Monday, June 17, 2013

Heading West...far West

It is that time of the year again.  Packing up for our summer trip.  The freezer and refrigerator are almost empty.  Plans have been made and now the packing for the next 2 days.  In the next month we will be driving from central Florida to the coast of Oregon.   We are going to see family, attend my class reunion and meet two blogger friends in Oregon.  I have already met Diana from "Voice in the Garden," but this time we will also meet Cathy from "Wives with Knives."  And then, our summer in Montana in our travel trailer.

First of all, I have been very lack in blogging as I have gotten into several knitting projects and you know how it can't do both.  We have also  enjoyed watching a mockingbird lay build a nest and lay four eggs in our oleander bush.  Each time we tried to peek, we were bombed by the mama bird, flying right into our hair.  And then yesterday, we saw one young bird hanging on a branch and chirping loudly and then this morning, all the babies are gone.  It seems odd that they can fly already, but the books say 12 days after birth they are ready for flight lessons.

I also have some questions to answer.  Yes, the bacon jam was delicious.  We ended up finishing it on a cracker with cheese with the bacon spread on top.  Very nice afternoon cocktail treat. Surprisingly, it did not give that greasy feel in the mouth that might be expected.   I will need to make this again when there are more men around.  But, when it comes right down to it, bacon and eggs or bacon and onions sauteed together in any German dish still seems to be my favorite way of eating it.

And the celery we planted a few months ago.  I have actually been using it and it still is growing.  No, it does not have the thick ribs of the celery you are familiar with, but the leaves are beautiful and the taste is good.  It was a great experiment.  Now I will be curious to see if it is still alive when we come back in the fall.

I will be blogging when the moose visit us or if it snows earlier than expected and when the Internet is working up to par.  Enjoy your summer.  I know ours will be busy.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bacon Jam

While working in the kitchen this morning, I was reminded of a nursery rhyme my mother used to recite to me.

"There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good,
and when she was bad she was horrid."

Well, today I fit into the "bad, bad" category.  We both have been reading more and more about "Bacon Jam."  Reading about it is okay, but this morning I was actually cooking it on the stove.  I found this recipe on the Internet on the blog site of  Not Quite Nigella.  She had 254 comments on it back in 2009 when she posted it.  So I am slow to the gate, but now I am totally involved.

Bacon Jam
adapted from Not Quite Nigella 

1 pound smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium brown skinned onion, sliced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Sriracha to taste
1 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
black pepper
Extra water

In a non-stick pan, fry bacon in batches until lightly browned and beginning to crisp.

Fry the onion and garlic in the rendered bacon fat on medium heat until translucent.

Transfer the bacon, onion and garlic into a heavy based cast iron pot and add the rest of the ingredients except for the water.

Simmer for 2 hours, adding 1/4 cup of water every 25-30 minutes or so, and stirring.

When ready, cool for about 15-20 minutes and then place in a food processor.  Pulse for 2 or 3 seconds so that you leave some texture to the jam.

Serve on your favorite burger, grilled cheese, as an appetizer on crusty bread.  The possibilities are endless. 

We are brining some pork chops for this evening and thought this would be a nice addition to the meal.  I have read the every cook who has made this jam has literally eaten it out of the jar with a spoon.  I really, really hope that does not happen in this kitchen.