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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 3

Charcuterie Cookbook

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#361 Abra

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 08:57 PM

I really don't know, and I was going to ask that here myself. It has a bit of pink salt, but it's already been in the fridge for a week. I'm planning to use it all up and give some away during the coming week. But you know the stuff you can buy commercially is sitting around for far longer than that.

#362 tristar

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 08:56 AM

Ron Kaplan (aka ronnie_suburban) said:

Welcome tristar! Tell us about some of you favorite charcuterie and your more successful projects.



Well I have made all of the following:

Goat Haggis
Which used 'beef middles' rather than stomach for the casing, 2 out of 10 of the 'puddings survived the poaching (far too hot) and they would have given a suitable soundtrack for a WWII submarine movie, infact 'Das Boot' came to mind as I listened to them exploding like a string of depth charges! . Goat was used because lamb is rarely found in the supermarkets here, and Haggis was a spur of the moment decision when I found all of the required meat ingredients in the same meat display! Opportunistic heh?

Brisket Bacon
On this I cheat somewhat, by using Hickory Smoke Powder during the curing phase, but the results have been quite successfull so far. Had to use Brisket as there was is no Plate available in Indonesia. Haven't found a simple way of cold smoking in a climate in which the temperature doesn't fall below 28 degrees C!

Corned Beef
Maybe a common item in the States, but here in Indonesia comes in a can! Results excellent, didn't last 24 hours.

Chicken Liver Pate
One of my favourites,so simple and quick to make, and what a wonderful simple breakfast on freshly baked bread.

Pastrami
Followed a Dry Cure recipe from Sausagemaking .org, was cured for 6 weeks! I have to juggle my work schedule with charcuterie! The cured Silverside was given the spice rub and indirectly smoked on a Weber Kettle for 6 hours, unfortunately the family were at the house at the time and only half of the original joint was left by the next day! This was then steamed for 3 hours and was absolutely exquisite.

Rumanian Jewish Beef and Mustard Sausage
Mealy!

Beef and Sun Dried Tomato
Not too bad at all and had some definition, but this was likely due to the fact that mustard flour was included in the ingredients!

Chicken Franks
Tasty but mealy!

Chicken and Portobello Mushroom Mouselline Sausages
Had problems when all of the lamb casings burst during poaching, I was unfortunately distracted by my twin children who were heading off to bed and wanted a kiss goodnight! didn't really think two minutes longer would matter but it did! temperature rose from 80 degrees C to 100 degrees C and the water in the casings turned to steam with predictable results. I had during this run of sausages run out of casings and improvised by using plastic bags which are available locally for making icepops, those turned out perfectly!

Goat with Pinenuts and Dried Apricot
What can I say, but delicious!

Goat with Rosemary and Garlic
Again one of my better sausages, but still haven't figured out what I did differently!

Chicago Style All Beef Franks
Didn't realise that collagen casings couldn't be used for poaching sausages! looked ...... well I won't decribe what it looked like, just use your imagination! but just to help the picture think of a shrivelled, naked old man in a transparent plastic raincoat :blink: however the emulsion didn't break and did in fact set sufficiently for the sausage to be passed of as skinless to my friends who were very impressed with my skills! hadn't the heart to tell them the truth! :biggrin:

Seafood
Nice, a mixture of white fish, squid and shrimps, with lemon grass, garlic and hot red chillies, bound with tapioca flour!

Dill Cured Salmon,
How can you go wrong with this one!

I want to try a Pepperone, and have just recently relegated an old refrigerator to the utility room, but am having difficulty finding a suitable thermostat to control the temperature in the correct range, just need to keep looking for a while longer I guess.

If any of you have any wisdom to share for drying in the tropics I would appreciate your sharing it, the locals dry some types of meat in the sun but I don't know how this would affect salumni or even if it would be at all possible.

I am slowly coming to terms with the lack of ingredients and the climate in Indonesia, more slowly coming to realise that I need to concentrate more but I am learning everyday. :unsure:

What a fantastic hobby!

