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31 December 2008

Where Pork Comes From

We eat a lot of pork between and during Christmas and Three Kings day, and we get our pork from my wife's cousins, who live a bit up the mountain from us. Juan and Jose raise a few dozen pigs a year, and during the holiday season, they will butcher a dozen or more. We witnessed this one from start to finish, and it wasn't nearly as grizzly has I feared. It didn't even smell that bad. I'll spare you the actual dispatching of the pig, and if you're squeamish, you won't want to watch these videos.

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The beautiful young lady in the video is 12 years old, and all the family's children participate.

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Practically no part of the pig is wasted. Here, Juan is preparing the intestines for morcilla: sausage made of pig blood and rice. I never developed a taste for this particular delicacy. Juan's wife will finish cleaning the intestines, and make the morcilla.

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And here, Jose is remove the meat from the head, which will be smoked.

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17 August 2008

Wordle

I found this today on A Hunger Artist (Bob always finds the good stuff).

From the Wordle website:
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide.

Hours of fun for the whole family. Here's a word cloud of this very website.
I suppose I'm a little fixated on bread. Click the image to enlarge it.




03 July 2008

Hell's Kitchen: Spanish TV

I live in Puerto Rico, so I get Spanish TV. They broadcast in English,
with Spanish subtitles. They do not censor.

I watched Hell's Kitchen last night.

I've seen this episode before on American TV; but there it was:

"You <bleep> idiot. I'm not serving this <bleep>".

On Spanish TV it's the much more refreshing:

"You fucking idiot. I'm not serving this shit".

I can take this language. I worked in a factory.

04 May 2008

Calzones

Calzones are the original Hot Pockets®, only not as crappy, and certainly no where near as crappy as Lean Pockets®.

A calzone is stuffed pizza dough. You can put whatever you want in a calzone, but I like any salume (Italian cold cuts) and cheese (usually mozzarella and parmigiano or pecorino). A little simple tomato sauce is optional, but tasty. However, putting tomato sauce in a calzone is tricky at best. It's probably better to leave it out and use the sauce on top of the calzone after it's cooked.
  1. Preheat your oven to 425F. I use a baking stone, but you can also use a lightly oiled sheet pan dusted with a little coarse corn meal, or a sheet pan covered with parchment paper.
  2. Roll out each ball to about 6 - 7" and add filling to cover one half, leaving enough on the edge of the dough so you can make a good seal. This doesn't look like it's going to work, but it does. When you pull the dough up and over the filling, you stretch it to match the other edge.

  1. Fold over the dough and seal by going around the calzone folding and pinching a bit of the edge. Cut a small hole in the top of the calzone so it doesn't explode.
  1. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, or until golden.
  2. Remove to a cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.

One of these is plenty for one person. I always make more than we can eat; they freeze beautifully.

25 April 2008

Don Luis Returns

Regular readers of this blog (and there must be one or two of you) probably noticed that I haven't posted in many months. That's because an old friend a college talked me out of retirement for a 1 month technical writing gig. Ten months later, I'm still working.

Now, I want to return to cooking for my extended live-in family. My mother-in-law cooks Puerto Rican, and I cook Italian-American and American. Together, we make a lot of great home-style food.

I intend to blog more often, and if no-one reads it, so be it. Since I started this blog, I've found hundreds of other food blogs that are simply better than mine. I simply do this for my own amusement, and as a way to log my cooking experiences and thoughts.