Japan in a nutshell?

Yes, of course, why wouldn’t I try? It’s not like it’s a complicated thing to explain after all. So, here’s three kōan:

 1 .Shokunin: In Japan the secret to success is doing one thing & doing it really fucking well. Forever.

2. “The process is everything“: A four word definition of Japan.

3. And mottainai: “nothing goes to waste”


Pigs & pollards

“Medieval insights for UK wood pasture restoration”.

A rather dry title but a fascinating piece by Dolly Jørgensen out of Umeå University, Sweden. In other posts elsewhere on this site I’ve talked about using cattle for pasture restoration. But it looks like pigs could be just as important:

Although cattle, sheep, and horses are often mentioned in conjunction with wood pasture restoration projects in the UK, this medieval evidence indicates that pigs may have been just as important a driver in the creation and maintenance of medieval wood pasture.

Detail of the November calendar page from a manuscript made in Metz, France, in 1302 or 1303 showing a swineherd climbing a tree to knock down acorns. British Library, public domain.

“…it just oozes grease & fat & all the things that make life worth living”

@AprilBloomfield‘s team at White Gold Butchers take the English chipolata sausage to even more dizzying heights than we’re used to here in dear old Blighty, marrying it up with cheese and egg into the very archetype of the NY breakfast sandwich. Micky D’s this ain’t…

Mouth watering much? Here, in all its morning glory, is the story by Nick Solares who almost swooned whilst eating it…


Happy Hindsholm Grisens hogs

via @chrifrapug (Christian F. Puglisi’s) “Relæ: A Book of Ideas”, I came across a description of this breed, a name new to me.

So, sensing yet another blog post almost writing itself, I read on about these pigs, raised on the island of Fyn (or Funen in English), Denmark’s second largest and also called its ‘garden island’. Looked after by a wife & husband team Carla & Poul Lang Nielsen; it’s a crossed Duroc (a breed that we’ve all agreed before do rock), a great one for taste, voluptuous dark red meat, marbled fat and their fecund breeding abilities.

Christian talks about their quality here:

“The fact that Hindsholm Grisen lives longer meant that the fat on it’s firmer, it is pearly white, and it is immediately less watery. We saw that it was almost melted fat, while the fat from other animals bubbled and skim before the water evaporated.”

So, not a pedigree variant but interesting none the less as, yet again, it shows how well pigs can perform when treated with kindness and concern and compassion. You need to read their own descriptions of how they work this farm and how they treat their animals. It’s a blueprint for everyone that doesn’t already and they look as happy as any pig should

Finally, although my Danish is crap (aka “non existent, despite watching large quantities of Scandie noir thrillers”), this visual is self-explanatory. Here’s to happy pigs…

Blues for Allah or The Piggy Wiggy Blues…

By Fergus H, of course; who else? It’s taken from the intro to “Hog” by Richard H Turner.

Image via Elliott Shepard & First We Feast

Why are we so good to eat, why? oink oink oink oink

You can brine us then smoke us for bacon, that’s the Gloucester Old Spot’s lot

Cure our limbs and you’ve got ham oink oink oink oink

Looking for fat, how about that, middle white, lard on legs

Get on up like a lardon machine oink oink oink oink

This is what you do to me charcuterie

Put your horse’s bone in my thigh oink oink

The onomatopoeic lop, flavour is loppishish, needs an Alice band for those ears

The giant orange sofa Tamworth, ladies and gents oink oink oink oink

Trotters bring unctuous sticky, tails that go crispy

The little things like chitterlings, poo pipe, woohoo!

Roast chop sandwich, raised pork pie

Ears cheeks and nose I tell no lie, pigs head is the tops woohoo woohoo!

The table is laid, your number is up, it’s dinner time pig oink oink squeal squeal! Sizzle, woohoo woohoo!

And “Blues For Allah”? An old Dead album. I hadn’t realised how long ago that had been released. Time flies when you’re high…