The Piedmont Virginian's Blog

Serving and Celebrating America's Historic Heart

Author: Amy Fewell (page 1 of 16)

A Piedmont Snow Day—the “must haves” and “know hows”

DeathtoStock_Zach7

Most of the Piedmont is bracing for a major winter storm this coming weekend. With the forecasters predicting 10″ to 30″ of snow, there are some precautions that all Piedmonters must take before the time comes. In fact, these are things we should have prepared for before we actually “need” them. Unfortunately, many of us wait until the very last minute.

It’s inevitable—you race to the store to find bread and milk, and then when you’re snowed in, all you have are bread and milk sandwiches. Don’t be that person, think ahead! While most people are headed to the big box stores, there are some “snow day” jewels right in our back yard. And, honestly, you’ll have a better chance finding what you need at your small local businesses.

But let’s not just look for bread, milk, shovels, and boots. There’s more to be had! Our editors have compiled a list of places to find drinks & spirits, food & snacks, shovels, boots, sleds, and more. Don’t forget the family dog, or the games! And there’s even a DIY birdseed project you can do with the kids. All these things, along with a grocery check list of the most important things to buy, will help you have the best Piedmont snow day ever.

Cheers!
The Piedmont Virginian Staff

DRINKS AND SPIRITS

Catoctin Creek, “Roundstone Rye” (Purcellville, VA)
One of the only organic whiskies in the nation, this rye has a delicious woody taste, with notes of caramel, rich butter toffee, and just a hint of lemon in the nose.

Lost Rhino, “Woody Stout” (Ashburn, VA)

A bourbon-barrel aged stout, this brew has a blend of spicy chocolate, vanilla, and the toasty aroma of coffee.

Starr Hill, “Snow Blind Doppelbock Lager (Crozet, VA)
Snow Blind Doppelbock is a full-bodied winter beer with a massive caramel aroma and lightly toasted malt flavor. Sweetness dominates the front of the palate while the beer finishes clean and crisp.

Other places to visit:
Barboursville Winery
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards
DuCard Vineyards
Keswick Vineyards

 

1

FOOD AND SNACKS

The Frenchman’s Corner
Culpeper, VA
Fine chocolates and snacks.

Gearharts Fine Chocolates
Charlottesville, VA
World class chocolates in the heart of VA!

Culpeper Cheese Company
Culpeper, VA
Cheese, snacks, brews and more!

Whiffletree Farm
Warrenton, VA
Stock up on farm fresh eggs, meat, raw milk, and snacks!

Heritage Hollow Farm
Sperryville, VA
More farm fresh meats and products!

Blue Ridge Country Store
Charlottesville, VA
Soups, organic produce, and more!

Bluemont Country Store
Bluemont, VA
Flour, sugar, sandwiches, chocolates, fresh eggs, farm raised chicken…and, their special feature….old fashioned sleigh bells, if you have horses, or even just to adorn your sled!
…the list is endless!

IMG_1940

LOCAL SHOVELS, BOOTS AND SLEDS

Groves Hardware | Remington, VA
Rankins | Warrenton, VA
Warrenton Farm & Home Center | Warrenton, VA
Gilliam’s | Warrenton, VA
CK Home & Hardware (True Value) | Bealeton, VA
Gary’s ACE Hardware | Culpeper, VA
Culpeper Farm & Home Center | Culpeper, VA
Martin Hardware | Charlottesville, VA

ACE Fluvanna Hardware | Palmyra, VA
Faulconer Hardware Inc. (True Value) | Orange, VA
Crozet Hardware Company | Crozet, VA
Nichol’s Hardware Store | Purcellville, VA
Middleburg Millwork | Middleburg, VA
Morrisville Farm & Home Center | Morrisville, VA
Rappahannock Farm & Home Center | Washington, VA
Marshall Farm & Home Center | Marshall, VA

9

FOR THE KIDS (BIG AND SMALL!)

