Yesterday I surprised myself a little when, after having finished slicing up a bunch of salume to serve some guests, I realized that I was largely responsible for having made it all. Whatever, I'm not overawed by my accomplishment -it's not like I built a practical artificial nose or something- but there is something about making cured and fermented meats that is deeply satisfying in a way that does not attend other methods of food preparation that I have used.
I love that it takes a long time to make a salami. I hung salami over a month ago that won't be ready for more than two months. Some lamb leg prosciutto that I hung in November of 2007 probably won't be ready to eat until August. I suppose that the process of making dry cured meat is more like making wine than it is like making soup or baking a cake. Unless you count the time it takes to grow the ingredients, the two latter activities happen in an instant relative to the former.
What Aldous Huxley proposed when he wrote [the title] "Time Must Have a Stop" is a pipe dream, the best we can do, I think, is to pretend to slow it down. And making really slow food might just be one of the ways to get that done.
Top Photo L to R: Soppresata; Salami a la Toscano; Bresaola (air-dried beef); Orange-Cardamon Salami
Bottom Left: Chicken-Potato Leek Torta Rustica; Soppresata with black peppercorns made by a friend of Hendricks Farms and Dairy.