Christina's Table

Feeding Your Body, Mind and Spirit through Food (hopefully)
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Archive for the 'Guess what I’m making now?' Category

Guess What?!!

Author: ck
Posted on Thu April 16, 2009

I know I have been gone forever.  I am still alive, but had a crazy busy winter, but I am back now.  I got a great gift for Christmas, a propane smoker.  It is eaiser to regulate than my side firebox and I can get really low temps so it can act as a cold smoker as well.  I LOVE IT!!  I have friends that call me Martha Smoker because I will smoke almost anything.  So far it has been wings, brisket, salt, trout, homemade sausages, chickens, and duck.  Last week I made bacon.  Honest.  I got a pork belly from Dupont Farmer’s Market, cured it, and then smoked it over applewood.   I will admit that it wasn’t perfect.  It was WAY too salty!  But being the Virginia girl that I am I soaked it for a few days (just like I would a Smithfield ham) and then it was more that edible.  Dipal (Landon’s boyfriend) thinks I need to sell it  to make the family fortune (he is very kind).  

This week I got to meet the man who runs one of the best chaucuterie programs in the country (at Belmont Butchery in Ricmond) about my bacon and he kindly replied “it is a first step in the process”.  I am proud of my first step, but I look forward to the ones to come.




Chow Chow 2

Author: ck
Posted on Sun October 12, 2008

It didn’t work.  I am getting ready to throw the first batch I made out.  There are 2 issues, I oversalted it so the suff is soft and the other is that I don’t like the taste of the pepper I used.  My family used banana peppers and I tried to use something else and I did NOT like the taste at all. 

I am going to start on batch 2 tomorrow.   I will keep you posted.

Chow Chow

Author: ck
Posted on Thu October 9, 2008

FINALLY!! After 30 years I have made my own Chow-Chow. It is one of my favorite things in the entire world, but something I always attributed to my grandma, dad or aunts, not something for me to make.  I guess I finally succumbed and realized that if I want Chow-Chow, I have to make it.   So, I called my Aunt Linny last week to refresh my childhood memories – shredded cabbage, green tomatoes,  and peppers, placed in a non reactive pot (Granny had a 20 gallon crock), salted (to taste), weighted down and covered (so the flies don’t get in it when it starts to work) until it is done. 

Aunt Dorothy (one of mum’s oldest friend’s- it was her daughters that did the Susan G Komen walk) was in this week and she helped me shred the stuff (THANK GOD for the Cuisinart!!- and my heirloom green tomatoes) and get my pot going.  How long it needs to ‘work’ depends on the weather.  Honestly, fermentation is dependant on temperature, and right now it is a bit too cold and my stuff is working slow.   

My biggest shock came after call number 2 to Aunt Linny.  I needed to know how to ‘can’ it after it was done.  Just stick it in the jar and leave room so it can work.  Do you cold pack it? Pressure it?  Just heat the lids?  No, just stick it in the jars and be sure to leave room in the top so it can work and store it in a cool place so it doesn’t ‘work’ too much in the jar and explode. 

Can we say botulism?  Maybe that is why I have never had food poisoning- I am immune!  I am in the process of getting my ServSafe cert, and I am kinda skived about this entire process, but the thought of a pot of pinto beans, potatoes fried in bacon grease, an heirloom tomato, and a big helping of Chow-Chow gets me over it.