Friday, December 17, 2010

The 8th Day of Chrismukah: Psychadelic Pigs

I found this cookbook at my mom's and immediately stole it. I was attracted to the magical hues of fluorescent pink and orange. Whats up psychedelic pig? What kind of cooking do you teach? Turns out it's sort of a cult classic: The Art of Charcuterie by Jane Grigson (the original 1968 edition). Jane is pretty hilarious in a dry, condescending sort of a way, "Chop all of the other meat finely. Put it through a grinder if you must, but the ideal is very small dice." She is not particularly instructive, making claims that seasoning is a personal affair and includes "etc." in her list of unmeasured suggested spices.

The pate before going in the oven.
Needles to say, I was so taken with this book I decided to spend my birthday (and a few days before it) devoted to making the classic Pâté de Campagne. It turns out pâté sans liver is a glorified porkityporkporky meatloaf, and it's amazingly delicious. Like, seriously amazing. (Why yes, that IS a lattice of fresh cut smoky bacon covering the top.)

pâté spreaders $22 $17.60
What does this have to do with the 8th Day of Chrismukah?!? Well, for one it reaffirms my love for color in the kitchen and secondly it highlights the absence of a pate spreader in my kitchen, both of which bring me to the ever important introduction of Claude Dozorme to you. See that? It's all about YOU. I care about you people and trust me, your lives are incomplete if you remain with out these pops of color delivered by the highest-quality traditional French knives. Laguiole knives, named for the small village in Aveyron, France in which they are made, are traditionally these particular pocket knives. They have however expanded the style to steak knives, corkscrews, cheese knives, pâté spreaders, etc., all with the signature insect emblem. (Is it a bee or a fly? There is much debate)The style has in fact expanded worldwide, leading to many manufacturers around the world creating inferior products. We, of course, present to you the real thing, manufactured entirely in their traditional factory in France and finished individually by hand. These darlings last for generations. Hostess gift? Cheese knife. Stocking stuffer? Pâté spreader. Personal list? The set of six steak knives.
P.S. Don't forget (my mom taught me this): any time you give someone a knife they need to give you a coin (A penny is typical, but any coin will do) so as as not to sever your relationship. Often, the giver includes the penny – taped to the blade – for the giftee to give back as "payment" for the gift. Superstitions, folks, they're important.

Cheese Knives $22 $17.60

Set of 6 Steak Knives in Wooden Box
$144 $115.20
Currently available in: Bordeaux, Orange, Mixed Wood, Natural, Pink, Turquoise, Red, Tortoise, Beech, and Olive
Buy any one of these items at 20% off and your name will automatically be entered into our Holiday Lottery. On December 21st We will draw three lucky names to receive a $50, $100, or $150 gift certificate to the BIrch Store. Happy Holidays!

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