The plan (we all have a plan, yes?), the plan was to make a batch of Spicy Italian and a batch of Breakfast Patties.
I use the metric system in measuring. No cups, teaspoon, tablespoon crap. Rather than messing with volume everything is measured by weight and since the system is base 10, it's easy to work with. Sliding a decimal point around isn't hard work. Except, well, I guess I counted a couple of fingers more than I should have and ended up over-salting the meat.
As per my routine, before grinding the meat I mix the spices and whatever liquid I'm using, be it water, wine, bouillon, or ???, and set it aside. I then trim, rough cut, and grind the meat and put it all into a big tub. I weigh out the meat planned for whatever recipe I'm using and transfer it to the mixing tub to which I add the "liquid spice" and mix away. Once it's distributed throughout the ground meat I take a spoonful and make a patty that I then pan fry. To test the spices. It was edible for sure...good Italian spice taste...but just a bit on the salty side. Quite a bit actually.
I like my sausages somewhat under-salted. Around 1.4%. Most sausages run 1.8 to 2%. Some of the store-bought sausage is even higher. Tenths of a percent make a big difference. Trying to recall how much salt I had put in the batch I redid my math: 1.4% of 8kg is 0.014 x 8000 or 112 grams. Except, wait, I was only using 4KG of meat for the Italian sausages. Damn! I had put enough salt for the entire meat run in half the amount of meat. Silly mistake but, fortunately for my wallet, easily rectified.
I just made up another batch of spices (no salt!) with some more secret liquid and added that to the other half of the ground pork that was to be for Breakfast Patties, merged that with the over-salted batch and all was right again with the world. Into the refrigerator went the lot of it to settle and the spices to blend overnight before stuffing and linking. Wifey and I took care of that earlier this afternoon. One on the crank the other on the sausage. Teamwork! One more day in the refrigerator to toughen up the skins then into the freezer they go.
Also on today's agenda was another attempt at a sourdough bread using a starter. This time, the starter is quite active, there is a lot of it (apparently in my last attempt I didn't use enough), and a couple of loaves are rising.
Now, the secret to a properly kneaded dough is it should be elastic. The kneading supposedly lengthens the gluten strands. One is not supposed to stop kneading until you can stretch the dough and it is translucent...almost see-through. Kneading, they say, should only take 10-15 minutes.
So I kneaded. I even used the clock because, well, kneading is a joy of cooking and I didn't want to miss a single minute of bonding with the bread. There's a fan blowing somewhere but it's also 35 degrees Celsius with a "feels like" temperature in the mid 40's. I'm kneading. 4 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes. I take a 5 minute break. 10 more minutes. I'm standing in a puddle of sweat and a muscle in my back has started to knot long before any gluten has lengthened. Test the dough. Certainly nowhere near see through let alone sheer. Ten more minutes. Screw it. Into the bowl to rise - or not.
Much like Wifey's plants who get "The Talk" ("I'll water you, weed you, and prune you but you will live or die on your own. You can be replaced!") I gave the ball of dough "The Talk": "Double in volume or not, tomorrow you're going in the oven." A little motivation, yes? Anyway, regardless of how this turns out - yes, even if the loaves are perfect - I'm probably going to go back to my old, no-knead, no-fuss sourdough recipe from our days in Belize.
City water is fine for bathrooms and sinks but for drinking, making ice, and cooking, we use bottled water. The Crystal water truck comes by twice a week selling the 5-gallon jugs of water for 25 pesos a jug. Not terribly cheap but less than US$0.30/gallon. We generally go through 3 or 4 per week. We all know, "A pint's a pound the world around." So a gallon of water is 8 pounds and a 5 gallon jug is 40 pounds. Now watch this video.
We should have a very nice weekend - the calm before the storm. There's a weather system brewing a few days east of us and should arrive Monday or Tuesday. It might be a tropical storm or even (though not likely) a hurricane but regardless it will bring a lot of much needed water to our parched earth.
Thanks for the comments. Keep in touch!