Makin’ Bacon

In a recent meander through the internet, I somehow stumbled across an article about the ease and wonderfulness of curing your own bacon.

And I said, Whoa.

‘Cause, I mean, who doesn’t love bacon? And who wouldn’t love it even more if it was easily and wonderfully self-cured? I was chubbed up and hooked. Gimmee, gimmee, I thought.

So I approached Miss Carol with the idea. She looked at me a little skeptically again, like she always does with my new ideas and shook her head again and said, ok, yeah, why not?

I practically skipped to the Southern Packing Plant, I was so excited. I walked in and the counter guy in white doctor coat and hair net asked if he could help me.

I’d like some pork belly, I said. I want to make some bacon, I said.

He smiled and said, No problem. And he went back into the backroom of these places.

After awhile he re-emerged and hoisted what looked like a heavy fatty rug up onto the knife scarred stainless steel table to weigh it. Twelve pounds, he said. That’ll be thirty-six dollars, he said.

I swallowed hard. I only wanted about a pound, I said.

The counter guy hefted the yellowy, fatty rug thing and said, sorry we only sell the whole belly.

So thinking that maybe he’d gone back into the backroom and carved my future bacon off of a hapless pig, I gulped and said, OK.

He smiled and wrapped it all up in brown paper and I paid him, feeling like I’d maybe made another mistake and drove home.

When I got home, I was surprised. Miss Carol thought it was a great deal. Three bucks a pound for bacon?, she exclaimed, let’s do this thing!

And so we did. We cut the belly up and skinned it and rubbed the seasonings on it and put it in the refrigerator to cure and we’ll see in a week or so.

 

Next-Does Bacon Really Make Everything Better?

 

 

 

 

Perspicacity.

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OK.

I’ve been doing this trucker stuff part-time for several months now and I have a whole new awareness of the industry and what the Drivers have to contend with.

We all work hard, right? Yeah we do, but consider this-

Imagine your every work day is a 14 hour work day.

Imagine that during your 14 hour work day you HAVE to get ALL of your work done in only 11 hours.

Imagine that during that 11 hours you HAVE to take a half hour break and STILL get your 14 hours of work done.

Imagine that during the 10.5 hours you have to complete your 14 hours of work you have not only company oversight but Federal and State oversight as well.

Imagine that while you’re desperately trying to complete your 14 hours of work in 10.5 hours people continually stream into your office needing things, asking advice, wanting to talk or simply forcing you to do things for them and getting in the way of you completing your 14 hours of work.

Imagine that if you don’t get your 14 hours of work done in 10.5 hours with Federal and State oversight and a constant stream of needy people,  you risk a reprimand from the Company you work for and being fined and shut down, forced to sit wherever you are for 10 hours.

Imagine doing that every day.

 

 

HeartBRAKE Steak.

I sometimes cook.

Not often because Miss Carol is so much better at it then I am, but sometimes I have to, to survive when Miss Carol is out and about, flitting around social butterfly-like.

The other day was one of those days. After a dinner of Fritos on Tuesday I felt certain that I needed to cook something on Wednesday or perish. Beer helps with the hunger pangs but nothing satisfies quite like a steak.

So I made myself a couple of HeartBRAKE Steaks and feasted and chubbed up.

Here’s the oh-so-easy-peasy-pie recipe:

HeartBRAKE Steaks

Thin cut rib eye steaks (as many as you need for how ever many you’re feeding)

Salt and Pepper (or whatever spice you want, but I recommend salt and pepper)

Bacon grease (doesn’t EVERYONE save this?)

One of these http://www.lodgemfg.com

Oh, and one of these http://weber.com

Start your grill or light the coals or whatever. Get it hot. Put your seasoned skillet over the hot coals or burners and spoon in some bacon grease goodness.

Drink a beer.

When the grease is smoking hot slide your thin-cut rib-eyes in slowly and lovingly and then salt and pepper.

Drink a beer.

