Unskinny Bacon

Here in Paris buying bacon can be a challenge.  Well not really if all you want is lardons…… you can buy those with ease anywhere.  But actual rashers of bacon – that’s another matter.  If you do get them they tend to be so wafer thin you just cannot peel them out of the packet without ending up with an absolute mess.  And just occasionally 🙁 that just does not work for a proper bacon sandwich.  Something Evie has become more than partial to.  So it was back to MEAT by HFW, John’s posted about it before, and curing our own bacon.  It’s very simple.  I went off to Les Sablons outdoor market and bought some pork belly.  Really getting to know one of the butchers there now and getting some great produce. Recognising the same merchant makes a big difference here as you build a rapport. Once home the bacon was rubbed in course salt into which was mixed brown sugar, bay leaves, a little BBQ dry rub and a secret hickory smoked salt (from Central Market – one of my must visits whenever in Houston).   Continue reading “Unskinny Bacon”

Interesting article in The Independent on the resurgence of Gin in the UK

“It ruined mothers (and fathers) and was an early harbinger of binge-drinking Britain before falling out of favour – and flavour. But now gin is back, thanks to a crop of aromatic new concoctions fuelling the biggest gin craze since the days of William Hogarth.”

The rise and rise of Mother’s Ruin

Upright Brewing Company Six


I love rye.  Rye bread, rye whiskey, and rye beer.  We have an excellent rye beer made in Texas called Real Ale Full Moon Pale Rye which tends to be a standard go to for me.  So I was excited to come across this in a grocery store in Portland, OR.  Upright Brewing is all about farmhouse inspired beers using saison yeast and Northwestern ingredients.  The beers are numbered based on their starting gravity (pre-fermentation sugar content) in Belgian brewing degrees.  The Six displays abundant rye spice characteristics along with some bubble gum derived from open fermentation.  It has a dry refreshing finish and me eager to try their other beers.

Snowdrift Cliffbreaks Blend Cider

Excellent cider recently acquired at Belmont Station in Portland, OR.  Snowdrift labels themselves a “nano-cidery” having produced 1800 cases last year.  Located in the Wenatchee valley in Washington the sunny hot summers and cold winters make an ideal climate for the orchard which grows English, French, and old American apples.  An English style cider with nice tannins and a complex taste of apples, melon, and dried fruit. Slightly effervescent.  Great with aged cheese.

Ginger Witch

This may be a boozy day. Here’s another cocktail that seems to work well.

Add lemon (in our case meyer lemon) simple syrup to a tall glass. Add ice. Add 1/2 a measure of Strega and half a measure of Domaine de Canton. Add a full measure of Hendrick’s Gin. Fill the glass with soda water and add a splash of bitters – in this case I used Fee Brothers’ – Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters. Blood orange or lemon bitters would work well too. Stir, add a slice of lemon to the rim of the glass and enjoy!