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Yes, Google Hangouts is also good. That is what we use for work. Works well even north of 20 participants. Could use it for an enhanced virtual tasting experience.


Yes, we’re looking at ways to embed some kind of video streaming so we could all taste along on video! :smiley: Might get a bit crowded if there’s loads of us… what do you guys who’ve done bigger video calls think?

The way video conferencing works is that the loudest person occupies the main screen and inset screens go in order of last speak. That makes it pretty chaotic for unstructured chats with more than about 3 logins; if you have more than about 5 it really needs a moderator to prompt contributions from specific people and occasionally ask if people have other questions/comments (obviously I’ve done it in a business context).

So my guess would be that virtual tasting would work best via messaging (i.e. pretty much what you do already), and that video or even audio would be a chaotic mess rather than an enhancement. However, there’d be no harm in trying as an experiment to see if I’m wrong.


Skype for Business is supposed to work better than the usual app. for conference call type applications, though that is by report - I haven’t tried it.

I can recommend Zoom, and it sounds like Hangouts works very similarly. I suspect the winner in practice will be whichever shows the lowest latency figures. Any feedback on that one will be gratefully received - I use Messenger for online choir practice at present!!!


Quarantine continues. Not convinced it’s Coronavirus anyway. Everyone seems remarkably healthy. Just hope we’ve been fortunate with mild symptoms and won’t have to set-isolate again.

Week 1 nearly over, no malnutrition yet

Week 2 work in progress, lots of pencil marks to be inked in. Bit worried about lunches as we’re low on snacks, bread and cheese.


Assuming you are in London, maybe worth checking out NewCoventGardenMarket.com. A few wholesalers have started box deliveries.


Thanks, looks good but we’re not in London. Our fruit and veg market stall are doing next day deliveries and we’ve got plenty of pasta so we won’t go hungry. Just wish I’d thought to nick some of @JamesE’s sourdough starter so I can start baking decent bread instead of shit sliced bread from the freezer

Criminal lack of bacon in the freezer put a dampener on Mrs B’s mother’s day breakfast this morning though.

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Are you the guilty man here? :slight_smile: . Get some pork belly and make your own…not difficult. Takes a few days but would be ready by next weekend…


Only partially!

I’m not supposed to leave the house right now :cry:

My dad used to make our bacon all the time, but we found slicing rashers off the biggest problem. He ended up buying and restoring an old butcher’s rotary slicer.


They are not cheap new! It is a pain. I keep the rind on when curing it and use my smoked salmon knife, long and thin blade, pretty sharp. It works well. The other thing is to allow the cured bacon to firm up a bit for a day or two to get any excess moisture out it.


What cure do you use and how long for?

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I don’t get too precise about it now…around 50/50 salt and brown sugar. couple of teaspoons of saltpetre per 500g of mix (if you can get it! Just don’t go asking for weedkiller and nails at the same time…) .It’s not really essential though. A couple of tablespoons of black peppercorns crushed coarsely. I add some crushed bay and chopped rosemary too, sometimes a few juniper berries.

Cure time, bare minimum 3-4 days I stack three pieces of belly in a tupperware or similar. Rotate them daily and pour off excess fluid and rub in more mix every day. I do 5 days sometimes 6. Beyond a week it gets quite salty, though a wee soak sorts that.

Just realised I think I posted this before…can’t remember where?


What type of brown sugar do you use? For the First time last October October, I dry cured some goose thigh offcuts, but just using salt… I could not keep my hands off the stuff. As to slicing, @Brocklehurstj, I think if you freeze it then you can go pretty thin with a sharp knife.


I would probably just use salt for goose to start anyway as it’s such a rich and unctuous meat.

I just use light soft brown sugar, although I’ve had to top up with other stuff in an emergency. Coarse salt or fine salt, doesn’t appear to make a lot of difference. I’ve used rock salt and sea salt.

I’ve erred towards more sugar less salt from when I started doing it a few years ago, gone from maybe 60/40 salt to sugar mix to 50/50 or even 40/60.

Freezing before slicing would work too, but a sharp thin bladed knife helps a lot. I tried a meat slicer that a friend gave me but it was cr@p! It was a fairly cheap and flimsy one. Ok for slicing cooked meat not too thin, but no good for this. Bresaola is challenging to slice thinly. I use my Rapala filleting knife for it which is wickedly sharp with a really fine blade. Just don’t get a finger near it…


I have a knife from Blok Knives that is so sharp that I don’t dare to take it out of the box… mainly as I also need to make space on the knife rack.


You can also buy ready mixed curing salts - I’ve had good results with the ones from Weschenfelder.


Saves having to work out how to buy saltpetre without attracting the attention of MI5.


Then smoke the cured pork belly, I use standard Weber kettle BBQ, oak sawdust, lowest temp possible (cold smoke) for 6 hours. Give it a couple of days to rest and you have fabulous bacon.

Start with a 2 kg+ belly.

I use Prague powder no.2 in the cure to keep the bacon pink instead of grey.


Splendid isolation

In the Pennines above Holmfirth, gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon. My reasoning is you can be isolated at home - or out on the hills for a few hours. That is… if you have hills where you live.


Cured goose! Nom nom nom…

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@Leah Hope all goes well with your flight and onward journey. You’ll be aware I’m sure that all UK restaurant outlets are now closed unless they do takeaway, so eat whatever’s offered on the plane. Worth checking if duty free does loo roll too…! :wink: