23.1.40

Evidently a little more snow in the night. Milder, but no thaw.

6 eggs. Am not counting one that was laid on the floor of the pullets’ house & was broken. There were 3 there altogether, so at any rate 2 pullets are laying.

[NEWSPAPER CUTTING]

HOW TO MAKE MACON

Smoking mutton, to take the place of bacon, by the method suggested here, is an old and worth-while practice

SMOKING – and thus curing – mutton to take the place of bacon is not new. Country people not so many years ago were in the habit of regularly hanging legs of mutton, and shoulders, too, to cure in the wood or peat smoke of their kitchen chimneys. Here, for those who can, and care to try the method, is the procedure to follow.

Choose a large, fresh leg of mutton (or a shoulder) and have it trimmed to the shape of a ham. Let it hang for about three days and then ‘salt’ it with a preparation comprising 1lb. of common salt, 4 oz. of moist sugar and 1oz. saltpere, well mixed which warm before a fire. Rub this well into the flesh, taking care that no part escapes the salting. Place it in a deep dish and repeat the process every day for a fortnight. Then drain away any moisture and hang it up for a week.

Smoking, which follows, may be done in several ways. One is to obtain a high-sided cask out of which the top and bottom have been struck. Stand this on end and about half-fill it with sawdust (pine should not be used), and from a bar fixed across the top suspended by a wire a red-hot iron (an old flat iron will do very well), which must be buried deep in the sawdust.

This will cause a dense smoke to rise. The mutton must be hung over it and covered with a thick cloth so that none of the fumes escape. Occasionally damp the sawdust lightly and every day re-heat the iron.

Another, and better method where conditions admit, is to hang the mutton right in the chimney over a wood fire. Coal must not be used. Allow the smoke to find its way deeply into every part of the joint by frequent turning. If possible pinewood should be avoided, as it tends to “flavour” the meat, but almost any wood may be used – kept damp by an occasional sprinkle of water – and allowed to smoulder beneath the mutton day and night for a week.

Yet another method, for those who posses an outhouse or shed, is to hang the mutton from the roof and below it make a peat fire. Shut the doors and make as “smoke tight”. All that is then required is replenishment of the peat when necessary.

The meat, when prepared this way, will keep for a very long time if stored in a cool place.

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11 Responses to 23.1.40

  1. Personally, I prefer the peat in the outhouse method.

    Rumor has it that mutton is indeed scarce in Macon, Georgia, USA.

    From my vantage point within the Wormhole, I see that E.R.’s column is still running.

    Meanwhile, in Britain, the large number of road accidents in the “black-out” leads to a reduction of the speed limit from 30 to 20 mph.

    It is suspected that 24-hour body shops flourished behind black curtains. Speculation suggests that the most successful of these entrepreneurial enterprises might have been surrounded by large trees.

  2. Martin Watts says:

    Smoked lamb of mutton, known as hangikjot, is an Icelandic delicacy. Iceland is known for it’s almost total lack of wood. Traditionally the meat was smoked over a fire burning a form of recycled grass, also produced by sheep.

  3. George~~

    Have you seen The Sea Hawk yet?

    I felt an uncomfortable urge to laugh when Captain Geoffrey Thorpe said, “We’ve an old proverb in England that says, ‘Those who sail without oars stay on good terms with the wind.'”

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe: Your ship is sinking, Captain.
    Captain Lopez: Then we shall drown together.
    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe: Brave, but impractical. Now we English are a practical people. I’ve no intention of drowning with you.

  4. George~~

    I received false information somewhere, so don’t read the above for another six months or so.

  5. > I see that E.R.’s column is still running

    I wonder how many other feeds are running events day-by-day from 1940. Anyone have any idea? It would be interesting to view them together.

  6. Pingback: Tweets that mention 23.1.40 « THE ORWELL PRIZE -- Topsy.com

  7. Pingback: Nibbles: Potatoes, beef, lamb, bull

  8. Stephen says:

    An alternative method for the time-pressed would be to go down to the store and buy some bacon.

  9. Gwilym W says:

    Why “evidently”? Come off it, George. There either was snow or there wasn’t. We don’t ever doubt you, you know.

    evident: plain, manifest, clear, obvious

  10. Dave says:

    “hang the mutton from the rood and below it make a peat fire.”

    Maybe that should be “roof?”

  11. @ Dave

    Well spotted – thanks for that… now edited.

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