Buy local, grow your own, farm to table, all phrases we hear consistently in conversations about the current culinary movement. Growing and processing your own food from the dirt to your plate will get you high praise in today’s cooking world.
Many of us have a small vegetable garden. It’s pretty hip to keep bees these days. And as we speak, there are chicken coops in Midtown.
Maybe the last DIY frontier is to take on every task of raising your own meat. For pig lovers, look no further than “The Complete Book of Pork Butchering” by Phillip Hasheider (2016, Voyageur Press).
When it says “complete” it means complete. This book takes you step by step from raising your own pig to humanely killing and butchering the animal and finishes with it on your plate.
Despite being a little much for the squeamish, it really is a good read, as you will come to appreciate all that goes into the process. I have no intentions of slaughtering a hog in my garage to save a few bucks at the supermarket but I found it informative and entertaining to learn about each cut of meat and how nontraditional cuts should be prepared.
Grinding and making your own sausage or smoking your own bacon could be fun for any household even if you take the shortcut of buying the meat from the market. This book has more than 20 sausage recipes, including everything from hot dogs to liverwurst.
Another chapter deals with cuts most of us would never touch, let alone eat. Breaded brains, spleen paté, scrapple and pig stomach soup may not sound too appealing, but don’t knock if you haven’t tried it.
The nontraditional recipes are, thankfully, outnumbered by those you may have tasted at grandma’s house or at your favorite restaurant. Therefore, the book has appeal for the home cook who allows the supermarket to do the dirty work while he or she focuses solely on feeding the family.
For me it was a fresh current in the stream of “look how much I love bacon” cookbooks that cloud my shelves. Grab a copy for a friend who isn’t afraid to get his (or her) nails dirty.
Pie Five Pizza coming to West Mobile
Scheduled to open this month (but as of this writing, not yet), Pie Five Pizza is coming to 7450 Airport Blvd. near Academy Sports. Order from the signature menu section or build your own with its freshly made dough and marinara or seven different sauces with your choice of five different cheeses, eight proteins, 17 veggie choices and seven fresh finishes. There are four crusts, including gluten-free and whole-grain thin.
Sounds like a winner to me. The whole thing bakes in Pie Five’s “crazy fast pizza ovens in just over two minutes.” This is the first of its kind in our area, so visit www.piefivepizza.com for more information.
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