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 […]


charcutepalooza august challenge. binding.

Remarkable sausages have been made in the last three months. Really, you Charcutepalooza folks are making the most amazing foods. And taking gorgeous photos. Makes me want to sit at your dinner tables. Every last one of you. The Binding challenge will move us away from sausages, and use all those mad charcuterie skills you’ve developed. We’ll be making terrines. Molded, formed, weighted, chilled, sliced, and served cold. And bound with gelatin, egg whites, or natural gel from bone stock. This month, you have an opportunity to show us what you’ve got. Make the most of the pre-sen-ta-tion (do you hear my French accent? see my arms waving about?) It’s the perfect month – hot and steamy August – to celebrate chilled charcuterie. The Apprentice […]


charcutepalooza july challenge. blending.

It’s nearly the fourth of July, or Bastille Day if you’re in France – high summer just about everywhere in this hemisphere. For heavens sake – you don’t need a holiday to celebrate. Get out the grill. Make some sausages. Invite your friends over. It’s been months of challenges now. Months of pictures of raw meat. I am hereby declaring there will be fewer raw meat photos in this post. This is about what to do with those sausages. Have a party! Look – I even took pictures of the people and the dogs! For this month’s challenge, Paul and Elaine hosted a summer barbeque in their sunny Glover Park backyard. A few friends joined in for the Olympics of Sausage. Everyone agreed to be […]


charcutepalooza june challenge. stuffing.

With this post, we’re officially halfway through the Year of Meat. Amazing, isn’t it? You’ve  worked your way through the basic skills of charcuterie – salt curing, brining, smoking and grinding. And with this month’s Stuffing challenge, the basics will be complete. This month, you’ll be making sausage links. Working with casings is a little tricky, and you’ll be glad you learned all about grinding meats last month. As so many of you have pointed out in your excellent posts, making sausage leads naturally to exploring different cuisines. Nearly every culture adds ground meat, spices and herbs to create some form of sausage. We encourage you to continue to explore spicing this month. For the Apprentice Challenge, please make Italian pork sausage links. For the […]


canning yankee-style baked beans

It’s a little rainy and chilly here, and produce is still not available at the market. I’m itching to can something. Anything. I did two batches of  chicken broth, but that didn’t satisfy the itch. So I decided to can with this recipe while waiting for strawberries and rhubarb. I set out to make the baked beans of my childhood. That sweet, tangy elixir. The ones from the jar. With the big hunk of whitish, frighteningly delicious fat. I’ve been messing around with these flavors for awhile, and finally hit upon the perfect – well, MY perfect – baked bean. These beans are so easy, you’re going to be thrilled to have them at your barbeque dinners this summer. One pound of beans will make […]


charcutepalooza may challenge. grinding.

We’re almost half way through the Year of Meat. We’ve salted, cured, brined, and smoked. Now, it’s time to make sausage. Grinding meat from whole cuts, blending in the perfect ratio of clean fats, and flavoring just to your taste with spices, herbs and more – it’s nothing short of amazing. To prepare for this challenge, I sought out expert advice. You Charcutepalooza-er’s have a lot of fans out there, and some seriously impressive people were delighted to chime in and make sure we’re doing all we can with this great meat-movement. From the beginning, we’ve been talking about sourcing the best meat possible – humanely raised and humanely slaughtered. What better time to reassert that intention then when we make sausage? Controlling the quality […]