Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

New website, etc...

Its been a busy and exciting couple of weeks here at Salt & Time. We introduced a bunch of new products, including our 512 Pecan Porter brined Bacon, our Wild Pig Prosciutto and our smoked Pimento Chile Sauce. The Prosciutto was here and gone before we could blink, and won't be back for a few months, but the bacon and chile sauce will be regular features from here on out.

We've also received some fantastic press coverage in Edible Austin and the Austin Chronicle.

Last but not least, we've finally gotten a proper website up! It was designed by Miss Natalie and we really like it. We will be updating it with what we're bringing to the market each week, so check it regularly, and hit refresh to make sure you see the most up to date list of products.

Now that this blog no longer has to serve as the de facto website for Salt & Time, it will be going on a bit of a hiatus and will return at some point as an outlet for me to share my thoughts on... well just about anything that I feel like, I guess.

Until we meet again, Ben

Thursday, July 29, 2010

With all due respect to Eddie Cochran, we have the cure for the summertime blues

August is a tough month to grow vegetables in Texas. It’s hot and dry and generally inhospitable for veggies and the people who tend them. With barren gardens and slim pickings at the farmers markets, this can be a problem for locavores. Hopefully, you’ve been pickling, jamming and otherwise preserving the bounty from what has been a great spring and summer of fruits and veggies. If, however, your cupboard is bare, Salt & Time has you covered. We’re sitting on a big stockpile of pickles and jam. We will continue to have our Pickled Fennel, Pickled Beets and Fig & Balsamic Jam and we will be rolling out new pickles to help beat the heat every Sunday in August at the HOPE Farmers Market.

Starting on Aug 1st, we will have Bread & Butter Pickles made with Johnson Backyard Garden Organic Cucumbers & Hinkelhatz Peppers and Springdale Farm Garlic and Onions. Also in the pickle hopper are Dill Spears, Okra, Jalapeno Peppers and more. We have several new meat products this month as well, starting with Mangalitsa Pork Rilletes. Mangalitsa is an incredibly flavorful heritage breed of pig that is being raised in Texas by Revival Meats. One of the great things about getting outside of the industrial food box is that there is an amazing world of flavor out there to experience. Most people would probably be surprised to realize that all pork doesn’t taste the same. Just like heirloom vegetable varieties, heritage breeds have unique flavors and textures that can’t be found wrapped in plastic at the supermarket. We are very excited to work with Revival Meats and other farmers that raise heritage breeds, and rest assured, these rilletes are just the beginning!

Coming later in August, we will be introducing our first fresh bacon, brined in 512 Brewery’s Pecan Porter and smoked over Pecan wood and our first Prosciutto, made from Countryside Farms wild pig! We’ll keep you updated on the Bacon and Prosciuttos progress as we get closer to their arrival. Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Market Days

Come see us tomorrow (Sunday) at the HOPE Farmers Market from 10-2. We'll have Sopressata, Genoa, Chorizo, Lonzino, Brianza, Tuscano and Peperoni Salumi as well as Hot Dogs, Fig & Balsamic Jam, Pickled Watermelon Radishes, Pickled Fennel, Pickled Beets and Pickled Squash. We're looking forward to being regular participants in the HOPE Market and have some new products on the way in the coming weeks! If you haven't been to HOPE yet, it's a very cool market with some great vendors. Come check it out!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

HOPE Farmer's Market, this Sunday!

Here's a rundown of what we'll have available this Sunday at the HOPE Farmers Market (10am-1pm). You can pre-order items by emailing orders@saltandtime.com. Please provide a phone number we can reach you at in your email. See you on Sunday!

4th of July Special!

