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“A yummy experience”
Review of Bygone Basics

Bygone Basics
Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Montague
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Go back to simpler times. A true Farm-to Table Immersion! Experience for yourself the culinary heritage skills of your choosing. Enjoy hearty food and beverages of an heirloom cuisine, while hands-on experiencing soap making, bread making, home canning, making jams and jellies, pies. Learn how these skills were made using old tools and seeing how today's tools can cut your effort to a serious minimum. Gather eggs or harvest your produce in the gardens if you wish. Or choose to let us take care of that (and leave the kitchen clean-up to us!) This is all undertaken in a 143 year old home that harkens back to old-style farmhouse living. An absolutely fabulous experience while gaining skills you will use to reduce food costs, ensure the safety of your foods, and re-live a piece of heritage that is fast becoming lost. Also a heritage recipe bakery. Here, you can order your grandma's peach pie...and get it! Complete with a "pantry" for purchase of baked goods, jams/jellies, heritage soaps and candles. An on-site Bed & Breakfast is available for your convenience as well: Amanda's Bequest - A heritage immersion farm-stay B & B (with all the comforts you seek!).
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Reviewed March 10, 2012

My mom and I had a wonderful time learning how to can tomatoes and make jam. Valerie made all instructions very simple to follow and we had fun doing something new. Being able to try our fresh jam over a homemade lunch was an added bonus. Thanks for the memories!

Thank Joanna K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hansonv, Owner at Bygone Basics, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2012

Thank you for your kind words. We fully enjoyed the time you spent with us. Next birthday, you can stay here! ;)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 9, 2011

I wasnt quite sure what to expect when our group of 4 got there, but i was pleasantly surprised! We spent several hours making pie from scratch, and activity i've never attempted to do before. It was a great time to say the least. Valerie was a great host, and filled the time with great anectodes and a delightfull sense of humor. If your looking for a unique experience, and a chance to learn some long forgotten traditions, this is really fun and enjoyable experience. What better way to spend a chilly evening in Michigan!

Thank Scott R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hansonv, Owner at Bygone Basics, responded to this reviewResponded December 12, 2011

Thank you for the review. We really enjoy each and every guest at Bygone Basics. Your Apple Pie Experience, all of you, were such fun for us too. Thank you for choosing to visit us on a December evening and bringing with you such humor and willingness to immerse yourselves in heirloom traditions....and FOOD. :)

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Reviewed June 17, 2011

Valerie was very organized and gracious as she walked us through the step-by-step canning process. It was very "hands-on" and her assistants did a great job cleaning up as we went along (even mixing up some Bloody Marys to taste with some already pickled asparagus).

Thank SallySchwartz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2011

For Christmas, my dad signed my mom, my sisters, and I up for a pie making and canning class. It was one of the best Christmas presents ever! Everyone there was extremely accommodating and it was just the four of us there for the lesson. We made four pies from scratch (one for each of us). Everything was explained to us and we were able to do it on our own. I'm not one to cook, and I absolutely loved making the pies! We also canned venison while we were there. That was also a lot of fun. We were able to drink wine and socialize all day while making pies and canning venison. We learned a lot and all of the food that we made was INCREDIBLE!! It was an experience as well as a lesson. I highly recommend it!

Thank twinkletoez026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 27, 2010

Our instructor/hostess was the most pleasant, lovely person you would ever want to meet. She greeted us in her front yard and invited us into her home,introducing us to her equally engaging daughter who was to be her helper for our experience. We learned canning, including all the details of using a pressure cooker, which I had never used before. We made preserves using a water bath. It was interesting to learn the differences between the two and when this should be used instead of the pressure cooker. We made a pie from scratch, which I think might possibly be the BEST THING I HAVE EVER EATEN IN MY 53 YEAR LIFE! We also made soap, which I always suspected to be a truly complicated process, but Valerie made it very simple.

As our pies were finishing baking and the canned tomatoes and peach preserves were cooling, Valerie treated us to a lovely spread on her back deck. She served cinnamon scones, cornbread and zuccinni bread--all homemade and served with her HOMEMADE BUTTER! Fresh strawberries, frozen grapes and cheese rounded out the table, served with a stem of a local cherry wine.

I cannot recommend this experience highly enough. It was an eye-opener for me, extremely educational, and as Valerie provided written recipes and detailed directions, I know I will be able to replicate these recipes and apply what I learned to other fruits/vegetables, and, of course, PIES!!! I will even make soap--what a great gift item for the holidays! We left her house laden with the "fruit" of our labors!

I think the skills learned here would be of interest to anyone who loves to putter in the kitchen or who fancies themselves a cook; extremely helpful to anyone wanting to stretch their grocery dollars; and very useful to anyone who keeps a kitchen garden so that they might make full use of all their bounty! It would be an excellent family experience, fun for older children, or a great activity for sisters or girlfriends to share.

Plan to spend a few hours, and do attempt more than one "class". Valerie is quite adept at beginning a new project while waiting for the dough to cool or the pressure cooker to reach the desired temperature, without ANY confusion for her students. Take full advantage of your visit!

WELL DONE, VALERIE!!! I LOVED IT ALL!!!!

Thank audrey1134
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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