Remaking Christine

42, jobless, standing in the kitchen

A lesson in friendship: Merguez makes a wonderful filling for stuffed, sweet peppers

| May 15, 2011

You just gotta hate when you pull in kitchen reinforcements to help you get through a project and they just kick you culinary butt up and down the island. I have to admit I was hurtling toward the deadline, and I hadn’t attempted this month’s Charcutepalooza bulk sausage challenge.  Not only did my friend and [...]

Just can’t quit smoking even if I wanted to

| April 15, 2011

Hello, my name is Christine.  And I have a problem.  I will smoke anything.  Well anything that fits into the Burton stove top smoker, anyway.  I bought it in order to participate in this month’s Charcutepalooza challenge. But I wound up smoking so much in the last 30 days that my kids no longer blink [...]

Brining my way to the perfect Reuben

| March 15, 2011

Brined is better. For everything. Therein lies my lesson learned from this month’s Charcutepalooza challenge for which 300+ food bloggers and Louis François Drone wannabes (he’s the French pork butcher largely credited with elevating charcuterie from the peasantry to the upper-classes’ gala menus in 19th century France) submerged all sorts of meat into mixtures of [...]

Chocolate-Dipped Beer Marshmallows: Time well spent?

| March 2, 2011

It’s bed time. My nine-year-old daughter is wrapped in my arms which are wrapped in her hot pink Snuggie because I know that if I slide completely under the purple leopard print duvet cover with her I will be down for the night. And my brisket for Charcutepalooza has two more hours to simmer, the [...]

I really must admit, I don’t want to meet my meat

| February 15, 2011

My demure — if overly salty — goat pancetta The exterior door on the side porch was open. But the interior one was locked.  Pulling on the piece of rope tied to the clapper, I rang the brass bell and waited for Sandy – the farmer supplying me with some of the raw material necessary for [...]

This little piggy went to market

| January 30, 2011

There are too many sausages in Lyon to count. I had my fill of the Rosette Lyonnaise (dry pork sausage with a course stuffing which gets its name from its pink tail). I licked my chops at the thought of Cervelas – a fresh sausage that used to be made with brains, but now more [...]

Is it responsible to leave curing meat in someone else’s care?

| January 28, 2011

My father-in-law has got my goat – and my pork. Bellies that is, on their way to fresh bacon and cured pancetta. While I am traveling in France, he’s tending to the every other daily turning process – know as overhauling – occurring in my cellar fridge. I have two one-pound pieces of slender goat [...]

Glistening duck fat: desirable or disaster?

| January 15, 2011

I am not afraid duck fat.  I adore duck fat. I just had my hubby bring me several jars off it from England where it’s a grocery store staple commonly used for fabulously crispy roasted potatoes. But the amount of fat attached to my duck prosciutto, I must admit, caught me off guard. On Day [...]

There is a good reason for that breast in my basement

| January 5, 2011

My breast is wrapped in cheese cloth, hanging in the dark, damp side of the cellar on a hook directly in front of a bear’s bum sticking out of a honey tree. Should I have been clearer about my imagery here? Ok, for those of you with overactive sexual imaginations, let me explain. The bear’s [...]