decadence by hand

finely crafted foods and woodenware

Upcoming Classes

Coopered Buckets / Piggins -  April 28 & 29, 2018 - October 13-14, 2018

The cooper was essential to packaging early fluid and dry products. Learn to make your own small bucket or piggin with hand tools utilizing cedar. 

Meat Preservation: The Basics and Beyond - Fri, Mar 2nd, 2018  –  Sun, Mar 4th, 2018

You eat meat, you love meat, but it is hard to find (and expensive to buy) meats prepared without unnecessary preservatives or from responsibly sourced animals.In this class you will revisit time honored skills that have fallen out of daily use and learn important lessons about how meats have been preserved in the past so you can enjoy quality home processed meats in the future. Through both hands-on participation and demonstration, you'll cover a wide variety of skills and products including: rendering lard for a healthy natural fat source, dehydration and drying meats, preparing fresh sausages, smoking bone-in meats, sausage, whole muscle meats, fish, and sausage, and cover freezing, brining, and curing a variety of meats as well. Students will take home a basketful of samples and the knowledge to tackle meat preservation in their home kitchens. Students will take home a basketful of samples and the knowledge to tackle meat preservation in their home kitchens.


Past Classes

All Fired Up: Cooking with Fire - 

Humans domesticated fire a few hundred thousand years ago, but most people today take fire for granted. The easy access to controlled heat on stovetops or ovens causes little reflection into what a fire does for us. In this class, we will discuss the different types of heat that one can utilize to cook food, and the science that relates to these methods. We will use an open wood fire to acquaint ourselves with the different types of heat, and the techniques and types of foods that correspond to each type. The principles learned will provide a better understanding of what is happening in your kitchen when cooking, and will deepen and broaden your camp cooking skills. We'll feast upon the meats, vegetables, and roots that we cook, which will result in a full sensory experience of fragrant smells, warmth from the fire, eyes on the fire and feast, and delectable tastes.  

Exploring Fermented Foods - 

Fermentation…not just for brewers anymore! These days, fermented foods that can be easily prepared in the home are increasingly popular, as people begin to appreciate the healthful and delicious qualities of this ancient method of food preparation. In this overview course, you’ll explore the science behind fermentation & various cultural traditions that employ these methods of food preservation. You’ll prepare kraut, kimchi, kefir,kombucha, yogurt, idli, and dosas, all easy ­to­ love and delicious recipes that provide a great spring­board into the wide world of fermented foods. End the day with a smorgasbord of fermented foods provided by your instructor, and leave inspired to ferment further! You will also take home several samples to get you fermenting with excitement. 

Pork Butchery for Home Use: Nose to Tail -

Ever wanted to go whole hog? In this class, we will spend a day learning and discussing the anatomy, cuts, and corresponding cooking methods of pigs. On Day 2, we will use this knowledge to break down a pig together as a class using the traditional American style of butchering, which notably includes boston butt, picnic butt, ham, side, jowl, blade steak, etc. We will then prepare our cuts and enjoy a sumptuous meal we create as a class that you can re-create at home, honoring the pig by eating every last bit, nose to tail. Students will also go home with pork cuts and sample preparations. 

Salumi: Traditional Dry Curing Methods -

A historically home­based craft and staple of diets and life the world over pre-­twentieth century, cured meats and fish have sustained humans and cultures for generations. In this class we will reacquaint ourselves with the traditional knowledge of meat preservation with recent scientific understanding threaded throughout. You will learn how to dry­ cure whole cuts of pork, using the Italian method of salumi, which differs from other methods of meat curing because it uses no smoke. Instead, whole cuts of meat are salt­ cured, providing a simple and relatively easy introduction to meat curing that can be applied to a variety of animals. On day one, we'll discuss the tradition and science of the process to develop our understanding. On day two, we will start with a side of pork to break down to whole cuts for curing. Dry curing, done with whole cuts, makes for a simple introduction to meat curing which can be applied to a variety of animals. On day three, we will start the cures using three main ingredients: salt, meat, and time. Your materials fee includes dry cured meats to take home as well as a shared celebratory community meal. 

Soba: Preparing Japanese-Style Buckwheat Noodles - 

With the proliferation of overly processed gluten ­free products on the market, traditional possibilities are often overlooked. One such ingredient is buckwheat: a grain­like seed with diverse uses, including as the original alternative to wheat flour. In this class, we will make gluten­free buckwheat noodles, which result as a thin, versatile and delicious noodle. This is a typical Japanese noodle that has been eaten since the early 1600s. Once familiar with the process, you'll be able to make these noodles in your own home. We will use the noodles to make a meal with an array of cold and hot soba dishes to enjoy together. Please note, although the dishes prepared in this class will be gluten-free, the North House teaching kitchen is not a gluten-free kitchen for those with extreme sensitivities.