Sunday, March 18, 2007

Roast beast

I am congratulating myself, because I have managed to get all the ham leftovers into the freezers. It took some rearranging. We ate quite a bit of roast ham at dinner tonight, but there were still three 1-quart bags of lunchmeat, a 2-gallon sack of random bits and pieces, and a meaty hambone.

The ham is absolutely freaking delicious. It was cured for 30 days, give or take, in a hard cider brine. Last time we used Woodchuck, I think, but didn't get quite enough and had to pad it out with apple juice; this time we used Hornsby's in great quantities. I think this year's ham is even better than last year's, but I can't prove it. At the very least there's more of it, which is a very good thing.

I cannot emphasize this enough: I don't think there is any kitchen activity you can do that's more satisfying than curing your own meat. It's absolutely magical. Please, please, please try it yourself. There are all sorts of reference materials that can help you; I'm partial to the River Cottage books and DVDs, but they're by no means the only ones.

This photo is apropos of nothing, except that I was entranced by the gorgeous impracticality of the plants that were sitting in the bathroom sink. They're outdoors now. We had had a couple of very chilly days, with lows in the mid-30s, but now we seem to be rebounding. The s.o. has been busy planning improvements to his flower bed. Every year it gets better. We are known for it.

I am working on a 4000-word writing assignment and am totally exhausted.