When I was growing up we always had yoghurt in the fridge. It’s so cheap and simple to make. Some people stuff around with getting their milk to 67.84341°C and then trying to maintain temps while it forms. My Mum would mix a tablespoon of yoghurt into a bowl of milk, cover it in cling wrap and shove it on a shelf out of the way. 8 hours later it was yoghurt and ready for the fridge. No thermometers no special tools.
Spit Roast Pig – Brass Monkey 2012
Every year a group of lads head out bush trying to find the coldest place to camp and do a bit of 4wd’ing. This year we decided to do a whole pig on the spit. Needless to say I was excited about this project.
In the preceding weeks we were getting email and video updates from Ironpaw on the spit building and testing.
Adjustable Legs to raise pig above heat.
Getting the Speed right.
Spit Roast almost done!
We pre-ordered the pig from Carey Brothers Butchers in Warwick, about 15mins from where we were camping. All up it cost around $200- @$8.80/kg.
I asked the butcher why the whole pig was $8.80/kg yet their website mentions they sold half pigs all butchered up nicely for $6.80/kg. We were told that they don’t normally have young whole pigs in stock and that it had to be specially ordered in by one of their brokers.
We arrived at The Springs 4wd park on Fri lunchtime, set up camp and then began salting the pig. I made a rub of mustard, garlic and ginger powders mixed with salt. This was rubbed all throughout the inside of the carcass. The outside was kept simple with a hefty rubbing of salt. We then wrapped the pig up in the plastic sleeve it came in and then a second layer of plastic sleeve with two bags of ice in between the layers (That way if the ice melted it would not waterlog the pig). This was all them rolled up in a tarp for storage overnight. We weren’t too concerned about the temp as we were expecting it to be well below 4°C overnight.
We then focused on getting the fires going. One ludicrously large one for our general warmth and a secondary one to cook the pig on the next day. You would think that dragging two whole trees as well as dozen or so large 6″ thick branches to feed the firepit would suffice but this is Brass Monkey and pretty much all was consumed come morning.
My Coffee Addiction – 33 cups a day!
I never liked coffee. The only time I used to drink it was at Uni during the few weeks of swotvac, and used purely to keep me awake while cramming for the ludicrous number of Mech Eng exams we had. Even then it was only nasty cheap instant coffee which I used to wash down a No-Doze caffeine tablet. The rest of the year I didn’t touch the stuff.
When I left Uni to galavant around the world, I worked for 6 months in an awesome little coffee shop called Bean Bros in Kerrisdale, Vancouver. The owner Larry used to roast his own beans and it thrived despite a tiny vege store separating us from a Starbucks. (This was in 1996 when Starbucks was growing into the behemoth that it became). With so many varieties available, if I was ever to take up drinking the dark brew, this would be the perfect opportunity. So I began to start my day with a coffee. This then manifested into a several a day event where I began to appreciate the intricate differences between beans.
It got to the point where I would test samples of freshly roasted beans and give feedback. Once I told Larry that there was something wrong with his latest batch. Given the price of beans and my relative newbieness to coffee world, his immediate response was to ignore me. However after we taste tested several samples from the batch he acknowledged the bitterness and threw away several hundred dollars of beans, but not without glaring at me for being so chuffed at making the find!
When I left there with my newfound awesome barista skills to discover Europe (yes that’s right I was the first human to find Europe and claim it as my own sovereign territory!) I didn’t really drink that much. Mostly just a cup every day or two just to sit back and enjoy the novelty of sipping a coffee in a small cafe in Italy or France.