Felt like doing some writing and thought I’d talk about what’s been going on with MeatVentures and what our plans are for 2014.
My wife and I are currently working on getting into better shape in 2014. She started going to a trainer, and they’ve chosen her to be one of their featured clients which is awesome. She is going to extra training sessions and documenting the experience and her progress. She’s been doing really well, which in turn has been inspiring me to start moving again and eat better. I’ve started working out 3 times a week, and have been doing a lot of body weight exercises and kettlebell work. This week I start working on power lifting again as well.
We also signed up for a CSA (Community supported agriculture) with Plan B Organic Farms. Every 2 weeks we get a big box of locally grown organic fruits and vegetables. It’s a mix of different thiings each time and so far I’m loving it. I like that our money is going to local farmers, and I’m getting a mix of things I might not buy otherwise to experiment with.
I posted before about getting into the food truck business – that is our goal and it’s looking like financing is going to be the thing that determines if we start this year or next year. Right now I’m in the middle of trying to decipher the health regulations surrounding curing meat so we can move forward with our focus on in-house cured meats. There’s a possibility the regulations might be too tight for my original idea, but I’ve got a backup in my head if it’s needed.
We just applied to take part on a show named Food Truck Faceoff – a Food Network series with the prize being a year’s lease on a truck. We’ve got our fingers crossed and hope to hear back from them soon.
I’m also studying to get my food handler certification in Hamilton, with the test coming up next Monday night. Good asset to have, and just good information to know in general.
I’ve got a couple of opportunities in the works to get some real restaurant experience that I’m looking forward to as well. This year is going to be tough, with a lot of work and learning, but it’s all for a long term goal, so it’ll be worth it.
With the focus going towards starting a business, we’ll be working on saving up for that. So that means putting some other expensive hobbies on hold. I haven’t been out snowboarding yet this year and will probably only make it out once or twice. We’ll probably only be competing at one BBQ competition this year as well – the Roc City Ribfest.
Roc City is doing 3 competitions in one weekend: a 4 meat KCBS competition, a separate rib cook off, and the one I’m most excited to enter – a 4 entry NEBS competition named the World Bacon Championship. Planning on entering using our own in-house cured and smoked bacon to see how it stacks up!
I’ve been looking at plans for cabinet smokers and hope to get a small one built before Roc City. It’s looking like it’s going to be a vertical cabinet water smoker with some modifications I came up with after talking to a few people who already have a smoker like this. A friend sent me some detailed blueprints that were really helpful in visualizing how everything is put together and how much materials will have to be put into it. Should be a fun project.
In 2013 I did a lot of experimenting with making bacon, and in 2014 I plan on perfecting my recipes and techniques and branching out into more types of charcuterie. I played a lot with adding different flavours to bacon, and now I’m going to bring it back and focus on a couple of different types until I get them exactly how I like them. I’ve got some guanciale and unrolled pancetta in the basement that have been hanging for 4 weeks now. They should be ready in a couple more weeks. Hopefully at some point I’ll stumble on a really cheap small wine fridge that I can convert to a curing chamber, then I’ll try out some more complicated stuff.
I’ll be trying out a lot of different cooking in 2014. I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot of different tastes growing up, and now I’m working on figuring out the building blocks of how those tastes are put together. There’s always more to learn, and everything new expands the knowledge that you have to draw on. Lots of reading to do, and lots of cooking and practice to be done!
I’m really looking forward to 2014. I know that it’s going to be a tough year and that I really have to step up my discipline to work towards what I want to accomplish, but I know that it’s what I want, and that it’s what I’m going to do, one day at a time.