Slow Days: Sourdough Pancakes

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

It is almost a joke now that during the Pandemic Lock-Down, people vowed that they would use the time to perfect the art of baking: specifically sourdough bread. It seemed to be the culinary equivalent of reading War and Peace — something to get around to when you had time. Early on, bread flour and yeast were GONE from supermarket shelves. New England’s flour-of-choice, King Arthur brand from Vermont, was not even available on-line. For those who have sourdough starter [don’t be a wimp — start your own starter!], be aware that there are many things to do with it, besides making bread. Recently, we made Sourdough Pancakes [click link for recipe] for Sunday Breakfast. A real treat and easy to do.

HINT: For two people, I cut the recipe in half. The night before, I combine the flours with the sugar, oil, buttermilk [substitute = soured milk], salt, and starter. This is left on the counter overnight to ripen.

The next morning, the batter is stirred. An egg and the baking soda are added in. The mixture needs to sit a few minutes while you heat the griddle, set the table, and make the coffee. By now the batter is foaming in the bowl.

This recipe resulted in 14 pancakes: enough for today’s breakfast, another meal later, and 2 for a snack with peanut butter and jelly.

Lightly butter the griddle and use a 1/4 cup measure to pour 3-4 Tablespoons of batter on the hot surface. Continue until there is no more space on the pan. When the top of each pancake starts to develop ‘eyes’ [little holes], it is time to flip them to the other side.

Served with maple syrup [our own, I’m happy to say] and sausages — what a treat! The breakfast is completed by the berry-yogurt smoothie and mocha cafe au lait which we enjoy every morning. Great start to a great day. A lot easier than making bread.

Slow Days: Bruschetta

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

“Bruschetta” … what does that word mean to you? And how do you pronounce it? The cookbook Diary of a Tuscan Chef gave us a recipe for this concoction, which we ate happily for years — a tomato relish on bread. And we called it ‘bruce-SHET-ta.’ Had we turned the cookbook page, we would have had the real story. When olives are being pressed into oil, [a late-Fall, cool-weather activity] one of the workers will toast bread over a fire, rub it with garlic, and drizzle the new oil over it so everyone can have a snack and a taste of the crop. THAT is bruschetta!

Bread, garlic, and olive oil = bruschetta

Of course, as the idea of ‘putting some food on toast’ moved around the world, something was lost in translation, including the pronunciation. When on tour in Italy, I asked the guide, a Roman, how to pronounce this culinary creation. Chuckling, he said that Americans always ask that and for the longest time he had no idea what they meant by ‘bruce-shet-ta.’ The correct way to say it? ‘bruce-KAY-ta’ The aforementioned Tuscan Chef Cesare Casella writes: “Americans seem to think bruschetta is chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil on toast. I don’t know why. For us that is crostini con pomodoro.” He concludes that there seems to be an “American craving for cubed tomatoes.”

On the right you see Cesare Casella’s ‘tomato relish’ on the bread.

When Older Son began baking, he sent us a recipe for his ‘no-knead focaccia’, which is great but makes more bread than Dear Husband and I can eat in a week. So Older Son prompted us to eat it as Bruschetta. I protested that there would be very little protein in that: just bread and tomato relish. Being wise, our son suggested additional toppings: herbed ricotta cheese, slices of chicken or turkey breast. Anchovies would be good.

So here is the evolution of a meal that is perfect in Summer or any warm evening. Perhaps we should call it ‘Crostini’ but we don’t. We’re Americans, you see.

Slow Days: Lobster Rolls

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

If times were normal, we might be at our vacation cottage right about now. Not to stay for a long time, but to see the place in late Spring, before the tourists descend. We used to go there during my school’s April Break: to open the cottage, move up some furniture, visit with local friends, and see what the Winter storms did to the beach. If we stayed into early May, then the ocean would be dotted with colorful buoys and small fishing boats — in other words: Lobster Season. Prince Edward Island has two very limited seasons, one for each of two different parts of the island. In full Summer, when we usually arrive, lobsters are still available. When Summer guests appear at out cottage, we treat them to a lobster feast. Afterward, the cephalo-thoraces [the front-middle part that everyone else throws away] are picked clean of the meat located in the ‘shoulder joints’: enough to make lobster rolls!! [Four thoraces produce enough meat for this meal of three rolls.]

1-1/2 cups of lobster meat, chopped celery and red onion, chiffonade of lettuce or spinach, mayonnaise, and celery seed make the filling. The rolls are ‘New England’ style hot-dog buns. That means they are sliced across the top, not along the side. Being New Englanders, we prefer those.

The buns are lightly toasted with butter on a griddle and served with fresh tomatoes or a light salad. If you want to know about the wine — we always serve ‘The Hermit Crab’ or a Viognier with lobster rolls — go to Dear Husband’s blog peterspicksblog.com.

