Archive for the ‘charcuterie’ Tag

New: Live Edge Charcuterie Boards   Leave a comment

Yes, I used that funny French word that people have trouble pronouncing. The word means smoked meats … and, when in France, you go to a “charcuterie” to buy, uh, smoked meats.

Why did that become the word we use for cheese & cracker platters?

’cause it’s fancy. “Fancy like Applebees,” as Walker Hayes recently sang (link below).

But I digress. Now that we’ve got our groove on, it’s time to talk about these new boards that have a couple of unique stories to go with.

First, I am pleased to present several boards made from Olive wood, which is new to the Woodshop. After years of searching, I just had to go out the front door to get this wood … when we bought the house in 1988, there was an ornamental olive tree in the front yard. The kids climbed in it growing up. Pretty tree, and a great climbing tree, to boot. But, sadly, the tree died several years ago. I had a crew out to remove the tree … and leave me the good logs. I then went to my buddy Charlie to “slab” the logs and branches that were usable. The ends got painted with a latex/wax combination so the wood would dry slowly and not crack. The wood then got stickered (small boards between the Olive pieces to allow good air flow for even drying) and then I left the wood in my storage unit to dry out. I didn’t touch the boards for 18 months.

Eventually, the boards came back to the shop for processing … and, time being what it is, I didn’t touch them for another 2 years.

But then the stars aligned, and I made the boards you see below. These are live edge pieces, meaning the actual edges of the natural tree – maybe even the bark! – is the edge of the board. About half of these pieces are finished with mineral oil and board butter, as I do all of my pieces that are destined to touch food.

Until now, that is. Some of the boards had knots, voids and cracks that needed attention, and needed filling since they were destined to be serving pieces. I reached into the bag o’tricks, and here are my first boards with epoxy filled, mica-colored accents. These boards were then finished with a Urethane top coat.

As is normal for me, all boards got non-skid rubber feet held on with stainless steel screws.

Two of the boards are made from live edge Black Walnut. My niece – the namesake for the “Kaye’s Board” end grain design that is a personal favorite – found a sawyer near Cameron, MO that had processed some lovely Black Walnut lumber and was willing to let me bring 5 boards back to the Woodshop.

So, new lumber. New finishing. New, as it often does, also means Mrs M had to have some.

But, good news, she decided to not be greedy and I do have some left for your consideration. These are, obviously, very unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. Please note that all sizes are approximate. Every board was finished to get the most out of the wood that was available, so they are not perfect rectangles. They are natural.

I have already heard from several people that want some, and 3 ladies are first in line (Jeri G, Reva W, Sue E in that order). Boards that I still have will go with me this 4th of July weekend to the Art In The Park event in Morro Bay, CA. Want to buy one? Email me at Henry@MowryWoodshop.com. You’ll need to tell me the number of the board(s) you want, and please give alternate choices if you have some. I will send you an invoice, and then ship the boards to you after the holiday.

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New: Deviled Egg Platters   1 comment

I love Deviled Eggs. Love ’em.

When I was an itty bitty, if you can imagine such a thing, I was allergic to eggs. They gave me a rash. But, good news, whenever we went to a pot luck dinner at the lodge, or a family gathering, or whatever … someone would always bring deviled eggs.

And I would always sneak 1 or 3 when Mom wasn’t looking.

So I ate my way out of the allergy. Built up a tolerance, I did.

Deviled Eggs: a savory treat from a wicked chicken. Love ’em.

So, I knew that as I built out my offerings of serving pieces, I would be making Deviled Egg Platters. The world needs great serving pieces, and I am happy to help. And if Deviled Eggs just happen to get made by more people more often, well, life will be better for us all.

You’re welcome.

It took 2 years to design these platters, which each hold 24 Deviled Eggs. I worked with a designer in the Philippines who had more skills in 3D design … and less affinity for Deviled Eggs, come to find out. The design is exactly what I wanted, though. These are shaped on the CNC, as you might expect, and each platter takes 9 hours to carve. These are a labor of love; I make them to make the world a better place.

