It’s been awhile and I’ve kept this quiet in order to save embarrassment in the event of a complete failure, but alas, this wasn’t the case and the Pancetta has landed!
I cured this lovely belly for 7 days with a relatively conventional Pancetta cure and a few added extras (my secret). After the 7 day wait, it was rolled and tied in order to spend the next 6 weeks in my laundry room outfitted with a humidifier and thermostat so I could constantly monitor its progress. After pinching it everyday, I finally decided on January 14th to get up the nerve and slice it open, and to my surprise it hadn’t gone bad. Not only did it not spoil, but it’s delicious…. I wish I’d made more than just one!
As we are off for a few days of cooking I just wanted to share how we got our Turkey this thanksgiving. After much deliberation since I had to “process” 30 of my friends Turkey’s who I’ve been watching loiter on his property all summer, we ended up with a Broad-Breasted Bronze for its weight mostly but also its traditional shape.
You see, there were Black Spanish, Narragansett, Blue Slate, and Broad-Breasted Bronze. All are heritage slow growing lovely birds. One exception though is the Broad-Breasted because it is a cousin of the Butterball Turkey’s we are all familiar with known as the Broad-Breasted White. These guys have been selectively bred for decades for, well, thier broad breasts. Unlike the aforementioned, the other heritage breeds look a lot more like traditional ame birds with higher breast bones and less meat.
My feeling is that when you’re bringing something new to the table, you have to ease people into it. I have found that beating people over the head with ideals and theory on how they should live their life according to what they eat always ends in strong aversion to ones point. In any case, if you’re curious about the process or find it interesting to see where humane food comes from click on the photo below:
It’s been a slow season for our first garden. We’ve had to play a strong and clever game of catch up. After months of growing seedlings and realizing our green thumbs still lacked quite a bit of chlorophyll, we took our little children and planted them in the ground. Along with some purchases (i.e. tomatoes, eggplant, squash, and more than we’d like to admit) and just good ole’ fashioned sticking seeds in the ground farming.
We are finally achieving some results and are very excited to see these budding flora come into their own.
This lettuce sprouted easily out of the ground and made us feel as though we knew what we were doing.
One of my most anticipated are beets. Over the years I have gained a fond affinity for these tubers and can’t wait to be harvesting our Detroit Reds, Chiogga’s, and Yellow Mangel beets.
As the season wraps itself up, I’d just like to share a bit of the bounty discovered by us in the past weeks. The prize pictured below is a coveted Morel mushroom, delightfully edible and ever so evasive.
If you click on the photo you will be taken to more….
One of my absolute favorite things about living outside of the city is that seasons finally really mean something. Winter is beautiful but very taxing on the soul and allows us to imagine balancing the weight of the world upon our shoulders in an endless drone of white. Despite the hardships of winter, what it really does is prepare us for the explosion of spring. There is no better way to want something so bad than to have been deprived of it for so long. In such a short time our landscape became dappled with colors that soothed our weathered minds and thawed our frost bitten hearts.
One of the first things to arrive amongst the avalanche of green are Ramps (a.k.a. Wild Leeks). They appear from one day to the next and scatter themselves across south facing slopes all over the countryside. Ramps are a spring treasure because they are one of the first forageable edibles of the year. They have a wonderful aroma of garlic and taste of tender onion. Recently I went out with a friend (Sean) in search of 30lbs of the stuff for a restaurant. They fetch a high price for a short period of time, in some cases they can go up to $10 a pound. In any case, the best thing about them is the fact that they come and then go. It’s a rare feat these days to only be able to enjoy something during the season it’s available. If they could be domesticated it would be the end of their luster.
It’s been a few weeks since the completion of this website, but I just wanted to share in case anyone was interested. This site for a farming friend of ours, Sean Stanton, is our first of what will hopefully be many marketing missions for people who are doing the right thing in this world, as hard as it may be:
The white, once beautiful but, now oppressive canvas of winter if finally being disrupted by tell tale signs of spring. The lawn is pock marked with spots of green reminiscent of children with bad acne in High School. Turkeys cross our path every day as they scramble about frantically in search of still sluggish bugs shaking off their winter coats. After a weekend with our Ornithology enthusiast friend our ears briskly became piqued to the sounds of Pileated Woodpecker’s, Tufted Titmouse’s, Blue Jay’s, and just possibly but not positively some Bohemian Waxwing’s as they all participate in their great migrations. Most exciting of all these things though are the waves of life cascading through all the farms of now good friends in this area. Calves, Kids, Piglets are all in full swing and appearing on the scene on a daily basis.
On a recent outing to see a Calf that had been born within the hour, we happened upon another mother in waiting who began the labor process in our presence. Slightly bewildered but fascinated we decided to stay and witness “the miracle of life” for ourselves. If I remember correctly that last and only thing I’ve seen born was kittens and quite frankly I don’t even think I witnessed the whole thing. Patiently, Chase and I shadowed the soon to be Mother wondering just how this was going to go down. With great discomfort the Heifer began laying down and then sitting up in order to constantly readjust herself. With no previous warning a hoof finally protruded and showed itself to the world. This protrusion went on for hours, coming and going over and over again. Once we were joined by our friend and cow owner Sean , the situation was quickly diagnosed as a problem due to the fact that the calf was coming out backwards. Without hesitation but a bit of difficulty, we brought the cow into the barn and began a process I never thought I’d get to partake in. As I began pulling on the slippery back legs of this yet unborn calf, I really began to wonder what I’d gotten myself into. Minutes later it all came to an end as the calf just slid out in fell swoop and we were done.
We told ourselves 6 months ago that if we could make it through the winter up here we would be ok. There were a lot of moments throughout these last 6 months that had us wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into, but now there is only the affirmation that we need to make this work. Although that doesn’t mean we have an answer yet, but at least we have the vision.