Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How I'm spending Christmas vacation

...Or, Look what a mess I've made.

I recently hinted that I'm going to build a wine cellar in my basement, and this is the week to get started! My house was built in 1956, so it's got a small room where the well used to be (of course, it has since been converted to municipal water supply). This little cinder block room is surrounded on 3 sides by dirt, so it's naturally temperature regulated at about 59°. To make it into a wine cellar I need to do a bit of rewiring, then fill some holes with foam gap filler, paint a moisture sealant on the concrete block walls, panel the walls, cover the floor, then put in the wine racks and stock it! And something about a door, too, probably...

Right now the well room looks like this:

But soon it will look like this:

Friday, December 14, 2007

Make a sammich out of it!

I've been doing it this way forever! Make sure you try it during the holidays, and show your friends. Works great on cake, too!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Like Yo-Yo Ma without a didgeridoo

I've been doing some research on building wine storage in my basement. Along the way I found this quote:

"We slouched away from the wine shop as another liquid treasure teased us from the window. Like Amelia Earheart without a plane or Miles Davis without a saxophone, we were wine fans without a cellar. "

This wine lover isn't much of a jazz fan, methinks. The original article is here.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Butt bone connected to the... shoulder bone

Roast Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder)

This cut of meat comes by many names: pork butt, pork shoulder, picnic roast. It really is the shoulder, and it really is the cheapest cut of meat in the case: about 1.79 a pound. Apparently the reason for that is it's a very fatty, tough cut of meat with a bone in it.

Cook it like this and you'd never know it:

4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 red onion
1 pork shoulder, bone in

Mince or press the garlic and rub it all over the meat. Mix the rosemary and fennel seeds in a bowl and sprinkle them on the meat pressing it with your hands so it sticks.

Cut the onion into eighths and place the segments in a roasting pan or 5-quart casserole. Place the pork fat side up on top of the onion and cover.

Roast in 250° oven (yes two hundred fifty) for 8 hours. Put it in over night if you want it for lunch. Remove from oven, let cool 1/2 hour and serve. The meat falls away from the bone and you don't even have to cut this stuff. It's ultra tender, juicy and delicious. Keep the meat in the juices when reheating leftovers.