Hot Dogs – aka Frankfurters aka Weiners aka YUM! Naturally Dolce Farms 100% grassfed beef and Richardson Farms pork $12/pound

Salumi (all Salumi made with Richardson Farms pork unless otherwise noted)

Genoa – red wine, pepper, garlic. $28/pound

Sopressata – white wine, chile, garlic. $28/pound

Chorizo – smoked pimenton, chili. $30/pound

Lomo - whole cured pork loin with chile and cumin $32/pound

Lonzino – whole cured pork loin with fennel, juniper and nutmeg $32/pound

Pancetta – whole cured pork belly with pepper & juniper $20/pound

Snack Sticks $3.50 Each

Genoa – red wine, pepper, garlic

Tuscano – fennel and pepper

Peperone – Naturally Dolce Farms Red Wattle pork with paprika and allspice

Pickles, relishes, etc (8 oz containers)

Pickled Fennel – Fruitfull Hill Farm fennel with thyme and lemon peel $7

Pickled Beets – Fruitfull Hill Farms beets, onions $6

Sweet Pickled Green Tomatoes – Springdale Farm Green tomatoes in a sweet and tangy brine $6

Kenny’s Pickled Squash – Finca Pura Vida squash, Chef Kenny Gray’s secret recipe $7

Pickled Watermelon Radishes – Fruitfull Hill Farm watermelon radishes, Tecolote Farm French sorrel $6

Grilled Eggplant in Olive Oil – Grilled Finca Pura Vida eggplant with chili peppers $6

Peperonata – Johnson’s Backyard peppers, capers, Texas Olive Ranch olive oil $7

Poached Peaches in Rose Syrup – Lightsey Orchards peaches $6

Grilled Peaches in Basil and Mint Syrup – Lightsey Orchard peaches $6

Fig & Balsamic Jam – home grown figs, balsamic vinegar, peppercorn $7

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shopping list

Kenny and I finished up the shopping for Friday's dinner this afternoon at the Triangle Farmer's market. I'm proud to say that we will be featuring nine different Central Texas farms on our menu! And now that we have all of our ingredients, here is the final menu:

Shared Appetizer Plate:
Grilled Finca Pura Vida Eggplant with Pure Luck Aged Feta Cheese
Slow Cooked Springdale Farm Zucchini Crostini
Roasted Peppers with Olive Oil
(Johnson’s Backyard, Finca Pura Vida, Urban Roots)
Boggy Creek Rocket
Springdale Farm Heirloom Tomato Salad with Boggy Creek Basil
Salt & Time dry cured Chorizo and Lonzino (Richardson Farms pork)

Main Course:
Whole Roasted Red Wattle Pig from Naturally Dolce Farms
Dressed Urban Roots Rainbow Chard
Kenny’s Chili Oil
Pickled Finca Pura Vida Mixed Squash

Lemon Drizzle Cake with Lightsey Orchards Peaches and Rose Syrup Compote and cream

There are still a few more hours to get advance tickets, and there will be a limited number of tickets available at the door! See you there.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Big News!

I am very happy to announce that Salt & Time will be debuting at the HOPE Farmers Market on Sunday, July 4th. Its been a long time coming, and, frankly we can't wait! We will be selling all of our varieties of salumi, our pickled fennel and, in honor of the holiday, Hot Dogs (made from Richardson Farms Pork and 100% Grassfed Beef from Naturally Dolce Farms). We have a few other tricks up our sleeve as well, so make sure you come by and see us.

We are also excited to be returning to the Victory Grill for another Nourishing the Soul event on Friday, June 25th. The last event was a bunch of fun, and thanks in large part to help from my friend Chef Kenny Gray, a success. (Also instrumental in making it a success were my wife and my Dad and Erin from Wildflour Bakery and her mom. Families rule.) Kenny and I are working on the menu and will be announcing it soon. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Victory Grill Dessert update

I specialize in the salty, so for our dinner this Friday at the Victory Grill I've enlisted my friend Erin from Wildflour Bakery to help with the sweet. Erin just emailed me the lowdown on the dessert and, damn, it sounds good. If you haven't already bought your ticket for Friday, this should get you off your rump.

Dessert will be:

Orange Saffron Pound Cake with Honey Zabaglione and Seasonal Fruit. YUM!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Join us at the Victory Grill.

