Saturday, 31 December 2011

Air Dried Ham; Day 21

So I find myself at the end of 2011; if you are expecting a neat summary of my achievements over the past year you are about to be disappointed. That would defeat the aim of keeping a Journal. If you want to know how the year panned out for me check the preceding pages.

The day started with an early wander around the Three Miler with T&M. I really owed them a walk as a combination of atrocious weather and a trip in to town meant that no walk had happened yesterday. The Christmas/New Year walkers were out in their hordes this morning and I counted more than a dozen of them. I have had a minor rant about them on previous occasions so I'll not bother with that today other than to make the observation that their numbers are expected to decline significantly in the next 48 hours and by the end of next week it will just be the usual miscreants out in the lanes.

After lunch it was time to excavate the leg of pork that I had been salting in the garage in preparation to make an air dried ham.
The leg weighed 6 kilos (a tad over 13 lbs) when it was placed in the salt on 9th December. After 21 days it now weighs 4.77 kg (10 lb 9 oz) so the salting appears to have reduced the weight by approximately 20%.
 After a thorough rinsing in cold water the leg is patted dry and then given a good wash in white wine vinegar.
It is then dried, wrapped in a double layer of muslin and then hung out in the garage for the next 6 months. All being well I should have a fine Prosciutto type ham towards the end of May 2012.
Other Stuff: 

TP returned home today after a few days away with his Mum, Bro and Sis down at Grandma's. 

On an entirely unconnected matter; 30% let Noggin & Tog have their first experience of outside today. Noggin nearly caused 30% to have a fit of the vapours when he headed straight for the main road. Tog, on the other hand, was far more cautious and took a long look around before a careful exploration of the patio. Having completed one circuit he re-entered the house with the look of a cat that thought the garden had not quite lived up to his expectations...

... perhaps he will change his mind when he discovers mice, shrews, voles and LBBs*.

On a slightly connected matter the Christmas Tree was taken to the local recycling point after achieving a world record three and one half day residence as a piece of living room installation art before cat attacks caused it to be deconstructed and placed in the garden. I think it says something that I liked it upright with baubles and lights intact whilst N&T preferred it sprawled across the floor with it's trimmings strewn across the room...

... We have a little under 12 months to rectify these artistic differences.
* Little Brown Birds

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