I’ve had a go at making my own bacon. Just a small piece of belly pork to give it a try. I followed a recipe from the River Cottage Family Cookbook. I followed it very carefully. It looks like good streaky bacon and is nice and tender but it is saltier than the Dead Sea and I’ve been to the Dead Sea and accidentally swallowed some of it. I put some cubes of it in a beef casserole and didn’t need to add any salt. I think the only thing it will be good for is supplying the salt in pea soup and such things. Good thing it lasts for weeks. I think mine will last forever with all that salt.
After looking at some other bacon recipes and curing instructions that I have I’m pretty sure there is a mistake in the River Cottage recipe. It calls for 500g salt for 1.5kg of meat where other recipes use about a quarter of that or less and also more sugar. I’m willing to give bacon another go with another recipe and over time I might cobble a recipe together from various instructions and come up with something I like.
My local supermarket is locally owned and so often has things for sale that you’d never find in Coles or Woolies. Today I bought a forequarter of lamb cut into chops including the neck, shank and ribs. It was $6 a kilo and the total cost was $20.30. After dividing up the chops into packs of 2 for the freezer I had 5 packs of chops, a neck in one piece, a shank, a set of ribs and a couple of chops that were too bony and fatty for grilling. All except the packaged up chops went into the pot with carrots, onions and celery and a few herbs and cooked gently for two hours. I strained it and continued to cook the stock to reduce it and took all the meat off the bones and chopped it up. I think I’ll make a pie with it tomorrow. 10 chops, a pie and a pot of stock isn’t too bad for $20.
All this cooking takes time and energy. I still need to keep the house clean, do all the washing (including nappies), keep J entertained and happy, visit people, go to Kindergym, Bible study, hydrotherapy and so on. I need to remember that there are more important things than saving money and home cooking everything we eat. If I buy biscuits I have not failed. If I buy some new clothes I have not failed. If J eats something out of a jar I haven’t failed either. What are the more important things? Spending time with God. Spending time with my family and giving them my undivided attention for some time every day. Seeking God’s approval and not the admiration of other people. My worth is not tied up in the things I do. I have to keep reminding myself of these things.