Well preserved

I made another batch of bacon the week before last – we still have not done anything about a smoker, it looks rather complicated and the green bacon is really nice anyway.  It’s been hanging to dry out in the attic over the weekend and this morning, I brought it down, cut off the rind (and chopped it and roasted it into scratchings, which are delicious) and put the chunk of bacon, with a couple of rubber bands round it, in the freezer.  And forgot about it.  So it was there for about four hours before LT remembered, fetched it and sliced it on his electric slicer.  He said it was pretty well effortless, much easier than on previous occasions.  So we must remember to chill it more in future.

Writing this made me remember that I’d made yoghurt last night and that needed to be potted up.  So I’ve done that too.  We’ve just eaten home-made scones with home-made damson jam and had home-made cucumber relish with our cheese at lunchtime.  I’m not sure if all this home-preserving is a fad or if it’ll last, but it certainly tastes good.

We were just about to have lunch when the phone rang and it was Wink, to let us know she’d arrived safely in Chennai.  She didn’t have the best of journeys: in the first instance because the plane was two hours late taking off from Heathrow.  They just sat there on the tarmac, waiting.  Then there were massive queues at Mumbai so she missed her connection and then had great difficulty finding a taxi driver who had any idea of the way to her friend Kamala’s house in Chennai.  I’ve been in that situation before, when he will assure you he knows the way – they’re very helpful and reassuring – but have only the vaguest idea.  Road signs are pretty well non-existent.  But she arrived in the end.  It’s a beautiful house and she and Kamala have been great friends for nearly fifty years.  K’s daughters and their families will be there for Christmas too, it’ll all be lovely.  Then Wink will go to Kerala for a week and then fly on to visit English friends in Singapore.  So she’ll be away for a month.  It’ll be her 70th birthday next year and she’s only just retired from full-time work, so she intends to do exactly what she wants from now on, for as long as she can and wants to.


5 comments on “Well preserved

  1. Z Post author

    The picture is from Alex’s shop window from some years ago – he was very inventive in his themed decorations!

    The challah looks fabulous, I think enriched doughs are tricky enough without plaiting them! We have gone a bit OTT with preserves, but something needs to be done with all these vegetables we keep growing. And the bacon is a revelation, I fry it in a dry pan and not a drop of water comes out, quite different from the stuff you buy.

  2. 63mago

    Very good to hear that your sister arrived well. I hope she can enjoy her liberty to “do exactly what she wants from now on” for a long time.

    About bacon – you mentioning bacon brings back memories of what my grandfather did, who was a butcher by profession. He would go to the colleague who butchered swine his son (my oncle) had brought up and request bacon / Schinken, I do not know exactly what parts, without bone, and the he would tread them at home. I am not sure whether he put them into salt, but know for sure that he hung them into the chimney. He used a mix of wooden “chips” that would smolder (“glimmen”) under them for weeks. It was among this stuff wood shavings from beech tree (“Buche”), something special because you do not cut down a beechtree often, but if you have to anything is used, even the sawdust. Then additional woods could come in that gave a taste, but I know all this only from memory and sporadically, simply because I was a kid. I think I tasted this meat the last time circa thirty years ago, sometimes in the late 1980s. And yes, no shrinkage in the pan.
    All persons involved, except me, are dead, the house is gone.

    (Sorry for the blue note.)

    1. Z Post author

      Dear Mago, nostalgia sometimes makes me melancholy too. All gone. I know.
      But there will still be bacon. And friendship, always.


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