Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Open Letter to the People of Charcutepalooza

Dear Meat People,

You guys are nuts.

What started as Cathy and I making meat together, has become something else entirely - over a hundred of us and growing - making duck prosciutto. And I've figured something out. You're not just regular folks. No. You people love this stuff. You people are freaks.

You were tweeting about your duck breasts the minute you slipped them into your shopping basket. You were excited. You couldn't help yourself. You tweeted each other advice on salt and curing times. You sent each other pictures of your breasts. You ogled them in your basement every day, checked them like little children, and reported back their feel. How the fat was squishy and the meat was firm, but pliable. You stressed about the signs. Is it ready? Not ready? Will I die from botulism if I try a little piece?

You pined away the eight days of curing until you couldn't stand it anymore and weighed them obsessively to make sure they were doing okay. You consoled people who were freaking out because their breasts were curing too slowly. There was talk of humidity and basements and wine refrigerators. God, a bunch of you went out an bought wine refrigerators. That is dedication, my friends.

And then, there were the stories...

The ones you were telling on twitter and on your blogs. They were the best part. Really, better than any duck could be. Like Saint Tiger Lily who lives in a Manhattan apartment and didn't have anywhere to hang her duck so she kicked her kid out of his nursery, opened the window and hung her duck breasts to dry from his crib mobile. And that's just the beginning. That's just one great story. You all have them and you've made me want to know them all.

And I've found something else out about you....You guys are pervs. Big ones. You just couldn't help yourselves, could you? Oh, I heard it all. My breasts are hanging. Are my breasts supposed to feel squishy? You have gorgeous breasts. My breasts are nicer than your breasts. Should my husband have breasts? Your breasts are much larger than mine. Are you talking about the duck or Pamela Anderson? Can anyone come over and feel my breasts?

You get the picture. It was like this all month. And don't look at me, I didn't make one breast joke all month. I would never do that, of course. I'm very serious about the meat. Focused. On the meat.

I wouldn't, for example, be like some of you and decide to get a pig tattoo. That's right, you heard me. Pig tattoo. That is dedication to the movement. You people love your meat. You've been tweeting designs to each other and sharing them on Flicker. One guy said he'd get the tattoo if ten other people did. I think we are nearing ten interested people. I say I don't want to get a tattoo - I say it loud and strong - but I have a bad, bad feeling that I'll end this year with a pig on my butt. And if I do, I'm holding all of you lunatics responsible.

That said, I wanted to tell you that Cathy and I are throwing you a party, Sunday night, 9pm (EST) on Twitter. That's tomorrow night, January 16. For one whole hour, under the hashtag #Charcutepalooza, you guys can come together on Twitter around this months new challenge: The Salt Cure. And you know what that means...Bacon. (If you haven't seen Cathy's amazing, super-detailed post about this month's challenge, go here)

And a special guest will be there to answer all your questions about the salt cure - Bob del Grosso, Chef-Charcutiere at Hendricks Farms and Dairy in Telford, PA and former assistant professor at The Culinary Institute of America. For those of you who don't know who he is, let me just tell you that this is your chance to talk meat with the real deal. And he's all yours for an hour. Ask him anything. I know, I can tell from here that you guys are flipping out. Talking about meat gets you all riled up.

Before I end this, let me just say thank you. For everything, from Cathy and I. The jokes, the stories, the new friends, the camaraderie, the amazingly rich, supple fattiness of duck prosciutto, the idea that maybe I'm a little cooler, a little more competent in the kitchen because I'm hanging out with you, the constant, non-stop 24 hour a day conversations about breasts, and this month, belly (oh you people, will have a field day with that) Thanks for all of it.

We are having the time of our lives.

One of the Dames of Meat

PS: I want to thank PK from Six Course Dinner for not going ballistic when he finds out that I shamelessly lifted his prosciutto picture off the internet and used it for this post (see picture at the top). I ate all my duck breast before my camera came back from the shop. I should feel guilty about that. But I don't. The duck was awesome. Thanks PK!

PPS: If any of you want to join the chat and are having trouble figuring out Twitter, e-mail me and I'll try to coach you through.



Mosaica said...

What a great grin-inducing post :-)

Warner (aka ntsc) said...

Not a single joke about breasts. Of course not, there were many more than a single one.

Don't know what Feb. will bring, as I already have pancetta and bacon. Maybe something with lamb.

The Yummy Mummy said...

Warner -

I know you are full up with bacon, but this is where you can go nuts - lamb is an awesome idea. I expect great, weird, challenging things from you. Remember, I'm following your lead.


Janis said...

I am proud to be a meat lunitic along with all the other "meatheads". I can't wait to start the next challenge. Oh, I am going with a mutton tattoo if I finish a year of this and do all 12 months. I always did march to the tune of another sax player.

Natalie Sztern said...

I'll tell ya for this Jewish cook,it has been a true learning experience and not only that but you 'kind of people' are dynamite enthusiasts willing to open arms for me, the neophyte.

I only wish I had the patience for the twitter event...

I have a very strong feeling when I finally do my breast I will be fully cured...(ok I am more perv than cook which is probably why my marriage lasted 33 yrs...LOL)

Natalie Sztern said...

oh and Saint Tiger Lily has just figured out where I am going to hang the duck breast: the guest room with the window open and the door closed...Genious!

Lynn said...

Love it. : ) almost enough for the tattoo - maybe after I make bacon!

Warner (aka ntsc) said...

Thinking about lamp prosciutto, to go with the duck and pork ones.

Nicole said...

Hmmm guest room. Window open. Door closed. I think this is going to be a good idea...maybe throw in a humidifier to aid with the dryness.

SaintTigerlily said...

Thanks for the shout out Kim. Again. You are a genius. A GENIUS.

Sarah said...

Fantastic post, thanks again for hosting and coming up with this grand adventure! I am, though, I confess, having a really hard time deciding between bacon or pancetta for next month's challenge. I may just have to buckle down and do both - sigh - if I HAVE to! :)


Sharon said...

Yes, I admit it.
I am obessive about meat, and pig parts. I have been doing this for a bit over a year now, with the great company of my Former Chef daughter. We thought we were alone--well sorta.

Who knew there were so many pork obsessed, cured meat compulsives out there?

I'll tell you how obessive I have become--well, no I won't. But I will say that I have started to re-do my blog so I could join in that way as well.

Look forward to more challenges.

Fast Alice Glass said...

I will proudly admit that this month was the first and probably only in which my breasts were huge!! And I enjoyed every minute of it in all my pervy glory.. MuahAhAhAh. I'm sure the belly jokes will be a little more innocuous for February giving us a break until we start sausage making.

Fast Alice

Carolyn Binder said...

Yay! The pig is coming. I just ordered some pork belly, so I am in for some Charcutepalooza!