I’m writing PLOTTED, book #2 of my new Sugar Mill Marketplace series. Right now, the Marketplace consists of a used bookstore, bakery, chocolate shop, photography studio, and a cheese shop.
My cheesemonger, Skyler (think Meg Ryan back in the day), is teaching a charcuterie board class after the Marketplace closes one Friday night, so I had to do some research about how to design cheese boards. It’s not complicated, but I wanted to make sure I hit the high points.
There are a zillion different kinds and sizes of charcuterie boards, mostly wooden, and they can have anything on them. Classic boards, though, are comprised of meats, cheeses, crackers, olives, nuts, fruits, and veggies. Maybe some sauces and spreads for dipping, maybe a bit of greenery, some cute little pickles. You arrange everything in an attractive style and voila … creative snacking.
My research, as usual, led me down some fun rabbit holes. There were thousands of photos of gorgeous, mouth-watering charcuterie boards, but also some unusual ones.
Pancake boards? Yes, please!
Easter candy boards? Count me in!
Football-themed boards with cheese arranged in the shape of a goalpost? Touchdown!
Holiday boards in the shape of Christmas trees or wreaths? Not even a Grinch could resist!
Charcuterie boards covered in round foods only? Boards themed by ethnic bites? Red food boards?
Check, check, check.
I began to wonder what else could be represented by a properly-arranged charcuterie board.
What about your fix-it bench? Wouldn’t it look much better with an artistic array of screws, nails, brads, toggles, and tools beautifully appointed on a polished mahogany board?
How ‘bout something to make housecleaning more lovely? Arrange a medley of crystal bowls filled with cleansers and caustic substances alongside scrubbers, rags, and brushes. Think how much more enjoyable your chores would be!
My granddaughters have a wide assortment of hair doodads. How much easier morning routines would be if they could be presented with an exquisite display for their selections.
All of those would, of course, be quite useful. But any charcuterie tray should show the personality of the designer. With that in mind, I accepted the challenge of creating my very first Writer’s Charcuterie Board.
What items would you include on your personal charcuterie board?