Tom and I worked together for about five years, until he moved to Melbourne to pursue a career as a ‘man of leisure’. I caught up with him and his wife Laura a few weeks back, just after I’d published my first two TIFB trades. They’d read my blog, seemed to like the concept, and were keen to try my bacon.
After proposing a number of different trade offers, including 10 minutes of continuous eye contact, which I politely declined, we finally settled on a meat themed cushion, and an hour of compliments.
Sounds a bit strange, I know, and not entirely in keeping with the theme of my previous trades, but I think that was part of the attraction. Besides, I knew Tom would come up with something pretty funny, and from all reports, Laura is a regular ‘Martha Stewart’ when it comes to tarting up a sofa……trade accepted!
Here’s a picture of Tom and I making the trade; you’ll see from the cushion in Tom’s left hand, that Laura kept up her end of the bargain, making me a pillow that showed the primal and subprimal cuts of pork, beef and goat, as well as being incredibly comfortable!
As far as the compliments went, Tom and I agreed that he would need to come up with at least one compliment per minute, for an hour….AND, that he’d let me film it and put it on the internet. As I expected, they were great, and ranged from the heartfelt “you have kind eyes”, to the not so heartfelt “even though you sweat a lot you don’t seem to have a noticeable body odour”.
Here’s a link to the video showing all 60 compliments.
As for the bacon, Tom and Laura got 1kg of pepper and coriander seed cured, streaky bacon. Streaky bacon is essentially just cured and smoked pork belly, the Italians call it pancetta.
The cure, which started out with coarse salt, pink salt and brown sugar, was embellished with a healthy grind of coriander seed, and an even healthier grind of black pepper. I then smoked it for about four hours with cherry wood.
The resulting bacon had a delicious floral aroma, with a sharp and sweet smokey aftertaste. I really liked this bacon, it was probably my favourite so far.
It was also the first bacon I sliced with my new (old) slicer, that I got from Jim in TIFB Trade #2. Thanks to Johnny and Tennis for helping me clean her up!
Pork – Streaky Bacon (belly only)
Origin – Unknown
Cure – Pepper and Coriander
Length of cure – 7 days
Smoke – 4 hours with cherry wood