DIY Wild Birdseed Treats

Ingredients:
1 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup birdseed
Molds or cookie cutters
Parchment paper

Method:
1. Over low heat, melt coconut oil in a saucepan.
2. Add birdseed and stir until evenly coated.
3. Transfer to a new bowl and let cool until coconut oil begins to firm. You can also place it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes until it begins to firm.
4. Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface along with the molds of your choice (cookie cutters work best).
5. Place birdseed mixture into the molds, pressing firmly, and allow to set up for 5 minutes. Carefully remove them from the molds and place them back on the parchment paper.
6. Poke small holes through the molds for hanging string. Once completely set, add string and hang!

3

THE PETS (THE OTHER KIDS)

All too often, we forget about keeping our pets busy, and safe, during these big storms. Here are some tips to keep them happy and healthy this weekend.

Limit your pet’s outdoor time. Frostbite and hypothermia can set in less than 5 minutes. While some pets, especially dogs, enjoy playing in the snow, too much play and on slick ice can cause injuries for your pet (we know, it has happened to us). Please use caution when allowing your pets to play outside.  In many cases,  you may want to consider leash walking. Please keep in mind that many emergency pet clinics will be closed during this snow storm.

Dry off your pet’s body and paws to help them warm up when coming back inside from play time, and to help keep your floors clean.

Stock up on pet food now, before the storm hits. Make sure you have enough to last at least a week.

Never leave animals unattended outdoors. With below freezing temperatures, your pet should not be chained outside during this time. Collars and chains can freeze to your pet, causing trauma and injury, and unfortunately, sometimes death.

• If your animals is not attended to during play and breaks outside, only let them out in 5 minute intervals.

Pick up a few new toys and raw bones for your pet. Managing Editor Amy Fewell, says her dog Samson (pictured above) loves raw marrow bones from Cibola Farms in Culpeper, VA. It keeps him busy, and it’s healthy for him!

Never forget that your pet is important, and has needs just like you during these times. Make them as comfortable as possible when they become anxious, and try to find things to keep them calm while stuck inside during this impending storm.

Death_to_stock_home_buyer_5

THE BIG MUST HAVE LIST

You can’t avoid it, so you might as well embrace it! Here are the “must have” items to prepare for this storm.

THE BIG “PIEDMONT SNOW DAY” MUST HAVE LIST

Milk (don’t forget the creamer for coffee!)
• Coffee
• Bread (Peanut Butter and Jelly too)
• Veggies (you’ll need your energy)
• Medications
• Juice boxes
• Snacks
• Wine
• Hot Cocoa
• Tea & Sports Drinks
• Aspirin/Tylenol
• First Aid Kit
• Boots
• Shovel
• Waterproof Gloves
• Flashlights
• Kerosene heater
• Generator
• Extra blankets
• Gas for your grill (outside use only)
• Matches/Lighters
• Oil Lamps & Oil (or candles)
• Emergency contact numbers
• Extra cell charger
• Corded phone (if you have a land line)
• Inflatable Mattress (in case you have to sleep in the basement)
• Cooler for your cold food, put outside if you lose electric
• Coloring books, games, and crayons for the kids
• A “game plan” on how to get out if you get snowed in (get a notebook!)

DeathtoStock_Zach2

OTHER QUICK TIPS & SUGGESTIONS

• Check on your elderly or sick neighbors and family members. Offer to shovel their driveway, or at least make sure they are warm.

• Get the number for a local snow removal company in case you can’t do it yourself.

• If your electricity fails, place your food and milk in the snow, not just outside. If you place your food outside, it will surely freeze. But if you place it in the snow it will remain cold and  insulated from freezing temps.

•If you get hot while playing outside or clearing the driveway, make sure you keep your core warm. While you may be sweating because of strenuous activity, your body still needs to retain heat at its core to help you  pull through.

• Don’t over do it! Stay on top of the snow while it’s snowing instead of waiting to shovel after the storm has passed. Your body will thank you!

• Make sure your family has a “what if” plan. What if your electricity goes out and you don’t have a heat source? What if you’re stuck in your driveway and can’t get out? Where will you go? What will you do? Having a plan before things happen will keep your family much calmer during this time.

• Head out to the store now! Don’t wait until this evening when you get off of work. In fact, planning several days before a storm, even if it’s a miss, is important. Always being prepared ahead of time is key.

• Remember to HAVE FUN! We don’t get two feet of snow dumped on us very often here in VA, so learn to embrace it, love it, and have fun with it!

