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The idea of eating a face is a bit disconcerting but so far, the pictures look more like a shoe or a purse than a living face. Doesn't make it more appetizing, but not so disturbing.

I do look forward to learning about its preparation and consumption in future posts.

 

Are you suggesting that he forgo eating the ear and make a silk purse out of it instead?

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Are you suggesting that he forgo eating the ear and make a silk purse out of it instead?

Oh no. During my few trips to China, silk purses were everywhere, pretty much a dime a dozen. But this? No, I did not see whole pig faces in every shop. This is much more interesting!

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If you're not up to tackling a whole face, the supermarkets do offer facebits. You get to choose between more manageable portions of ears, snout, cheeks etc at varying prices.

 

facebits.jpg

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5 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

@liuzhou, I noticed that you posted a nice dinner using a special cured pork over in the dinner thread.  That made me wonder how your pig face is faring these days.  Anything new to report?

 

Funnily enough, I was just thinking the same. I haven't touched her yet, but winter has truly arrived now, and it is Chinese New Year at the weekend (Feb 8th), so her time is coming. I will post whatever becomes of her.

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I admit that it took me until now to be willing to even look at a thread called Pig Face. Being a big fan of the book "Childhood's End" I made the mistake of watching the recent television version, which was just dreadful. However, Cameron does bear a resemblance to Karellen. I don't know if I would eat her, but I am uncomfortably curious as to how she ends up. 

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2 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

I admit that it took me until now to be willing to even look at a thread called Pig Face. Being a big fan of the book "Childhood's End" I made the mistake of watching the recent television version, which was just dreadful. However, Cameron does bear a resemblance to Karellen. I don't know if I would eat her, but I am uncomfortably curious as to how she ends up. 

 

Wow. That's a book I haven't thought about for a very long time.

 

Cameron no longer looks like she did.I butchered her for ease of storage. She is in bits in the freezer. Which reminds me to dig out some cheek for. maybe, tomorrow.

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On ‎11‎/‎26‎/‎2015 at 2:56 AM, liuzhou said:

If you're not up to tackling a whole face, the supermarkets do offer facebits. You get to choose between more manageable portions of ears, snout, cheeks etc at varying prices.

 

facebits.jpg

 

What are those yummy looking little strings of sausages on the left  made of / typically used for??? and the belly below... and the duck? legs... so many good looking things here!!!

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On 03/02/2016 at 11:17 AM, caroled said:

 

What are those yummy looking little strings of sausages on the left  made of / typically used for??? and the belly below... and the duck? legs... so many good looking things here!!!

 

The sausages are pork belly meat. They are typically used in hot pots or sliced and stir fried with vegetables. The are also often steamed on top of rice, thereby flavouring the rice. Again the steamed sausages are sliced and served with vegetables. The cured belly is cooked in the same way. Finally the duck legs (yes) are often braised then shredded. Often used in soups around here. Winter food.

 

It is always an interesting corner of the supermarket.


Edited by liuzhou typos (log)
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The unseasonably warm weather has gone and on Wednesday the temperatures dropped dramatically as the wind direction swung to the north. Well the wind is moving south, but coming from the frozen north. So I fancy soups. Hearty soups. Today, I've spent about eight hours making what is maybe the most complex stock I've undertaken in a very long time.

Chicken trimmings (heads, feet, wing tips etc), slightly meaty pork bones and bits of pig's face (The part outlined in the picture below - I call them her earlobes)  have been simmering away for hours with celery, onion and carrot. The whole apartment smells heavenly and I feel warmer already.

 

56e3bea4456d2_pighead6.thumb.jpg.5f02b8a

 

Here they are after giving up their goodness to the stock. They are skin side down, so you can see the layer of fat  underneath then a layer of meat. They will be discarded now.

 

IMG_7645.jpg.2f00e73192839039b07f46240cd

 

And finally, here is the reduced, cheesecloth strained stock ready for the fridge. To be used tomorrow. The yellow tinge is Cameron's doing. The stock smells rich and smoky. I'll be using it with beans and robust vegetables, I think. Will decide in the morning.

 

IMG_7655.jpg.d278bcc28b957fd42d2de2314ae

 

I also have one of her ears soaking overnight. This I was advised to do. Again, I will decide in the morning what to do next.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Pig face project has had to be postponed due to some clot with a huge hydraulic drill having fractured the main water pipe leading to my apartment block. I had three days with no water, so decamped to the countryside without Cameron.

 

I'm back home now, but off again on a short trip tomorrow evening. Pig face will be dealt with at the weekend, all being well.

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Poor Cameron, abandoned for three days, alone in a waterless apartment. I hope no one called the Pig Face Police to report you for negligence. But, on the other hand, though forced and not already planned I presume, I hope you had a lovely countryside sojourn! :) p.s. have a good trip.

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I finally got around to doing something more constructive with Cameron. Life has been getting in the way.

