Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Week

I recently took 2 books out of the library. The first was Harold McGee's Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes. I wanted to love the book, but I couldn't get into it. The format is a little weird, choppy paragraphs and one line thoughts. Just couldn't get into it.

The other book I took out makes me want to cook. A lot. It is Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. I've got to make something out of this. Tonight I am going to make my a starter that will eventually turn into a mother which will eventually turn into bread. There is also a pizza dough that is a must try. One of these days... but the starter will begin tonight. I think I'm going to have to buy this one.

The recent snow, constant trolling of Craigslist for my dream brick saw and all this daydream of bread have brought back my brick oven dreams. I started drawing. And drawing. And drawing. If I can't make it work in a picture, how the hell can I build it? I learned a lot making many variations of these pictures. Visualizing how certain bricks would get cut. How to make things fit so the dimensions work out. Figuring out how to get a running bond so joints don't line up. There are still plenty of things to draw, but here are some recent drafts for a 39" diameter brick oven. Someday....a work in progress though.

No luck finding a pork belly yet. None to be had at the Troy Farmer's Market this weekend. Found a local farmer that had some, but at $15 a pound. Way too steep. I wonder what the whole pig would cost at that rate? None to be had at Adam's down in Newburgh (more come on Friday but I won't be back that way for 2 weeks). My Adam's disappointment came too late for me to have one put aside at Rolph's. So I am left with 2 options that I know about: The Asian Market on Central or a special order from The Meat House. They dropped the ball on my last order, maybe they would come through now. I could try Henry's in Waterford. I'm pretty sure they make their own bacon.

And the stars have aligned. This year's Summer in Winter aka Rib and Pierogi Day is set for January 30th. Starting to drool already.


  1. what?! rib & pierogi day!? NOM NOM NOM!

  2. Yikes - $15/lb is steep for some belly. I haven't had much luck myself. I will have to give that place in waterford a try, though.

  3. In Albany I can't help you, I have to go to Pennsylvania for pork belly myself.

    I'm not doing pancetta, I've got quite a bit in the freezer as well as a lot of bacon.

    So I'm doing a shoulder cured as bacon.

  4. Warner - I look forward to seeing what you cure. I'm following the two hams you have going too. I just might have to try those myself.