Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A bump in the road.

When I started this blog I told myself that I must keep up to date with it. I didn't want to be another blog that got some people excited only to start to whimper off and fall into the rare-poster category. Some weeks I have had as many as three posts, but never less than a post a week. Not long ago I was even nervous about having a week post and ended up posting one or two more times that week. But last week was the first, and I hope last, time I didn't post at least that one time. And although some say excuses are for the weak, I'd say I have a pretty damned good one!

Three Saturdays ago I was on my way to work on my motorcycle and had an accident with a car. Since then I have been in the hospital on the mend, focussing primarily on being ready for our wedding on May 29. I fractured my right femur in three places near the top. The swelling and pressure was so bad in my thigh that they were required to perform a fasciotomy to relieve the pressure. And since then I have had to graft some skin to cover the fasciotomy site. A little over two weeks until the big day and I can barely walk with the aid of a walker or crutches. Add to that the fact my insurance company refuses to send me to acute-rehabilitation, and things are looking a little dismal!

To add to the strangeness of this all, one week before this accident I was driving my lovely Triumph home from work at 1am. I saw a lady maneuvering out of a a parallel space and moved to the left lane to give her room. She had plenty, but apparently I failed to note her intentions of making an illegal U-turn from that spot. Luckily my riding experience allowed me to put the bike down safely and walk away with only a bruised and sprained wrist. But my bike wasn't so lucky.

After a week of thinking about what to do about my transportation situation (my bike is my everyday driver, cold, wet, just not icy) I picked up another, older, slower and louder motorcycle on that unfortunate Saturday. Seems it wasn't quite loud enough to be heard by that man in the Lexus. It also seems he has lied to everyone about what he did so his insurance company has of course denied my claim.

On the upside, there are three people who have really stepped up to help out LotH. Luckily I was in a place for each of my various projects that my injuries have not left them to die. Rebecca, my fiancée, and Emily & Henning, the couple who own the room have seemingly happily taken on some new responsibilities. After Henning finished boring out the dowel-rod holes in the rack, the three of them filled it up with 32 'nduja sausages to begin their final drying stage. Rebecca had to bring these over from our apartment, solo. About a week later she had to determine the level of cure on the bresaola, rinse, dry, wrap, weigh and transport 6 pounds of eye-of-the-round over to the room. Once everything arrives over there, E&H have taken charge of photographing and weighing the projects and keeping me up-to-date from my very comfortable yet very-restrictive hospital bed.

While the Rehearsal Dinner Pig Roast and the Wedding are continuing as planned for the most part. The Honeymoon to Northern Spain has unfortunately been cancelled, or perhaps only postponed. We have decided to grab a couple nights of fun immediately following the big day, in Asheville, N.C. We'll be staying at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate and dining out as much as I can handle in culinarily rich Asheville. I hear they might have some good BBQ down there too! We will happily take any suggestions anyone might have, and we will surely let you all know what we find.


  1. Two things, first glad to hear your ok. I hope your healing well. And secondly Way to go Rebecca on the sausage hauling and meat tending. Sounds like you have a keeper. My wife has put up with my brewing and she is letting me start curing too. Have a great wedding.

  2. well darrin, currently we keep all of are product in a tall reach in that is kept at 40 or below. We will often times open the door for a bit to allow a little more circulation, which also allows the temp to jump up a bit. The initial fermentation or incubation is done in a hot box or proof box where the temp can be set. Humidity is only a problem for us during drying (since florida is so humid 11 months out of the year). This is not 100% ideal for drying, however it keeps the health inspector happy. It does take a bit longer at the lower temperature, but I haven't had any issues so far with flavor or bad product. This being said, I do have another, however much smaller chamber that I could use if I had something I wanted to be sure and monitor closely which stays at about 65 degrees and an RH of about 75%. But it all ends up in the same cooler when the initial drying is completed(this also helps to retard any further drying, a little anyways).

    I do hope in the future to be able to have the chamber where I really want it (temp/humidity and proper controls for each) but do know that there are a number of restaurants that are successful using this same process (i.e. McCrady's, Chez Panisse)

    What issues have you run into in regards to temp/humidity?

  3. There's a special place in hell for people who cause an accident and then lie about it – just to save themselves some grief or a few hundred bucks on their insurance premium.

    A few years ago, my wife was t-boned and our vehicle totalled by a college kid who blew through a stop sign. Fortunately, they both walked away, but the kid didn't want her parents to know that she was responsible for totalling the car they'd just bought her the week before, so she lied through her teeth about the accident. As a result, her insurance wouldn't pay out for more than 50% of what our car was worth. Her insurance agent even said that if we had been parked at the curb and her car had fallen out of the sky and crushed it, they still wouldn't pay out more than 80%, because we wouldn't have made an effort to get out of the way and avoid the accident!