In case you missed it, DIY was one of the biggest food movements of 2010. Millions of foodies took to "putting up" jars and cans of pickles, jams, sauces and such and even made their own charcuterie. --- Now, inspired by the book Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, bloggers Cathy Barrow of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen and Kim Foster of The Yummy Mummy have joined forces to kick off Charcutepalooza, a yearlong challenge to cure meats at home.
Each month a new project will be announced, and a month given to tackle it. It's too late to get in on the inaugural challenge, which ends on January 15: duck prosciutto -- duck breasts that have been salted and hung in a cool, humid place until they cure. However, you can participate beginning with the February challenge: Salt cure: bacon, pancetta or guanciale.
Barrow explains the drive behind the challenge in the inaugural post where she outlines the "Ruhls."
"There is little doubt it’s time to think about the meat we eat. How we use the animals raised for consumption. How we treat them. How they are butchered. And how the whole beast is used to feed our families. Stories of meat tainting and commercially farmed animals in hideous circumstances are far too common. Wouldn’t it be better to celebrate the appropriate, thoughtful consumption of meat with a year long exploration of the age old craft of charcuterie?"
Barrow will be rounding up the monthly entries at www.charcutepalooza.com. Discussion on the challenge is tracked on Twitter with the #charcutepalooza hashtag. Non-bloggers can share images of their cured meats via the Charcutepalooza Flickr group. Bloggers can also contribute their efforts with the Charcutepalooza tag on Punk Domestics, a content aggregation site for DIY food enthusiasts.
Good luck, let's meat!