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Friday, March 22, 2013

The Pork Diaries: The New Bacon

A St. Patrick's Day breakfast - with the new bacon.
Two weeks ago, I got a note from David that the pork products we'd sent off to be smoke cured were ready to be picked up.  This year we worked with a new place on US 11 north of Edinburg - Byler's Custom Cutting.  So with the news I gave Chris a call and we arranged to meet up for a drive to the farm to pick up the ham he'd sent off, our hog's jowl, and the bacon.

I decided not to have my ham done this year and instead had cut it into roasts when we were working in the butchering shed.  That's because I'd lost about 2/3 of last year's ham during the power losses - when I went to get a portion of it to cook last summer, it was all freezer burned.

We haven't settled on what we're going to do with the jowl meat - it was cut in half and frozen, so we need to split it up.  I guess I could look up a recipe for preparing it into something good.  At first, I thought we might go ahead and slice it into bacon too  - I've bought packages of this before at Whole Paychecks.

The real treat of the weekend was a big breakfast Mary and I had on Sunday morning, St. Patrick's Day.  In honor of the holiday we decided to have an Irish country breakfast like you might get at Murphy's in Old Town Alexandria - eggs and bacon, and cottage fries.  We'd also picked up a loaf of soda bread from the Main Street Bakery in Luray to go with it, and Mary sauteed some leftover kale in the bacon pan, so we added that too.

Byler's had smoked the bacon to perfection, of course, but the big plus was how the slices had been thickly cut.  As they sputtered and crinkled, they generally held together in nice long ribbons - just great.

And to think that we have about 7 pounds of it to carry us through the rest of the year.  Looking forward to many more breakfasts - and maybe some nice BLTs once the tomatoes start to come in!

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