Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Friends of Food Dinner

On Monday night, we got quite a treat. Our friend Annie invited us to be her guests at the "Friends of Food" dinner. Annie does awesome work for and the Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia. The Collaborative hosted the dinner. After school we took care of animals, got ourselves cleaned up, and headed over the hills to Bridgeport, WV. 

We met up with Annie and her "Farmer Jon" at the Bridgeport Conference Center. Then we got down to business: drinking wine, eating food, and meeting local-food enthusiasts. The dinner consisted of five courses, all paired with wines. Most of the food, and all of the protein was locally-sourced from WV farmers. The courses were prepared by regional chefs and culinary students. 

We started with Appalachian Antipasto prepared by Chef Dale Hawkins of Fish Hawk Acres. It included potatoes, beans, olives, squash, beets, cherry tomatoes, and cheeses from Green Glades Creamery.  It was hard to resist the urge to eat multiple plates of all these goodies, but we knew there was more to come. 

The first course was the most adventurous, at least for me. It was a Local Pork Headcheese Terrine, with greens from Preston County and a mustard vinaigrette. Basically it was little chunks of pork in gelatin which gets made into a loaf and then sliced. Much to my dismay, there is no cheese involved. I ate mine, but told Chef Brian Wallace later on, that I really didn't need his very detailed description of all the ingredients. 

Next came my favorite course. Chef Heath Finnell prepared Yucatan Chicken and Lime Soup. Our whole table raved about it, and I'm sure I'm not the only that could have had a second bowl. Chef Finnell's wife, Judy, was so friendly and excited about local foods. Farmer John and I look forward to visiting Cafe Bacchus next time we're in Morgantown. 

The chef from Bridgeport Conference Center, Tim Goots, prepared the main course- "Duck Duck Goose". It included Pan Roasted Breast of Duck and Leg Confit, Pumpkin Whipped Potato and Brussels Sprouts. This was the first time I'd ever eaten duck, I enjoyed it, but gave a couple pieces to Farmer John. The veggies were fantastic, especially the potatoes.

Then, although I couldn't believe there was even more food, it was time for dessert. Chef Jay Mahoney and students from the Pierpont Culinary Academy put together a sweet spread! We mingled, ate lots of different desserts, passed out a few of our cards, and of course drank more wine. 

Thank you so much Annie and Jon for including us in this deliciously fun night. But, more than that, thank you for all the work you do for the Collaborative and local foods in West Virginia. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Market Day

We are loving the Wetzel County Farmer's Market. This past Thursday was the third week of market, and it was another success. All the producers had lots of customers, and just about everyone sold out of their products. 

We sold out pretty quickly, because we didn't take any beef. (We will have more to sell this week.) That left us some time to visit with customers and other producers. It has been a real treat to get to know the fellow farmers that come to the market. 

Plus, the Bubble Man was there! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bathroom floor

Our cabin project has had several starts and stops this summer. Farmer John worked to dig out a form for it, then we went on vacation and a big storm slowed everything down. Next he got all the plumbing ready that would run in and under the cement floor. The plan is that these lines will be in the cement and less likely to freeze in the winter. 

Then, several weeks ago, Farmer John and "Uncle John" poured the floor for the cabin bathroom.

Farmer John started by filling in the form with some soil, big rocks, and some gravel left over from another project. He cut some concrete wire mesh to fit inside the form, and that went on top of the gravel. 

We borrowed a friend's concrete mixer, and "Uncle John" manned it. He would dump a bag of Quickcrete in the mixer and add some water. Then mix it up for a few minutes. 

The mixed cement got dumped into a big wheelbarrow. 

And Farmer John would pour it into the form. 

When the form was mostly full, they spread out the cement with hoes. Because in addition to weeding, hoes are perfect for all kinds of other jobs. 

Next they leveled out the cement by shimmying this board back and forth. At that point it really started to look like a floor. 

The final tools they used were a trowel and float. I was busy hanging out in the air conditioning doing important farm-work, and didn't get a photo of the tools in use. But this was the final product. Oh, so smooth and shiny!

We couldn't find a current penny, so Farmer John signed his work. 

And Beast Lite promptly walked all over it! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tractor Boys

These are our nephews. They came for a visit recently and got a tractor ride. 
You can tell Nathan loves it because he's giving you his "cool" face. 
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