Food Crafting 101


The Food Crafting 101 class at The Institute of Domestic Technology, began with bread making. Erik Knutzen of Root Simple, started off by sharing his thoughts on various flours and yeast, followed by a hands on demonstration for making our own Twenty-One-Hour Boule. Now, I know that sounds like an enormous amount of time to make bread, but it’s only about 10 minutes worth of work, the remaining time is resting & rising the dough.


After we made our own dough, we stored it in a container to bring home and bake later.
Here’s my finished loaf I shared on Instagram


From there we moved on to my favorite part of the day, jam making! We made a Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Balsamic and Black Pepper. Holy smokes it is so good!


We washed, sorted, and cut the strawberries and rhubarb. Then added them to an enormous bowl (10+ lbs of berries!) and mixed in the sugar. No commercial pectin was used in the recipe, as the natural pectin found in the fruit was all that was needed.
The fruit and sugar mixture were brought to a boil on the stove, and the balsamic vinegar and black pepper was stirred in just before it reached gel point.


Here Steve Rudicel of Mariposa Creamery, and the Institute of Domestic Technology’s Director, Joseph Schuldiner transfer the cooked jam into a large pitcher. This makes it easier to pour the jam into individual jars. Much better than scooping the hot jam out of the pot for each jar!



After adding the jam to the jars, the inside is scraped for air bubbles and the outside rim is wiped clean. From there, the lid is added and they go into the large canning pot of boiling water.

While our jam was being watched by their staff, we were treated to a beautiful luncheon…


Next came our Mustard class. So many of the students were interested in this portion of the day. Have you ever made your own mustard? I hadn’t, but found it couldn’t be easier.


The mustard seeds had been soaking in a mixture of red wine vinegar and Guinness Extra Stout for a day or two. All we needed to do was add our own creative “spice mixture”.


I chose a combination of ground ginger, orange peel, saffron salt, black peppercorns, and honey. After tasting and stirring your mixture, it’s blended in a food processor for about 3 minutes, or until it reaches a consistency you like. That’s it.
I can’t wait to add mine to a smoked turkey sandwich or grilled fish entree.

Our last class of the day was to learn how to make chevre from the creamery’s fresh goats milk.


This started with a milk tasting, which I must admit, was my least favorite part, since I don’t enjoy drinking milk. At all. But I still tasted it so I could observe the differences between the brands and varieties. We learned about rennet and starter cultures and how few steps there actually are to making really delicious chevre. And do you know how amazing homemade chevre is with freshly baked bread and Strawberry Rhubarb jam? Divine!


Lastly, I thought I’d show you a peek of their open kitchen. I loved their subway tiles.


The Institute is also a zero waste facility. Meaning, they encourage you to bring your own containers, and the majority of waste is either recycled or composted. Why, they even took the leftover milk from the tasting and fed it to their chickens. Natural recycling at it’s finest.


  1. i never realized you can make your own mustard (silly me). I always thought is a very long and complicated process. i have to try that myself. i’m very curious how it might turn out 🙂

    • Heather Bullard says:

      Me too! I was surprised how simple it was. You don’t even need to cook it!

  2. I would love a day like that.:)

  3. Sampling milk would be my worst nightmare. I did however grow up drinking goat’s milk strait from the goat.
    Those classes seemed like such a fun and inspiring time! I must go check that place out!

    • Heather Bullard says:

      Have to say, I did not enjoy that part. I took the teeniest, tiniest sip I could manage. Blech. But it is kind of funny that I enjoy cheese and despise milk! 😉

  4. Oh my gosh what a perfect day! I wish I lived closer. That sounds like so much fun and you obviously left with very scrumptious treats.

    • Heather Bullard says:

      That was the best part! We’ve been loving the jam…savoring every little spoonful.

  5. What an enjoyable day! Except for the milk part…..I can barely look at milk much less put it in my mouth but I’m definitely a cheese lover, as well. I love the idea of making your own mustard. Gonna try that!

    • Heather Bullard says:

      I’m with you on the milk thing. I even eat my cereal dry! Let me know if you make the mustard, would love to know what seasonings & spices you used.

      • Oh my Lord, so nice to have another member of the dry cereal eaters club! 😉 I thought I was the only one! Lol….

  6. Thanks so much for sharing what I would consider a perfect day. Do you happen to know if there are any of those facilities in the New York/ Long Island area?

    • Heather Bullard says:

      I think this is their only location. Maybe you could send them an email and see if they know of other similar classes in your area?
      Or I would recommend asking around at your farmers market…many of the instructors bought or sold at them. 🙂

  7. That’s funny the mustard part was what I was most looking forward to you posting about today! Looks like it was a wonderful class. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Wendy in Kennewick says:

    Oh my gosh, that sounds like a perfectly busy fun day! I need to check around and see if anything like that is offered locally. The jam sounds heavenly and your mustard, very intriguing.

  9. What a wonderful way to spend a day or so….I would love that ! You have inspired me to look for something like that in good ol’ Cleveland , Ohio ! Doubt it will be that beautiful !

  10. Kristin Ford says:


    Any chance you can divulge the recipe for that amazing jam?

    Thanks 😉


    • Heather Bullard says:

      I wish I could…we used 10+ pounds of strawberries, and didn’t weigh or measure the rhubarb or the vinegars or black pepper! The batch of jam was huge.

      To the 10+ pounds of fresh strawberries, there was maybe 4 or 5 stalks of rhubarb, about 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and possibly the same amount of white balsamic, and 15 twists on the black pepper grinder.

      So sorry I can’t be more accurate! I think it’s just to taste. So add a little at a time towards the end of your cooking process until it reaches the point that you love it.

      I couldn’t believe how much depth of flavor the balsamic vinegars and rhubarb gave the jam. So delicious!

      • The recipe book “Well Preserved” by Eugenia Bone has the most delightful recipe for Strawberry Balsamic jam…. It is simply divine!! (its one of my favorite recipes…. I have added rhubarb to mine because that’s just how I roll, haha! I just love the combo of rhubarb and strawberries so mix it any chance I can get.)

  11. What delicious items they had you prepare. I’d love to try the make-your-own mustard. What a fun day.

  12. Sounds absolutely amazing. Many, many years ago I made hot mustard for Christmas gifts. It wasn’t nearly as fun a process, though. BTW, in case you ever need a companion on these adventures, I’m not far from you. “hint, hint”

  13. Randa Weir says:

    Ahhhh, you were in my neck of the woods. (I live in the same little town as the Mariposa Creamery). Amazing, isn’t it?!

  14. Oh my goodness, how fun and exciting!!! I would have loved to be apart of that cooking class!! The jam sounds divine!!!
    And your photos are fantastic!
    Wishing you a lovely afternoon.

  15. Do you know what is a good blog post? I do – this one. I have thought about it several times since reading it yesterday. What a great class – thanks for sharing all about it and for the beautiful photos. I am coming to LA in November and I would love to do the same thing…

  16. Wow! What a wonderful learning experience, and you received delicious “take- a-ways” as a bonus. That jam sounds wonderful. It ALL sounds wonderful!

  17. This was a great class!! Strawberries will be ripe in Alabama soon and will be making some jam as well. I will be using that pitcher idea. WHY haven’t I thought of that!!!!

  18. Ok I am officially drooling here! maybe its because i haven’t eaten lunch yet but WOW this all looks simply wonderful! Thank you so very much for sharing!

  19. Now I’m more excited to take this class. I signed up for the December class and I can’t wait. I googled the Institute and your blog popped up 🙂