Whodunit? Who Ate It? Chapter 2

Dear Husband and I love to read ‘whodunits.’ Crime literature in English harks back to Edgar Allen Poe’s Murders on Rue Morgue in 1841. As the genre took off, a sub-genre developed: culinary crime. These books are read as much for the procedural as for the vicarious thrills of the meals that are described along the way. There are many authors who tantalize our tastebuds while they challenge our little grey cells and today, I will feature foods from two favorites.

MISS JANE MARPLE, the elderly amateur sleuth, was the creation of Agatha Christie. Throughout 19 books, she solved murders in her town of St Mary Mead [and other locales] using her intuition and her knowledge of human nature, all the while knitting up a storm and convincing others that she is a frail, harmless old lady. In the novel At Bertram’s Hotel, Jane Marple was delighted to have been served perfectly poached eggs on toast. She preferred them to be poached in boiling water rather than cooked in little cups.

Poached Egg on Toast:  156 calories 5.6 g fat 2.4 g fiber 10.5 g protein 14.6 g carbs [10 g Complex] 52.6 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF — if using GF bread  I never used to like poached eggs, but on a Fast Day, they taste good. Miss Marple would not be pleased with these.

one slice of 70-cal bread one 2-oz egg 1 oz of apple or 1.5 oz melon Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

If using an egg poacher, lightly spray the egg cup and heat the water to a simmer. Toast the bread. Poach the egg for 3-4 minutes, according to your taste. Slide the egg onto the toast; season to taste; enjoy with your hot beverage, and the fruit smoothie. 

JULES MAIGRET, a police detective in Paris, was the creation of Georges Simenon. Maigret and his wife Louise loved good food, whether at home or at restaurants. In the 1952 Maigret’s Revolver, the detective is dining at the grill of London’s Savoy Hotel and he orders Lobster a l’Americaine. Note the spelling: it is a topic of debate among those who study recipes. See alternative below.

Lobster a l’Armoricaine: 282 calories 3 g fat 2.5 g fiber 21.5 g protein 12.2 g carbs 142 mg Calcium  PB GF No, it isn’t a typo. This lobster dish is from the Armor coast of Brittany, therefore: Armoricain, “from the Armor.” The recipe is from Brittany Gastronomique by Kate Whiteman. Elegant yet simple.

3 oz lobster, cooked or uncooked 2 Tbsp shallot, minced + ½ clove garlic 1 oz cognac or other brandy 2 oz dry white wine [not cooking wine] ½ cup tomato, diced + 1 tsp tomato puree [not paste] 1 Tbsp half & half [10% milk fat, called ‘blend cream’ in Canada] 1 Tbsp Gruyere cheese, grated 1 oz broccoli florets + 1 oz carrots, in coins or batons

Remove lobster meat from shell and cut into 1” pieces. Put the shallot and garlic in a pan spritzed with oil. Saute over low heat until soft. Add the lobster meat, and cognac. Tip the pan to distribute the brandy, then flame the contents off the heat until the flames die. Put into a heat-proof dish and keep barely warm. Add the wine, tomatoes, and puree to the pan and cook until syrupy. Add the cream and heat slowly to reduce in volume a bit. Do not let if boil lest the sauce separate. Meanwhile, cook the vegetables. Pour the sauce over the lobster and top with grated cheese. Heat under the broiler or in an oven until bubbly. Plate with the vegetables.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

Next week, I will discuss ‘curry’1.5 two-oz eggs 
hummus
Choose a new favorite fromstrawberries
the Archives Mediterranean Vegetables
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: …….. single portion for Thursday:

Next week, I will discuss ‘curry’olive oil + onion + garlic + celery
bell pepper + spinach + egg
Find a new favoriteeggplant + tomato + cumin
in the Archivepaprika + oregano + feta cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Albrecht Durer

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to MJ who is now Following.

Albrecht Durer was one of the foremost artists of the Northern Renaissance school of art. The Germans were late to the game in terms of the Renaissance, but they gave it a spin all their own. Durer painted in great detail, using a light that seems to show everything, yet with shadows to produce contrast. Durer was an artist, not just a craftsman. He had the humanist’s idea that each person is important and that he had something to contribute. As a painter, he was sought after by kings. As a print-maker, his art was distributed to the masses. Some of his work is well-known, such as Praying Hands and the Four Horsemen, but so widely recognized that we have forgotten the artist’s name. One work of his that made an impression on me in art class was a sketch of a middle-aged female nude — probably of his wife Agnes. She struck me as plump and lumpy, and I promised myself I would never have that body, not even in middle age. This is one reason that I am a Faster. Thanks, Durer.

A frequent theme in Durer’s art was the depiction of Adam and Eve, usually with an apple. So we will enjoy apples in our egg for breakfast. One of the most charming of Durer’s works is The Young Hare. We will stretch taxonomy a little and feature rabbit for dinner.

