February 17, 2011

Charcutepalooza and Why You Want to Win the Grand Prize

Kate's Kitchen

At first I was very excited to participate in Charcutepalooza, a meat-filled year of "salting, smoking and curing" that is the creation of Mrs Wheelbarrow's Kitchen and The Yummy Mummy

Since moving to France I've learned to make simple things like frozen yogurt, red wine vinegar and fromage de chèvre, so I thought it would be fun to try my hand at making pancetta, bacon, duck prosciutto and all the other delicious charcuterie projects planned for the coming year.

Then I started to think about where we live. About our tiny fridge and our stone house with no basement or cellar. And about the long, sweltering, south of France summers.

Suddenly the idea of curing raw meat in our kitchen in July and August when temperatures inside our house hover around 80-85° Fahrenheit became somewhat less attractive. And probably not very safe.

So I decided not to join the challenge.

Relais de Camont

Kitchen at Camont

But for those of you 250+ bloggers who did sign up for Charcutepalooza, I hope you work very hard at winning the grand prize. Your time and effort will be worth it!

I first met Kate Hill in 2007 at Camp Cassoulet and over the years have been fortunate enough to spend a few weekends with her in Gascony.
Her knowledge and passion for real food, France and traditional cooking is immeasurable. And contagious. Also her home, the Relais de Camont, is a little piece of heaven on earth.

Believe me, you want to win.

Good luck!

Kate Hill
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Diane said...

Sounds like a great course, but when would you have time to do all the salting, curing etc. My vegetables and fruit take up all my time!! Diane

La Familia Verde said...

You should give a try! I'm going to be doing it in Austin, TX where some days it might hit 110 in August. Its definitely going to be an experiment :-)

Betty Carlson said...

What a nice picture of Kate! I hope I can meet up with her someday. We have spoken on the phone before...

I agree with you...no meat-curing on my docket either! Some things are only possible with a farmhouse or other huge French residence.

Stephanie said...

That sounds wonderful! And I love how she decorated her kitchen - especially those bird images/plaques. What a great adventure!

Happy cooking! :)

Ken Broadhurst said...

I can see wanting to make your own charcuterie if you don't live in France. But if you live here, it's all available at the shops.

The Beaver said...

"duck prosciutto" miam!miam!
I would love to be able to make them since they are very expensive in Montréal. I use them when I make "oiseaux sans têtes" .

Jennifer said...

Since I don't have a garden I think I could have found the time to do this, but for me it is a winter only activity.

La Familia
I'm sure you'll be very happy with your charcuterie! Looking forward to reading about your projects.
We don't have air conditioning, so I don't think the summertime will work for me.

Kate is wonderful!
If we had a cool space in our house in the summer, then I would have gone for it. Alas...

I'm sure all the participants are really enjoying the results of their work.
Kate's kitchen is an inspiring place to cook in!

I do like the idea of duck prosciutto though. Never seen that for sale here.

Duck here is so affordable, unlike beef, so we eat magret de canard instead of steak.

Mlle Paradis said...

oh gawd! i've always thought the idea of diy charcuterie was fascinating. used to make terrines in a job long ago but since i married a vegetarian, it has seemed highly impractical in that way. but to do it in france (and eat cassoulet while doing so and tipping a splosh of red wine into the recipe.....en plein "terroir").......great big sigh of desire.

Amanda said...

I thought about you when I read Joumana's blog this morning
I think I would become really fat if I moved back to France but maybe not since I might be satistfied with good, tasty food.

Jennifer said...

mlle Paradis
I hope whoever wins will appreciate the prize as much as you would. :)

I gained weight my first few years here, but have lost it again. We eat more fresh vegetables, less meat and rarely anything processed so I know we eat better here. Even with all the charcuterie and cheese!

Thanks for the link. I already follow her blog and think she is great!

Ken Broadhurst said...

I don't know if duck proscuitto is the same thing as magret fumé, which you can buy at the supermarket, but it might be close.

Jennifer said...

I think Betty asked me the same thing recently.
My understanding is that Magret fumé (which I love!) is smoked whereas duck prosciutto is salt cured.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Here's a very simple recipe, on Marmiton, for jambon de magret de canard. I might have to try it, adding some herbs.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the link! Might have to try that as well.