When we were getting to the end of the first half-belly, I thawed and cured the half-belly I had frozen frozen. The skin cut off much easier this time. That was partly because I had a sense of how to work it this time. Mostly it was because I got out the sharpener and put good edges on all the knives. Note: Knives sharp; fingers bleed.
Against all of Mary’s demands, I added brown sugar and pepper corns to the cure this time. I liked it quite a lot, but it caused a new Rule of Bacon Making to be declared: Thou Shalt Reserve Half to be Cured with No Weird Stuff Added. So sayeth the boss; so it shall be done.
5 lbs (other half of the 5Sep belly) cured with added brown sugar and cracked pepper
3Oct smoked with just apple wood
Started with a fairly strong pepper flavor. After a couple of weeks that has mellowed to a very nice, mild pepper note.