Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Quick Notes

Spring's Here!!!!  YAY!!!!

'Cuz I was getting really tired of seeing this

and this

which were the respective views from the front and back of my new home.

Now that the weather is (mostly) nice, I'm in the process of reclaiming an old, weathered, but still sturdy and dry, wooden shed that's on the property for the storage of my gardening gear.  The metal shed beside my trailer will hold household and kitchen gear and my chest freezer.  I'm kind of under the gun to get this all done because my ex has put our house on the market and I'll soon lose the storage in the garage.

I'm also waiting for the deed to my new home to be transferred into my name so work can begin on rehabbing the trailer into a more home-like structure.  Currently it looks like this

but I'm hoping to make it look more like this
My friend Phillip is coming to bush hog the field soon.  The multiflora rose has crossed the stream in places and must be tamed now.  Then I hope to be able to maintain it with my little Barbie lawn tractor.  I looked a couple of days ago along the stream and the watercress is greening up nicely and shoots of the native yellow iris are poking up. Hopefully Julius will arrive to turn the gardens for me.  They've both run wild and need to be brought back into the fold.

And the hens are laying.

In between all this I'm getting ready for the Floyd Farmers Market which opens May 16.  Since I'm offering more than preserves I've had a name change to Rebecca's Pantry.  I think it's more descriptive of what I'm offering to grace your tables.

Although I've had requests for classes, I need to put them on hold for a little longer.  But keep an eye out.  I've been negotiating with the Jacksonville Center to teach a class on fermentation and other techniques that don't require a stove.  The JAX doesn't have a range and would love to receive the donation of a sturdy kitchen stove (new or used) for cooking classes for their new Maker Series (hint, hint)!

So that's what's happening at the moment.  Not entirely out of limbo yet but I can see the exit ramp up ahead.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Marketing Floyd: Farmers Market Products Have Their Own Page

I've been getting requests for a list of the products I sell at market to be published on Eating Floyd.  I've started a new page with that list but think of it as a work in progress.  Just click on the Rebecca Preserves tab at the top of the page.  More photos coming, a price list, and eventually contact information for placing orders and buying direct when market season is over.  Thanks everyone, for your patronage, input and enthusiasm!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fermenting Floyd: A Peach Basket Full of Pickles

Bess and KC of Kester Clark Farm are my stall neighbors at the Floyd Farmers Market.  They had a flood of pickling cucumbers this year and just couldn't unload them all.  I became the lucky recipient of a peach basket chock full of these goodies and the dilemma of preserving them.  I was looking for fast and simple so I decided to try my hand at making crock pickles.

If you're from the Northeast and a member of my generation or older you may remember being able to buy a giant pickle pulled from a jar or crock that sat on the counter of your local deli or butcher shop.  Where I lived these were known as crock pickles or kosher dills.  If you lived in or near one of the big cities, especially the NYC area you might have known them as sours or half-sours.

Guided by Sandor Katz, I decided to make half-sours.  Most of my ferments are done in quart or two quart ball jars but for this I needed a much larger container.  Luckily I had picked up a 3 gallon jar at a yard sale.  You could also use a food grade plastic bucket which can often be obtained from a friendly local restaurant.  Or an actual crock if you're lucky enough to have one.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Preserving Floyd: Home Food Preservation & Culinary Arts Center is Gearing Back Up!

Preservation classes return starting April 12th at a new location in Floyd.  Click on the Home Food Preservation and Culinary Arts Center tab above for more information!

Eating Floyd: Coming Back

In the middle of last summer life as I knew and loved it ended.  As Amy Roloff says, "It came out of nowhere...and it feels like death."

But in the midst of such emotional devastation, love and support appears from the most unexpected places and people and I am so grateful to everyone who have and are helping me stand up and move on.
I wasn't totally curled up in a whimpering ball.  At least not all the time.  I had to scramble to get some income.  When you're 57 and have been out of the traditional work force for some time getting hired for any kind of job is pretty impossible.  I use to tell the boys that if they had kitchen skills they could always find work anywhere that would hold them over.  Little did I know how that would work out for me.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eating Floyd: Wow! All I hear are crickets!

Nope, I haven't disappeared, just working through a major life reorganization! The holidays are approaching so there will be gifts to be made and new dishes to try out for the upcoming feasts.  In the meantime, I think there will be Halloween cookies and candied apples showing up soon!

courtesy Country Living

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Preserving Floyd: Pressure Canning Meat Class 9/14

I'm ironically following up the last post with an invitation for you to join me this Saturday, September 14 2013 for

Pressure Canning Meats

How do you guard against losing that freezer full of meat when the electricity goes out?
Want to have meat ready to add to other ingredients for quick meals?
How can you take advantage of meats on sale at great prices?
Pressure can it!
Learn how to safely preserve your meats in a shelf stable jar. Pressure canning can be used to preserve game, domestic meats, poultry and fowl, and fish. Ground meat, cubes and meat strip techniques will be covered.

Class is hands-on. Students will take home a jar of canned meat. Please wear comfortable closed toe shoes. An apron is suggested but optional. Class size is limited so please register early.
Date: Saturday, September 14
Location: Farm Bureau, 335 E. Oxford St., Floyd, VA 24091
Time: 1:00 pm-6:00 pm
Fee: $25 in advance, $30 at the door, space providing.
To register contact: Rebecca Shannon at 540-745-8514 or hfpcac at swva.net. Please make checks payable to Rebecca Shannon. Payment may be mailed to 153 Gracie Lane NW, Floyd, VA, 24091
Please remember, the only reservation is a paid reservation.