|From Xmas 2008|
I don't know anything about where any of you are at as we sink ever more deeply into the holiday season. But I'm already six gallons of murky Frymax in a Fry-O-Lator jammed into the corner of a kitchen at a neighborhood dive. Not only do I have nothing constructive to add to the dialectic, but I'm so whipped that the only thing I can bring myself to post are these photos of a couple of things that I made for my family over the past week.
The first group of photos is of a loaf of bread that started out as a mixture (poolish) of mashed table grapes, wheat berries, rye flour, flax seeds and water. The second group is of ham (Sliced version, above left, added 12.30.08) that I served for Xmas dinner at my brother's house. The ham was made from a round from one of the Berkshire hogs born in March of this year.
On November 13 I put the ham down in a brine made from male (should read maple: see comments and correction below) sugar, salt, dextrose, nitrate, clove, peppercorns and cinnamon bark (All of the spices were cooked in a small portion of the brine, then added to the brine proper.) and held it under refrigeration until December 24.
After driving the ham up to New York on Christmas morning, I roasted it for a couple of hours in a 350 degree oven before sticking it with fresh pineapple (A classic combination) and basting it for another hour with a mixture of brown sugar, butter and water. After it was done, I let it sit for a half hour while I made a sauce from the drippings, water and shaved apple flesh.
It was good. Damned good. It was especially gratifying to hear the older folks (my parents' generation) waxing rhapsodic about how long it had been since they had ham like that.
(Of course, that was exactly why I made it.)
Correction: Sorry folks; the ham was cured with "maple" not "male" sugar. LOL