We really hope that you’ll prepare ahead of time, not just with the necessities, but with the fun and delicious things the Piedmont’s local businesses have to offer you.  Happy “Snow Day”!!

Autumn Cooking | Cinnamon Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans Recipe

I can remember my grandmother and mother making certain yummy treats beginning in September. Autumn would arrive soon, and that meant these delectable sweets would follow. As I’ve grown older, I’ve wanted to create those special memories for my little one too. But let’s face it, I love food, so I also wanted to make these recipes myself.

One of my favorites that I’ve had to perfect over the past couple of years has been candied pecans. I have tried recipe after recipe, and they just weren’t what I was looking for. This normally means I’m going to have to tweak it to what I think it needs — true cook, they say. I simple say it’s my love of butter. But also, my longing for simplicity in taste. I wanted something simple and sweet. That’s it. Doesn’t taste right?–add butter. Doesn’t look right?–add butter.

Guess what. I added butter, and now I can’t stop eating these things. Candied Pecans, that is.

Autumn reminds me of pecan pie and fried apples. And therefore, so do candied pecans. My favorite Autumn snack are these sweet little nuts, coated in sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Lots of butter.  This recipe calls for egg whites as well, and our farm duck eggs make this even more special. Once baked, they create an ooey gooey goodness that is incomparable to what you  might find at a fair or those hard, dried nuts you find in the special section at the grocery store.

I hope you enjoy this recipe — I know we certainly do!

Candied Pecans

 

Cinnamon Candied Pecans

4 tbs. butter, melted
1 large egg white
1/4 cup sugar (I use organic evaporated cane juice)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
8 ounces (about 2 cups) pre-shelled pecan halves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an entire 9×9 baking dish with aluminum foil. Pour melted butter in bottom of pan on top of foil, not allowing any of the butter to escape the foil lining.

2. In a large, separate bowl, combine egg white, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.

3. Pour pecan halves into egg white and sugar mixture, coating each halve evenly.

4. Pour the pecan mixture into the baking dish in a single layer (as much as possible).

5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, stirring mixture every 10 minutes. Allow mixture to rest once done (do not go over 30 minutes) for 10 mins. Transfer to a separate dish until completely cooled. Back in an air tight container or in goody bags to share with friends and family or as holiday gifts.

** for a kick to your pecans — add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper!

 

photo (4)Amy Fewell is the Advertising Manager of The Piedmont Virginian Magazine, as well as one of our writers and graphic designers. She resides in Rixeyville, VA along with her husband, son and loveable lab. They run a small “mini-homestead” and Amy owns her own photography business. For more information, visit their homestead website and Amy’s personal photography website.

Obsession in the Stream

43 years after first casting a bamboo fly rod, Douglas Graham is still chasing brookies in the Blue Ridge.

Text and photographs by Douglas Graham

United States - 080114: Fly fishing on the hawksbill creek in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Here is a brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), is a species of fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. It is native to Eastern North America in the United States and Canada. In many parts of its range, it is known as the speckled trout or squaretail. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior is known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters. Though commonly called a trout, the brook trout is actually a char (Salvelinus).  (Douglas Graham / Wild Light Photos)

Fly fishing on the hawksbill creek in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Here is a brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), is a species of fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. It is native to Eastern North America in the United States and Canada. In many parts of its range, it is known as the speckled trout or squaretail. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior is known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters. Though commonly called a trout, the brook trout is actually a char (Salvelinus). (Douglas Graham / Wild Light Photos)

In the fall of 1972 my grandfather loaded me up in his pickup truck and drove me from Virginia’s Tidewater region to the Blue Ridge Mountains near Luray with two split bamboo rods — and infected me with brook trout fishing on the fly. I was 12 years old.

I have not recovered from that trip in 43 years.

In the years following that fall trip so long ago, I’ve learned everything I could learn about the craft. I read every book I could find, and I learned about tying my own flies and any technique used in fly-fishing both fresh and salt water. Hundreds of books and thousands of hours on the water, it’s been a life’s pursuit and to this day a continuing education.