Best Regards,
Richard
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#363 Abra

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:29 AM

Wow, Richard, that's quite a list! I envy your the easy access to goat, since it's almost impossible to get here. Have you experimented yet making sausages with Indonesian flavors? And you probably can't get pork fat, right? That's usually the key to juicy, as opposed to mealy, sausages.

#364 Sartain

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:51 AM

Going back to bacon for a second...

Just how much liquid is it supposed to pull out? I am only at the bacon stage of the Charcuterie experience and well, my pork belly has been in the fridge for 11 days. I have been monitoring its progress every couple of days and only a very small amount of liquid has been produced. I felt the belly hasn't sufficiently firmed up by day 7 so I left it in for another few days, but by now the texture hasn't firmed up much more, and still, only a very small amount of liquid is coming off. :blink:

What to do? Scrap this and start over? Use this belly for another application?
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#365 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 10:10 AM

Going back to bacon for a second...

Just how much liquid is it supposed to pull out?  I am only at the bacon stage of the Charcuterie experience and well, my pork belly has been in the fridge for 11 days.  I have been monitoring its progress every couple of days and only a very small amount of liquid has been produced.  I felt the belly hasn't sufficiently firmed up by day 7 so I left it in for another few days, but by now the texture hasn't firmed up much more, and still, only a very small amount of liquid is coming off.  :blink:

What to do?  Scrap this and start over?  Use this belly for another application?

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My experience with bacon is that a dry-cure produces very little moisture whereas a wet-cure (includes maple syrup) produces more. I've also found that even when cured bellies don't feel totally 'firm' they are usually cured through and ready for smoking. Unless the belly you're curing is exceptionally thick, 11 days should be enough. My advice would be to now hot-smoke it to an internal temperature of 150 F and call it a day. Cut a few slices and cook them as you normally would. My guess is that even if it is not perfect, it will be quite delicious.

Whatever you do, do not scrap it without smoking it and cooking some up. At the very least, use this run to gain some experience and help you establish your own personal preferences.

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#366 mdbasile

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:51 PM

Hey Abra -- I must add that your Bourdin Noir tale is one of legends.... your devotion to this art is impressive.

...and keep the single malt handy!!!

#367 Abra

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:57 PM

Sartain - I've never had much liquid come out of a pork belly. I think it really depends on the pork, and possibly it's pork that's been injected with water that releases liquids. Definitely don't toss it! I'd go with Ron's advice, for sure.

#368 Sartain

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 02:14 PM

Ron and Abra:

Thanks for the reassurance. I'm going to follow Ron's advice and hot smoke it to 150 - just as soon as this incessant rain takes a break! :angry:

Sartain
Cognito ergo consume - Satchel Pooch, Get Fuzzy

#369 snowangel

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 02:19 PM

Remember, the belly is best smoked after a rest in the fridge on a rack, outside of the plastic bag.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#370 mdbasile

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 05:50 PM

Yum - I love food porno....

Well, I can report that my pate de campagne was really wonderful.  The recipe I used was my tweak of a recipe I got from SeaGal, who in turn tweaked the recipe in the book to combine it with a Pepin recipe.  It's evolutionary, but tastes exactly traditional.

Posted Image

It's a really time-consuming process to make it, best spread over two days, and then it's been a week curing in the fridge, but it was all worth it when we cracked it open last night to serve as part of a multi-course extravaganza.

To see the boudin noir on the plate, and a lot of conspicuously excessive comsumption of really good food, click here.

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#371 Rubashov

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 07:37 PM

Alrighty, folks, the bresaola just came off, having lost 30% in about 2.5 weeks. The texture is nice and the flavor is excellent. Needless to say, I'm excited. Here's the question: my bresaola is bi-colored. Is that OK? If you're looking at a cross section, the outer ring (about half an inch thick) is a deep brown color. The inner circle is a brighter red. There doesn't seem to be a difference in texture/dryness between the two areas.

So, my questions are: is this normal? What causes this? How does one get a uniform color?

Thanks,
Rob

PS - I promise I'll learn how to post images soon!

