Another month, another Short Stack! This month’s was Prosciutto di Parma, which was great because prosciutto is one of my favorite meat products and I really enjoyed learning new ways to cook with it that aren’t just “slap it in between a bagel with fresh mozzarella and call it a sandwich” (although that ‘recipe’ is really good, I promise).
I did better than I thought I would, given that prosciutto di Parma can be expensive and given the other things I had going on this month. I shot for CASE/BY/CASE NYC for the first time this year, a wonderful interview with the incredibly inspiring Ale Lariu, who spoke with us about the unique challenges that women (and mothers in particular) face in the workforce. I love shooting for C/B/C — I’ve learned so much and been privy to so many fascinating, educational conversations. I like to think of myself as someone who can get excited about anything so long as I’m interacting with someone who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic. There are very few subjects that outright bore me. I’m thinking here of another C/B/C interview, this one discussing data science, which I really know next to nothing about and yet found so interesting. (I won’t go on here, but you should read it.)
This is really my goal in doing this Short Stack project: I want to get enthusiastic about ingredients I don’t know anything about. This month, though, I fell back into old loves, culinary and academic. I’m working on a sourcebook for Onyx Path’s Changeling: the Lost, a tabletop roleplaying game I’ve loved since I was a teenager. Literally, I vividly remember toting the core book (and the main World of Darkness rulebook, since back then they parceled out mechanics into a separate book that you had to have to play, which was ridiculous, but anyway…) on college visits. I’d sit at a hotel desk and pull out the books and some printed character sheets and dream people up. I was 16 then; I’m 26 now. This game has been with me for a long time, and I’m so damn excited to be part of its 2nd edition — but I digress, sort of.
As part of my freelance assignment, I’ve spent the last month and a half reading fairy tales and folklore from around the world, something I was really passionate about in high school and university that fell off after I started working in journalism. A lot of things fell off because of journalism. It’s very hard to switch your brain back and forth between reading and writing 500-word news articles and reading and writing fiction. It’s been lovely to revisit that, like curling up in a comfortable old blanket. Eating prosciutto di Parma is the same way, a comfort food I’ve loved for a long time, nourishing my body like fairy tales nourish my mind. It feels fitting that this overlapped.
Book: Prosciutto di Parma, Sara Jenkins (Short Stack Editions)
Recipes made: 6/20