You know, I've been trying to write up the rest of my experience at the butchery class to no avail. It's not that I do not want to write about it--I do. I just want to do it (the class, the instructors, the hog) justice, and I haven't been focused enough lately to do any of that. So here we are.
And don't get me started on blogging about the food I've been cooking. We've been eating well, sure, but really nothing we've eaten has been particularly exciting. Actually, that's not true. But I haven't taken photographs for a number of reasons, and I haven't worked out by thoughts into recipes. (Oops.)
So here's the thing: I've been cooking, and making jams, and gardening, and... curing meat. Yes, I finally got a copy of Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie and am slowly making my way through it. One of the things that really made me excited about making charcuterie myself was the idea that I could control the ingredients. I can cure bacon with or without nitrites. I can use sugar.. or not. I can use bourbon (YES!) and coffee, or garlic and bay, or... just plain salt. And I can control from which farm I buy the pork (beef, lamb, duck). I haven't been excited about much in the kitchen for quite a while, and I'll get into that in some future post. But this? It's fun.
In other news I've read a number of the books I talked about in my last book post. I read Weston A Price's tome Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and got a lot of good out of it. It's actually something I recommend you read whether you're inclined toward a carnivorous or herbivorous diet, though I'm not sure that if you're vegan you'll agree with everything in there. Essentially it's about nutrient density, the [serious] problems that arise from eating a processed food diet, and how to fix the wrongs. This, of course, is the short version. What I took from it? Eat an unprocessed diet with some (note: some, not necessarily a LOT of) animal products. Avoid white flour, refined sugars, too many canned goods, and industrial vegetable/seed oils. Sound familiar? I was mostly surprised with the talk of vegetable oils, since for a long time I thought canola was fine. I started avoiding it about 18 months ago for the most part, and I'm glad now that I did. But anyhow, Price goes into detail about numerous traditional diets around the world, and not all of them are meat-heavy. All are nutrient dense, but the macros and specifics vary quite a bit. It's a fascinating read whether you like the current WAPF thing or not. I highly recommend it, and wish I had the energy to write a full review of the book.
Now that I've written a lot about very little, I'll leave you with the promise that I will, at some point, finish the series about my experience at the butchery workshop. I'll maybe get into writing about the charcuterie I'm making right now. (My wonderful husband purchased a wine fridge for me as an anniversary gift... not for wine, but for dry-curing meat.) So far I've made bacon, salt cod, and have guanciale, duck prosciutto, and bresaola going right now.
Thanks for sticking with me in my on-again/off-again blogging. I've got a lot of great ideas, and maybe sometime this summer I'll have the energy and motivation to write daily again. Right now I'm recovering (still) from a really bad ankle sprain five weeks ago. I'm still in a boot for two more weeks and then will be slowly doing rehab to [hopefully] prevent it from happening again. My main motivation right now is to get into a pool, at least, and work off some of this pent-up frustration. It's amazing what reduced mobility does to your outlook. (It's not good.) I'll admit: I've been making a lot of strawberry jam and some pickles. More on that later.
What have you all been up to? Any fun cooking projects going this summer?