Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A Shopping List of Sorts, Bookcases and Books and a Book Review

I am very keen to expand my preserving repertoire with meat and fish products this year and there are several recipes that I am itching to have a go at but before I get too carried away which is often my want I think I need to get myself organised a little more.  There is no harm in planning but we have to be sensible here.  There are a couple of reasons for this the chief one being that I have always had a very good memory both short term and long term but occasionally just recently it has been letting me down and in those circumstances when it comes to shopping in particular I thought it might be safer to write a shopping list if you like.  However this one is not going to be on any old scrap of paper I have decided to write in a hard-back book the ingredients for the recipes so that when I go meat shopping or grocery shopping I have the lists to hand which gives me free choice and quantities.

 The second reason for this is that on occasions things are on good offers and it would be sacrilege to miss out on a deal to make something just because you cannot remember the list of ingredients or the cut of meat.  This way hopefully it will be a win win situation.

One of the positives of sorting out my bookcase is that I have rediscovered lots of books - especially little books with lots of lovely recipes.  Cookery books that look inconsequential  including a couple of Bero Cookery books (an old one and a new one).  My mum always used to use the Bero cookery book it was her old faithful and I learned to bake using its recipes, no doubt like many before me.  However once you start leafing the pages you discover a treasure trove of good cooking - little gems of inspiration and along the way I have found recipes for meat products that you can prepare at home.  In many ways we buy all these products from regular Artisan producers (more preferable on the point of flavour from my perspective) or the supermarket - which in a lot of cases I have been disappointed with despite promising so much.   When you cannot find what you are after then its time to have a go at doing it yourself.

I am really interested in a new area of preserving to me of meat and fish preserving.  Recently I had sent away for a couple of books which have spurred me on even further.  Then quite by chance I was flicking through a book I had already bought for the bottling section and other preserves when I found a whole section relating to meat.  The book is The Gentle Art of Preserving by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi.  What a cracker of a book.

This unassuming book on the outside but fantastic on the inside  covers a lot of areas and is split into sections such as:

Oil, Fat and Butter

The recipes I am  looking at predominantly come under the heading of salt; they include:

Old English Bacon
Beef and Chilli Dry Cure Bacon
Dry Cured Pancetta
Petit Sale
Bradenham Style Ham
Christmas Ham
Small Prosciutto
Chilli Lemon and Rosemary Coppa
Traditional Pork and Leek Sausage
Italian Fennel  Seed Sausage
Small Cotechino style sausage
French Saucisson
Sobrasada Style spreading sausage
Spanish Fresh Chorizo
Spanish Dried Chorizo
North African Merguez
South African Boerwors
Italian Sopressata
Ricardos Salami
Rhubarb Cured Haunch of Venison
Cured Duck and Goose Breasts
Dry Cured Bresaola
Salt Beef

This is just one book I also have a recipe in another book for Lamb Prosciutto.  So now you see why I need a notebook/shopping list; especially as the list gets ever longer.

This really is a fantastic book the photography is beautiful and the information presented in a very easy format.  One of the other sections covers Sour Dough, Kefir Drinks water and milk, yogurt, creme fraiche they all come under fermentation.  There is also an extensive section on smoking and the recipes are different to many other books I have of a similar nature.  It is very user friendly.

So there are now a few things to add to the Wish List

Excalibur Food Hydrator with thermostat and timer I have been after this for about 7 years
Biltong/Jerky Drying Box
Pressure Canner and Pressure Canner Tester have been after this for about 7 years too
Water Bath Processor for bulk water bathing fruit
A Cold Smoker
A Hot Smoker
More Plastic boxes of different sizes for curing

and to add to that

A Cave/Cellar
Large Cold Pantry
Large Dry Pantry
Meat Safes

I really love this book as it gives me so much scope to play but is such a good introduction for the novice as well.  See what a good book does it gets you into all sorts of trouble.

Catch you soon.



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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
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