Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's One Of Those Days

warm but cloudy, so you can smell the air. Much to my surprise, butterflies actually come out even when the sun does not, and I have a recipe for bacon jam!
Now you have it, too. Try it with celery. Bwahahahah.






IRL EXPERIMENTAL BACON JAM

Ingredients:

... (this part I'm super sure of)
bacon (any kind, I used applewood smoked, but whatever) - 1 lb
yellow onion - 1 large - peel and thinly slice
garlic - 3-4 cloves - peeled and chopped (I just did them in a julienne)

... (the rest... well... the amounts are kind of variable. To quote my
grandma, "How much? However much you want!")
strongly brewed coffee - 1/2 cup?
maple syrup - 1/4 cup + I think I tossed in another glug later
brown sugar - 1/3 cup, sort of lightly packed
apple cider vinegar - 1/3 cup
bourbon (totally optional but I mean COME ON) - 1/4 cup - I used Maker's Mark
black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon (maybe? I just put in a bunch, I could have put in way more)
chili powder - 1/3 tsp - mine was ancho but I don't think it matters
smoked paprika - 1/4 tsp - I think I could have added more of this, it smelled great when cooking but I'm not sure you could taste it
cayenne - I might have put in a pinch of it but I was scared to put in too much

Instructions:

1. Cook the bacon. You want it fully done but not tooooo crispy. Do it in batches so it has lots of room. Once it's done, put it aside on a paper-lined plate. Keep about 2-3 tbsp of the fat and discard the rest (into a container you WILL keep in the fridge to cook other awesomely flavoured things!).

2. In the bacon fat you've kept, cook the onions and garlic. You want to do it on medium low, so as to keep the onions translucent - you don't really want to brown them.

3. So maybe 8-10 minutes later, the onions should be done. Throw in all the rest of the ingredients, EXCEPT the bacon. Drop the heat down to low and mix it all up.

4. From low, bring it to a boil and let it boil for 2 minutes or so.

5. Meanwhile, chop up the bacon into 1/2 inch or so pieces. You could also have done this earlier and cook it in pieces, but I'd have done that with slightly larger pieces.

6. Once it's boiled, throw in the bacon. Stir it up and drop the heat again.

7. Let is simmer, uncovered for about 2 hours. You can adjust seasonings throughout this, but remember that it will cook down and concentrate flavours. Check it every once in a while (20 minutes maybe?), stir a bit and if it starts to dry out you can add a bit of water. I did that once, but probably out of paranoia than actual necessity.

8. It's done once the onions are basically melting almost away and the liquid is left as a syrup. Take it off the stove and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.

9. Throw it into a food processor (which I don't have, so I used an immersion blender, which worked okay but man, that is one of the more disgusting culinary things I've done and, remember, I have a recipe I often make that includes jello, cool whip, cabbage and mayo so I know what I'm talking about) and chop it up. You want it spreadable but still chunky and you want the bacon still recognizable.

That's it! This made 1 and 1/3 jars of the stuff. I'm sure you could easily scale this up. It should keep in the fridge for about a month, based on what I've read.

I've also seen recipes that included adobo and/or siracha and other things. So whatever flavours you want you can probably achieve in the mix.

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's Been Awhile Since They Sent Me A Poem

I really like. I really like this one. I know, it's crazy.

Q & A
by Terence Winch

Q. How important is theory in this poem? It seems as though
it just starts, goes nowhere, tells us nothing we need to know.

A. The concern here is with necessity, not fact. The poem could tell
you everything you wanted to know, but doesn't.
Some poems begin in the rinse cycle. This one goes right to spin.

Q. We noticed how marvelous the upper strata of the poem is. It suggests
the appeal of authoritarian faith in the old-fashioned
middle class. Did you write it on a train?

A. One day I heard laughter coming from some mysterious source. First
I thought
it came from several people who were stuck at the bottom of a well.
Then I speculated it could be a group of teenagers on the level right above me.
After a while, however, I wondered if it might actually be weeping.
I got out my address book and started calling around. In fact, people
were crying when I managed to get in touch with them. Where are
your social contracts now, I snarled, your precious theses on the absolute?
I averted my gaze as their beliefs unraveled.

Q. We can't help but notice how you seem to be suppressing what you
really mean. Are you naked in this poem?

A. I have these pastes and mud packs that I smear all over me, so I'm
never really naked, even when I have no clothes on.
The same thing goes for this poem.
It's beautiful, stark, totally blank, yet colorful, like a sin
you're considering but haven't yet committed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Want To Believe

That when guys like this start pumping for a big stimulus (see Summers earlier, but primarily about payroll), there's some behind-the-scenes Kabuki at work, a build-up that eventually will turn into enough of a consensus to turn the economy around before it's too late.
Spoke to a knowledgeable woman yesterday still in her 40s who believes she will not have Medicare at retirement. She probably believes she won't have Social Security either.
In other words, I want to believe there's a long game.