Oh the beloved beer brewing weekend. The holidays have taken its toll. After more than a month of brewing inactivity, the kegs on tap are empty. Store bought beer is slowly invading the fridge. The cheerfully delightfulness of wonderful hop aroma from the beer closet is missing.
Over the last weekend, I decided to check out Central Market’s Citrusfest. As mentioned by David Lebovitz, Central Market has quite the spread of citruses over this period.
I knew there were a few varieties of citrus but I honestly don’t really know too much about one from the other. I mean, what’s the real difference between a Meyer and a Lisbon lemon? (Lisbon lemons are usually grown year round and are your typical grocery store lemon.)
Anyway, I’ve heard quite a bit about the Meyer lemon and they looked really great, quite unlike the regular dry hard-as-rock type lemon. Seriously, I don’t think I could ever squeeze more than a couple of drops of juice from a generic store bought lemon. But I digress.
So with tons of lemons on hand (well, in a bag really) and a charcuterie kick (thanks to Charcutepalooza), I set off to make some lemon confit.
So January 15th’s Charcutepalooza challenge is the salt cure. I already had 2lbs of pork belly from Olde World Farms so why not just dive right in and make some bacon. (No pancetta here since the strip of belly isn’t really suited to rolling.)
A little over two weeks ago, one of my favorite blog and food writer, Michael Ruhlman brought to my attention Charcutepalooza. Having made my very first batch of bacon a month ago, this greatly intrigued me. Salted meat for 12 months? Count me in.
Phew, what a long morning. Last week, I volunteered to cook for about 20 volunteers who were working on a construction project. Today happened to be the day.
My original plan was to make something cheap yet a little different. I opted for fried rice initially. Seeing that the best fried rice requires cold leftover rice, I spent Thursday firing up 2 rice cookers for this endeavor.
And then I get an email telling me that finger food is preferred. That along with expecting 28 people instead. Fried rice wouldn’t really fly (more one the leftover rice next time) so I went for some serious chili dogs with cheese. Having been vegan and having to put up with the difficulty of finding vegan/vegetarian food, I had to have a vegetarian option of course.
Enter the Smartdog:
They really aren’t so smart an idea
Which brings me to the point where I was. With all 4 burners of the stove burning, I was skimming off fat from the chili when I smelled something really funky, kind of a hybrid of bleach and really disgusting cheap plastic wrap. I had no idea what it was initially until I look down and realized that steam from the veggie dogs were blowing in my face.
It tasted as bad as it smelled. My sort-of-vegetarian-but-no-longer friend couldn’t handle them. My roommate and former vegan Jeremy wouldn’t even try them.
So a note to all of you out there – avoid the smart dog. Seriously.