June Charcutepalooza Challenge: Stuffing

This month, the Charcutepalooza challenge was to case sausage. Poultry sausage, to be precise.

Now all you dear readers know I love me some duck, so I figured what better bird to bind than that. Duck sausage, ground with pork fat and cased in flavor. I like the sound of that.

Duck Sausage


These duck sausages are very special indeed, prepared with love from the Pacific Northwest. And this is a special day, since yesterday I foraged my first morel mushroom! With the excitement of mushroom hunting still fresh in our minds, we utilized some beautiful Chanterelle mushrooms that were stashed in the freezer from the fall (thanks to my partner in crime). The addition of carmelized onions sauteed in Chantrelle butter and fresh Douglas Fir pine needles makes this a duck sausage a thing of beauty.

The meat was ground last night, the mushroom, onion and herb mix rough chopped and folded into the meat mixture. It’s been sitting overnight for the flavors to meld, and tonight, on the 15th of the month (surprise, surprise), we case the sausage, juuust in time for the June deadline.

I can’t wait to try these. Some of my favorite ingredients, made with my favorite man, these sausages truly embody the flavors and energy of the Pacific Northwest.

Corned Beef!

The corned beef brisket and tongue are ready!  After sitting in the brine for 5 days, the brisket was simmered for over 3 hours. The tongue was cooked overnight for about 12 hours in the crockpot. Both are falling apart tender and tasty. To complete this sublime moment of having my very own corned beef, I needed fresh rye bread. After looking at a few recipes, I settled on a dark, sweet Finnish rye that sweetened with molassas and soured with buttermilk. Easy to make, and really tasty! Corned beef sandwiches on dark rye bread, slathered with a spicy whole-grain horseradish mustard. Reminiscent me of my childhood, but so, so much more grown up…

I think the folks of mrswheelbarrow.com are right. This IS sexy.

The smell of memories…

A few years back, I was working in little kitchen in Southern California, where we made the most amazing brussel sprouts. Pancetta cooked down, the fat rendered and tossed with the brussels, and roasted in the oven until crunchy, and caramelized. Watching my pancetta, as it starts to dry about half way through its hanging process, I can already smell the luxurious, yet simple memories of rendered fat, pork belly, and crispy roasted brussel sprouts. In a week, I’ll make that dish. I can almost taste it.

Is food sexy?

This is a relatively new site, born in the cold wet beginnings of 2011…Obviously, this is my blog, and it’s about food. One could leap to the easy, obvious conclusion and say food is my ultimate lifetime partner. I’ve been in love with food for as long as I can remember, since I was a little girl, sitting on the wooden countertops of the sun-stained kitchen of my youth, feet dangling several inches off the floor, dipping my fingers in home-made sauces. Before I knew how integral food was to my soul, I was baking almond biscotti and Sicilian semolina bread from our oven, making pasta from scratch, rolling meatballs. I still smell the sweet scents of my ma’s home-made Marinara, Osobucco, Caciatorri, Cioppino, rising from the six burner stove in the kitchen I spent most of my childhood in, though she’s been gone over a decade and I live over a thousand miles away.

Food is, without a doubt, my life-long lover. It’s the thing I think about in the morning, and what I obsess about before I fall asleep. I dream of it in the moments in between- and overthink it in the moments where I can’t sleep. It’s my paycheck. My fantasy. My eternal creative outlet. Like it or not- like I ever had a choice- I’m a chef. Ain’t no changing the colors of this painted bird.

So absolutely, at the end of the day, when I stop to think about it: Yes! Food is sexy, food is sensual. At times, food IS porn. However, on this website, since it’s inception, I’ve received multiple spam tags here, and search tags on this site about pornography?! How hanging pancetta in my new wine fridge links to porn spam is beyond me, hot as it is. Do what you will in the bedroom folks, as long as it’s appreciated and consentual. But do we remember the “punk rock” part of this lady’s food forum? While food is indeed sexy- this is NOT a site about food, and sex. This is a site about food. MY food. And my lifelong passion with it. Perverts need not apply.