Food is engaging much of our thoughts at present. As we had some lovely home-made chicken stock in the fridge, LT volunteered to make minestrone soup. He’s the acknowledged expert in all matters Italian – though, when we discussed it later, it transpired that his minestrone isn’t vastly different from mine. Anyway, he put in a single jalapeño pepper, the same that was almost untasteable with the mussels – and it was really very spicy, in several pints of soup. Delicious, but Sicilian more than Italian, he said.
Having sliced and frozen much of our bacon, I used some of the remainder in a warm salad tonight – home-grown spinach, potato croutons (I’m sorry, I know that croutons are specifically bread and that there’s a circumflex accent in there, but let’s be adaptable, innit), avocado and the bacon cut into little bits – and it was so good. I also rendered down the bacon skin, into fat and pork scratchings. Blimey, the scratchings were tasty.
I went to the butcher and bought another, larger piece of belly pork. This now resides in the fridge, and the cure mix will be rubbed in daily for another five days. It is truly delicious and, if you are disappointed with the water topped with white scum that’s given off by bacon nowadays, I honestly recommend that you try making your own. I had no idea how easy it was. We have ambitions in the smoking department in future but, having looked up methods, are a bit daunted at the thought of salami.
In other news, we’ve been pulling down the old tumbledown stable today, saving what wood we can for the woodburner and putting the rest on a bonfire for Saturday.