When our elderly neighbors invited us for dinner the other evening, he repeatedly turned down my offers to bring something. At eighty-seven-years old, he's in charge of the cooking, and was going to be making pizza and cake. He'd been very happy to have a busy day kneading, mixing and baking, and enjoyed the cooking very much - as he told us at the dinner table, while slicing a salami.
"This salami is from the local butcher", he explained "and very good. Totally unlike the salami our daughter just brought us all the way from Corsica!" His wife, however, wasn't of the same opinion, and found the local salami too fatty, while the Corsican one had been leaner and drier. "Not dry, more like hard as a rock!" he objected.
(daughter in her handmade Little House bonnet)
Then he told us how the best salami was the salami his father-in-law used to make. He'd learned to cure pork in Hungary where he'd been a prisoner during WWI, and had become an expert. He knew how to prepare the meat and the tasty mixture of seasonings, and how to stuff the casing just right so it wouldn't burst or sag during the curing process. "Oh, I still remember the wonderful salami he gave us to bring on our honeymoon to Rome," he recalled. "We ate it sitting outdoors, along with a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine we bought from some people living there."
That was the best salami ever – and here they both agreed.