On Saturday, my husband surprised me by stopping by the store, and keeping me company while I ran among the bar, kitchen, cheese counter, and tables to tend to customers. He snuck away to go for a stroll and came back with photos of the nearby beach, such as this one:
However, that’s not the friend to which I was referring in the title of the post. No, that friend is named Betty, and she is a meat slicer. I didn’t name her; Paige did.
Although I could have sort of seen myself eventually working in the realm of cheese and wine, I really don’t think I ever thought I would be working with cured meats and a meat slicer. I have made great progress (I think) in this respect. I’ve learned to fan my fingers out to catch slices of prosciutto as they are sliced; I have learned to respect this machine that will nonchalantly slice my fingertips off if I am not careful. I’ve learned how to take it apart, and put it back together.
When I was young, I was always amazed at watching meat being sliced with the machine. In Paris, when I discovered saucisson sec, my eyes greedily took in watching those paper-thin slices peeling off from the main saucisson to fall into the hand of the attentive worker. And they had to be attentive, or else they could accidentally snip a finger.
It took some work to get used to the meat slicer. At first, my chorizo slices would only consist of half the chorizo–small, thin, half-moons of spicy goodness. I would slice my mortadella too thickly. Carlos told me on the first day at work that I needed to trim some of the edge off of the Prosciutto or Speck so that: 1) it won’t get caught in the slicer, and 2) it won’t get stuck in people’s teeth. Moreover, when I lay the sliced meat down on the paper, I have to take care to lay the piece flat, and show the fatty edge (for aesthetics!). I am not perfect at it yet, but it’s getting better. Betty and I are slowly learning to work as a team.
Have a lovely day, everyone! It is raining cats and dogs here, so much that the shop is closed this evening.