If you’re a regular reader of my columns, you probably know that I love exploring new hobbies. I’ve taken art classes, become a chalk paint furniture pro, developed a love of gardening and now I have a new hobby to add to the list, making visually appealing and tasty charcuterie boards.
A charcuterie board is a display of meat, cheeses, mustards, chocolates and other goodies arranged on a board or platter so that it’s pretty to look at. They’re popular in upscale restaurants in Asheville and the perfect way to present food at a cocktail party.
When I saw that The Makery in Marion was offering a class that not only taught you how to create charcuterie boards using different foods, but also gave you a charcuterie board that you could personalize and take with you after the class, I knew it was the perfect workshop to take my aunt to for her birthday.
My Aunt Rena loves making any meal creative. She’s known for her Christmas-tree-shaped cheeseball, bunny-shaped chocolate Easter cake and her handmade watermelon fruit basket. For her, food needs to be tasty as well as pretty, which I totally agree with.
My boyfriend will tell you I overthink how to arrange cheese and crackers on a platter before the parties we host. That’s why this class was a must.
Things started out fairly simple. We arrived at The Makery, picked out the piece of wood that would become our charcuterie board and sanded it. From there, we learned how to clean and wax the board. That may sound silly, but if you don’t wax your board before placing meat, olives and other juicy items on it, there’s a chance the juices will sink into the wood and stain it.
After that, we had a lesson on how to present items on our board and form simple things like deli meat into roses and other fun shapes that will entice partygoers to eat what’s in front of them.
The class finished up by allowing students to pick out items to go on their board. My Aunt Rena chose what meats, crackers, sauces and cheeses we would use for our board, and then we began laying things out.
By the time we were finished, what lay before us was a stunning tray of goodies, which we got to munch on at the end of the class. (Not a bad way to end an evening of learning.)
If you’re looking for something different to do, I suggest you check out The Makery’s Facebook page. There you’ll find a listing of their upcoming classes and their open studio hours.