We are proud to announce that we will be hosting a Farm to Table dinner in conjunction with the historic Victory Grill. Nourishing the Soul, to be held on Friday May 28th, will feature Richardson Farms Pork, Thunder Heart Bison and produce from Johnson's Back Yard, Animal Farm, Fruitful Hill Farms and others. The meal will be accompanied by a wine pairing from East End Wines. Following dinner, Soul Kitchen will perform. Tickets are $30 for an individual, $100 for a table for four and $175 for a table for eight.


First Course:
Frito Misto - battered and fried seasonal vegetables
Fresh Chicharrones - Richardson Farms Pork Skins fried and seasoned

Second Course:
Pickle Plate - Animal Farm Carrots, Fruitful Hill Beets, Hillside Farms Brussel Sprouts and more

Main Course:
Pancetta Wrapped Mortadella Link - Salt & Time's mortadella made from Richardson Farms Pork and Thunder Heart Bison in sausage form, wrapped in our pancetta, served on a Barrie Cullinan Baked Goods roll and accompanied by Tuscan Baked Beans
*Vegetarian Entrée available upon request

Seasonal Fruit Tart

Seating is limited and tickets are on sale now at www.historicvictorygrill.org. See you there!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


So in case you were wondering, last Thursday's event for the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival was rained out. It was a bummer for all involved. The organizers, vendors and volunteers all wanted the show to go on, but the weather just wasn't cooperating. Tomorrow night is the Umlauf Garden Party and, knock on wood, the weather is looking wonderful.

Let me take this opportunity to encourage those of you who come directly to the blog to take a look at the new Salt & Time website. It's still a work in progress, but it has a couple of important things on it. First is the lovely Salt & Time logo designed by the equally lovely Miss Natalie. I'm very lucky to have an in house (literally) designer. Second, it says "now available." That's right Salt & Time Salumi is now available to the greater Austin area. I'm still working on getting set up to sell at Farmers Markets, but in the mean time I am working on figuring out ways to make our products available to you. Currently, the wonderful Hotel St. Cecilia is carrying a variety of our Salume as part of their Charcuterie plate, and I'm hoping to have a few other outlets within the next few weeks. I am also trying to figure out the logistics of setting up a semi regular (weekly? monthly?) delivery day into Austin. Finally, I am working on setting up a couple of more events featuring our products. If you just absolutely can't wait to get your hands on some kick ass local salumi, email me and I'll try to work something out.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Celebrating Spring

I love spring in the Hill Country. The hills are a hundred shades of green, the creeks are full and the wildflowers are blooming. I'm very excited that Salt & Time will be participating in two great events that are as much a part of the season as the weather and the landscape: the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival and the Umlauf Garden Party. Here are the details:

Texas25 Thursday April 15, 7:00-9:00 PM, Whole Foods Rooftop Plaza. "featuring 25+ reasons we love Texas—all related to food and drink... Taste the beloved bites and bevs of local restaurants and artisan producers... Music from a local rockin' DJ will kick up the party in honor of Texas Wine and Food’s 25th anniversary."

Umlauf Garden Party Thursday April 22, 6:30-9:30 PM, Umlauf Sculpture Garden "The Garden Party celebrates the art of sculpture and the work of 20th century American sculptor, Charles Umlauf. Proceeds from the party are dedicated to the preservation of the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum and help underwrite the museum's award-winning education programs."

Both these events feature tons of great food and beverages, and should be tons of fun. I hope to see you there!

p.s. I'm a few days late, but happy birthday Jimmy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Come taste our salume!

I'm a couple of weeks late in posting this, but thanks to Addie Broyles of the Austin American-Statesman and Relish Austin for including us in her blog post on the burgeoning Charcuterie scene in town. I'm the new kid on the block and I'm excited about being part of such an exciting time in Austin.

In other news, the weather today was awesome! Either Spring is here, or the hordes about to descend for SXSW are very lucky. And just in case there isn't enough to chose from at SXSW, we're throwing our hat into the ring. We will be sampling our salumi at the Cause Party for Haiti at Space on Sixth on Monday the 15th. You can sign up here. Salume will be available from 7 to 8pm and there will be beverages as well as food from Chef Clive Berkman. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Back to my old stomping grounds...

