Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The First Couple choose their first meal in Asheville to be at Twelve Bones. Ribs, Mac & Cheese, greens, corn pudding . . . which sounds like a fine Southern meal to me. I love Twelve Bones' Blueberry Chipotle sauce on ribs, and the jalapeno cheese grits grits are to die for.

Seems President Obama liked his first visit to Twelve Bones so much that he had to take the missus there while on their honeymoon-like getaway. See the video for yourself, HERE

A second location for Twelve Bones has been opened in Ayden, down Hendersonville Rd, and is open for Sat lunch. As you can see from above, the old service station draws a crowd looking to fill up.


SANDHILLS FARM TO TABLE COOPERATIVE is a marvelous organization bringing boxes of farm fresh food weekly to members in the Southern Pines vicinity. You will enjoy their newsletters chock full of ideas and recipes for dealing with the season's bounty, written by an old newspaper buddy and excellent writer, Jan Leitschuh. To get the newsletter, email Jan HERE.


Charles Church, of Watauga River Farms, is one of my favorite farmers. He's been farming on land that butts right up to the river there in Valle Crucis since he "could drag a bucket across the fields." Ever resourceful and innovative, he gave up farming tobacco and learned to produce potatoes, beans, squash and "you name it" organically. He's also raising pigs the old fashioned way, on pasture, and produces beautiful chops and terrific sausage.

And he'll be among the ten farmers featured in this year's High Country Farm Tour by the Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture on August 7 and 8th from 2 to 6 pm. That's gorgeous country folks, and a beautiful way to spend a summer's day.

Also check out the Asheville area's Family Farm Tour sponsored by the ASAP on June 26 and 27 from 1 to 6 HERE. It's a huge tour, with over 30 farms included, in some of the most bucolic scenery in the world!


Susan Boylan of Otus Branch Farm near the gorgeous rural community of Todd, NC, shared her recipe for Rhubarb Mint Chutney for THE NEW BLUE RIDGE COOKBOOK. When we tested the recipe, we served it with grilled salmon, and it was an unusual and absolutely delicious relish. Spicy yet balanced with a bit of sweetness. Ditto with roasted pork. I must admit I had never had rhubarb unless in a pie sweetened with lots of sugar and strawberries. This chutney is marvelous!

This past weekend, Susan helped man a booth at the Watauga Farmers Market sponsored by the Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, who welcomed both me and my cookbook. An intern from Appalachian State, Kristen, made up several chutney batches and served it on top of slices of baguette from Stick Boy Bakery in Boone, and slices of Ashe County Cheese, also featured in my book. Along with samples of Apple Spice Cake, we drew a taste-ful crowd!

Here's Susan's recipe, as printed in THE NEW BLUE RIDGE COOKBOOK.


2 to 3 stalks rhubarb, finely chopped

1 small chili pepper, seeded and minced

10 to 15 leaves of mint, preferably spearmint, chopped

2 to 3 tablespoons raw or brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine rhubarb, chili pepper, and mint. Gently stir in sugar and salt.

Allow flavors to mellow for at least 2 hours, then adjust sugar and salt to taste. Can by made 1 day ahead and will last up to 3 days in the fridge.

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