 

I took one of her ears. The right one (from her point of view) if you are really interested.

 

pig's ear.jpg

 

pig's ear2.jpg

 

At this stage the ear is hard  and rubbery. Shoe leather. Not something you would ever consider to be edible other than in dire emergencies. After you had eaten all the other survivors of whatever disaster you had been through..

 

I simmered poor Cameron's ear for two hours in water with some star anise. Nothing else. Then let her rest and cool down. You'd want a rest too if you had been simmered for two hours.

Then I cut her into slivers, exposing the layers and skin and cartilage.

 

pig's ear3.jpg

 

I might enlarge and frame that picture!

Then I dry fried the slivers with ground cumin, Sichuan peppercorns and chilli flakes. Skin and cartilage never tasted better!

 

And ended up with this plate of beer food. Something to munch on while eGulleting and sampling the local brew. It's a public holiday here today. Qing Ming, the ancestor worship festival, aka Tomb Sweeping Festival. I am mourning Cameron and thanking her for her contribution to my mouth.

 

pig ear chews.jpg

The final product

 

 

 

 

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I love your sense of humour, Liuzhou! I also love how you can see Cameron's dismembered beauty and honour it, treating her gently and with such reverence while converting her nether-parts into sustenance of the highest quality. And yes, I love that 'strip' photo too - very artistic!


Edited by Deryn (log)
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I found Camerons relatives in the local market ...

WP_20160328_13_30_18_Pro.jpg

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      Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like 'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?

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      I attended a training last fall at which we were asked to share an object representing something important about mentoring, our focus for the week. I suspect that few in the workshop had difficulty coming up with their tape measures, baby photos, and flower pots, but I usually find this sort of assignment challenging, preferring simple denotations to forced connotations.

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      Imagine the scene: I whip out my sausage maker and give ten reasons why my metaphor is bigger and better than everyone else's. (I did mention that I was the only man among three dozen women in that training, didn't I?) Laugh if you want, but one's sausage is important to many a man. A quick perusal of this topic reveals that I'm not alone. (You did notice the gender breakdown in that topic, didn't you?)

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      Read that list up there about my sausage maker, the instrument that I describe with distanced assurance. It's a ruse, I tell you. No matter how often I try to buck up, no matter how definitive a recipe, no matter how wonderful a pork butt or a lamb shoulder, when it comes to making sausages, I go limp with worry.

      Can you blame me? Look at all the places you can screw up, where your sausage can fail you utterly and leave you in tears.

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      I have to admit that I don't have this sausage problem when I'm alone in the house, have a couple of hours to kill, and know I won't be disturbed. I just settle in, take it nice and slow, not a care in the world, and everything comes out fine. But with someone else around, forget about it.

      Despite this mishegas, my wife is as supportive as she can be. She humors me patiently about these things, gently chiding, "Slow down! The house isn't on fire. It's just your sausage." Though I know she loves me despite my foibles, that sort of talk just adds fuel to that fire -- I mean, she can speak so glibly because it's not her sausage we're worrying about.

      Even if I am I able to relax, the prospect of sudden, precipitous sausage humiliation comes crashing down upon me. Think of it. All seems to be going so well -- a little too well. I'm keeping things cool, making sure that I'm taking it easy, following the plan step-by-step, trusting my instincts. I smile. I get cocky.

      And then, the frying pan hits the fire, and within moments I'm hanging my head: instead of forming a perfect bind, my sausage breaks and I break down. I want a firm, solid mass, and I'm watching a crumbly, limp link ooze liquid with embarrassing rapidity.

      Given my gender, in the past I've tried to subdue sausage anxiety with predictable contrivances: machines, science, and technique. If there's a tool or a book useful for perfecting my sausage, I've bought or coveted it. I calculate ratios of meat, salt, cure, sugar, and seasonings past the decimal; I measure out ingredients to the gram on digital scales; I poke instant-read thermometers into piles of seasoned meat; I take the grinder blade to my local knife sharpener to get the perfect edge. (We've already covered the stuffer above, of course.) I've got a full supply of dextrose, Bactoferm, and DQ curing salts numbers 1 and 2. The broken binding of my copy of Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie has xeroxes and print-outs from eight other sources, and the pages are filled with crossed-out and recalculated recipes.

      It's the sort of thing that I used to do when I was younger: arm myself with all things known to mankind and blast ahead. It hasn't helped. I've learned the hard way that my hysterical masculine attempt to master all knowledge and technology has led, simply, to more panic and collapse.

      There is, I think, hope. I'm older, and my approach to my sausage has matured. I'm in less of a hurry, I roll with the challenges, and when the house is on fire, I just find a hydrant for my hose.

      If things collapse, well, I try to take the long view, recall the successes of my youth, and keep my head up. I mean, it's just my sausage.

      * * *

      Chris Amirault (aka, well, chrisamirault) is Director of Operations, eG Forums. He also runs a preschool and teaches in Providence, RI.
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