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Category: Rappahannock County (page 1 of 14)

The Piedmont Weekend Roundup: February 26 – 28

Pouring red wine from bottle into glass with wooden wine casks on background

Fauquier County Wine Tasting & Competition at Airlie (Saturday, Warrenton). Come out and sample the wines of sixteen local vineyards and vote for your favorites in the People’s Choice Wine Competition. Delicious food pairings, prepared by the Airlie Chef, and live music. Please note that, to accommodate more visitors, this year’s wine tastings will be offered during two time periods. All tickets must be pre-purchased.

Riverside Group Show postcard-3 copy-1Art in Its Natural Habitat: An Exhibit of Paintings in a Model Home (Friday, 5-7 p.m., Charlottesville). Interior designer Robin Ellis invites you to celebrate Stony Point Design/Build as well as Charlottesville artists Helen Hillard, Chris Tucker, and Nancy Wallace.

Lighting the Creative Spark lightingthecreativespark(Thursday, Live An Artful Life Gallery, The Plains). This workshop, led by Dr. Celia Im, utilizes the power of music to ignite attendees’ creative potential. By engaging this part of ourselves, we are driven to finish that creative project, sculpt the next stage of our lives, and live in the moment.

Winemaker for a Day: Blending Seminar at Narmada Winery (Saturday, Amissville). Have you always dreamed of being a winemaker? Challenge yourself and your friends at our interactive winemaking seminar. Join our winemaker Sudha Patil and guest speaker Duane Harris for this workshop and experience the excitement of combining both the art and the science that goes into making a distinctive wine! You’ll be sampling and blending cabernet franc, malbec, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot. Once your perfect blend is bottled, teams compete, imbibe, and select the most spectacular wine of the day!

FB_Motown-768x284Motown & More: A Tribute to Motown and Soul Legends (Friday, State Theatre, Culpeper).  An ensemble of today’s most talented artists brings it all back! Vocalists Bryan Fox, Gene McBride, Jeffrey Walker and Shang (each phenomenal in their own right) come together with exquisite harmonies to recreate classics and develop new musical arrangements. Less than a year old, Motown & More has become a popular production in the Baltimore/Washington/Virginia region.

An Evening with Groucho (Sunday, Louisa Arts Center, Louisa). Award-winning actor Frank Ferrante reprises his New York and London hit in this fast-paced hilarious tour-de-force. You will swear legendary comedian Groucho Marx is alive and well and making you laugh. Accompanied by his pianist, the comedy, one-liners, and songs of Groucho Marx make for an all-ages treat!

Six Pack Songwriter Series: An Evening of Central Virginia Songwriting (Friday, The Paramount, Charlottesville). With the goal of allowing audiences to experience a mixture of our best local artists at once, each “Six Pack Songwriter Series” event features 6 artists for one evening of live and local music. This year’s  production welcomes an all-new lineup to The Paramount stage. This year’s roster includes Michael Clem, Ben Eppard, Paulo Franco, Julia Kwolyk, Anne O’Brien, and David Tewksbury, all backed by a live band.

National Theatre Live in HD Presents: “As You Like It” at the Paramount (Sunday, The Paramount, Charlottesville). Shakespeare’s glorious comedy of love and change comes to the National Theatre for the first time in over 30 years, with Rosalie Craig (London Road, Macbeth at MIF) as Rosalind.  With her father, the Duke, banished and in exile, Rosalind and her cousin Celia leave their lives in the court behind them and journey into the Forest of Arden. There, released from convention, Rosalind experiences the liberating rush of transformation. Disguising herself as a boy, she embraces a different way of living and falls spectacularly in love.

Smithsonian at Little Washington Concert Series: Haydn Piano Trios (Sunday, Theatre at Washington, Washington). Pianist Kenneth Slowik is an artistic director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society. Violinist Heather Green joined the National Symphony Orchestra in 2005, and became a member of the first violin section in 2007. Cellist James Lee made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15. These three come together for a marvelous performance.

2015 90th Gold Cup 1

photo by Doug Lees

“Virginia Steeplechasing: The History and Future of the Sport in the Piedmont” (Sunday, National Sporting Library, Middleburg). This steeplechasing panel discussion is mediated by Robert Banner, President of Great Meadow Foundation. Panelists are Dr. William Allison (Ex-MFH and President and Race Chairman of the Virginia Gold Cup Races), Dr. Alfred Griffin (Ex-MFH and Director of Racing of the Virginia Gold Cup), Will O’Keefe (Race Director of the Virginia Fall Races), and Don Yovanovich (President of the Virginia Point-to-Point). Panelists discuss the history and future of this region’s beloved steeplechasing and equine sports. The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. Also at NSLM currently are the exhibits “Side by Side with Gun and Dog” and “Line Dance: the Art of Fly Fishing.”

