Mmm… Bacon

I may have mentioned that our butcher is no longer smoking meat.  His uncle retired so we were given unsmoked and frozen pork belly and leg roasts.  We have a small smoker but hadn’t used it to make bacon or ham.

So we thawed half of one pork belly.

We cut into ~1 pound pieces.  And we chose this recipe to make bacon.  Here is the pork belly pieces curing with Prague Powder #1, coarse Kosher salt, brown sugar, maple syrup (from our trees), cracked black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.  This lasted one week.

Tom then developed a pellicle. He removed the bacon from the bags, rinsed the pork belly, placed it on a wire rack above a baking sheet, patted the pork belly dry with paper towels, and then seasoned the top with the tablespoon of fresh cracked black pepper. He placed the peppered bacon in the fridge and left it uncovered for 18 hours

Then he prepared our smoker this morning. He preheated our smoker to 160 degrees F using our apple wood.

He smoked it for 5 hours when it reached 155 degrees.

Here is it right out of the smoker.  Tom showed it to me as I was enjoying the “red” carpet before the Oscars post-call.

And here’s my dinner.

And that is the best bacon I have ever had.

Posted in Farm, Recipes- farm | 4 Comments

My Aunt Darlene

She died today.  Here are some photos to remember her by.

She trained and worked as a nurse.  She even gave me my first immunizations at the King County Health Department in 1973.  When I told her I was going to be a doctor, she discouraged me and told me they were mean to nurses.  I have tried very hard not to be.

She married and had my cousins Erik and Ted.

I remember all of the cousins’ birthday parties she would host.  They were great fun.  I also remember that she had letter magnets and pictures on her refrigerator.  I thought it was so cool so now I do the same.

Here she is with me and my father at their mother’s burial in Minnesota.

Here she is at my wedding.

DCF 1.0

She and her husband Arnie had a casita in La Paz Mexico which we visited.  Here she is at the beach there.  She had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but it was progressing so slowly they even started questioning the diagnosis.

But progress it did.  She has been in nursing care for years and through the pandemic.  My father visited her regularly when he could.

And she died this morning in hospice care.  She is now at peace, but we are all sad.


Posted in History, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Has Spring Sprung Yet?

Yesterday seemed beautiful.  It was partially cloudy with reasonable temperatures and no precipitation in the forecast.  Spring was in the air.  I noticed that the day lilies that line our foundation are really stating to grow.

I took photos of the croci blooming.

And the snow drops.

The forsythia is blooming although is somewhat scraggly looking.

The flowering cherry is starting to bloom. You can see some of the beautiful blue sky in this photo as well.

I had ordered some lily bulbs to plant in our old wood stove.  I accomplished that yesterday.

And I was really relieved to see that the bees are alive.  I was really worried about them with the last cold snap.  But they are flying around again and collecting pollen.  I checked quickly, and they still have plenty of bee candy.


It was dry enough for Tom to till the garden.  Isn’t that soil pretty?  Every spring I am impressed by it.

I decided that the weather was good enough to wash some wool on the back porch.  But as I was doing this (and Tom was burning some tree debris), the sky darkened and suddenly there was a big squall with very cold wind and lot of sleet.  There were lightening strikes reported nearby.  This did not seem like a “spring shower”.  So is this the “Faux Spring”?  If so, it is late and per this chart we have 2 more months of rain until spring.

Tom had to run to get out of the sleet.  I put on a sweatshirt but was still being pounded by wind and sleet under cover on our porch.  But I couldn’t stop what I was doing so soldiered on.  I now have 10 little samples of wool washed, and they are now drying.

Today was gorgeous.  I even have planted oats, peas, radishes and spinach.  Ever the optimist. Watch, it will snow now!

Posted in Farm | 8 Comments