Monday, 30 July 2012

How to make lard

After cutting up a pig (especially a big one), you are left with a lot of fat. Cut it up in cubes, approx. 2.5-3cm big. Or smaller, if you prefer, or if you still have the energy and time.

Put it in a big, preferably heavy-based, pot.

Have it on a very low heat.

Let it do its thing, stirring occasionally. Slowly it will start to melt. It should not bubble. The fat should just melt. It will take time, though.

This is what it looks like at the very end. You could eat the crunchy bits. They are like crackling. Or you could leave little bits in the lard pot (mixed in with the lard) - and spread it on bread, where the occasional crunchy bit is a treat.
Or you could feed them to the chooks - if you have had enough piggery for a while. There are lots of things you can do with the crunchy bits.

The lard is poured into containers. Let it cool, put lid on. There you are.
 This will keep forever in the fridge. Or you could freeze it. Or use to make soap, or a decadent lardy cake, or for deep-frying, etc.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Time for cauliflower!

This is our first cauliflower of the season. Yes, I did wait a bit too long to harvest this one. The head is quite open, but it's okay, it still tastes very nice.
We have several varieties growing.
All very pretty, and very tasty.
Already looking forward to them all.
Do you have a favourite way of preparing / eating cauliflower? I like it stir-fried. With garlic, ginger and chilli. And making sure that at least one side of the florets gets really golden brown.
It's also nice raw, dipped in some chickpea aioli. :)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A little garden tour

It's cold and wet here. Winter is in full swing, but there are signs that spring might not be that far away.
The jonquils have started flowering.
They are always such a cheerful sight at the height of winter.
Quite a few different varieties.
Winter gladiola are flowering, too.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Trevor is cut up

The next phase was to cut up Trevor, the female pig, into good-sized chunks for prosciutto and pancetta. The trimmings, etc. went into two piles.
The 'good' pile (lean meat without sinews, etc.) for salami. The 'other' pile for fresh sausages. This meat contained a bit of sinew, etc. Just everything that didn't make it into the 'good' pile.
Here (to the left) is the pile with the big chunks for prosciutto and pancetta. To the right you can see the pile for the salami.
The meat in the bowl is for the fresh sausages. We also divided the fat into a big lard pile (to be rendered later) and the pile for the chooks. They LOVE a good porky feast! :)
To be continued...

Monday, 16 July 2012

We cut up Trevor... 7am on Saturday morning.

It was, however, a female pig. But the ear tag said 'Trevor'.

Here we are, discussing the game plan.
Off with the skin.
The 140kg pig getting rather skinny.
Story to be continued...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Mr. Fothergill's Seeds

Out of the blue I received an email from the good people at Mr. Fothergill's, asking me whether I'd be interested in trialling some seeds and reviewing them. As I normally can't refuse any offer of seeds, I said 'yes'.

So here is the parcel of seeds I received.
I am quite excited, as I've never tried these baskets before. The instructions seem pretty clear and I quite like the concept of growing a few things on the windowsill.
 I shall wait a week or two before sowing them, as it's really rather cold and miserable at the moment. Even the hardiest of seeds would be reluctant to poke it's little head out of the soil right now. I think. Anyway, I'll do another blog post when I sow the seeds.

Thank you, good people at Mr. Fothergill's! I'll keep you posted as to how your seeds are going. :)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Tree at night

This was a tree just beside a fantastic pancake place in Penang. We admired the lighting as we were tucking into decadent pancakes. No pictures of the pancakes. Today. Maybe another day. :)
I'm still working hard (swamped with work) and trying to catch my breath. As soon as things quieten down, I'll try to do a garden update, etc.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Laundry woes

Back from the holidays and the laundry is piling up. Not because I'm lazy, but it's cold and drizzly here. Nothing dries, even if hung up on the balcony, out of the rain.
5 Malaysian Ringgit for a kilo of washing?!

Saturday, 7 July 2012


Love it, or hate it!
I love it. Shared with great friends - what a treat!
 This was quite a small durian. The seeds were very small, but the flesh was super-creamy and delicious.
Thanks, guys! You rock! :)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Wildlife at the coffee shop...

...somewhere in Penang. 
Any more crumbs?

Thursday, 5 July 2012

When you eat too much...

....there is help at hand! No more pear shape for me! :) Give me a bucket or two of that stuff.
This holiday is not helping. Food, food, food.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Monday, 2 July 2012

Canonball tree

I have always been fascinated by the Canonball Tree. I was happy to see the tree again today at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Flowering and bearing canon balls. It's such a fascinating tree!
The Botanic Gardens is always worth a visit. There is always something new to see. I have taken heaps of pictures, but this one will have to do for today. :)

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Nasi Lemak and Kopi-O

That's what I call proper breakfast!
It's been ages since I had this simple, yet delicious meal.
Can't beat that. :)

Translation: Nasi lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk, served with chilli paste, roast peanuts and tiny deep fried fish (ikan bilis), plus a whole (small) deep-fried fish. Kopi-O is thick, strong, dark coffee without (O) milk.