Apple-Bacon Bake: 131 calories 6.2 g fat 1.6 g fiber 9 g protein 8 g carbs [7.3 g Complex] 72.8 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF  Apples and bacon go so well together it is a wonder they aren’t paired more often.

1 two-oz egg ¾ oz apple, peeled, cored, sliced thinly 1/8 oz bacon, diced ½ Tbsp ricotta cheese, drained if too liquid 1 tsp Parmesan cheese ¼ tsp prepared mustard sage ½ oz pear   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with cooking spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. In a saute pan, cook the bacon until done. Drain away the fat and blot in paper towel. In the same pan, saute the apple until softened. Put apple and bacon in the ramekin. Whisk the egg, ricotta, Parmesan, mustard, and sage together and pour into the ramekin. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Prepare the beverages and the pear. How pleasant.

Rabbit Pie: 275 calories 6.6 g fat 4.6 g fiber 25.6 g protein 27.5 g carbs [15 g Complex] 77 mg Calcium   PB  Rabbit is a common meat in recipes the world over. It is high in protein and low in fat. And yes, it does taste like chicken. You could substitute.

2 oz mushrooms, chopped 4 fluid oz chicken stock 2 tsp potato starch 0.55 oz [1 slice] ham from the deli, chopped 3 oz rabbit meat cut in bite-sized pieces ¼ cup onions, chopped big pinch dried thyme + big pinch savory + salt + pepper ½ Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thin OR a 4” circle cut from whole-grain bread 1.5 oz carrots

If the rabbit is uncooked: Cut it into bite-sized pieces and quickly cook in a saute pan which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan, too. Remove the meat. Pour off and reserve any remaining cooking liquid. Chop the mushrooms and cook in non-stick spray, but do not evaporate all of the liquid they give off. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and the stock to the pan along with the mushroom juices and ¼ cup water plus water from the rabbit. Simmer to cook the onions. Whisk in the potato starch and the seasonings. Continue to whisk over heat until the potato starch is dissolved. Cook at a simmer until the liquid measures ¼ cup and is thickened. Add the rabbit meat, ham, and the mushrooms. Simmer for a few minutes and taste for seasonings. Pour and scrape into an oven-proof dish. Top with the Sandwich Thin. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Cook the carrots separately. Plate the meal by first putting the Sandwich Thin on the plate, then covering it with the rabbit-mushroom mixture. Pour any extra liquid so that it is soaked up by the bread. Plate the carrots to complete the meal.

Slow Days: Breadcrumb Pasta

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

For years we searched for the right foods to eat during Lent. We wanted foods that were connected to the meaning of the season; foods that were good to eat yet not so fancy that we seemed to be ‘living it up’; foods that had a nod to the traditional austerity typical of the 6-week period of religious contemplation. One of the thorny decisions concerned Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which is a solemn day after the giddiness of Carnival before it. At last we decided: a breadcrumb pasta from the Puglia Region of Italy. The idea of dressing your noodles with a sauce of breadcrumbs struck just the right note of culinary penance. No meat, no butter: this is the perfect choice to begin Lent.

The ingredients are very simple: 3 oz pasta, 1/3 cup crumbs from day-old bread [we use whole grain for flavor and fiber], 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp sliced garlic, oregano, salt, 6 olives, 1 oz spinach leaves, grated pecorino cheese.

These ingredients are enough for two servings.

You will need a mise-en-place, this cools so quickly! Once you have prepared your mise-en-place, start cooking the pasta. Cook the pasta for about 4 minutes, then turn off the heat with the pasta still in the water. Stack the spinach leaves and cut them cross-wise [chiffonade]. Pit the olives and cut each into four pieces. Heat a cast iron skillet at medium heat and pour in the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and briefly cook it until pale yet fragrant. Add the crumbs and stir into the oil. Add the oregano and take off the heat. Stir. Turn down the heat, then put the pan back on it. Cook, stirring until the crumbs are crispy. Take off heat again and stir in the olives. By now the pasta is ready. Using a slotted spoon, remove it from the water and put it in the pan with the crumbs. The trick is to incorporate a little of the noodle-water into the dish. Stir to mix. Add two pinches of salt and the sliced spinach. Toss it all together, then add the grated cheese. Plate. This took such a short amount of time that I barely called out a pre-dinner alert, than it was time to plate up.

Such an unusual combination of flavors and textures!

This is not a meal for a low-carb menu. But then, this is a Slow Day, so we don’t need to count calories. We eat this one time each year and we enjoy it.

Slow Day: Grilled Vegetable Pasta

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

Sometimes, there is a crowd to feed and that’s when we turn to one of our stand-by meals: Grilled Vegetable Pasta with Sausage. The vegetables include: zucchini/summer squash, yellow or orange sweet peppers, red onion, and or other colorful fresh items of the same texture. Choose any pasta you wish — 2 ounces by weight per person. Bratwurst or Italian sausage will do just fine. Make 1-1/2 cups of your favorite white sauce and add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

The colors of the vegetables are echoed in the colorful pasta.

