Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bacon and Waiting

This past Wednesday afternoon, I got a phone call from my local purveyor of pig, Lois, telling me that the pig I had ordered was ready and on its way to the locker. Having printed out the cut sheet from the Edgewood locker website, I was more or less prepared for the questions on how I wanted my pig slaughtered and prepared. One of the things I was trying to do was to preserve as much flexibility as possible, as I don't know exactly how much sausage curing (really want to, but a bit unsure/nervous) I'll be doing. But I don't want to be limited in what I can do by how I had the pig cut. One thing I did do is got both sides of the almighty belly uncured and cut into 1 pound pieces, which I'm hoping is going to be the right size for experimenting. Early on the experimenting list is both bacon and pancetta, as they can be readily cured in the refrigerator. The pig is going to be ready on Feb 9th, but I'm not going to be able to pick it up until the 21st, so we are at P-20 days.

Since I got the phone call saying the pig was ready my mind has been racing and I've been doing plenty of pig-related reading, excited about what I'm going to be able to do when the pig arrives. So in order to appease my racing mind, this morning Kate, the boys and I went out to Mount Vernon for one of their winter farmer's markets to get some tide-me-over Pavelka Point Farm bacon. From the same kind of pig that I'm getting and cured and smoked at the very same Edgewood locker thats processing my pig. I was also able to pay Lois for my pig. So for dinner Monday night we'll be having Bucatini All' Amatricana (Lynn Rosetto-Kasper's Italian Country Table version) and I'll be thinking about the next time I'm going to be making it with my own-cured pancetta!

Friday, January 29, 2010

From the Beginning

I've been buying pork and lamb from Lois and Pavelka Point Farms at the Iowa City farmer's market for several years now, and at some point I realized I could probably save myself a little money if I were able to buy in bulk. Probably a year after figuring this out I finally talked to Lois to see if they sold half/whole pigs, at which point it took me another year to get organized enough to do anything about it. One my of my Christmas presents this year was money toward buying half a pig. After talking to Lois I determined that she did have pigs available, and that they were going to be ready within a month, I decided to go whole hog as they say and buy an entire pig. Upon her recommendation we're having it processed at Edgewood Locker, about 90 miles from Iowa City, but by all accounts worth the drive. There ends the preamble.