I had some slabs of pork belly in our freezer from the pig we raised last year. I had intended to cure, smoke and turn it into bacon. The only problem was that I don't know how to cure and smoke pork bellies to make bacon.
I mentioned this to Mark Hibbs, chef at Ratcliffe on the Green, and he offered to do it for us. We gave him the pork a few weeks ago.
Last week, Mark came to the Charlotte Tailgate Market and brought us our bacon. He had smoked it with pecan, elderberry and mesquite wood.
I got home from the market about 9 p.m. and showed Jenifer a pack of the bacon. She immediately stuck it in a cast-iron frying pan. We sliced some bread from Down Home Bakery and tomatoes from Fisher Farms. The lettuce was from Nise's Herbs.
It was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had.
Rain helped with planting
I finished sowing in the garden for the year in the rain, with a third planting of beets, a second planting of spinach, and more arugula and spicy greens mix.
The plan is for the beets and spinach to germinate, over winter, and be ready in February and March. We will have to wait and see how that works out.
We are running a few weeks behind due to extremely poor planting conditions in August and early September, but the recent rains have really helped.
We are looking forward to having collards, kale, beets, turnips and mustard greens in November and December.