Monday, August 13, 2007

Messin' with Bacon

Woody—who is supremely adorable in my opinion not only because he liked my virtual cooking but also because he has an incredibly amazing daughter whom he obviously adores and because he sports a post about his wife that's about as endearing as they come—blogged recently about aging hippies, animal rights, and messing with bacon. Couldn't resist crafting a response.

My own die-hard carnivore honey, who found hunting while I was busy touching the Earth, had the good-graciousness to put up with my vegetarian explorations for nearly a year and a half. During this mid-life crisis of finding myself sans meat, I subjected the patient man to fake sausage. Really. And, being a sport, he ate it and declared it not to be bad. (Yes, he'll prolly be upset with me for publishing this psycho looking photo of him after processing his first chicken on a very hot day.)

But after a year and a half of patience and moving me onto the land I'd been nudging him about for years, he finally ran out of said patience. He confided in me with a bit of a pout in his voice that dinners weren't very much fun anymore—yes, he hit below the belt there, considering our mutual love of good food and good wine had played a huge role in our relationship.

And so after much soul-searching, I began to eat meat again—meat that was humanely and ethically raised either by us or by someone we know and respect. We had again arrived at gastronomical nirvana in our relationship because, as we all know, slow food just tastes better. But, I still wasn't done messing with the poor man's bacon.

After we butchered our first two feeder hogs, Runt and Grunt, I decided to try my hand at salt curing bacon in order to avoid the city cure injection offered by the butcher. Somehow, raising meat naturally only to inject it with chemicals didn't make a whole lot of sense. After 10 days in the fridge covered in salt, the bacon cured just fine, but boy, oh boy, was it salty! We soaked it for a couple of hours before vacuum sealing it and putting it in the freezer, which helped a lot. Still, it ain't your average Oscar Meyer.

My honey's a quietly supportive guy—not ostentatiously supportive as I might at times fantasize about, but supportive nonetheless in the way he continually puts up with me messin' with his bacon. For that—shown in his willingness to eat a Bacon, Chard and Tomato sandwich and declare it delicious—I love him dearly.


Woody said...

How nice. I'm so happy your hubby got his bacon

Diana said...

Have you looked into Irish Dexter cattle instead of your Jersey? They are small gentle cattle that are dual purpose for milk and meat(well really tri because they make good oxen as well) so they are wonderful for small homestead farms. They would fit in nicely with your desire to raise rare and heritage breed livestock. We have three with a calf due in the next month.

Love your blog(s) and I hope to get to where you are with your gardens soon. This was our first year with the garden and I had high hopes but the drought really destroyed the garden. :(