Monday, October 19, 2009

Repairing bikes like mad. I've been spending far too much time in the basement these days, working on other people's bikes. Not that I mind working on bikes all that much, I just wish for the process to go a little quicker. In general though fixing bikes for my various teammates who have smashed them is not too difficult and does add a bit of cash to my otherwise cash-strapped existance. That existence will become ever so slightly more strapped once the default period for my deferred student loans expires next month. Yikes. I'm working full time these days which is great, but it's splitting between the two jobs that makes it challenging.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A friend of mine got me a certificate to take a sausage making class for my birthday back in April, I was all fired up and then the class got pushed back until September, and was I ever bummed. But guess what, I made it all the way to September and the class was waiting for me still.

The chef was the head meat guy from Vetri Ristorante, and had done work with Mario Batali in NYC before. The class was pretty good, and they gave a lot of tips to make the process easier. I'm glad that I had made sausage before as I was able to ask some more detailed questions about the process and make friends a bit with the chef. As it turns out, you don't necessarily need to add the lactic acid starter culture to your meats before you cure them, it just makes the process a bit more fail safe, though I found that when I made my smoked Chorizo that it turned the sausage pretty tart. Not a bad thing, but a bit overpowering sometimes.
The coolest part was that while the woman from Foster's was talking with the chef, they mentioned that Vetri and Osteria (same owner) in town both allow "try out" and help in the kitchen on Sundays. Anyone can come and set up a time to help for a day in the kitchen at some of the best italian places in town. I was talking to the chef after class and he told me to give them a call and come in some day when they are breaking down an animal-- they get whole pigs and lambs from a farmer in Lancaster and cut the meat all up themselves. I think that I'll have to do that some time soon!
The class really inspired me to make up another batch of sausage, bacon and all kinds of porky/meaty goodness. Our friends Matt and Stacey are having an Oktoberfest house warming party next week, and I might have to make some bratwurst for that.