chipotle chorizo cornbread. for thanksgiving.

For the first time in quite a few years, Dennis and I will travel for Thanksgiving. There will be no weeks of mad planning and shopping, notebooks filled with recipes and timetables, and sketches of the table settings.  There will be no Dead Poultry Society meeting this year, much to the dismay of friends and family. This year, we will make a quick jaunt – about 24 hours – to visit family in the Berkshires. We will eat at a local Inn and someone else will make the pies. Truth be told, I’m okay with all this. It’s good to change things up. But I began to get a little wistful about turkey, and how good the house smells when Thanksgiving is in the oven. […]


charcutepalooza december challenge. showing off.

This is it. The last challenge. It’s time to show us what you’ve learned. You’ve had a year of experimenting and practice. You’ve had the benefit of this exceptionally creative and daring Charcutepalooza community. And ‘tis the season. What better reason to gather your friends and family than a celebration of all things charcuterie? It’s exciting to serve up these homemade lovelies. No reason not to crow a little. You’ve earned it. Cassoulet is a natural. Choucroute garnie, as well. Perhaps Schweinshaxe? Or a long simmered Italian “Sunday Gravy?” A tapas offering? What about dim sum? We’ve looked cross culturally for so much of the year, the possibilities seem endless with a little internet research and a dollop of imagination. Create a menu, a meal, […]


november challenge. curing.

The eleventh challenge. We’re almost through the Year of Meat and a trip to France is so close for one of you. We’ve come a long way. We’ve salted, brined, smoked, ground, stuffed, packed and stretched our way through parts of pork, slabs of beef, flocks of chickens, dozens of ducks and hundreds of feet of casings. We’re ready to cure. The weather is cooling and it’s time to hang meats and sausages in the garage, the wine refrigerator, the attic, the back of the pantry – wherever you have the right conditions for curing. Apprentice Challenge: Please cure a sausage, ex: soppresata, saucisson sec, Spanish chorizo, salami or coppa Charcutiere Challenge: Please cure a whole cut, ex: lonzino, bresaola, jambon de Camont, lardo Some […]


october challenge. stretching.

There are days in the kitchen that kick your butt. Tasks that ask you to stretch your skills. This month, we’ll be experiencing all the terrors and the thrills of the kitchen. We’ll be extending foods to make tasty appetizers. We’ll be lengthening the time we can keep foods edible, safely. You’ll be working hard to make beautiful presentations – and stretching the number people you can feed with one chicken, or one duck. For the Apprentice Challenge, please make rillettes or confit, any meat (or fish!) For the Charcutiere Challenge, please make a galantine or a roulade. Post on the 15th. Tag your post charcutepalooza and we’ll be sure to see it. Share your blog post with Punk Domestics. Cross post and upload photos […]


september challenge. packing.

We’ve just returned from a few fantastic days spent floating down the Rhine river valley, and traveling the Routes des Vins d’Alsace. I peered into every charcuterie shop, checked out every butcher. Oh, don’t worry. I did not overlook the vegetables. Or the cheeses. Or pastries. I stopped at markets and chatted up the people selling meats under cheerful red umbrellas. Struck up conversations. Snacked on picnic sized saussicon sec. I wanted to experience it all. The pride in their art is evident in every bite. Look at those pretty pastry covered patés. That’s when the inspiration struck for this month’s challenge. The Apprentice Challenge: Paté Campagne OR Paté Gratinée (ex: Pork Terrine with Pork Tenderloin Inlay) 
The Charcutiere Challenge: Paté Gratinée en Croute OR […]


an old fashioned grocer, amazing pork and spicy plum sauce

Where have all the grocers gone? When I was a little girl, my grandmother would go to Shorling’s every Friday morning to pick up her weekend groceries. I accompanied her in the summertime, lingering over the pretty food. The guys working in the produce aisle would have samples to nibble while we shopped. Watermelon, sweet cherries, cantalope. Locally grown, of course. The neighborhood grocer. They were everywhere in America. There was a helpful person in every department ready to answer your questions. At every moment, the produce, meats, breads were presented beautifully. Nothing was wrapped in styrofoam and plastic – it was all paper bags and butcher paper and twine. The butcher was a big fellow with enormous hands. He would grind beef – mixing […]