Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last Post of 2007

Last week watched me scoot up to Long Island to set butt with the family for Christmas dinner, become infected with a miserable virus from an unknown vector, wing it back down to bucolic PA to roll around in a fever while my family visited friends in Westchester NY.

Meanwhile back at the farm, a five day old calf escaped and was retrieved. The milking robot went on the fritz and ruined Trent's Christmas day (Don't go into farming if you like to do things like sleeping and driving your car to the bowling alley.) and probably took a week or so off of his lifespan. But some good stuff happened too.

The bresaola (See slide show) finished curing and appears to be a resounding success. It looks great, with a beautiful looking fungal coat that smells to me like slightly dried field mushrooms (agaricus bispouous). The taste of the meat is sweet, salty, umami (in that order) and the overall aroma is of mushrooms and wine must. I hope our customers like it because I really, really loved making it. Trent and I have talked about making it from older dairy cows which in theory should be more flavorful. But the next batch will more likely be from the same kind of grass fed steers that were used for this one.

The mass of sausages you see in the slide show are large pepperoni (pepperone). These are made from highly seasoned beef top rounds with virtually no fat and stuffed into beef casings (middles). The pepperone have been inoculated with Bactoferm to drop their pH, give them an acidic edge and to promote drying. I left them sitting out in the kitchen on Saturday to kick start the fermentation. I assume Trent will be hanging them in the cheese room about now.

As this is likely to be my last post of 2007 I would like to thank you all for supporting my blogging efforts with your continued patronage and comments. If it were not for these, I certainly would not be bothering to post anything anymore. There's certainly no money in the kind of blogging I do, so the only currency that I reap is the type that comes from knowing that mostly complete strangers give a flying-fig about what I have to say. So thanks!

Finally, I'd like to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year full of meals that you cooked yourself or by someone that you know well. Go out and splurge on food cooked by strangers who are really, really good at what they do but mostly, make it yourself. If nothing else, if you screw it up or end up consuming some product that pisses off the food police, you've got no one to blame but yourself.


Scotty said...

Back at you, Bob. You are an inspiration both as a cook and a blogger to many.

We too were hit by various virii. A stomach bug knocked me out Christmas Day, and my wife the next. Then she developed shingles Friday, canceling our annual pilgrimage to Ruhlmanland for New Years. Now I will find out if that galantine a la ruhlman freezes well. ;-)

Happy New Year to all, especially you, Bob!

IdahoRocks said...

And a very happy New Year to you! Thanks for blogging: you're inspirational and I like your sense of humor. Of course, I didn't actually know much about your background until I received Ruhlman's "Making of a Chef" for Christmas. Now I'm humbled.... and grateful for the knowledge and experience you pass along freely to others.

Bloggers sharing, it re-inforces my faith in well as taking the edge off some of my political forays....

blondee47 said...

I have enjoyed meeting u on blog-a-world and u have enriched my cooking thank you and a healthy happy and rich new year

CarolinaGirl said...

I sincerely wish you and your a safe, prosperous New Year. It has been a really fun year reading you, and I truly appreciate your fielding all my questions with patience and clarity. Especially the gut check ones! My wish for you is to be as inspired and passionate as you can be and reap every benefit possible! Take care, friend.

boberica said...

Best wishes to you in the New Year. Hope that you are all feeling better, crappy way to spend holidays. Thanks for the blog and all the knowledge that it allows you to impart. It's truly appreciated. Thanks also for the charcuterie insight and photos, don't stop.
Sounds like I may be coming into a couple of fresh bellys from Heath Putnams Wooly pigs. They are young, 5-6 months, probably nice fat content....any suggestions?
bob mcgee

lectric lady said...

I check out your blog every day. I don't often comment, but I hope you keep it up because I learn so much.

And as soon as you start offering your goodies by web-order, I will be among the first in line!

Happy New Year~

lectric lacy

Kevin said...

The meat looks wonderful. I made pork confit on yesterday, great stuff.

Happy New Year, buddy.

Tags said...

Dude, I don't know how to break this to you, but it's 2008 now.

Wake up and smell the program.

Don Luis said...

I'd like to add my thanks for the blog. It's always interesting and educational, and sometimes even funny.