Days in the deli have slowed down, but life at the Smokehaus have not been boring.
We’re making a whole lot of food! This week our production team roasted 500 lbs of porketta, prepared 120 each of pepperoni and saucisson sec for curing, and started 480 lbs of ham on a 5-7 day brine cycle. A great deal of that meat already has a home among our mail order queue, and what’s left of it will likely fly off our shelves by the end of December’s month-long grocery rush in the shop. Pigs fly at Northern Waters Smokehaus.
Sandwich Lab! I already leaked one Sandwich Lab secret here, so I’m going to hold tight to the juicier details, but once all of the voting, calculating and deliberating is complete, y’all may be in for some fantastically mouthwatering experiences at our little deli.
Our Winter catalog is complete! I had previously lied and referred to it as a Fall/Winter catalog and a Fall catalog. Whoops. Regardless, it is out and it looks great. Watching the design and marketing teams develop it was really cool. So much care and attention to detail went into presenting our awesome food and history to you. I am super proud of my coworkers. NWS cookbook, here we come! Catalogs are available upon request.
Hidden Falls cheese is in season! Hidden Falls is a creamy sheep’s and cow’s milk cheese from Shepherd’s Way Farms in Nerstrand, MN. It has citrus and wildflower qualities present in its flavor, and notes of woodsy mushrooms. Accompany it with honey and seasonal fruit, or pair it with our salumi, but whatever you do, do it quickly. Hidden Falls is only available between October and December.
It’s our birthday month! Northern Waters Smokehaus is a Scorpio. Actually, our birthday might even be today. I’m like 90% certain it falls between November 8th and 12th. I really need to step up my research game. We have had a pretty great year as a company. We’ve had a segment filmed for the Travel Channel, we have an awesome staff, the books show growth from last year, we released our first official product catalog, we threw a sweet party/afterparty combo in September, and we have felt a ton of love from our community, our regulars, the tourists (food- and otherwise), and our online network. Eric, Lynnand the rest of us are so darned proud of this 20-year old deli and we are so darned proud of them. Thank you, reader, customer, friend, for supporting this business.
That last sentence was a better closer than this one is.
Happy Friday, everyone (and Happy Birthday, Eric Goerdt!), though I’m writing this on a Wednesday, since tomorrow/yesterday is/was my birthday, and I’m really trying to take some time for myself, for once.
I’m here, in the past of your current present, at Amazing Grace Bakery and Café, at 7am, sipping on dark roasted coffee, slowly picking apart a chocolate espresso muffin which we’ll call my birthday cake (I don’t particularly enjoy cake–hold your pitchforks, please! Preferences are allowed), watching a red-tailed black shark bully or maybe just play tag with the rest of the aquarium; and you’re existing sometime in my new future, reading this blog post, thinking where is Ned going with this, is this setting of the scene really necessary for a blog post about five things that happened this week at Northern Waters Smokehaus; though you might have had a realization like I have, on occasion, that often some of these five things of which I write happened on another week, or are happening over a span of time that includes previous weeks, this selfsame moment, and will continue on into the future weeks, and furthermore that reading a piece of written language often involves a detachment of oneself from the standard temporal flow in which we have entrenched ourselves; and that, in reality, every week we have found ourselves in this wibbly-wobbly, time-wimey ebb-and-flow of thoughts expressed and received.
(I realize in this moment, after having written that sentence, that I must go back and change a number of those commas to semicolons.)
Folks, it’s my birthday week, so I’m not holding back. You’re going to get the trains of thought that I normally reserve for the quiet aloneness of floating downward from the waking world into the valley of dreams—yes, for me, it’s a valley; and last night there was a robin hatchling for whom I tried and failed to find some seed, dice that I mistook for my own that belonged to my very disappointed therapist, and thousands of resplendently beautiful and terrifying spiders in that valley—and in some ways, you already have.
What was I going on about? Oh, yes—
Here are the five things we came up with to share with you. Hopefully nothing too noteworthy or exciting has happened, because it is out of my hands.