The platters are 14″ across, and 7/8″ thick. They are made for 2 sided use: the back is plain, and would allow you to serve appetizers, charcuterie, or whatever you might like on the flat surface.

Not that I understand why anyone would do this, when they could make more Deviled Eggs.

Personally, I prefer the Platters made with white/yellow/red woods (to match the Deviled Eggs), so I use a lot of Bloodwood, Hard Maple, Osage Orange, Canarywood, Yellowheart, Bubinga and Makore. Your mileage may vary, of course, so I will make others with a more varied color palatte. Eventually.

I made 7x of these last last year, and 4x were given to family. That left 3x to take to my final event of the year, Santa’s Art Shop … and all 3x were sold in 90 minutes. Time after time, I heard the exclamation, “OH, my friend/cousin/Aunt/Mother/Friend always makes Deviled Eggs, and she would LOVE ONE OF THESE.

Happy to be of service. They will be back in stock in February. Meanwhile, you are welcome to order one, here.

The Rest Of The Stuff   Leave a comment

When the shop is humming, I make a wide variety of things.

Oh, I do most of my pieces in batches … I might make 24 cheese slicers at once, or perhaps 6 large cutting boards. But when I start a new batch of things, I typically do 50 or so glue ups (which takes a couple of days). Since some glue ups (what I call “blanks” before they are cut to final shape) are cut into 2 different pieces, I often end up with about 75 pieces being worked on in the shop at the same time.

One blank makes 2 Cheese Boards. One blank makes 4 Coasters. One blank makes 6 Cracker Things. Cutting Boards are always made one at a time, as are handled boards (“Sous Chef Boards”), Cribbage Boards, Signs….

I always like to take what the lumber gives me … which means sometimes I’ll find a board that tells me exactly what I have to do with that piece RIGHT NOW. That’s how the Black Walnut Charcuterie with live edges got made: I found the unusual and perfect board, and I had to make that singular piece.

Other times, something will happen that makes a piece fall out of the production cycle. Perhaps it has a problem that has to get fixed, I run out of time to get everything to the finish line, or maybe it just gets forgotten amidst the chaos.

It happens.

In any event, here’s a collection of recent pieces that made it to the finish line. To quote Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: “I’m versatile.”

A Charcuterie Board   Leave a comment

I recently read in a woodworker’s forum that the reason to use the term charcuterie is just so you can charge more for the board.

Hogwash.

When I started making boards, I didn’t even know what “charcuterie” was. It’s a French term for prepared meats, such as bacon, ham, sausage, etc. And, in reality, any board can be used for charcuterie, just as any board can be used for cutting, cheese & crackers, fruits, or what have you.

Any of my boards, anyway.

These boards are my choice for charcuterie. I love the curvy edges. The board just feels right in your hand.

Your mileage may vary, of course. Buy one of these, and you can call them anything you want!

Spice Up Your Presentation   Leave a comment

Serving pieces help turn an impressive array into a finished presentation.

I quickly learned that cutting boards are great … but many people need serving pieces to complete the process of getting great food to the table.

And, of course, if the food looks good when it’s served, that will help it taste fantastic as well.

We are a visual people. Food needs to look, smell, feel and, finally, taste good to maximize our eating experience. I may not be an expert … but I know good food when I have it!

Sometimes, a pair of serving pieces is required. In this case, it’s the flip side of a 5 Section Server, paired with the flip side of a Garlic Dipping Board.
A surfboard is the base for this presentation.
The first board I sold was a cheese board. It’s just a small cutting board, really … but it can be so much more when you have a presentation in mind!

There’s really no wrong answer here … my job is to provide a variety of options so your table can look wonderful. I’ve done some research into what makes a good presentation of cheese & crackers, or charcuterie, or whatever … the link is below. Enjoy!

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How To Fill Your Cheese Board

Velda’s Bruschetta

Commissioned Pieces   Leave a comment

I do a lot of wedding & anniversary gifts. Here you see several different styles … as well as a couple of other special orders thrown in.