Somewhere in there was a career in photojournalism where I witnessed things people should never have to see. But even with that time consuming pursuit, I managed to work in fishing. It kept me grounded and sane in an otherwise insane job.

Often I’d stay an extra day after an assignment and fish the local waters. Places like the Snake River in Wyoming, where I landed my first brown trout, the Deschutes in Central Oregon for my first cutthroat, and of course when I was in Missoula, I fished the Blackfoot River.

Now retired and living slower and closer to the earth, I’ve decided there is no better fly fishing in America than what my grandfather had infected me with 40 some years ago in our backyard of the Piedmont region.

UNITED STATES - May 21: All the things needed for a day fishing for rookies in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. (Photo By Douglas Graham/WLP)

All the things needed for a day fishing for rookies in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. (Photo By Douglas Graham/WLP)

United States - 080114: Fly fishing on Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.  (Douglas Graham / Wild Light Photos)

Fly fishing on Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. (Douglas Graham / Wild Light Photos)

I’ve fished a whole year from my motorcycle, logging in my fishing journal the ebb and flow of the water, the weather, the fish I’ve caught, and the seasons of Virginia. I’ve taught my wife and daughter to fish, and even an Airedale.

My obsession is now with the “squaretails” close to home; I don’t really have any desire to travel to fish. Well, OK, I’d go to Slovenia for marble trout, but for the most part I’m content with the brookies. Our storied brook trout live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Blue Ridge Mountains. I love that I can fish mid week on almost any stream in the Shenandoah Park and have the stream all to myself.

As far as the brookie being easy to catch, well yes, some of them are because they are basically starving on our small freestone creeks. The young fish will hit anything that moves. With that said, try and catch 11- to 14-inch brookies that lurk in our waters and see how many you land in a day! The older and larger fish are tricky and very selective. Casting and catching a big brookie in the tight confines of our little streams is perhaps one of the most fulfilling moments for me as a fly fisherman.

In this photo essay, the fish itself will reveal why this is my obsession — from the landscape that this little fish lives in to the fish itself. The brook trout out of the water has bright orange fins with a white as snow under belly. The orange lower fins have a bright white leaning edge bordered by a jet black strip and its sides are green and yellow with pale blue spots surrounding a pink center dot. It’s as if the little native fish was painted by the hand of God.

The colorful fish in the water just disappears.

The brook trout is one of many things Mother Nature has done that is just a little better than perfection.  

The Rapidan River ranks #38 in Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams. In 2000, the upper Rapidan River was nominated for EPA designation as a Tier III Exceptional Waterway. The Rapidan River, flowing 88 miles (142 km) through north-central Virginia in the United States, is the largest tributary of the Rappahannock River. The two rivers converge just west of the city of Fredericksburg. The Rapidan River begins west of Doubletop Mountain seen here in Shenandoah National Park where the Mill Prong meets the Laurel Prong at Rapidan Camp, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Big Meadows. (Photo by Douglas Graham / WLP)

The Rapidan River ranks #38 in Trout Unlimited’s Guide to America’s 100 Best Trout Streams. In 2000, the upper Rapidan River was nominated for EPA designation as a Tier III Exceptional Waterway. The Rapidan River, flowing 88 miles (142 km) through north-central Virginia in the United States, is the largest tributary of the Rappahannock River. The two rivers converge just west of the city of Fredericksburg. The Rapidan River begins west of Doubletop Mountain seen here in Shenandoah National Park where the Mill Prong meets the Laurel Prong at Rapidan Camp, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Big Meadows. (Photo by Douglas Graham / WLP)

 

 The Rapidan River ranks #38 in Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams. In 2000, the upper Rapidan River was nominated for EPA designation as a Tier III Exceptional Waterway. Here Campanulaceae, Cardinal Flower blooms along the banks of the lower reaches of the Rapidan. Fly-fishing on the Rapidan River is a real challenge because of spooky and well-educated fish in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. (Photo by Douglas Graham / WLP)

The Rapidan River ranks #38 in Trout Unlimited’s Guide to America’s 100 Best Trout Streams. In 2000, the upper Rapidan River was nominated for EPA designation as a Tier III Exceptional Waterway. Here Campanulaceae, Cardinal Flower blooms along the banks of the lower reaches of the Rapidan. Fly-fishing on the Rapidan River is a real challenge because of spooky and well-educated fish in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. (Photo by Douglas Graham / WLP)

 

Dawn Graham fly fishing for native brook trout on the Hughs River in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.