Birthdays! October is a birthday-heavy month for us. I’m sure to miss one, in addition to me and Eric, we also have Nic, Jeremy, and Jacob finishing their lap around the Sun this month. What else is there to say? A birthday is really just like any other day, except certain people might treat you a little differently if you’re friends on electronic social media and they happen to notice your name next to a birthday cake icon. For a fun time, try wishing everyone you encounter at the Smokehaus this month a happy belated birthday. You can wish someone a belated happy birthday all but one day of the year and be right on the money. Them’s good odds.
We’re going to The Wedding Fair! This year, we have refocused no insignificant sum of our energy into the catering side of our business. From weddings upon weddings, to the Glensheen gala, to Best of the Wurst, and so many pop-ups—not to mention (but hey, here I am mentioning it) our 20th Anniversary Party—we have had a heck of a year outside the charming confines of our deli storefront. The Wedding Fair, this Sunday (October 14th) at the Minneapolis Convention Center, is an exciting opportunity for us, since it will put us face-to-face with a large audience that potentially isn’t already following our business, and perhaps has never heard of us. We’re bringing a modest sampling of what we can offer—ham and pimiento bites, salmon and scallion cream cheese bites, a sweet brochure whipped up by our design team—and preparing ourselves to discuss virtually anything anybody wants to talk about (related to our food and catering services). Those who have experienced events we’ve catered know that our culinary skills extend far beyond what we offer in the deli.
We got a new power outlet! Another installment in the Series of Capital Improvements. We needed more power, and we got it. Bonus Thing™: We’ve cleared out the design/mail order office in preparation for what I believe is our final reflooring of the capital improvements season. Perhaps whomever I can convince to edit this post post-reflooring will supply a photo of the new floor, and if they don’t, this is a fun and awkward sentence for you to have read.
We smoked chickens! This past weekend, we catered Hoops Brewing’s Okoberfest celebration, and as Eric just informed me is traditional for Oktoberfest, we served smoked chicken alongside our brats and sauerkraut. If you’re bummed that you missed out on this opportunity, don’t worry: The chicken was evidently so good that we’re working to bring it onto our menu in the near future, as a half-chicken basket special for two.
Hummus! Our prep team made eight quarts of smoked poblano and ancho hummus, just to see how it would turn out. We had an extensive tasting session at our weekly Dungeons & Dragons gathering, and I can say that the hummus turned out quite well. It has a very gentle bite and rich, smoky undertones, and pairs extremely well with fragments of hot naan, and a cold pilsner lager. There is still some room for perfecting the recipe, but soon enough it will be available from our grab-and-go case and might make its way onto our sandwich line—perhaps as a vegan substitute for the cream cheese on our Fuzzy Bunny sandwich.
That’s all for this week. This has been a wild Wednesday, which you’re reading about on Friday, with high-speed winds, a murderous Lake Superior battering the shore and flooding large segments of our basement and forcing our delivery/prep department home, and somehow still a steady stream of customers—who must love to suffer in the cold wetness of it all—gracing our shop with their presence. I’ll catch you, dear reader, next week as I pull a similar write-early-in-the-week-so-I-can-take-Friday-off stunt. Hopefully—and totally within my control—with fewer trips through my self-created wormhole, because I have re-read this piece a dozen times, and am still not sure where or when I have ended up.
Focusing on Glensheens’s twelve acre estate and gorgeous gardens, this year’s theme is Secret Garden Party. Gala guests will have the opportunity to explore the grounds, newly opened spaces, and, of course, the mansion.
SATURDAY, 8-18-18 | 7PM – 10PM
Cost: $100 per person
Time travel to Duluth’s best lake party and enjoy the revelry throughout our historic, 12-acre estate. We’re unlocking the mansion for Gala guests to experience what’s behind closed doors.
