Sometimes making a pop up work is about spread sheets and the cooking comes later… much later.
OK people, this isn’t that hard. If you’re taking public transit you need to follow some basic rules whether it’s Muni, or MTA or the T. And yet these very simple concepts seem to elude a lot of people.
1) On an escalator, stand on the right if you’re not going to climb the stairs so that others can get past you.
2) Let others off the train/bus first before trying to get on.
3) Take off your backpack/purse/messenger bag and carry it near your feet so you don’t bash it around like a weapon.
4) Give up your seat to an elderly person or someone who is disabled/ill/pregnant. If they protest that they’re fine, offer once more and then let it be.
5) Say “Excuse me.” if you need to get past someone. Don’t just push them out of the way or elbow between them without saying anything.
6) Don’t stand in the active door and block everyone else.
7) Don’t talk on the phone on a crowded train thereby forcing everyone to listen to you.
8) Don’t eat on the train. Just don’t.
9) Don’t do your make up/clip your nails/pick your nose on the train.
10) Don’t take up more than one seat per person.
Have some basic awareness of the people around you is all I’m saying.
The plans for goat bacon didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped.
I picked up the goat belly from the vendor and even before I got home I knew it wasn’t going to be what I expected. I could feel rib bones and very little meat. When I took it out of the shrink wrap, my suspicions were confirmed. I had some lovely fatty rib meat but not much else. I was a little disappointed and sad. I was really hoping to do something unique like goat bacon, but that was not to be.
Instead I took the breasts (because essentially, that’s what I had) and browned them in some bacon fat before putting them in a crock with some white wine and chicken stock. I let them braise for about 3 hours before I had to shut the whole thing down because I was going to be away from the house for a while. Everything got put in the fridge to sit.
Tonight I pulled it all out and used some of the braising liquid to make rice and then made a veloute with the rest. Then I set about pulling the meat off the bones.
Again, disappointed. Even after that time in the braise, the meat was full of cartilage and fat and hard to get off the bones. It really needed more time. So I took what I could for one meal and threw the rest back in the crock. This time I added a carrot and some beer and that will sit over night and over the day tomorrow. That should create the final product I’d like. The rice and veloute mix was more of a porridge with some meat but still delicious with the addition of some feta.
So I didn’t get the bacon I wanted. It’s place on my pop up menu will have to be reconsidered.
I freely admit that when I got the call I was on line at a steam table Chinese food joint in the financial district getting my fix of shameful and questionable food. The guy in front of me on line gave me an apologetic look as he took the last of the orange chicken before he scurried down the line to the grease bomb egg rolls. In my defense, I had just spent the last four days doing my part to execute the Folsom Street Fair. Four days of junk food, coffee and red bulls. The steam table Chinese was an actual step up from the chicken fingers and fries I had shoved in my mouth as fast as possible on Sunday when I had 10 minutes in between bursts of lifting tables, chairs and supply lugs.
When my phone rang, I looked at the number and didn’t recognize it and assumed it was someone with some issue pertaining to the fair. I considered answering it and being a good board volunteer even though the fair was over. Instead, I ignored it and dropped my phone back in my pocket while I eye balled the crab Rangoon.
As I walked back to my office I began to feel the pangs of guilt as I began to run the list of things that could have possibly spawned the call. Had the trucks been returned with damage? Had the storage facility needed me to unlock the units? Were the Folsom Street Events offices on fire because I had left the candy bucket too close to the heater last week? So with some trepidation I balanced my fried rice noodles and sesame pepper beef in one hand while I checked voice mail.
“Hi, this is Paul from Golden Gate Meat. I wanted to let you know that the goat we talked about a couple of weeks ago is going to be slaughtered this week and I wanted to give you a head up and see if you still want the belly.”
My brain gave a little BZZZT noise as I stood on the corner. Part of me wanted to ignore the call. I was just too damn tired to deal with it. The other part of me immediately screamed “You dimwit! Call him back! We’ve got a pop up to produce in 24 days!”
So I called him back. Nice guy. Funny too. He’s bleeding the goat out on Wednesday and dividing it up on Thursday. I said I’ll take whatever belly he can give me on Friday. We estimate I’ll get about 3 to 5 pounds worth but most likely around 4.
What does one do with goat belly? My instinct is to make goat bacon. But then I thought about what I’m trying to accomplish with the pop up and wondered if I needed to push myself a little here. What could I make that highlighted the goat meat and required a little effort from me? Maybe some braised goat belly in a demi? Maybe some goat lardons tossed over the salad course? Or perhaps a stew? Or maybe I just need to do what I often do with meat I’ve never cooked with before… put it on the counter, touch it, feel it, chill it and then dig into the internet and see what’s out there and let my mind take over. Let the meat speak as loud as possible and create something that would never be seen on a steam table lunch line and something that can be enjoyed guilt free.