I have a love/hate relationship with special orders, honestly. Keeping track of them, their individual deadlines & extra steps required for the personalization is another record keeping system that I have to maintain to stay on top of these orders. It’s a wonderful thing, truly – who wouldn’t want to be a part of a wedding as a gift supplier? Lots of love there, and that’s a good thing.

A very good thing.

Also shown are a sign for a restored car’s dash (the Beach Bug sign). It’s a carved sign with painted letters. Similar techniques were used with the making of the final piece, that shows the longitude & latitude for the happy couple’s meeting, engagement & wedding.

Cutting, Display or Serving?   Leave a comment

OK, I’m behind.

Way behind.

I’ve been making stuff, and even taking pictures … and then hurriedly going to events so I have to make more stuff. This cycle has been repeating for 3 months now.

3 months.

So, yes, I’m behind. Many of these items were made months ago, and have already sold! … but I’m just now showing them to you here. Sorry about that.

This includes the very latest stuff for the holiday boutiques, as well, so please enjoy the pretties … because they will be gone soon, I trust!

Yes, You Should Have A Big Heart   Leave a comment

I see it all of the time.

People see my hearts on the table. They smile. They hold one over their own heart, look to their significant other, and smile some more.

Nothing wrong with a big heart. Nothing wrong with showing your heart.

Such is the human drama I inspire when I go a-vendoring. Who wouldn’t love that?

I’m sometimes asked if these are cutting boards. Well, yes, they could be. However, I believe cutting on hearts is not something we should want to do. Surgeons, perhaps. Cooks? Not so much. I think these are serving pieces, not cutting boards. Buy one, and then you’ll get to choose who gets to cut on your heart.

This weekend, I’m going a bit far afield as I go a-vendoring. It will be my first out-of-state solo event for Mr M’s Woodshop! I’ll be at Faire on the Square in Prescott, AZ. I’m leaving Mrs M at home so she can work at her “job,” and I’m doing a holiday weekend road trip.

Pulling the trailer. Putting up the big canopy, solo. Running the booth, solo. Staying at an AirBnB, bachelor style.

Who wouldn’t love that?

 

New: 5 Section Serving Pieces   Leave a comment

The banner on the front of the booth says “Cutting Boards, Serving Pieces & More.”

I am in search of the perfect cheese & cracker server. Today’s offering may not appear to be one at first glance … which is why these pieces need a second glance.

The front side has 5 sections for your various, uh, food offerings. It could be cubed cheeses, of course, but it could be veggies or chips or olives … whatever.

These pieces, though, are made to be used on both sides. When you flip the pieces over, there are no feet to mar the surface, so now you have a nice 14″ square serving piece that would be perfect for charcuterie – or, cheese & crackers.

Of course.

All I’m doing is giving people options. Then, they get to choose!

Each piece is 1-1/8″ thick, and is routed 3/4″ deep … leaving a 3/8″ thick bottom. The pieces are therefore very light to handle. Note these are not cutting boards: even though the flip side is flat and could be used for cutting, since it is so thin it would not hold up long enough to a fine cutting edge. For charcuterie, it’s perfect.

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Just Finished: Large Serving Pieces

Yes, These Are Lazy Susans

Trays To Serve

 

Custom Orders   2 comments

Yes, I do custom orders!

Special engraving. Unique wood combinations. Oddball requests. You name it.

To be fair, I often turn down oddball requests for special one-time constructions. I have trouble making enough pieces just to keep up with my totally out-of-control hobby, after all. Adding ideas that take extra TLC to make it to the finish line usually doesn’t make sense.

But who said I have to make sense? Adding the occasional odd request does help me use my creativity & expand my skill set. At the right time, doing a unique project can be fun. Since that’s why I’m doing this, I try and help people with fun projects as much as I can.

And, no, I still don’t make backgammon boards. Or rolling pins. Or toaster tongs.

But, apparently, if you want a Fire Pokin’ Stick, then I’m your guy.

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