Slow Food Challenge 2020

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Joined Nov 5, 2007
I enjoy watching cooking competition shows. Currently watching season 8 of Masterchef. It gets pretty hectic as the clock winds down and the contestants have just seconds to go to finish up their presentations. Here, you won't have that problem. No need to worry about seconds, or minutes, or hours. Just days. In this case 149 days.

That may seem like a strange number, why not 150? Well, 149 days from today, July 3rd, is November 29th. That is the Sunday following Thanksgiving, an American holiday celebrating food. That weekend seemed like a logical ending point. It should give the brewers time to cook up, ferment and age that pumpkin stout they plan to serve with the Thanksgiving turkey. Give bakers plenty of time to get a sourdough going and thriving. Time to perfect your recipe for the perfect half or full sour kosher dill. Time to grind up that pork, get the Spanish chorizo or Italian salami into casings and let it hang, drying and fermenting as needed. Have you ever seen how many different cured sausages there are in Chinese cuisine? Or maybe you'd rather do a whole muscle cure, a bresola or coppa. A whole ham in just under 5 months might be pushing it. Bacon and pancetta, no problem.

It's up to you. Show us something that you can't do in the short term monthly challenges. Take us through the process and its progress. And have some fun!

Maybe if people respond well, it can be an annual thing, from January 1st to December 31st. That would give folks time to go from seed to produce on the plate. Imagine a simple bacon and eggs breakfast, with a slice of sourdough toast. Bacon that you cured and smoked, eggs that your hens laid that day, the hens you got as baby chicks in the spring.

Hard to say what will happen. It may take off. Look at the date of the first post in the "What did you have for dinner?" thread. Or it may be a total flop, a burst of initial activity and then no interest whatsoever.

We shall see just how much judging work there will be come Thanksgiving.

mjb.
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
I'm in.
Should soon be able to start brewing beer again.
I take it that shorter things are fine as well? Like my quick cider (takes about 2-3 weeks for fermentation and 2-3 for bottle conditioning?
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
I was planning to do a beef bresola soon. I tried my hand at it some time ago, it was not good. I just hung it in a basement closet, had no idea what the humidity and temperature was over the time it was hanging. It got WAY too dry, way too soon. Utah is a semi-arid state, with very low humidity. I'm guessing the beef dried in a range of 15 to 25% relative humidity, which is much too low.

So this morning I bought this:

20200711_081919.jpg

Humidity and temp in one little device, cost me about 15 bucks with batteries. So I plan to stash it in various places around the basement t see what I am working with here. I am certainly not going to drop several thousand on a whiz bang, state of the art digital curing chamber that gives me perfect control and makes coffee in the morning. Maybe a few years down the line, seeing how much I really get into charcuterie. For the moment, I'm thinking more like suspending the meat in a 5$ Styrofoam cooler with a couple inches of water in the bottom. We shall see.

SO maybe after doing some research on where and how to age my salumi I'll post the first pics of the ingredients and the basic recipe.

mjb.

ps: Assuming the new meter is accurate, I am not surprised I feel overly warm and uncomfortable, the humidity has rocketed way up to 35%!
 
3,903
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
That’s a really meter. Over what time period does the low and high reading integrate - 24 hours? Good luck with your project!
 
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Joined Aug 20, 2010
I might be making a new batch of the basturma I made for the corn challenge. But now it's way too hot here.
 
2,137
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
@ teamfat: i used something like that in my early adventures. These days I have an inkbird (i think the sc308) and an old fridge. I'm not curing a lot, more brewing, so mainly using the temperature control.
Hopefully i'll be able to do some curing soon though. Canadian bacon & streaky bacon are always great ones!
 
85
14
Joined Dec 29, 2019
I enjoy watching cooking competition shows. Currently watching season 8 of Masterchef. It gets pretty hectic as the clock winds down and the contestants have just seconds to go to finish up their presentations. Here, you won't have that problem. No need to worry about seconds, or minutes, or hours. Just days. In this case 149 days.

That may seem like a strange number, why not 150? Well, 149 days from today, July 3rd, is November 29th. That is the Sunday following Thanksgiving, an American holiday celebrating food. That weekend seemed like a logical ending point. It should give the brewers time to cook up, ferment and age that pumpkin stout they plan to serve with the Thanksgiving turkey. Give bakers plenty of time to get a sourdough going and thriving. Time to perfect your recipe for the perfect half or full sour kosher dill. Time to grind up that pork, get the Spanish chorizo or Italian salami into casings and let it hang, drying and fermenting as needed. Have you ever seen how many different cured sausages there are in Chinese cuisine? Or maybe you'd rather do a whole muscle cure, a bresola or coppa. A whole ham in just under 5 months might be pushing it. Bacon and pancetta, no problem.

It's up to you. Show us something that you can't do in the short term monthly challenges. Take us through the process and its progress. And have some fun!

Maybe if people respond well, it can be an annual thing, from January 1st to December 31st. That would give folks time to go from seed to produce on the plate. Imagine a simple bacon and eggs breakfast, with a slice of sourdough toast. Bacon that you cured and smoked, eggs that your hens laid that day, the hens you got as baby chicks in the spring.

