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Curing for the new year


As we prepare for the holiday season, the Webster County University of Missouri Extension is already playing for the New Year resolutions as the center will hold two country cured ham classes.

The workshops are open to youth and adults on Jan. 9 and Jan. 11, 2024, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the extension center located at 800 S. Marshall St, Marshfield. If readers want to participate in either class, they must preregister and pay by Dec. 18.

The workshop costs $60 per person. Participants are encouraged to choose which workshop time works best for them. Everything will be supplied, and all participants will leave with a ham ready to hang. The ham needs to be in an unheated building with good ventilation so the curing process can occur. Participants will also be given instructions on aging and how to smoke the ham for flavor.

Not only are these classes educational, but they also help preserve history. Before refrigeration, many Missourians cured hams and pork bellies to preserve food. Country-cured hams are not cooked, just preserved. The combination of salt, sugar, and other spices keeps the meat without refrigeration. Something else that goes hand in ham is Smoke Houses. They were common on many farms and rural homes before refrigeration. The smokehouses were not used to cook the meat but to give the preserved hams a smoke flavor.

Attendees of the workshops will learn how the curing and aging process works. In addition, participants will learn how to smoke and prepare a country-cured ham for an exhibition or a meal. Any youth that attends will have opportunities to exhibit cured hams at local, district, and state fairs during the summer. A country cured ham makes an excellent 4-H/FFA project and a great meal for everyone.

To register for the classes or more details, contact the Webster County Extension office at 417 859-2044 or visit the office in person at 800 S. Marshall St, Marshfield. You can also register online at www.extension.missouri.edu/events/country-cured-ham-workshop-webster-county-1700584282.


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