Preparations are underway for the Swiss Yarn Festival, at the end of this month! I’ve been busy dyeing up yarn, winding skeins, and trying to figure out how to display everything!
A couple things of note: I’ve put my Etsy shop on “vacation” until after the festival. I’ll reopen once again after I’m back, at the beginning of March. Hopefully, I will be able to add a whole slew of new yarn in the next month.
But one new thing I *do* have is my Canon sock yarn in my Twisted Colorways: Two 50g skeins that coordinate that would be awesome for color work. The problem I always have, is that I have to skein up 2 regular skeins of sock yarn, and always wind up using just half of each skein. Then they halves are relegated to the back of the stash until I can come up with something else to use them for. But with Twisted, you have the perfect amounts to knit your socks up without too much left over!
In foodie-related news, Beryl tried her first waffle, after seeing them on TV.
I’ve been also playing around with a chocolate mousse recipe, and cannot decide between the cherry – Amaretto or the raspberry – Gran Marnier versions.
And then there is the whole “discovery” of my stovetop smoker. I say “discovery”, but what I mean is that I unearthed it from the back of the closet after receiving it for Christmas like 7 years ago. Let me tell you about perfection: Smoked garlic, added to butter to dip artichokes in. Smoked rack of lamb. And my current kick, smoking steaks.
I put them in the smoker for about 15 minutes, remove from the heat and let sit sealed for another 5, then vac-packed with duck fat and cooked sous vide for 50 minutes at 54°C. Take them out, season with salt, and sear in blazingly hot duck fat for a few seconds on each side. Then grind on some pepper, rest, carve and serve. I have a large fillet waiting to be done this way later this week for my in-laws, since they are the ones who gifted me this genius of a contraption all those years ago.
And last but CERTAINLY not least, a bit of slow-roasted pork (not in the smoker, but still mighty fine). I was really missing Sardinia, and craving porceddu, a slow roasted sucking pig stuffed with Myrtle leaves. Lacking both a fire-pit and myrtle leaves, I had to create something else that would ease my cravings.
I took a gorgeous NaturaFarm pork shoulder (bone-in, apx 5 kg) and slow roasted it, resulting in amazing crackling and fall-apart, juicy meat. The first step was scoring the fat of the pork all over, in about 1 cm wide strips then taking a few tablespoons of fennel seeds, black peppercorns, and coarse sea salt and bashing them up into a coarse rub. Rub it all over the pork, with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil to help make it stick, and really get into the nooks and crannies of the pork.
As I didn’t have myrtle leaves to stuff a piglet with, nor a good method of roasting the pig over an open fire, I made do with a roasting tray lined with several branches of rosemary, bay and several garlic cloves.
Plop the pork onto a rack in the tray and roast at 240°C for about 45 – 60 minutes, then turn down the heat to 130°C. And then this is KEY: A really good slug of red Mirto that we had picked up in Alghero last summer (*sigh*). Roast, uncovered, for about 6 – 7 more hours. Add a splash of water if needed after a couple hours, to keep things from burning on the bottom of the pan. The pork is fatty enough that you won’t need to baste it at all.
At the end, let the pork rest for a good 30 – 45 minutes, while you prepare your sides. I made a quick gravy from the pan juices by adding more Mirto, and cooking it down. Pull off the crackling, shred the pork with a couple of forks and dive in.
We ate the left overs plain, in sandwiches and in pasta sauces. And the crackling was even amazing cold the next day.