Turn those babies over and salt and pepper again. Sniff the cooking meat and bacon grease. High five yourself.

Drink a beer.

Pull the steaks off after a couple of minutes per side (it doesn’t take long, they’re thin) and plate up with a sliced tomato.

And ooh, baby, baby,  believe me. Heaven isn’t far away.

Does this truck make me look like a trucker?

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Ok, so it’s been awhile.

Actually it’s been a long while, but you have to realize, every time I tried to come back to my blog I’d see the Tug posts and I wouldn’t and couldn’t get past them. It was like forgetting him, or worse yet, erasing him.

So I’d click in, sigh, and click out, and days became weeks and weeks became months.

And here we are. ‘Cause life moves on, right? So maybe I’m back. Let’s see.

One of the things that happened during those weeks and months was that I bought a new truck. He’s a 2005 Freightliner Columbia and he’s beautiful. I say he instead of  the she usually used for boats and trucks and stuff guys love because I’m probably gonna name him TugTug. (I know, I know, get over it already) He’s 515 horsepower of Detroit Diesel muscle and he’s been a long time coming.

I was more owner than operator of my first truck and I had five drivers in a year and a half. Each driver progressively wrecked my truck more and more until my fifth and final driver rolled her in NC and totaled her. (I still swing back and forth between relief that the driver wasn’t hurt and resentment that the driver wasn’t hurt)https://oceandoggy.com/2013/08/11/death-by-degrees/

So this time I decided I was gonna  be the driver as well as the owner and I found this Freightliner and bought her, I mean him, and she, I mean he, was a truck I could afford to to own and run even if I could only drive her, I mean him, a couple of days a month.

And so that’s what I did, or rather, what I’ve done.

Me and TugTug.

Requiem finis.

Miss Carol wanted all of us to have Tug closure, and she decided that the best way possible would be a group remembrance.

So on the day that Miss Carol ordained, we three of us gathered around Tug’s marble urn and were solemn.

Miss Carol started first. I’ll always remember how Tug woofed, she said.

She looked to me. I thought for a moment and said, I want to always remember how Tug would thump down next to me in bed at night.

We both looked at Cutter. Cutter cleared his throat and said, I remember how he was always eating out of both bowls and licking all the food. Fucking disgusting.

Miss Carol glared at him.

Cutter, I said.

Miss Carol took a turn again. I’ll never forget his coat, she said, the way it curled and spiraled down his back and off his tail. She looked wistful. How soft it was.

She turned to me, her eyes filling.

I loved Tug’s gentle giantness, I said, I’ll always miss the way he’d nudge me when he wanted something.

We both looked at Cutter. OK, OK, he said, I’ll never forget him humping me all the time. What a homo.

Miss Carol glared at me this time. Like it was my fault.

Cutter, I said.

Miss Carol stared at Tug’s urn and said, I’ll always love you TugTug.

And I said, I’ll always miss you sitting on my chest when it was time to get up.

We paused and Miss Carol wept.

And Cutter looked at both of us and said, I just want my brother back.

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Goodbye Tug.

Requiem Dolce.

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I miss you Tug.

I never knew just how much I loved you.

Requiem.

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So it’s a week after Tug and I’m sitting at my Me Only Desk in the Me Only Room staring at my sleeping laptop with a rapidly warming beer in my fist when I hear a quiet throat-clearing behind me.

I swirl around in my Me Only Chair and see Cutter sitting and looking up at me.

When’s my brother coming back? he asks softly. And shifts from paw to paw.

Um, I say, he’s not.

Why not? Cutter asks. What did you do with him? Where did he go?

I squeeze back tears and say- Tug got very sick, very quickly, and we couldn’t save him.

So you put him down, Cutter says.

Yes, I say, weeping now.

And you didn’t let me see him, Cutter says.

No, I bawl.

I’m sorry, I whisper.

Cutter glares at me and opens and closes his mouth and says- Well. Fuck you then.

And turns and walks away.

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