In a mere week and a half, our amazing catering crew are going to pack two vans, four coolers, our 6-foot-long Douglas fir serving board, and around 100 pounds of smoked goodness and head to Minneapolis to cater (along with several other folks) the Official Super Bowl Tailgate Party. It’s the biggest crowd we’ve ever catered, but we feel like all our years of catering have been great training for an event like the Superbowl.
We were thrilled to get an email from a company that organizes the Superbowl village vendors: it was a huge logistical challenge but in typical Smokehaus fashion we rapidly decided to do it and figure out how later. I filled out the application, answered some follow-up questions, and left it on the horizon for the better part of December. To participate, we would need to essentially staff a condensed version of our already-condensed deli in Duluth: sandwich coolers, prep areas, abridged menus, and (most troublingly) a staff who a) could find an affordable place to stay in the Twin Cities for a week during the Superbowl inundation and b) would not leave a hole in the schedule with their absence.
I was in the middle of loosely sorting this out and fielding plenty of interest from all corners of the Smokehaus when we got the congratulatory email, and above all the logistical concerns I knew we were in for a great adventure. About a half an hour after that the second email came in explaining that the first missive was sent by mistake – but congratulations, we were first on the waiting list. Annoyance was mixed with a splash of relief, but every time the Superbowl came up, I felt a little baby kick of rejection.
A few weeks later, Eric was contacted through an old friend from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and was asked to participate in a different Superbowl event: as a caterer at the 2018 Players Tailgate Party. This was a BIG deal – 2,000 people – by far our largest headcount, kitty-corner to a major event in Minnesota, with plenty of opportunities to share our smoked fish, charcuterie, and years of food styling trial and error with a brand new group of customers. We once again assumed the formation, said yes, and figured it out. Staffed, condo’d (thanks to a staffer’s parents), prep listed, and fully stoked, we’re going to the Superbowl(!), and once again, we’re in for a great adventure.
We hope you’re also listening to Werewolf Bar Mitzvah over and over again. If not… maybe you should start??
5 Things: Here We Go
1- It’s test time!
We sent out several of our Delivery, Catering and Mail Order and Deli manager(s) to get their Serve Safe Certification on Monday, October 23rd. Here are some highlights from Dungeon-Master and Iron Man, Harry-boi.
Food Safety Class Hour One: Things I’ve Learned: -Jeff, our instructor, could shoot a wing off a jet in an A-10 Warthog. -Allergies are more common now because we’re “…not eating enough boogers”. -Scrapbooking is for “gals”.
Hmmm… We do not suggest boogers as a source of protein. But to each their own? (read: ew).
Mamma Kath is teaching Deli Manager TK how to be the master of inventory. Every week we receive orders from many local and regional vendors. It takes a great finesse and extraordinary organizational skills to keep all departments orders on track. Orders come in, they are put away, laughs are shared with our great delivery drivers and snacks are had.
Shout out to Jodi from Classic Provisions for being the kindest delivery driver ever.
3- Mail Order Meat Madness
Once the Holidays season begins it’s pretty hard to stay ahead of the game without feeling a little frantic. So we start getting ready earlier in the year in order to be able to send out our 2,000 boxes around Thanksgiving and Christmas season. This week we sliced 63 lb of Turkey, 49 lb of Andouille, 46 lb of Pancetta and 74 lb of Pork Loin!!!!
4- NEW STICKERS!!!
After probably 10+ years of having our oval stickers we upgraded to these sharp circle cuties! Thanks, Stephen!
5- LOOK MORTY
While our oval stickers where in absence, we used a lot of different stickers to keep your fish, meats, salumi and sandwiches from escaping the butcher paper. It was a busy and confusing summer. Cajun Finns were getting marked “German Brats”, “Italian Style” and/or “Whitefish Sausage” and many other items were also (for a bit) mislabeled. So after dealing with weeks and weeks of back and forth emailing with our sticker vendor, we ordered some “just in case” green circles from Uline.