I'm heading out to Oakland for a quick visit. I can't wait to see my friends, and I'm looking forward to stopping by Adesso and Boccalone for some excellent cured meats. I also plan on drinking lots of coffee. Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, Dynamo, and of course the old standby Peet's. I will probably have a caffiene buzz that will last for a couple of weeks, which is good, because March is going to be a big month. Keep an eye on the site for a bunch of announcements including new farmers that we'll be working with, events were you can taste our products, and most importantly where you can buy our products!

p.s. I already spilled the beans about one of our new suppliers on the twitter feed over there -->

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Buddy & Waylon

Before Willie & Waylon, there was Buddy & Waylon. Another great post from the Selvedge Yard.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Two weeks and counting

Two weeks into production and things are going well. It's been cold and wet, which has made humidity control a little challenging, but we figured it out and are plugging along. Here are some photos of salume in progress.

Genoa on the left, Lonzino on the right.


And, for good measure, some Copa di Testa.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Musical Interlude

Whiskey River

Crazy George | MySpace Video

Salume is in bloom...

Another cold snap here in central Texas, but our first batch of salume is undeterred. I was very happy to walk into the shop on Saturday and see this lovely mold bloom. The whole shop was filled with a wonderful porky mustiness, the aroma of sausage slowly fermenting. These guys are now off to the drying room for a couple of months.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

We have pork!

I picked up a half pig from Richardson Farms this morning, and now its in much smaller pieces.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Home Stretch...

We're in the home stretch here at Salt & Time. Last week, my dad and I drove down to Houston to pick up a bunch of supplies at Allied Kenco. Whether you're a home sausage maker or producing commercially, Allied Kenco can hook you up with everything you need. Cody and the staff there are super friendly and helpful and a pleasure to work with. They do mail order, but since I was ordering a couple hundred pounds of curing salts and casings, I figured I'd save on shipping costs and pick them up. Plus, I've never been to Houston, and I've been hearing great things about Feast. Feast lived up to the hype with its menu. We were still full from lunch, and we needed to get back on the road, so we had a light dinner. The highlight for me was definitely chicken hearts on toast. I have to admit, that I'm not much for chicken liver, but chicken hearts are yummy. I did have flashbacks to my days at Marin Sun Farms when I would sort through chicken offal to separate out the hearts from the livers for the farmers market.

With the pantry now full of supplies, we finished up the last major work on the shop this week, and are ready to start production. Next week, I'm picking up my first batch of pork from Richardson Farms and we will be off and running. I'll have some pictures up of the first batch, but in the mean time, here are some photos of the shop.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

And now for something completely different.

If you're bored, check out one of my favorite non-food blogs The Selvedge Yard's gallery of Tom Waits photos.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

Update: I added a couple of photos of the porchetta before it went on the fire.

I'm very excited about 2010 and all the opportunities and possibilities it holds. Things are coming along quite well here at Salt & Time. I'm just about done with my shop (I will post some pictures soon), and if everything goes according to plan, my first batch of salume will go in the drying room sometime next week.

In the mean time, I took the shop for a test drive and made some sausage and a porchetta for Christmas dinner. The sausage was a (slightly) Spicy Italian with fennel seeds. My brother in law smoked them with great care and they came out tasting great. The porchetta was quite tasty, but also a bit of an adventure. Weighing in at about 30 lbs, it quickly overpowered the electric motor on the spit. Not spinning, and sitting a little too close to the fire, the outside of the porchetta quickly went from crispy to blackened at the twine I had tied it with began to catch on fire and burst. A little quick thinking and a handful of metal skewers and we managed to avoid disaster. The skin was too charred to eat, but the meat inside was well protected and came out wonderfully moist and flavorful.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

I'm really enjoying incorporating the influence of my new home with the Italian traditions that first inspired me, and nothing says Texas like applying a healthy dose of fire and smoke to meat. I'm looking forward to continuing to experiment with Texan food traditions in the coming year.