The Weekend Agenda

Oh, how I love my weekends. Forty-eight-plus hours of time to do whatever I want, whenever I want. This weekend I’ve got some big plans. I will be putting to cure not one, but two pork bellies. The local market has them fresh on Fridays, so I’m going to pick up a few after work tonight. I’m going to do one in the standard cure I’ve been using flavored with a touch of maple syrup and cracked black pepper. The other one, I’m not sure yet. I’ll have to dig through my spice collection and see what looks appealing. I do have some juniper berries, but I’m not sure bacon is where I want my juniper to end up (the hunt for venison continues).

I’m also going to be making some bread. I treated myself last night to The River Cottage Bread Handbook (as well as Mastering the Craft of Making Sausage) and am anxious to get my hands in some dough. This book looks amazing and has an mind-numbing number of recipes in it. Since it’s been a good long while since I’ve made home made bread, I’m going to do a the Basic Bread recipe first. And I’ll likely do a focaccia using rosemary from my plant as well… which now is making me think I need to make up some ciopinno for Saturday dinner, because really, what’s better than a hot seafood soup and focaccio when it’s chilly outside?

I’m also going to do a little work with gin. A few weeks ago, I bought a bottle of Death’s Door, which is not a bad gin; it just doesn’t have the flavor profile I like. I really like ones that are are spicy and juniper-heavy. I had a conversation with the fine folks over at eGullet about it, and the consensus is that infusing it with more gin probably won’t give me the result I want. Lots of great suggestions were offered, and infusing it with Earl Grey tea (to be used in an Earl Grey martini) sounds the most exciting of them all. So, I’m going to give it a try with the half the bottle. The other suggestion over on eGullet was to try some new drinks instead, that don’t rely on heavy juniper flavor to be good and I’m open to that as well (why didn’t I think of that myself), so that’s what I’m going to do with the second half of the bottle.

So, now just a few more hours to go until I can get at it!