Oh the fun that has been had with these simple and amazing vessels for creativity. Let’s just say someone around the Smokehaus has been drawing Ricks (from the Adult Swim Show Rick & Morty) all over the place. We hope some of you enjoy the “LOOK MORTY I TURNED MYSELF INTO A DOOR”.
1 / A Really Fishy Photo! We took this photo of our traditional smoked salmon and we think it’s pretty neat! Mmmmm…Hold up while we break for a snack…
2 / Catering Extravaganzas 1: Sue is the owner of the Hemlock Preserve in Esko and we catered her daughters wedding last Saturday. It was crazy humid in the barn but we managed to work fast and pull through for a feast of epic proportions. Photo recap!
2: On Sunday we went to the Oldenberg House in Carlton for a wedding showcase. Food was served, food was eaten and we all had a blast! This historic building is right on the edge of Jay Cooke State Park and is lined with an abundance of rock formations, greenery and other natural goodies to take your breath away. Check them out for bed and breakfast services, special events, jazz dinners, live music, and much more. Thanks for having us!
1. We are running an Heirloom tomato and chèvre salad special with fruits from the tomato growing experts over at Hammarlund. I overheard them talking to Eric (The Owner) about the different varieties of tomatoes and the flavor differences. The green striped ones are the all around favorite, the yellow ones are fruitier + sweeter and the dark red ones are kind of like a roma, but with more flavor. We running this with honey-dressed Boucheron chèvre, a balsamic reduction, and Maldon salt flake. Stop in and try one before it’s gone!
2. We have a new side! This couscous salad is delicious and beautiful.
4 / Basement Anthems The delivery and prep department needs music to stay sane. The work they do is incredibly fast paced, super detailed, and downright chaotic. They add to this insanity by BLASTING their music at full volume with no remorse for any nearby ears. In fact, they recently upgraded their stereo system by pooling tips because the old one wasn’t loud enough. Kudos on the teamwork y’all! This week it just so happened that Propagandhi’s new album dropped and it has been on repeat ever since. I asked Jeremy for a few words about it and his response was “Can I say it’s f***ing rippin’?”
5 / Insider Tip! There were three employee wedding anniversaries this week! On the 27th, Stephen and Robin celebrated their 3 year and Woody and Kiah celebrated their 1 year. On the 28th Mary and Greg celebrated their 7 year! Many more to come, but don’t worry, we won’t post about them next year….. <3
#1 / Boot in the Barn was a success! The folks came, The cooks cooked and the staff worked really hard. We are really proud of everyone involved!
#2 / Beer in hand – Sandwich in Mouth The Cedar lounge is one of our favorites places to catch a drink and relax. Starting this week you will find ultra fancy, co-branded menus throughout the establishment! That’s right, you can order a sandwich straight to your bar stool at the Cedar Lounge. We think you’ll love the way our sandwiches taste with a cold one.
#3 / The Future Holds New… Photographs! Our creative crew (Stephen & Flo) took a trip to Mary’s (GM) house to scout locations for our new product photos. The abundance of trinkets, textures and materials was inspiring and we can’t wait to get cracking on this dream project.
#4 / Happy Mistakes Our restaurant (Northern Waters Restaurant) makes ice cream from scratch. But what do you get when you burn the base for this sweet treat? Cream Brûlée ice cream! It’s quickly becoming one of our favorite flavors, although the curry is pretty dang tasty…. Nothing like a good happy mistake!
#5 / Our Bread’s First Voyage Our BakerJerry has been cranking out loaf after loaf of his delicious rye bread for our deli and we are loving it! Although the loaves are living the good life in Canal Park I could tell they were feeling a little antsy and longed for a bigger taste of the world. Low and behold they took the grand voyage to Woodland Ave. and became a permanent addition to our restaurant’s Reuben (The Thursday and sometimes Friday special). This sandwich is truly a legend in the making and now it’s one step closer.
School’s back, winter’s coming, and it’s almost time to tuck in. We are celebrating the bounty of late summer Italian-style with a lavish dinner in a spectacular location, and you’re invited.
