At a recent SlowMama brunch, I snapped this picture of a charcuterie plate my contributors and I shared. None of us were crazy about the smoked venison (the purplish bit in the upper right corner), but the bacon jam was pretty neat, and the sugar-cured salmon was tasty — not to mention the accompanying cheeses.
Ten years ago, it was rare to see charcuterie on a restaurant menu — at least, not to the extent I see it now. It’s a common way of eating in places like Spain and Italy, of course, but here in North America the rise of the local food movement has inspired butchers, restaurateurs, hunters, and home cooks alike to use quality meats and game in creative ways, and to let those meaty morsels shine on their own.
Is charcuterie something you’d ever order? I realize if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you’re probably out the door already, but I hope you’ll stick around for a drink I think you’ll love: a mixed berry and fig Old Fashioned.
I don’t like whiskey, but this drink by Naomi Robinson – a writer, photographer, and blogger at Bakers Royale – had me at “mixed berries and figs.” It would be just the kind of drink I’d want to try with a charcuterie plate — or no plate at all. So, with one of these in hand, here’s my high and low of the week:
High: Attending a 4-hour homeschooling workshop on Wednesday given by a panel of adoptive parents. Not only was it informative — since we’re beginning to think about what kind of schooling we want to do — it was my longest time away from the girls. Which felt weird, but also nice. They did well with our very competent and caring friend until B returned home from work, but…
Low: …it was clear a little later in the evening that having both B and me gone still triggers their attachment issues. While they’re attaching and adjusting very well, this stuff takes time. They’ve had many female caregivers come and go over the past 9 months, and it doesn’t take much to confuse them. It deflated me a bit, but sometimes you can’t gauge where things are until you experiment.
As for my bonus question, I’m still thinking about charcuterie… In that vein, I’m wondering if you’ve ever raised an animal for food. If so, what was the animal, and how was the experience?
I haven’t done it myself, but when I was growing up, my parents raised animals on and off for dairy (goats), eggs (chickens), and meat (cows, pigs, and turkeys). I remember sitting down to hamburgers one evening and someone said, “This is Barney.” We all went silent. After that, I don’t think we named the cows that would eventually land on our table.
Okay, your turn. What was your high this week? How about your low? And what about animal husbandry?
Image: Zoe Saint-Paul