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.