#372 Chris Amirault

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 07:51 PM

IIRC, Ruhlman explains that the ring indicates a lack of humidity, meaning that the exterior dried out too rapidly.
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#373 tristar

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 10:56 PM

Wow, Richard, that's quite a list!  I envy your the easy access to goat, since it's almost impossible to get here.  Have you experimented yet making sausages with Indonesian flavors?  And you probably can't get pork fat, right?  That's usually the key to juicy, as opposed to mealy, sausages.

View Post


Hi Abra,

Actually goat is easily obtained in the traditional markets, but the standards of hygiene are sorely lacking there :sad: I do ocassionally buy from there but only if I go myself!

The supermarkets here generally only sell beef or chicken, although in the chinese areas they do occassionally have duck, but not with sufficient flesh for duck prosciutto unfortunately! The chicken is generally jointed for frying and the beef is generally cubed for stews etc. I have had to cultivate a special friendship with the manager of the local supermarket who will indulge the crazy foreigner :blink: and supply me with prime cuts which I butcher at home. I have noticed some changes recently which indicate that more choice is coming onto the market, with goat and lamb sometime available, but at premium prices!

I have experimented with Indonesian spicing as per the Seafood Sausages, which were quite nice, but as a first attempt and working without the benefit of all the lessons in Michael and Brians book found they were a little dry, I think I have learnt from the Chicken and Mushroom Mouselline Sausage how to fix that problem. Other Indonesian flavours are generally produced from extended cooking ala "Beef Rendang" and are not easily reproduced in the short cooking time required for sausages, although I do intend to experiment more, perhaps cooking the forcemeat prior to stuffing.

Regarding the mealy sausages, I have, again since acquiring "Charcuterie", found that if the forcemeat is worked, in my case using a K beater in the food processor for a few minutes, I am able to avoid that problem. I presume due to the more thorough incorporation of the meat proteins which are made water soluble by the addition of the salt, this seems to allow more liquid to be held in the sausage and also seems to prevent the fats from leaching out during the cooking process. I am assuming that some type of protein matrix forms which holds the liquid and fats, similar to an emulsion type sausage. Please anybody who understands the science of sausages correct me if I am wrong, but that is what seems to be happening. I do have to be careful and only use the hard fats with the meat, but it seems to work for beef, lamb and goat. Which is a good job really as originally I was informed that I would only get juicy sausages if I used pork backfat or beef suet!

I don't actually eat pork so the unavailability of pork fat is not really a problem :rolleyes: only a problem to be solved!

The book really has been an inspiration to me, as is all the work being carried out and documented on the forum.

Regards,
Richard

Edited by tristar, 26 June 2006 - 11:04 PM.

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

#374 ned

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 06:54 AM

Just pulled down and sliced my Lamb Procuitto!!!


Nice and thin slices....


The Norwegians make a dry cured leg of lamb. It's called fenelar. They--yes all of them--are adamant that it must be sliced perpendicular to the way you and I would be inclined to do it. I've had it both ways and can say that they do have a point although it looks a little inelegant, whacking right into the leg that way. They eat it on flatbread with finely chopped red onion and creme fraiche. It's absolutely delicious.
You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

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#375 dougal

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 07:20 AM

... my pork belly has been in the fridge for 11 days.  I have been monitoring its progress every couple of days and only a very small amount of liquid has been produced.  I felt the belly hasn't sufficiently firmed up by day 7 so I left it in for another few days, but by now the texture hasn't firmed up much more, and still, only a very small amount of liquid is coming off.  :blink:

What to do?  Scrap this and start over?  Use this belly for another application?

View Post

Like knocking the bottom of loaf of bread to determine whether its fully baked, you have to know what the endpoint should be to recognise it.
So, to begin with, its a good idea to start by following the recipe timings exactly, and knocking the bread or poking the bacon - purely to learn what the signals are. Then test the product and make the association with the signal. And adjust the timing the next attempt based on your first result, again trying to learn what the signals actually are, rather than trying to use them for real at this early stage.