Northern Waters Smokehaus is hosting another Barn Dinner in Esko at the beautiful Hemlock Preserve. A private estate that plays hosts to weddings and parties every season, Hemlock includes a large barn dining room, a lavish nook-laden lounge, and views of the Saint Louis Valley.
The $75 tickets grant entrance to the historic barn, where guests will be served cocktails, beer, wine, and spritzers and then receive a 5 course meal celebrating the harvest. The menu will include local seasonal ingredients and is inspired by Italian (specifically Tuscan) cuisine, which parallels Smokehaus food in all the right ways – it celebrates simple ingredients, isn’t afraid to party a little bit, and demands technique in every step.
The meal will include campari cocktails, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks; a pasta course; fire-licked porchetta made with Berkshire pork loin and belly (a very special blend) and stuffed with sage, rosemary, and garlic; a salad course; dessert; hausmade limoncello; and coffee.
Music, as usual, will be provided – just bring yourself, relax, and celebrate the season.
We at the island of food weirdos love any excuse to get together and eat good food. Creativity has its ways of blossoming relationships and inspiring co-workers to entice both themselves and customers. Late nights lead to planning other late nights. In this case, we kept it not-so-late, but we did combine a lot of our favorite things in one place.
We are excited to invite our fellow food lovers and Smokehaus friends to our “Delivery Debut & Catering Cotillion” (for the love of alliteration) at the Red Herring Lounge.
This is your opportunity (YES!) to come and sample some bites of our slow fast food. We can’t sample our whole *brand* new catering menu, but we can sample the cult-classics and party pleasers.
What can you expect?
A showcase of our talented, creative catering and delivery crew. They’re food lovers, musicians and entertainers. Our talented Seym0ur, Ned Netzel, will set the mood as you can delight yourself with small bites and participate in our raffle that includes tons of Smokehaus $wag. Our raffle has a small price ($1 per raffle tickets) and all of the funds that are raised will be donated to the Damiano Center located in Duluth.
What kind of $wag?
Anything from our classic Rick Allen Tees that are loved by Duluthians and transplants to free All Season Platters and sandwiches.
Here’s the low-down:
When? July 7th, 2016.
Where? 208 E 1st Street
Cost? Free. $1 Raffle tickets.
We can’t wait to share our love for food with you!
Spring is here for the season and we are excited to share our winter secrets. In the deep freeze, ideas come to us as we plan how to creatively share the delights of our snacks, sandwiches and proteins. We have had years of experience with our Deli in Canal Park and our Catering Department, throwing parties in the height of summer, supplying platters for gatherings and bringing sandwiches to the hungry office workers.
On May 2nd and on, we are looking forward to supply snacks, sandwiches and platters for any occasion regardless of size.
We are saying YES!
Yes, we will deliver you a sandwich in the middle of the week.
Yes, we will deliver you groceries.
Yes, you can finally enjoy some deck-side pick-up on your way to the beach.
Are you ready?
And with this new expansion of our Catering and Delivery Department, we are happy to announce new platters, a new upcoming Catering Menu, and new specials.
Our NEW Catering Menu, will be available starting on May 2nd. So, we just wanted to tease you a little. Just like Spring.
But before Summer warms the sand and the patios, we have to honor and congratulate all of the hardworking students. So for all those years of late nights, early mornings, and sleepless weekends, we are offering a Graduation Special. This Graduation Special includes a little bit of what we are the most proud of.
A delightful party-pleaser All Season Fillet Platter, rolled-up decadent Smoked Berkshire Pork Loin, and creamy, herby Hausmade Boursin Cheese platter with a cracker basket.
Our Graduation Special can be picked up in our Canal Park Store or delivered to a home or party near you. Give us a 24 hour notice and we will create some stellar delights!
Give us a call (218) 724-7307 or place an order via email@example.com, Miss Fuhs will be delighted to help you!