Tuesday, January 29, 2013

50,000!

Just checked in on things and noticed I just rolled over 50,000 hits. I started this blog just over a year ago and it is amazing that that many people have seen it.

Things have been a little slow on the water lately; add that to 40 hours of work a week and two college courses and the blog gets neglected. I have a few things together that need to be posted, plus a few other ideas.

No fish, but a few nice days

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pelicans on the Kings River

Since the fishing has been pretty off for me, I thought I would share these pictures of pelicans I took on the Kings river my last trip out. 
For their size, pelicans are pretty easily spooked. I had to paddle up quick, and fire off a few shots before they fly away.
   
I wonder where they are from. The other thing I wonder is, does the fishing suck because they are here and eating my bass? They have been coming here longer than I have and have more right to the fish in my opinion.
I just wish my camera had a better zoom.

Thanks for reading,
Dan

Monday, January 7, 2013

Make'n Bacon II

I didn't make bacon until this year due to the fact I was under the impression bacon needed to be cold smoked. Seeing as I owned an electric water smoker, bacon was out of my reach. Then I read Hank Shaw's blog on smoking Ventreche and tried it for myself. it cooked faster than cured bacon, was cheaper than store bought and I could make it without adding any chemicals.

I started out with a full side of belly, I think mine was the left side. It cost me about $40 at my butcher. I cut it into two more manageable pieces and dry cured it in the bag the butcher sold it to me with about a cup and a half kosher salt and a half cup of brown sugar for 4 days.
I ordered to bacon hangers from Butcher-Packer.com for about half of what you can buy them for anywhere else. The problem was the racks in the smoker were too low to hang anything from. I solved that by drilling a 1/4 inch hole through both sides of the smoker and threading a 1/4' aluminum rod through it.
I used apple chips soaked in peach juice for the smoke. While the smoker was warming up I dried the belly and let it come to room temperature for smoking. I pierced the bellies with the hangers in a spot with a lot of muscle so they would hold up.
I just let it go at 210-220 degrees until it was a nice gold/red color.
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I let it rest until it was room temperature, cutting it before it cools down is a mess.
Once it was cooled I put it in the fridge to let the fat set a bit before peeling off the skin with the help of a knife to keep it pretty. I cut the center pieces of better presentation and bagged them. Next I bagged the end cuts and lastly the chunks and scrapings. The scraps are great fried and added to any dish crumbled bacon is good in. The skin can be washed, cut into stripps and fried into mouth watering chicharones with a smokey bite.

The advantage of hot smoking the bacon is you cooking time is greatly reduced and the fact you do not need to buy another smoker to have home made bacon. My kids and wife absolutely love it.  The reason I used a whole side instead of a 1/3 is they ate the last 1/3 before I got to try any. Don't be afraid to try it for yourself.

Thanks for reading,

Dan

http://honest-food.net/2012/04/20/ventreche-french-bacon/
http://theimpracticalfishermen.blogspot.com/2012/09/maken-bacon.html
http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=65