Today at Hrafinstaad we celebrated Father's Day.Chance requested a batch of my Sticky Buns,a nice cinnamon roll with a caramel goo over them. As a surprise the boys and I bought Chance a book he has been drooling over. We bought him a copy of Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, it is all about making and curing your own meats,sausages,bacons and more.When Chance was working as a chef he learned the basics of curing but has wanted to learn to do more.This afternoon he started the curing of a piece of salmon we got from our Alaskan neighbors.Once the salmon is done curing he will smoke it.Looks like I'll be making some bageals soon.This book will give us another way to provide ourselves with good quality foods. I looked through the book and even though I have only made Beef Jerky in the oven I think I would be able to do some of the basics on my own.
After breakfast we took a trip to a local asian super market called Fubon.Fubon is the size of a large Safeway store and is a great adventure in cooking.The main reason to go today was to price some cuts of meats that Chance wants to use with his new book.We found,uncured picnic ham,side pork for bacon,ducks and many more good looking meats. We like shopping at the asian markets.The prices tend to be lower on some standard things like noodles, rices,fruit and veggies.Depending on the market the meat can be a good buy too,you may not always reconize the cut but sometimes you can figure out how you could use it or learn to use.You can also find packages of common spices for a good price. By looking at the packaging it can be easy to figure out what flavor many items are,a chicken for chicken,a pig for pork ect. We also just ask a passing shopper if they can tell us about what we are looking at,so far people have been very helpful and we have tried some new things through their suggestions.When we like something we remember the packaging,a common trick when one can not read.
This morning we also picked the first round of raspberries from the garden.We picked 2 pints this morning and will have about the same tomorrow.We were also able to beat the Robins to 1 pint of cherries,these were just for snacking.The raspberries have gone into the freezer until I have enough for at least a few jars of jam to add to the stock pile.
The garden is coming along. We are still waiting for a bulk of it to be ready to harvest,we have had lots of salads,peas,strawberries and we are now sick of radishes.(note to self- not so many radishes next year) The pumpkins I planted on the Coop roof are up about 4 inches.They did that surprise thing gardens do,not there in the morning come back later and there they are poof and big. The Les Poulets chicks will be ready for butchering in less than a month.
This afternoon I started a new project of sorts.I read that you can make a tea out of comfery leaves and then pour the water/tea on your garden beds as a fertilizer.I have started the "tea" brewing in a five gallon bucket.When it is done I am going to feed the mashed up comfery to the chickens,it is suppose to be like a tonic to them.We will see,chickens are supossed to like comfery but ours have so far left the plants alone.Hopefully I don't give them a taste for it and lose my plants.
The coming week may be a quiet one here on the blog,I will be focused on getting everything ready for the boys' week at camp.I am sure there will be last minute shopping for some odd thing.I am also sending them with plenty of homemade cookies to share with the other boys in the troop.And probly some seasonings,one year they caught a Chipmunk and ate it after begging at the camp kitchen door for some salt and pepper.I know kind of gross,eating chipmunk but I like to encourage the boys in their more tame adventures,so sending a bit of salt and pepper may lead to some other wild camp story to bring home.