually own a smoker.

I double ziplock bagged each belly and let it sit for a week. Or was it two? Can't actually remember.

Afterwards I baked them in the oven for an hour or two (or more?) at a fairly low tempurature.

All of these processes were adapted from posts I had read on homemade bacon.

After the baking and then some frying... The results?

Pretty good. I didn't have any huge complaints except that they were a little too salty - didn't add enough sugar to balance I suppose. But it was certainly bacon so I was fairly proud.

I think I will try this again. Tweak things a bit. And I have learned my father possesses a smoker at his studio so maybe I'll bring them over there when it's time for the first cooking.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Become Friends With Cheese

Facebook has progressed far beyond connecting college kids with new and old acquaintances, into one of the largest social and marketing networks in the world. Nowadays people can find their favorite local businesses and become fans and suggest that their friends do the same. In some cases it just gets the name of the shop out there, in others fans can receive updates on events, new products and even get exclusive discounts on merch and services.

Whether it's your favorite Pizzeria or Kitchen Supply Store or Bakery you can probably find it and friend it on Facebook.

The newest addition to this lineup? Cheese Shops. Across the country cheese shops are popping up on Facebook. And honestly, who doesn't love cheese? Whether it's Gouda, Gruyere, Petit Basque or Petit Billy almost everyone has at least one cheese they can't do without.

So I'm encouraging all of you to log onto Facebook, find your local Formaggerie, and Become Friends with Cheese.

Here's a few that I've found so far.

Boston Cheese Cellar
Boston, MA

The Cheese Shop (Wasik's)
Wellesley, MA

Newcastle Cheese Shop
Newcastle, CA

The Truffle Cheese Shop
Denver, CO

France 44 Cheese Shop
Minneapolis, MN

Old City Cheese Shop
Philadelphia, PA

Bedford Cheese Shop
Brooklyn, NY

Marion Street Cheese Market
Oak Park, IL

The Cheese Shop on Park
Winter Park, Florida