canning, preserving and a wintertime tart

It’s January, and hardly the time for canning, right? The farmer’s markets are closed until Spring, the snow is sleepily falling. All those jars and pots and pans and lids have been tucked away since October. Why is it, then, this week, I started to feel the itch again? Is it because we’ve been living out of the freezer and larder for awhile now? The boxes in the garage are filling up with empty jars. I worry. Is there enough? I think about what I’ll do differently this year. I’m not alone. I’ve been getting emails. You’re thinking about canning, too. Winter is a great time to think to plan. To dream. To make lists. To mark recipes. Now is the perfect time to look […]


moderation minestrone. meatless monday.

I realize there’s been a lot of meaty talk around here lately. Ironic, isn’t it?  There’s the siren call of the Charcutepalooza, yet, most often, I’m cooking for just the two of us. Dennis, a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat (a meat reducer is his term) and me, an omnivore with a tendency toward high cholesterol and a few extra pounds. So, I’m careful. And we treat meat as a special occasion meal. We invite friends over to celebrate. We source any meat that we do eat from local farmers. I’ve written about the farms, the farmers, and the responsibility of conscious eating. Animal proteins are on our dinner table about once a week, and most often it’s fish or chicken. I eat meat more […]


Charcutepalooza. January Challenge is Duck Prosciutto

This post kicks off Charcutepalooza with our project for January – Duck Prosciutto. This is an easy way to limber up for The Year of Meat. It’s an eight day project with no special tools required other than a cool, marginally humid location, 50-60° F. I use my garage, but have to watch carefully at this time of year, as it sometimes drops to 40°, making this process take a little longer. Others are reporting good success with wine refrigerators. If you just don’t have a spot, we’ll be on to the next challenge in a few days. (Speaking of our next challenge, we’ll be revealing the project on January 15th. Now is a good time to order pink salt.) Breasts or Whole Bird? In […]


Charcutepalooza. Let’s make meat.

(Let’s just drop that pesky ’11 or 2011 or whatever.) The Co-Creators: Mrs. Wheelbarrow and The Yummy Mummy Twitter Hashtag: #Charcutepalooza We’re kicking off the twelve months of meat so aptly named Charcutepalooza by Kim.  This is a remarkable opportunity to learn as a group, to share experiences, and to explore far and wide how we approach the elegant “craft of salting, smoking and curing.” There is little doubt it’s time to think about the meat we eat. How we use the animals raised for consumption. How we treat them. How they are butchered. And how the whole beast is used to feed our families. Stories of meat tainting and commercially farmed animals in hideous circumstances are far too common. Wouldn’t it be better to […]

have yourself a very merry…

Louie and I (and Dennis) wish all of you, my dear blog readers, a very merry Christmas, happy Holidays, and the brightest of New Years. I’m hard at work figuring out how #Charcutepalooza11 will work. Thank you all for the enthusiastic reception. I’ll be posting the Ruhls on Monday, and all the ways to get involved. In the meantime, I hope you’ve got your copy of Charcuterie under the tree or on your e-reader or already in your hot little hands. If not, buy it now with that Amazon gift card that was in your stocking and start reading. And lest you think I had stopped cooking, here are a few links to foods I’ve been serving, eating and making for others. Maple Poached Eggs […]


a year of charcuterie

Sometimes, the most amazing things happen in the world of Twitter. It’s a quiet Sunday morning. I’ve got holiday baking all wrapped up. There are other special things I’ll be cooking between now and the first of the year, but it’s a much more relaxed pace in Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen today. So, over a second French press pot of coffee, I was chattering with friends on Twitter – talking charcuterie, cool garage spaces, and so on – and somehow the idea emerged – let’s make charcuterie together. I’m hereby declaring 2011 The Year of Charcuterie. What Kim called #Charcutepalooza11 (note the hashtag, Twitter users!) We’re going to start with Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman. It’s a great book (and if you order it through my blog, […]