Ramble On

Friday, February 24, 2012

Makin' Bacon

Chris with the cimeter and the bacon...
David in the background overseeing
the knife play.

Last week, I got the call from David that the hams and bacon were back from the smokehouse.  So I made plans with Chris to head over and do this, the second-to-last errand related to the hog butchering.  Then final one will be when the salt-curing process for the fatback is done, and I don’t yet have an idea of when that will be completed.

A side of bacon - pre-slicing.
I was really glad that Chris was able to join for this, and Mary went along with us too.  Since Chris hadn’t been able to do the “hands on” (more like “hands in”) part of the process, I offered to let him do the bacon makin’ – and he jumped at the chance.  David took us back into the cooler where our hams and meat were stored, and we brought out the two sides of bacon.

They had to be skinned first, and Chris took the Cimeter knife out for that.  Then he blocked them into about 8-inch squares, saving the cuttings for other uses. 

Meat slicing demo.  I've got to get me
one of these machines!
David and Heather have a meat slicer that they were using to prepare the bacon…for some reason, I was imagining this to be a much more complex and difficult operation than what it really is. And then of course, the Seinfeld episode where Kramer gets a deli slicer from a bankruptcy auction and then begins taking orders kept coming into my head.

Chris cut my side into fairly thin slices, and then ratcheted up the thickness for his.  When we got to the odds and ends, we left it on thick and split those portions into shares as well.  There are some residual fatty pieces with a little meat on them that should go well with greens and beans later in the spring, so we’ve kept that too.

All totaled, I have about 24 portions of bacon coming out of this, that I’ve packaged two-to-a-bag - about a pound per bag.  We left room so that we can just fold over the edge of the freezer bag to reseal the second portions until we’re ready to use them.

Some of the finished product.
I’ll post on the hams next week.  But for now, I still can’t get over all the pork.  There is just a whole lot of it!

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