L. H. Puttgrass (legerdemain) wrote,
L. H. Puttgrass

I've decided that I need a project, as I spend a lot of time spinning my wheels these days. I mean, there's a lot of interesting crap on the internet, but it's like reading a good magazine on ADD. It's a good time and all, but I'm not sure I get much out of it, save pie in the sky ideas I'll never follow through on. I've been interested a lot lately in breaking things I take for granted down into their parts, especially with regard to food. For instance, it has occurred to me that I can make an end run around the ethical horribleness of the meat processing industry (Fast Food Nation may not have been enough to sustain the ethical stand that was my vegetarianism, but man, industrialized meat sure is terrible.) and learn a useful skill, all while saving money, if I teach myself to break down a whole chicken into breasts, thighs, wings etc. (And get fodder for homemade stock, because that is supposed to be a wonderful thing too.) So I want to do things like that, and also spend more time baking bread, as that's one of those things I love doing and always intend to do more than I do. (I'm also looking at you, exercise!)

The point is this: I think I want to get into curing meat. I want to make my own bacon, I want to stuff my own sausage. I might raise and slaughter a pig with my boss this coming year. I'm going to get the book I have in mind today. Because why not pick up a new, delicious, not particularly healthy project that could end in botulism?
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My roommate makes his own bacon. He figured out a way to make a hot-smoker into a cold-smoker that involves an empty Moxie can and a soldering iron. And I don't think he's ever had botulism.
As I understand it, all you really need to do to turn a hot-smoker into a cold-smoker is run the smoke through some ice before it gets to the meat, so I imagine that's what he's doing. I have no hot smoker though, so I'm way behind there, although I think I'd do pancetta anyway, so smoking isn't issue number 1. Bonus points for the Moxie can, though.
Sir, I would eat a chop from you gladly.
Also, I bet I could break down a carcass faster than you, and hence I propose a race.*

*offer not valid after January 21st, 2009 unless I change my mind
Damn! Double damn! I could have taken you like the Montgomery Biscuits take outside pitches!