Slice of Life Challenge – March 3 – The Art of Charcuterie

I started savoring Saturdays in January, making sure that weekends offer something relaxing and fun – coffee, books, short day trips, reading, writing, and creating. So when my husband and I were having coffee in Senoia, Georgia (filming location of The Walking Dead) and I walked by a charcuterie board artist hard at work on a catered board, a post came rushing back to mind. Earlier in the week, I’d seen this:

This is a story idea, I thought. I ambled over and asked the food artist a few questions – namely if she could give me some pointers about creating a charcuterie board and whether I could make some photos of her work.

The first charcuterie board I’d ever actually eaten had been a disposable one from an outdoor camping and survival store in downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia when my husband and I were staying at the top of a mountain that took a 4-wheel drive to navigate. It was too much effort to go back out for dinner, so we took home a simple board, pre-made, with some cheeses, meats, and crackers on it. Nothing fancy like chocolate, nothing colorful or fresh and sweet like fruit, nothing exciting like nuts and pickles. We were not impressed. But it had been good for binge-watching Virgin River and not starving at cloud-level elevation.

Charcuterie board artist at work in Senoia, Georgia

This particular food designer, though, showed me the art of charcuterie creation with her XO and heart cookie cutters that she was using for the cheeses, and offered me a rule of thumb or two:

“Use three meats and three cheeses – play with combinations of food, and be creative with savory and sweet foods ranging from pickles and olives to chocolates. Your board should offer a hard cheese and a soft cheese. Use cutouts on the soft cheese and pipe in some preserves. Be festive with the cookie cutters and food colors to customize your board for the occasion.”

I decided to create a board for the Super Bowl, so I found a tray and shopped for the foods. What I discovered is that you can make these boards in under an hour, and they can be as healthy or as unhealthy as you want to make them. I shopped at a Dollar General that has a fresh food section, and the cost was about $40-45 – the price of what it costs for the two of us to go out for a nice meal.

I rolled ham and cheese and secured the bites with toothpicks.

I put on an apron to try to look the part and began chopping meats and dicing cheese and arranging the foods on the tray in designated areas. I started feeling a little bit like a food artist myself!

I arranged fruits next to meats and cheeses and kept the pickles, olives, and chocolates in their own containers on the tray. Soon, my board had a look of completeness to it, and while I’m no good at making little roses out of hard salami slices like the expert, I’m confident enough to create a charcuterie board for the next social gathering where I have to sign up to bring food.

My finished charcuterie board

So I realized that the daily 1,000 story walk is true! I’d walked past a story idea, stopped to ask questions, and learned something new!


Humbleswede inspired my post today when he shared First,  if I know I’m in need of an idea, I spend the day with my antennae up.  Thanks, my fellow writers, for all the sparks of ideas!

Special thanks to Two Writing Teachers

11 Replies to “Slice of Life Challenge – March 3 – The Art of Charcuterie”

  1. Kim,
    A charcuterie board is a perfect metaphor for telling stories and gathering ideas. You never cease to amaze me w/ your creativity. I’m hungry looking at your food art. I might need to try to be more creative w/ my food prep.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much to like about this slice. I liked learning your motivation through a quote. Then so many step by step photos. It shows how inquisitive you are and always learning. So wish I could have attended your Super Bowl party!! Yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an interesting post. I love the quote about “walking past a thousand ideas”, love your commitment to “savoring Saturdays” and enjoyed both the pictures and ideas for creating these boards. I’m just learning how to create these myself and this is very helpful. Your board is beautiful! Yum.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim, those charcuterie boards ARE masterpieces! Aesthetics are certainly a big part of the draw – they’re so pleasing to look at, before ever tasting. I wish I could reach right in and sample your own board! “Savoring” is one of my favorite words. It implies a deliberate, slow, deep appreciation, linked to the wonder of being alive. I savor your words, always. As to ideas – they abound, indeed. Every moment we live is a writeable one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the quote from Teach Write and how you framed your piece with it! So important to savor moments. So much in our day to day is just so satisfying–definitely worth savoring! Love how you recognized the food designer and their art too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am tickled that the Teach Write post stuck with you! What artistry and creativity! I guess I never thought about how much thought goes into creating one of these. Very impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

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