Dawn Graham fly fishing for native brook trout on the Hughs River in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.

 

UNITED STATES - May 21: A brooke trout sits on a feeding station on the Hawksbill Creek in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. The brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), is a species of fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. It is native to Eastern North America in the United States and Canada. In many parts of its range, it is known as the speckled trout or squaretail. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior is known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters. Though commonly called a trout, the brook trout is actually a char (Salvelinus). (Photo By Douglas Graham/WLP)

A brooke trout sits on a feeding station on the Hawksbill Creek in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. The brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), is a species of fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. It is native to Eastern North America in the United States and Canada. In many parts of its range, it is known as the speckled trout or squaretail. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior is known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters. Though commonly called a trout, the brook trout is actually a char (Salvelinus). (Photo By Douglas Graham/WLP)

 

Fly fishing on Dry Run in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.

Fly fishing on Dry Run in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.

A Generation of Sourdough Bread

1 PV

I would tell a lie if I told you I eat a lot of bread. I actually eat very little bread. However, when I have it, and when I make it, I devour it in a heartbeat. You could say that bread is my weakness when it’s available. But it must be fresh, hot out of the oven bread.

It’s only natural that my very first job was working in a little Mennonite store in Remington, Virginia. I’ve always said that my cooking and baking skills came from that stage in life rather than from my mother or grandmother. I never got many opportunities to cook “with” my mom or grandma, or maybe I simply wasn’t interested in it at the time. But as I have grown and now have a family of my own, I often think of cooking and baking with grandma now. The sad fact is that I now cook and bake for her, instead of with her. Slow down, time….you’re taking the people we love away from us much too quickly.

A few years ago a friend of my mothers sent me a sourdough starter through the mail. I was terrified that the white powdery substance would be inspected as some chemical war of terror, but it made it safely to my mailbox in just a few short days — from North Carolina to good ol’ Virginia.

Sourdough was a brand new thing to me. I loved eating sourdough, but I never understood the complex science behind it. I’m a fermenting queen now, but back then? No way.

The history of sourdough is simple. People needed an option to preserve and make something on a regular basis. Fermentation was one of the very first ways of preserving food for our ancestors. Yes, it came long before canning.

But with something so simple, I failed. I failed miserably the first time. I even had to ask for more suspicious white powdery mailed substance so that I could start all over again — and then I failed again. Eventually I gave up because I didn’t have the time for this complex science. Recently, however, I discovered it’s not science at all, but an art.

Continue reading

Fried Green Tomatoes

3

 

When you say the name, you think one of two things — the 1991 movie, or the southern food staple. I can’t say I remember much of the movie, but I can assure you, I remember the taste of that bitterly sweet and fried goodness on a muggy Summer night. Front porches and sweet tea have never been complimented so well — and you’re not a true Piedmont food enthusiast if you’ve never eaten fried green tomatoes.

So many of our Piedmont restaurants offer this appetizing treat, but it’s the season of tomatoes, and as we do well here in the Piedmont, we like to make things ourselves when the opportunity arises. Most of our local Farmer’s Markets now offer hard green tomatoes for frying. So, even if you don’t have a garden of your own, there’s still hope for you.

There’s been an ongoing debate for the past few decades as to where fried green tomatoes actually originated. Is it even a southern food at all? Some believe that the method came from the Northeast with Jewish immigrants. While others believe that it was always a preferred way to use up unripened tomatoes before the autumn frosts hit, all across the United States.

Continue reading

Older posts

Warning: fsockopen() [function.fsockopen]: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home/content/15/9485915/html/wp-content/plugins/wp-shortstat.php on line 137

Warning: fsockopen() [function.fsockopen]: unable to connect to udp://whois.happyarts.net:8000 (php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known) in /home/content/15/9485915/html/wp-content/plugins/wp-shortstat.php on line 137

Warning: stream_set_timeout() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home/content/15/9485915/html/wp-content/plugins/wp-shortstat.php on line 138