Updated: Nov 23, 2021
Once a month I get together with some girlfriends and we play bunco. It's a fun dice game and you can even win for having the most losses. That's my kind of game! November was my month to host at my house and we decided the theme would be Friendsgiving. Friendsgiving is when you get together with all your friends and have a Thanksgiving type dinner (we had so much delicious food, it was amazing). When we decided this, my mind instantly thought, charcuterie board! I had never made a charcuterie board, but I have seen some elaborate, beautiful displays and was determined to do it.
First of all, how do you even pronounce this word? I was reading it as caricature...like, you know, those funny cartoon pictures. I knew it wasn't right but I rolled with it. My husband and I were at dinner one night and the pronunciation was on their menu, thank God, because I would probably still be saying it wrong. So, it is pronounced as: CHAR-COO-TER-EE. You're welcome. 😉
Ideally, a charcuterie board has various types of meats and cheeses in a fancy arrangement on a board, but typically, different fruits and nuts, etc can be added as well. Even though you can buy actual charcuterie boards, I just used my own wooden cutting board and it worked just fine. Unless you don't already have a wood cutting board, then you can easily buy one on Amazon. But really you can use any tray, the wooden boards just give it more of that rustic feel.
Although charcuterie boards are generally centered around meats and cheeses, you can do literally anything for a charcuterie board. I've seen people do vegan boards, breakfast boards, seasonal boards, etc. The idea is put all of these yummy foods in a beautiful arrangement on a board. The possibilities are literally endless, so long as you have the creativity to think it up.
My board was fall themed. But how do you make meats and cheeses "fall themed?" It doesn't necessarily have to do with the meats and cheeses, but the in season fruits. So for my fall themed board, I did not use berries and typical summer stone fruits, but instead I used persimmons, dried cranberries and pomegranates. I actually did find some fall themed cheeses at Bashas, it was pumpkin spice goat cheese and cranberry goat cheese. To make the meat flower, I just draped the salami over a cup with a narrow rim and made layers until my desired thickness. I make sure to do it after it has set out a little while so it's more pliable, then put it in the fridge to set before serving.
One thing I was concerned about was price because putting together a charcuterie board can be expensive. I definitely shopped around at more than once store. I found that Wal-Mart had the cheeses I wanted for a lot less than I was going to get at Safeway or Bashas. At Wal-Mart, most of the cheeses I got were under $4. I got the goat cheese at Bashas, two for $6. I found a tray of three types of salami at Safeway for $10 and the prosciutto I got in the deli for less than $3! Just ask the deli worker to cut it at a .5 and ask for a quarter of a pound, and you'll have fresh prosciutto for way cheaper than you'd buy already packaged. Altogether I probably spent $50 but that was enough to serve 13 people with some leftovers.
Here is what was on my board:
Salami (3 types)
Smoked cheddar cheese
Goat cheese (2 types)
Almonds (save money and don't buy the fancy naked almonds)
Toasts (like tiny toasted bread you get in the deli by the cheeses)
flat crackers, also found in the deli
Tiny pumpkins for decoration (which were also on sale)
Here is the YouTube video I watched to get my inspiration. It is super informative!
This was so fun and something creative for me to do. I enjoy a challenge and getting to be creative and I love how it turned out. I can't wait to do this again in the future. If you make one, please send me a picture, I would love to see what you come up with too.
Emily Newland, Writer at Payson Moms Blog
Emily is a local Payson mom to two adventurous, free spirited children. Emily and her husband, Tim, have been happily married and residing in the Payson area together for the last 9 years. Emily enjoys hiking, working out, baking, crafting, homeschooling her kiddos, and anything Disney. If you don't find Emily working on any of those things, you may find her feeding and/or taking care of her 3 goats, 2 cows, 3 cats, dog, horse or her several chickens!! Oh, and don't let us forget... her pet peacock as well!! We are so blessed to have Emily as a part of the Payson Moms Blog team!