The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Perfect present

bacon slicerI was half an hour late for work this morning. My friend Tessa had bought me the perfect present. I couldn’t tear myself away, wanted to examine it, even test it out. But there wasn’t time for that. Danny and I looked at it through the plastic wrap and breathed a huge sigh of relief. It’s just what we’ve always wanted, since we started curing our own bacon a few months ago.

“I’m so sorry that I’m running late. My friend arrived with a surprise present and I couldn’t just say thanks and leave immediately.”
“Oh, how exciting! What was it?”
“A bacon slicer!”
The reaction would have been the same if I’d announced that I’d just been given a baby grow for one of the dogs. Astonished silence.

Perhaps they imagined a sort of butcher’s bacon slicer, a huge machine that would be only used once a year for the Christmas ham or some dotty Cottage Smallholder project. They smiled and made encouraging nods.

When I explained that we now cure and smoke bacon in our inglenook chimney the relief was overwhelming.
“What does your bacon taste like?”
“Do you sell it?”
“Is it expensive?”
“Do you buy a whole pig at a time?”

Suddenly everyone started to get animated about the bacon slicer.
“Does it cut different thicknesses?”
“Can you make pancetta?”
“Does it cut a really big joint?”
“Is it electric or handle driven?”

If you catch the home curing and smoking bug you will have loads of cured meat that needs to be sliced. If it is cut to the same thickness your meat goes further and it’s easier to cook. When you give it away to friends, it looks so much better in uniform slices.

Our new baby – the Cookworks Food Slicer is electric. Now originally christened The Slicer, it’s white and folds up neatly when not in slicing mode. Tessa already has one and it slices like a dream. Until now we have hacked with a sharp knife or borrowed The Chicken Lady’s super slicer. I hate borrowing tools. If they break you have to replace them and if they keel over after you’ve returned them it might be down to you, even if it was weeks ago.

Now we can slice away with abandon at any time of the day or night. As chief bacon hacker, Danny’s eyes soften when he looks at it.

We’re thrilled.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Casalba

    Ahh haa! I’m interested in bacon slicers and that’s why it’s fun to write about them. A post on old bank statements could be a bit dull but on that front I discovered all my aunt Pickle’s bank statements when she died and the first few years were handwritten in copperplate handwriting!

  2. casalba

    How do you do that? You write about a bacon slicer and it’s still a good read!

    Anyway, a lovely present which (from what I’ve understood so far) will get good use.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pat

    We are delighted with it as cutting up the bacon can be a real chore. Tessa used hers a lot before she started curing her own bacon, slicing joints of meat to freeze etc. Then she takes out just a few slices for a meal!

  4. Fiona that is cool. I have been thinking of getting a slicer here, but not sure if it would get used as much as yours will. Cool gadget though!!!

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Geoff

    There are a whole range of prices for slicers (usually called food slicers). Ours is an Argos one (£29.99) and cuts Tessa’s uncooked bacon well – no feathering.

    I will be testing out our’s tonight.

    There’s a good discussion rearding slicers on the sausagemaking forum here

  6. I know it was a present, but do you know what kind of money these things are? I’ve never really seen domestic slicers before, just the commercial versions.

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