I'd guess your bacon might be a bit salty by now - but don't despair!
Rinse it.
Slice a little bit off and fry it. (If your bacon is an inch thick, then slice off half an inch, so that you can find out what the middle (as distinct from the end) is going to be like.)
Taste it.
If its at all too salty (smoking it would tend to dry it, intensifying the saltiness), you need to soak it under plain cold water, in the fridge, to get some of the salt out. Test another slice after 12 hours or so. If you are going to soak it longer, change the water.
My feeling is that a day of soaking in fresh water might take out 2 days-worth of excess curing saltiness.
Once its not excessively salty, hang it to dry in the fridge (and notice how much more it firms up), and then continue with your recipe.

Unless it smells 'off' or looks too dangerous :biggrin: don't give up!
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#376 dougal

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 07:42 AM

...
Regarding the mealy sausages, I have, again since acquiring "Charcuterie", found that if the forcemeat is worked, in my case using a K beater in the food processor for a few minutes, I am able to avoid that problem. I presume due to the more thorough incorporation of the meat proteins which are made water soluble by the addition of the salt, this seems to allow more liquid to be held in the sausage and also seems to prevent the fats from leaching out during the cooking process. I am assuming that some type of protein matrix forms which holds the liquid and fats, similar to an emulsion type sausage. ...

View Post

That's exactly my presumption as to what is going on. My belief is that in an "emulsified sausage" there is simply much more emulsion, as a result of the meat being more finely divided and so having a much greater surface area for protein interaction, with whatever residual meat particles being so fine as to become effectively lost in a sea of emulsion.
Can anyone confirm or correct this?
I have Ruhlman, but not (yet) McGee... :biggrin:

PS Tristar, when you say "K beater", I'm thinking that implies the Kenwood equivalent of the Kitchenaid "Paddle', rather than any "food processor", doesn't it?
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#377 Rubashov

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 08:42 AM

IIRC, Ruhlman explains that the ring indicates a lack of humidity, meaning that the exterior dried out too rapidly.

View Post


Huh, that's funny since my humidity was right in the zone for the whole time. Oh well, still tastes great! I think for my next project I'm going to use some lard on the exterior to slow the surface drying like they do for whole legs of prosciutto.

...Which brings me to the next thing. Feeling hungry and inspired by Mark, I bought a nice bone-in half leg of lamb this weekend. It's the shank end. I thought it might work well because I don't have to worry about rolling the bone-in leg, and it looks like a miniature pork leg. So the plan is to give it a nice covering of lard in the lean spots once it's done curing, wrap it in some cheesecloth, and hang it up. Should be done about the time I get back from the honeymoon.

But first things first - Mark, would you mind posting your recipe for the lamb prosciutto? It just looks amazingly delicious!

-Rob

#378 mdbasile

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 11:52 AM

Just pulled down and sliced my Lamb Procuitto!!!


Nice and thin slices....


The Norwegians make a dry cured leg of lamb. It's called fenelar. They--yes all of them--are adamant that it must be sliced perpendicular to the way you and I would be inclined to do it. I've had it both ways and can say that they do have a point although it looks a little inelegant, whacking right into the leg that way. They eat it on flatbread with finely chopped red onion and creme fraiche. It's absolutely delicious.

View Post


Really - interesting they would cut it that way. I have had cured reindeer in Finland and I believe they cut it accross the grain - sort of perendicular to it -- like I did the lamb, but at an angle - I am going to try it...

#379 mdbasile

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 11:56 AM

Meant to post this before -- my Venison Salami -- actually a little moist still so I will hang for a few more days.

It is so F..ing humid here right now my cellar is close to 80%...

Posted Image

#380 Bombdog

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:07 PM

That looks like great stuff Mark...how'd you like the taste?
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#381 mdbasile

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:10 PM

IIRC, Ruhlman explains that the ring indicates a lack of humidity, meaning that the exterior dried out too rapidly.

View Post


Huh, that's funny since my humidity was right in the zone for the whole time. Oh well, still tastes great! I think for my next project I'm going to use some lard on the exterior to slow the surface drying like they do for whole legs of prosciutto.

...Which brings me to the next thing. Feeling hungry and inspired by Mark, I bought a nice bone-in half leg of lamb this weekend. It's the shank end. I thought it might work well because I don't have to worry about rolling the bone-in leg, and it looks like a miniature pork leg. So the plan is to give it a nice covering of lard in the lean spots once it's done curing, wrap it in some cheesecloth, and hang it up. Should be done about the time I get back from the honeymoon.

