Pickles, Bacon & Rootbeer
Several weeks ago I made some Polish Style pickles with the popular "Mrs. Wages" premix spices. I must say, I really enjoyed them. I still have a jar in the refrigerator and, every so often, I'll grab one ― just because I can. They are now about 4 weeks old and still very crisp and delicious.
You can forget about the technique of finishing "healthier" bacon by lining a pan with aluminum foil and laying the bacon on a wire rack. It is by far one of the dumber things I have done. For one, preparation is a hassle. Secondly, the bacon becomes a dried out stick of wood ready to be used for kindling. And last, but not least, clean-up of the wire rack is a nightmare.
No thank you for this process. I will continue to finish bacon in my cast iron pan (as I have done for the past 55+ years). If you are lazy, fry it using a non-stick 12" pan. On medium heat (stove-top setting #3), the shrinkage is minimal and the bacon becomes a nice golden brown piece of pork. Drain it on a paper towel, and you are done in under 5 minutes. The pan is clean in under 60 seconds.
As I travelled across the country for some 50 odd years, I made it a mission to try local root beers ― in large cities but especially from small towns. I saved these bottles as a remembrance of the brew, brewer and local people for a very long time. Eventually I had to let go of them, except for a few I thought demanded immortality.
I love root beer and am working on resources to acquire the precious herbs and spices for making the "original" brew in the day of Charles Hires, who popularized the carbonated beverage.
Root beer recipes of the era contained different combinations of ingredients such as allspice, birch bark, coriander, juniper, ginger, wintergreen, hops, burdock root, dandelion root, spikenard, pipsissewa, guaiacum chips, sarsaparilla, spicewood, wild cherry bark, yellow dock, prickly ash bark, sassafras root, vanilla beans, hops, dog grass, molasses, and licorice. Many of these ingredients are still used in root beer today, along with added carbonation. There is no single recipe for root beer.
I had this one recently. It was pretty nice ... !
Anyway … Talk to you later.
Christoph ― The Bourgeois Chef ™
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