We had another great week at the farm. There is so much to do and so much to invent that I'm bristling with excitement. I'm not sure if I've made this clear in earlier posts, but I'm not there just to make sausage and salume-although this is a major part of what I do- I am wrestling with creating a cuisine for the farm from almost scratch.
Prior to my climbing on board as "chef de cuisine" or chef of everything that is not made by Trent or Rachel Hendricks (Which is a lot when you consider the many thousands of pounds of milk, cheese and soaps they produce.) there had not been much in the way of prepared food coming out of the kitchen. (They, ahem, did not even have a proper stove or oven in there.)
Their sausage and bacon was made off premises by others (the bacon still is), they made some soup and other ready to eat products but there wasn't a lot.
But all of that is changing. We are looking at everything we sell or might sell and asking "how can we produce this on the farm?" If we cannot make it ourselves is it worth having? I'm thinking a lot about what I can add to round out the cuisine so that it is comprehensive and contains all the elements of an anesthetically and nutritionally well-rounded diet but...
Me, most of the time I'm like, just let me cook. Cooking is not an intellectual activity for me, it's a reflex.
Just get me the stuff I need to satisfy what my hands want to make and let me make it. In addition to charcuterie products I've been cranking out pastry, soups, saucers, pork and beans, poached pears, baked apples, none of it is enough, all of it is much better than I expect it to be and never is any of it good enough. Most of the time that I'm at work, I don't stop working until it's time to leave unless I'm sick or need to use the WC. I've always worked like that when I'm doing what I'm meant to do (cook/teach/build stone walls) but it's been a while since I felt that way in the kitchen and it feels good to back.
I did not have much time or will to shoot photos this week. But I did want you to see something that i think is pretty cool. It's a few photos of some fermented sausage I made last week that show, among other things, how quickly they change as the bacteria and cure do their work.
Okay, I'm going swimming! (I try to swim 3-5 miles a week. Lately it's been closer to 3.5 and well, we cannot afford to get lazy as we grow old now can we?)