Monday, September 8, 2008

Scary Needles!

I'm afraid of needles. Really scared ... not sure why. Just am. Can't even watch someone getting an injection in a movie. It's not about the pain. Compared to some of the less-than-intelligent things I've done to myself by accident, a little needle pales in comparison.

Still, when this thing came in the mail, I got a quick twinge of EEEK. While it looks like something out of a bad low-budget zombie movie (probably holds the liquid goo that made the first brain-loving zombie) ... it's not. This is a meat injector.

This particular model holds two ounces (that's a quarter cup) of material. Either liquid or very small solids. You can inject the contents deep into a piece of meat to get better flavor inside.

Why do I care about this? Because in my quest to make as much as I can myself, I want to make ham, Canadian bacon, and other cured items. Those really like to have cure, flavorings, and other goodness injected.

My only problem right now is finding the right cuts of meat. Yes, honestly, that's not always easy here. For example, pork ribs are very hard to get because most are snapped up by the local restaurants long before they might hit the retail fridges.

I think we've solved that problem, though. There's a meat shop we're going to visit later this week that butchers daily. Getting my greedy hands on pork ribs, whole loins (Canadian bacon), pork butt ... real cuts of pork!

Very exciting stuff. Yes, yes, I realize that I'm saying that getting normal cuts of meat is exciting. This seems rather minor. Let me relate a little story.

My brother-in-law and I were driving to a nearby town (while it was near, the road made it effectively very, very far ... what should have been three hours round trip turned out to be eight) in search of the local version of queso blanco, a simple farmer's cheese.

My brother-in-law asked "Kuya," that's the Filipino word for "older male brother/cousin", "why is finding cheese so important to you?"

I, being the wise old man that I am, replied with a question "If you were in a place that had no rice would you do?"

He replied immediately ... no thought required ... "I'd look for it, kuya."

"There you go ..."

It's the little things that make us happy. Enjoy all the minor victories.

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