The sausages are grilled, then sliced. The vegetables are sliced or cut into chunks, as you prefer. In a grill basket, toss and shake the vegetables over hot coals until softer and starting to blacken, then empty into a large bowl. While one person is doing the grilling, the other preparing the cheese sauce. SLOWLY, over low heat. [Sometimes (often), my sauce ‘breaks’ and becomes clotted. The solution is to whisk flour into the milk to bind the sauce back together.] Cook the pasta and combine everything in the bowl with the vegetables. Easy to prepare and always a hit.

Often, seconds helpings are the norm.

Slow Days: Holiday Eating

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

I know what you are thinking: what does this woman eat over the holidays and what does that do to her weight? Here’s the ‘skinny’ [or not-so-skinny] on our eating during Christmas and the results of that. Now I’ll do the Bridget Jones thing: In early December, my weight was at my Target Weight.

Our Christmas Season begins on December 6 with St Nicholas Day. Dinner that day is always Gulyas, followed by some early cookies. See St Nick for recipe and food values.
Next, we celebrate Saint Lucy’s Day, which involves trimming the Tree while dining. I wrote about that as a Slow Day post on December 13 of 2019.

That morning, weight was below Target by one pound. All the while, throughout December, we observe two Fast Days each week.

On December 22, we always eat my Sister’s Christmas Pasta which I wrote about in a Slow Day blog. With a salad and good bread, it is a treat we look forward to. If you want to know about that wine, visit Dear Husband’s wine pairing blog: peterspicksblog
On December 23, we observe Little Christmas Eve, beginning at breakfast with a tree-shaped bread fashioned from Lussekatter dough. For dinner, our take on Smorrebrod: canapé-sized open-faced sandwiches with varied and colorful toppings on dense rye bread.
We begin Christmas Eve morning with my mother’s recipe for Cinnamon Buns. And end it with the Seafood Chowder seen below, prepared by Dear Husband and Wonderful Sons.

What is the result of all this good eating? Did my weight go up? Yes it did. But then it came down again. Exactly one month later, I am 0.3 [3/10] of a pound over my Target Weight. Not too bad, I’d say. Do I eat like this every Slow Day? NO. This is Festival Food. But the fact that I could eat like that and still keep my weight down says something about the benefits of the 5:2 Diet. Join me in Fasting in 2020. Eat well on Slow Days, Fast on the Fast Days — lose weight and keep it off.

Slow Days: Tree-Decorating Dinner

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

Here we are in early December with Christmas fast approaching — how can one fit everything in? Years ago we worked out a multi-tasking method for the day we trim the Christmas Tree, and it works so well that we still do it that way. We always decorate the tree on December 13. [Dear Husband grew up in a German family where the tree went up Christmas Eve and came down seven days later. He loves having the tree up longer. Me too.] Dinner consists of finger food which can be prepared ahead: salmon piroshki

, with cheeses, vegetables, and a dipping sauce [plain, fat-free yogurt + dill weed]. For dessert, the full array of our families’ cookies. And to add to the celebration, a glass of sparkling wine. The meal is for ‘grazing’ — nibble, hang an ornament, nibble, sip.

The salmon piroski are filled with cooked salmon mixed with enough Dijon mustard to make a moist pate. One tablespoon of the mixture is placed inside rounds of pie crust which are folded over and crimped, turn-over/empanada style. [Yes, I know this is very non-traditional, but that’s how Craig Claiborne made them.] Made a day ahead, they are kept cool until being baked at 400 F for 15 minutes. Each year we enjoy this very special little feast — and still get the tree decorated!

Slow Days: “French Lunch”

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while your can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

This is one of my favorite meals. Restaurants will call it a bread & cheese board or a charcuterie platter and we call it a ‘French Lunch.’ I don’t care what you call it — it is easy to prepare and it is good to eat. “Charcuterie” is the French word for the meats you don’t get from a butcher [boucher] — such as pates and sausages. Cheeses come from a ‘fromagier’ or sometimes from a ‘charcuterier.’ Then there is good bread — very important! We add fresh fruit, chutney, and/or mustard to the board. Pair that with a nice wine, settle down, and enjoy a very nice repast without having to cook/prepare anything.

Here we have two artisanal breads, some salad, a variety of cheeses, two jars of chutney, and four spreads: chorizo paste, chicken liver pate, salmon pate, and mushroom pate. [The pates store very well in the freezer if you don’t eat them all now.]
Here’s another version of the idea, with three cheeses, olives, a duck liver mousse, a country pate, and an artichoke spread — all served with a salad and lovely bread. Washed down with cidre from apples.