“Sunrise, Sunset” (Byrne Gallery, Middleburg). This weekend is the last chance to see this juried show featuring artworks inspired by sunrises and sunsets, bringing joy and warmth to the cold month of February.

“Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” at Riverside Dinner Theater (Through Mar. 13, Fredericksburg). Starring Todd Meredith as Holly, with the Buddy Holly tribute band, The Rave-Ons, this musical is the true story of the last few years of Buddy Holly’s life, spotlighting his meteoric rise to fame from the moment in 1957 when “That’ll be the Day” hit the airwaves until his tragic death on “The Day the Music Died.” Featuring many of his timeless hits, “Buddy” is a celebration of the life and times of “the young man with the glasses” that captures the unique mixture of innocence, determination, humor, and charm that was Buddy Holly and wraps it all up into a package that has become “The World’s Most Successful Rock-n-Roll Musical.”

The Incredible Egg | Recent rationing and buying local


You probably saw it across social media and the nightly news — avian flu hit the U.S.A. hard this year. While it rarely affected the small backyard flock or small farms, it permanently indented the commercial egg and chicken industry. This Spring, more than 49 million chickens and turkeys died or were euthanized in the U.S. due to Avian Influenza.  Fifteen different states across the Pacific North-West, deep into mid-west commercial farms, we severely affected.  The impact was treacherous, and now it’s beginning to hit the every day consumer.

About a month ago I saw the first article — “eggs being rationed” and “egg prices increasing due to shortage”. It’s happening, it’s for real. It’s not the end of the world and I really don’t expect the apocalypse to happen anytime soon. But if you’re an egg lover, then it’s time to listen up.

It is now cheaper to buy eggs from your local farmer or farmer’s market than it is to buy at the store. Yes, you read that right. While it may not have hit Mayberry towns just yet, it has already started in the larger cities. Eventually, and inevitably, it will trickle down. Here’s your chance to support your local market and buy directly from a trusted backyard chicken enthusiast or farmer. Most local eggs sell for $4-$5 a dozen. Here on our homestead, we sell them for $4/dozen and we do not plan to increase the value just because the commercial industry has increased their rates.

The bigger question, however, is what’s the difference between commercial eggs and pastured or free range eggs? It’s hard to understand, but I’ll explain it to you quickly and easily.

Continue reading

Breakfast for Dad — Father’s Day Weekend Recipes

I have the pickiest eating husband in the entire world. The madness never ends — one day he likes something, the next day it’s the worst thing he’s ever put in his mouth. So you can imagine how hard it is for me to choose what things to create for meals on special occasions like birthdays, our anniversary, and Father’s Day. Over the past decade of our marriage I have mastered a few recipes that he enjoys no matter what. If you have a picky Dad in your house, then these recipes will work perfectly for you this Father’s Day Weekend!


©Amy Fewell

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

1 Tbs or package yeast
½ c warm water
2 c milk
½ c butter
2 Tbs salt (unless you’re using salted butter)
1/3 c sugar
7-8 c flour



In a mixing bowl add yeast to warm water. Set aside.
Warm milk (just slightly) on stove.
Add butter, sugar, and salt to milk. Stir until somewhat dissolved or until butter is almost melted.
Add milk mixture to yeast mixture. Combine.
Add 5 cups of flour and mix well. Keep adding flour until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Dough will be slightly sticky but not too sticky where you can’t get it off of your hands.
Flour your surface and knead dough for 5 minutes. Continue to flour your surface while kneading should dough start to stick.
Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled. (I like to put in a bowl on a heating pad for faster rising)

Once dough is risen, divide dough in half and roll each half out into a ½” thick rectangle. If you’ve done it right, you’ll notice that your dough is very light and airy feeling as you roll it out.

1/3 c butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
2 tbs cinnamon

Melt butter. Mix sugars and cinnamon together in a separate bowl. Drizzle melted butter all over rolled out dough. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture over top of butter until completely coated.

Roll dough, starting from a long side. Don’t roll too tightly, but make sure it’s tight enough to keep your filling in place.

Next, take a piece of thread and cut ¾” to 1” cinnamon rolls, depending on what size you’d like. Place in a buttered pan (I use 4+ round cake or pie pans, but you could use a rectangle baking dish). Let rise for approx. 20 minutes and then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes OR until tops are hardening and start to color around edges. You do not want your cinnamon rolls brown on top. As soon as they start to turn, take them out. This keeps them extra moist. Allow to cool until warm to the touch, then add frosting while still warm.

