It’s incredible what you can learn from an expert.



I currently feel as if I could be an expert salami maker. This is not based on experience or expertise. I’ve taken one class on the subject and read one book.


I recently went to a salumi class at the Fatted Calf in Napa. I learned to make Cacciatorini, little air-dried salami, and Guanciale, cured pork jowls. The owner of the store made me feel so confident in my charcuterie skills I had no doubt that I could do it at home. How was this possible?


The instructor had been curing meat for um-teen years and had the experience to teach me exactly what I needed to know. When he rolled up his sleeves and worked right beside me I could learn and ask questions. This is far superior to watching a YouTube video (I do admit that these videos are awfully handy if you can’t find an expert!) He imparted his skill and confidence on me for a brief moment and I feel as though I can conquer the dry-cured meat world.


If you want to start farming/sewing/wood-working, find an expert and ask to learn. Offer to volunteer. Find a part-time job. Pay for a lesson. Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” It’s so much easier to see from up there.




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