As further proof that there’s a day to celebrate for just about everything, Happy Salami Day! Yes, it’s time to try some of that delectable cured meat made extra popular in the Middle Ages where preserved pig products like these were so important they actually became a form of currency. This celebration is relatively new as it was started in Henrico, Virginia in 2006 by the Salami Appreciation Society. There are many different versions of salami around the world, a concept I only learned as an adult. As a kid, there was just one kind, pre-carved into perfectly round slices within a little yellow plastic package. Later, I would learn about real salami and the difference is everything. To celebrate tonight, Philippe and I are enjoying a little Neapolitan pizza with a bit of soppressata on top. Yeah, as a kid these words used to describe dinner would have completely confounded me. As would Philippe’s version of salami that he introduced me to in Paris several years ago called “saucisson sec.” The type that here in the States we refer to as “artisanal” because it’s not so wildly mass-produced. It’s absolutely delicious!
In truth, I can only take salami in very small doses, so having the artisanal form with just a few small little slices is perfect. Too much more than that and I feel a bit sluggish and ready to nap for the rest of the day. But that’s one of the things I love about going to Paris. Food can be a touch decadent, but it’s almost always served in appropriate portions. Here we have a phrase of getting “too much of a good thing,” while still happily serving ridiculously oversized plates of food. It still makes me giggle remembering back to when Philippe first went out to eat here and dutifully ate everything on his plate. He was in pain for hours afterwards and completely confused as to what had just happened. Since that time, we only go out to lunch once a week to pre-approved places. These are, of course, places where everything is artisanal, so the cost is the reason we can only enjoy it on a weekly basis. But it’s really quite fun! Enjoying something truly wonderful on rare occasions is one of the best experiences in the world.
This is always how I feel with my daily painting and sketching. While I would love it if everything turned out exceptional, it’s really rather hit or miss. My portions of time are typically very small, so I have to do what I can in a very brief period. Yes, sure, I could work on a painting slowly over several days, but I think most of you who know me by now realize I simply don’t have the patience for that. So I do what works best for me. I’ve created a routine that doesn’t mimic that of others, but instead, perfectly fits me so I’m assured that I’ll at least show up to paint each and every day. It’s about finding the right portion of a good thing that works best for you. When I first started sketching and painting I was nearly crazed with ambition and would paint for hours. I was actually in between jobs and had a few extra hours to paint. Today, I have the typical hobbyist lifestyle that leaves me only a small bit of time each day. But, I devour it like the treat that it is and celebrate each precious moment like I’m celebrating Salami Day.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!