There have been some celebrities coming and out and labeling the 2021 summer the summer of this, or summer of that – well I am declaring Summer 2021 a Charcuterie Board Summer! There is always a reason to get together and celebrate. We celebrate and honor those we lost along the way, celebrate
the summer, celebrate the end of the mess that was 2020, celebrate just being here.
Travel took a massive hit in 2020 obviously which paved the way for home improvements to skyrocket. Whether it was simply adding a fresh coat of paint to your walls or going all out and adding a huge new addition, new kitchen or outdoor living space – people invested time and money in to where they live.
I think this is a great thing – after several previous economic downturns the popularity of the staycation began gathering steam. There is still a massive segment of the population that although they love to travel are going to hold off for one more year to make sure that everyone and everywhere is safe. That
means more house parties, get together and sleep over jammy jams– which means Summer of Charcuterie Boards!
Whether you are buying a charcuterie board for yourself or for a friend who just bought their first condo, home in the burbs or second home by the beach or in the hills – a charcuterie board can fit any décor, any size, any space, any event – and at RusticWares – any budget!
The board itself is a vehicle for your own creativity and personal expression by what you choose to put on it. Think of it as a paint palette….come to think of it – that is a great idea and what my next board will be based off of. Any way - what do great painters do? They use inspiration to come up with a masterpiece using many colors to make thousands more. They create, they build and tell a story. You
can do the same.
Use your own inspiration to come up with a board that is flavorful, colorful and a reflection of who you
are. Each board comes with a little card giving you tips and ideas of what to use – but there are zero limits. Peruse your vegetable and fruit sections of your local market – better yet visit a farmers market and see whats in season.
Check out the ethnic and specialty food aisles. Little pickles – love ‘em. Olives stuffed with blue cheese – yes please! How about those little tiny ears of corn? Nuts. Bar mix nuts with those weird shaped crunchy things – no idea what they are even called.
Grab something from your lawn – like dandelions, ornamental grasses, flowers - whatever – make it yours and make it fun. One of the latest boards I posted Big Chunk is a 3-inch-thick piece of rock hard New England Maple. In the description I say that if I already didn’t have way too many boards in my kitchen that I would choose that one to be a part of my collection. And I mean it. I have done art shows and craft fairs with a few boards and if one I really like doesn’t sell that craft fair season then I work it in to my regular rotation of boards. Sometimes there are boards that I think are simply amazing that no one else likes – and that’s
fine with me. But since I already have so many I always figure to give someone else the chance to take possession of it so they can enjoy it.
Some other boards I added were live-edge Black Walnut boards that at one point had some holes chewed in to it from what must have been some bug with amazingly hard chompers. Of course all of our boards go through a kiln and kill off any buggers that may have been in there at one time. But still it’s a cool little reminder that this is all-natural wood – that was out there in the environment and exposed to the elements – including live bugs looking for a meal.
We have over 20 different boards to choose from – all unique, all one of a kind. All of them made from trees grown in New England and milled in Connecticut. After milling they are kiln dried. After that process they are laid out and the choice ones are picked out by me and brought home to work on. You can’t buy much anymore that has that type of local pedigree.
I hope you appreciate the fact we let the wood speak for itself – I try not to get too cute with the wood and let it alone. The wood is beautiful enough – it doesn’t need the likes of me going in and messing it at all up. Several hours of sanding per board with several different grits to get from roughhewed to kinda smooth, to more smooth, to babies butt, butter smooth. After all that sanding we get them wet to raise the hair fibers within the wood to stand up – then we sand those down. Then once the sanding is done it gets several coats of oil (as well as another one before it leaves the shop after being ordered).
I hope you will join RusticWares in naming the summer of 2021 Charcuterie Board Summer – or you know what, name it whatever the hell you want. Just go out there, be safe, but take stock of what you have, your good friends, your family, your health, your life. Life is for living so get out there and get on
with your life – you deserve it!