But first things first - Mark, would you mind posting your recipe for the lamb prosciutto? It just looks amazingly delicious!

-Rob

View Post


Thanks Rob. It is here

http://forums.egulle...dpost&p=1167664

It is Jason's recipie

If you do a search there has been alot of discussion.

Interestingly I got almost exactly 37.5% weight loss after only about 2 weeks hanging. I was really quite surprised it was so quick.

I was surprised actually. 8lb leg now 5 lbs.

Hey Jason -- you were at about the same no?

Edited by mdbasile, 27 June 2006 - 12:20 PM.


#382 mdbasile

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:18 PM

That looks like great stuff Mark...how'd you like the taste?

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Thanks Dave.

It is very nice -- as you can see there is a fair amount of backfat, so there is no gaminess. IIRC - I used toasted juniper, pink peppercorns, garlic and and an herb or two. Nice mild slightly wild taste.


Hey Dave did you hang a lamb procuitto?

#383 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:18 PM

Has anyone else had the problem with natural casings where the casings ended up being so tough that you cannot bite or chew through them? If so, did you find a way to mitigate it, or is it just One Tough Pig?

#384 jmolinari

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:36 PM

Mark, 2 weeks seems very fast...i thin mine was about 3-4..but i could be wrong. I also had mine in a collagen casing, so that probably slows down the loss.

looking back, the one i posted about here was the one not in collagen..

jason

Edited by jmolinari, 27 June 2006 - 12:37 PM.


#385 Bombdog

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:42 PM

Has anyone else had the problem with natural casings where the casings ended up being so tough that you cannot bite or chew through them? If so, did you find a way to mitigate it, or is it just One Tough Pig?

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Must be a tough pig Dave...I've not had the problem at all
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#386 Bombdog

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:46 PM

Nice mild slightly wild taste.


Hey Dave did you hang a lamb procuitto?

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I guess I was just expecting more of a gamy flavor, so was a bit disappointed by the lack of it. Next time I think I'll use more venison. The recipe I used (I think) had pork, venison and fat back.

I did a lamb prosciutto, yes, using Jason's recipe. I hung a bone in leg though and it took quite a while to cure. After that experience and the pictures of Jason's and Abra's I'll go boneless next time.

I'm still working on a lomo...the tenderloin was a failure. I need to try with a loin this time.
Dave Valentin
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#387 Chris Amirault

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 04:44 PM

Up-topic a bit, I mentioned that I have had sopressata in my curing chamber for a while, along with some friendly white mold courtesy of a goat cheese I had in the fridge. I went down in to the laBORatory -- er, I mean the basement today to see how things were going.

Here's the absurdly salty water (equal parts water and salt someone recommended somewhere) with the two pieces of moldy rind in them:

Posted Image

Pretty crazy -- until you see these sticks of sopressata:

Posted Image Posted Image

You'll notice in the left photo that one of the sticks really hasn't reduced in size nor has it gotten the mold. Makes me wonder about the relationship between the two....

I'm letting them hang for a bit more and then will cut 'em down and check out the definition (about which I'm worried, I must say).

Oh, one thought about tough casings. I remember reading many years ago about using papaya enzymes to tenderize natural casings. Just a thought!
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#388 Bombdog

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 04:52 PM

Interesting Chris. Your sopressata looks great, but that one stick is intriguing. I'm am curious about one thing. Michael says that the salt water solution in the curing chamber is to inhibit mold growth. Isn't putting your mold source in the solution counter productive? I guess, since you have mold on the sopressata it works. But it's got me scratching my head.

Edited by Bombdog, 27 June 2006 - 05:24 PM.

Dave Valentin
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"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#389 Chris Amirault

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 05:05 PM

Dave, I spend the bulk of my time in that basement scratching my head these days.
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#390 Bombdog

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 05:23 PM

Dave, I spend the bulk of my time in that basement scratching my head these days.

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<chuckle> I hear THAT
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"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.
"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.






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