Art worth NOT losing.

Readying for the state fair.

My first story of this deadline will be about country ham.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Country ham.

4-H’ers in Rutherford County, Tenn., have a country ham project group.  My 11-year-old son, Sam, is a part of that group, and since January, these culinary adventurers have been meeting at The Hamery in Murfreesboro to cure their own hams.

How cool is that?

Being the journalistic scavenger that I am, I leapt at the opportunity to cover each of the four meetings (to date) for the Cooperator.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • It’s all based on salt, heat, and time.
  • It smells good in there.
  • Patience is a virtue.
  • The kids are learning a “lost art.”

This makes me wonder, when Ben Franklin was an 11-year-old 4-H’er (just play along), what lost art did his project group tackle?  Surely there was something back then that was being overtaken by the technologies and trends of the day, yes?  Does Ben Franklin’s lost art still exist today?  
I’m being half-serious, here.  It begs the question:  When will the traditional process of curing a ham be officially and completely forgotten, kaput, and extinct, mentioned only in passing in musty history books (or musty history Kindles)?  Will this death coincide with man’s modern diet being composed entirely of processed, packaged, pseudo food in a tube, like in the movie Wall-E?
Because that would suck.  We must be careful.  Some art is worth not losing.
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