Hard to say what will happen. It may take off. Look at the date of the first post in the "What did you have for dinner?" thread. Or it may be a total flop, a burst of initial activity and then no interest whatsoever.

We shall see just how much judging work there will be come Thanksgiving.

mjb.

I make Cantonese dried sausages, sliced thin they add a fragrance to stir fry dishes and pho.
All hand linked, no string except to hang em for drying.
also make English cumberland bangers.
pink ones are the cantonese before drying. 3 sausage in every link. sausages (2).jpg 20200704_163502.jpg
dried cantonese sausge, these are stored in the freezer, hence the frosty look.
 
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Joined Dec 29, 2019
homemade organic ginger ale, naturally fizzy from a ginger bug (similar to sourdough starter).
Its probiotic. Ginger, lemon, lime , water and sugar. takes 2 weeks to fully mature.
Burp the bottles daily to prevent them from exploding.
 
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Joined Dec 29, 2019
Ha ha... I remember learning that the hard way A long, long time ago... twice: once with ginger ale and again with root beer. Wish I read this post way back when.

I tried root beer, to me it tastes like toothpaste.
But who am I to judge, there are more qualified Irish people to do that. "2 out of 10, shyte."

 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
Cider:
It's an ongoing process.
I started a while back with a cider yeast (safale) and apple juice. Just the cheap packs that don't need refrigeration as they are preserved with vitamin C (and the stuff in the cooling here has preservatives that interfere with the yeast).
I'm on the 4th batch now, still on the same yeast. Every time I bottle (in 500 ml PET bottles), I add new apple juice. Sometimes some extra sugar, sometimes a bit of hop, just for the heck of it.
It needs about 2 weeks after bottling. Tastes better after 3 and haven't managed to keep a bottle till 4 weeks :)
By all rights, I should have an infection somewhere as I am currently living in a tent, lots of wind, lots of dust, no electricity and no proper cleaning stuff (it's in a box, in a container, waiting till I got my house build).
Anyway, 'nough said. Some pics:
03 6 ltr juice-yeast and surrounds.jpg

IMG_20200714_170718.jpg

No pics of the bottling process etc as I would need an extra couple of hands (and arms) to do that. Maybe in a later post
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
As a kid I grew up in southern Michigan, Northern Indiana. Michigan is known more for cherries than apples, but there were some good ones grown in the area. On the drive between Grandma Lutz's farm and our house in Dowagiac, later in South Bend, Indiana, there was one orchard that my father was particularly fond of. When it was apple harvest time we'd stop and get some cider. Usually a gallon of the clear, filtered stuff, and 4, 5 or so gallons of unfiltered, raw cider. The raw cider would get stashed in the basement fridge. And for the most part forgotten for a while. But after a month or so, my dad would sample a bit of the cider. A week later, another little taste. I often wondered why he just didn't pour himself a big glassful, instead of just little tastes every so often. Of course, I was too young yhen to realize what he was doing, making hard cider! I'd love to try a jug of that stuff now that I know what I know!

mjb.
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
Funny how the same words in the same language can mean different things ;)
If I would orfer a cider and would get a glass of apple juice, I would be quite disappointed, even if it was freshly squeezed ;) ;)
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
Well drat! So a while back I told how the local Kroger affiliate had full packer beef briskets for $1.99 a pound, a price not seen for years. I bought a 9 pounder ( just a small one ) and cut off a hunk of the flat for pastrami, did a low and slow overnight braise on the rest. It was delicious.

Anyway, just flipped over the brining piece that's been soaking for a while. Decided to check my notes to see the exact date I put the beef into the corning brine.

Here's the contents of the text file with my notes:
====




====

Yep, nothing in it, totally empty. Not sure what happened, I guess when I saved the file I made some mistake and my info was not saved, or saved who knows where. Sigh.

I do remember I went with 2.5% salt and 0.25% cure #1, by weight. And the brisket weighed something like 1837 grams. And I put in some sugar and other stuff. But the meat feels like it is about ready, so maybe on Tuesday the 13th I'll pull it out of the brine and turn the corned beef into pastrami. And I'll do a better job of double checking my work on the computer.

mjb.
 
3,903
770
Joined Dec 18, 2010
That’s why I backup my computers in triplicate, and still use a lot is snippets of paper and a pencil.

It seems like your beef should be fine.
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
I think that the wort thing that could happen is that this is the BEST pastrami I've ever eaten, and I won't be able to ever duplicate it because of some minor tweak that I forgot about because I didn't write it down. But I doubt that will happen.

I'm just embarrassed about making some rookie mistake about clicking on the wrong thing or whatever happened. I mean, I know a thing or two about computers. I've got a master's degree in computer science. I have a quarter of a century of experience as a sys admin at the U of U, which was consistently ranked in the top ten Computer Science programs in the country. You should see all the computer stuff I have stashed away in my basement, my office, well, maybe you shouldn't see what a mess the place is. You might see something like what my network connections look like:

wires.jpg

I was a bit more precise in the years I worked at the U.

mjb.
 
3,903
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
That looks familiar! Every time the techs at my office work on my computer it looks like that, and the first thing I do is unplug everything and dress the cables.

But at home mine looks very similar.

Looking forward to seeing a picture and review of a really decent Ruben sandwich!
 
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