charcutepalooza april challenge. hot smoking.

It’s time for another Charcutepalooza challenge, and this time, we want you to get in touch with your inner McGyver. We’re taking all we’ve learned from salt rubs, salt cures, and brines, and we’re adding fire. It’s Hot Smoking time. And once again, Kim and I are saying, “Poor Dennis,” at least once a day. My wonderful husband, a mostly-vegetarian fan of simple foods prepared simply, is extremely patient. And loving. And not a fan of smoked foods. (Or cured, for that matter.) Dennis tells people the secret to our happy marriage is that he “lets Cathy be Cathy.” And he means it. But for four days last week, it was tough going. Twenty seven pounds of meat sat brining, salting, curing and otherwise bleeding […]


spring in my step, shad roe on my plate

Yes, friends. She lives. It was touch and go there for awhile, with both of us sick, but things are definitely looking up. The tea recommendations were taken to heart, as were the suggestions for additions to the chicken broth. But mostly I listened to my body and responded to the cries for rest, the desire for long, hot baths, and ultimately, as I got healthier, the food cravings. Do you read Glutton for Life – the lyrical blog from Laura Silverman? If you don’t know it, spend some time exploring her way with words. With life, actually. I love the blog’s header, and the way three lovely items are placed there with each post – like a  virtual still life. Do you make little […]

late winter colds and the larder

It’s been a rough ten days. I can’t remember the last time I felt so crummy. Really awful. And Dennis is sick, too. I haven’t posted because I honestly have barely cooked for all this time. We have no appetite and I have no energy. But it was wonderful to open two quarts of hearty homemade chicken stock, add some noodles, carrots and celery, and have warm noodle-y chicken soup to nurse us back to health. There are many times throughout the year when I appreciate the larder, but I can’t think of another time I felt so grateful to open a jar. I’ll be back soon. I hope. Until then, I’ll be under a lap blanket in my comfy chair sipping hot soup and […]


a year of canning begins, again

It’s been busy busy busy at the drafting table. And the keyboard. I miss the kitchen, and this blog, and spending afternoons dreaming up recipes to share. I’m back designing gardens, with some lovely projects that are waking up my hibernating landscape mind. Just in time, as the snowdrops opened up last week. But even more is on the horizon. Kim and I are working on a proposal – we want to tell the story of Charcutepalooza. It takes a lot of time and attention to do this well. A lot. The reality around here? My mind is almost always on the book and not on dinner. I’m finding gems in the freezer. Pot pies and manicotti and soups made weeks ago are defrosted when […]


charcutepalooza. the events.

Image by David Dadekian. Check out his blog for more exceptional photography. Butchery, charcuterie making, farm to table, a pot-luck. From the start, Kim and I had hoped there would be some Events. We wanted to get you ‘paloozers together. After all, Kim and I met on Twitter, but when I was in New York just a few weeks later, we actually met, for a cup of coffee. We’re fans of the IRL meeting. I have to think that the fact we had met in person made it easier to contemplate meat making together. I knew she would be game – she’s freaking fearless – there’s not a food project that scares her (if you don’t believe me, read this or this.) She knew I […]