I don’t think I can call myself a blogger anymore. A whole year, not one single post. Numerous drafts, but nothing ever made it up. I’m not proud of this, so to appease the blogging gods, I have bacon jam!
Been through quite a bit of a journey the past year. I will summarise for you: I moved to Cape Town, started culinary school! Boy what an experience yo! In the patisserie class for six months, what an experience! I have a new appreciation for sweet things though I do have to say there were times I just wanted to stuff all those pastries and just eat chips with lots of salt and vinegar! Culinary school ain’t no joke though, it is a lot of early mornings and hectic days. It kicked my ass, but I kicked ass too. Well that is until I developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) in my right hand. My RIGHT hand!!! Like who does that? I won’t go in to the details of what that is (google is your friend), but it is not what you want to happen when you are starting out as a chef. Anyway, pushed through that pain for a couple of months, saw doctors, got injections, continued whisking away. I started my work placement at The French Oven (production kitchen for Cassis Patisserie here in Cape Town). They always say that you will work in some of the best places and some of the worst. But wow! nothing prepared me for the experience. But I think somewhere in that kitchen a sense of descency was lost, probably locked up in the freezer along with the macarons! But hey ho. I worked for 2 months before my hand gave up on me. And I went to a hand specialist and was told I needed surgery. Along with a botched steroid injection from the previous doctor, I still had CTS and now De Quervain’s Syndrome (again google is your friend). Surely there must be a limit to how many syndromes one can have at the same time! And really a chef who can’t use her hands.. Come ooooon!!
Surgery went down January 22nd. I had two surgeries, one for each syndrome. Had no use of my right hand for a while, but now I’m getting my strength back, fingers are moving. Can’t quite do things like I used to, I don’t think I ever will. I have become heavily dependent on my left hand. But I am back in the kitchen, albeit my little kitchen at home. So with my days spent at home, I have plenty of time to be cooking and writing. Lucky for you folk!
So that out of the way, I have a rather special recipe for you guys. Bacon Jam! I have seen this all over the blogsphere for years, there is a whole bacon movement going on around the world. I mean who doesn’t love bacon? If you don’t love bacon, why are you on this Earth?
Here’s the recipe…
500g streaky bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
50ml maple syrup
50g brown sugar
250ml brewed coffee
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
In a medium pan, sauté the bacon for 10 minutes, until it starts to crisp.
Take the bacon out and set aside. Sautè onions in the fat left from the bacon until softened. Add the garlic for about a minute.
In a large pot add maple syrup,brown sugar, and coffee. Mix the bacon and onion together and add to the pot. Simmer this over a low-medium heat for 1 hour. Stir through every 30 minutes and add some water. After an hour add the red wine vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar for some reason, and it turned it a lovely sour but sweet flavour).
You can serve this with anything, on toast with ago like I did, or slather on to your burger, or on some panfried scallops. I ate most of it right out of the bowl. I have no shame! The jam will keep in the fridge for a week, just warm it up a little before serving.
Bacon jam people. Bacon jam.
Hopefully I will be back on the blog wagon. I have a few recipes to be testing out.
As for the hand, it is getting better. it’s frustrating some times, but God put me on this journey for a reason right?