2 Tbs soft butter
4-6 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ tbs vanilla extract
3-4 Tbs hot water

Stir together all ingredients, starting with just 4 cups of p. sugar. Add sugar gradually until just “spreadable”. Frost rolls when they are still warm but not too hot. This allows the frosting to start melting, but still keeps frosting on top of rolls.


© Amy Fewell

Quick and Easy Homemade Pancakes

1 + 1/4 cup flour
1 egg
1 + 1/4 cup milk
1/4 sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cooking oil

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.

Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients in large bowl.

Heat up a cast iron or non-stick skillet to medium heat. Melt a small pat of butter in skillet or use cooking spray. Pour pancake batter of desired sizes into skillet. Flip when golden brown. The key is to only flip the pancake once, otherwise it will become too dense.

Serve with organic maple syrup or King Syrup.


© Amy Fewell

 Spinach, Bacon, Tomato and Cheese Quiche

6 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper to taste (about 1 tsp each)
Onion and garlic powder to taste (about 2 tsp each)
1 to 1.5 cups of shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 box of spinach (10 oz, thawed and drained)*
Bacon (to taste), fried, drained and crumbled
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (again, as many as you’d like)

*You can use fresh spinach, however, you’ll need to wilt it in a skillet with some bacon drippings before adding to your quiche mixture.

Break open eggs into large bowl, mix until yolks are completely broken up and combined. Add heavy cream and seasonings, mix well. Add remaining ingredients and combine well. If you wish to  make a fancier top, you can place the tomatoes on top of the quiche instead of mixed into the quiche.

Place mixture in pan with raw pie crust (homemade or store bought) and bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

You can use this same recipe for all types of quiche. The photo above is a spinach, mushroom and cheese quiche.

I hope that some of these breakfast dishes can bring joy to your sweet Papa’s face this Father’s Day weekend!  As always, these recipes can be tailored to suit your picky eaters needs if necessary (for example, my husband hates onions, so I use onion powder instead of onions). The best dishes are the ones made with love and thought!

Have a beautiful Father’s Day weekend.


photo (4) Amy Fewell is the Advertising Manager of The Piedmont Virginian Magazine. 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.




Living the Small Farm Dream….


For Throwback Thursday this week I was looking for something to also serve as a preview for our upcoming Farm to Table themed summer issue, and I found it in the Summer 2010 issue, which contains an article written by Rose Jenkins about a course given at Airlie called “Exploring the Small Farm Dream. ” The course was developed by the New England Small Farm Institute and sponsored by the PEC and the Local Food Project at Airlie. The purpose of the course was to guide potential farmers through starting a farm or food business. One of the couples profiled was Holly and James Hammond, who, after doing an internship at Waterpenny Farm in Rappahannock County and completing the course at Airlie, started their own small farm in Culpeper County on 3 acres, raising vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers.

I chose this article because in our upcoming issue we have articles that update us on both subjects: James and Holly’s farm and business, which will be covered in an excerpt from Our Local Commons in Charlottesville, and Airlie’s continued role in the Farm to Table movement, by our regular writer, Hardie Newton.  Enjoy, and pick up the summer issue to read more!

Photo: James and Holly Hammond entering their first growing season (2010) at Whispering Hills Farm in Rapidan. “Something like this is exactly what [we’ve been] hoping for,” Holly says. Photo by Rose Jenkins

Read the Summer 2010 article here.

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Mountain Heritage Celebration this Saturday!

Rappahannock Mtn Heritage FlyerThis coming weekend!  Mark your calendars for the 4th annual mountain heritage celebration on Saturday, April 11th from 10am-4pm.  Visit Sperryville’s Thornton Gap Primitive Baptist Church and learn about the history of the mountain communities that once stood nearby. With a variety of activities planned, this is a great event for history buffs, hikers, families, and local citizens.

Members of the Dwyer, Bolen, Bowen, Pullen, RutherfordHawkinsJohnson and Bruce and many other families will be present to discuss their memories of the mountain life in Rappahannock. Archival materials, including early film footage of the area, historic maps, and church history will also be on display. Jim Lillard will share his “Mountain Memories” presentation at 1pm. The Rappahannock Historical Society also plans to present on Rappahannock County’s involvement in the Blue Ridge Heritage Project.  Enjoy live music, refreshments and conversation. Shuttles will take folks back to the Hull School and Piney Branch Trailheads, so attendees can visit and learn about the mountain settlements that once flourished in Frazier Hollow and along the Thornton and Piney Rivers.

For more information please contact Kristie Kendall at, or to register for the FREE event, please go to our event page at: note that registration is required due to off-site parking.

I hope that many of you can join for an eventful and fun day!

By Kristie Kendall

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