Heritage Harvest Festival 11.3.07

November 3, 2007
Vintage Virginia Apples – Rural Ridge Farm
Heritage Harvest Festival
10 AM

The cars are already streaming in when I arrive; the Ruritans are stirring three large kettles of Brunswick Stew, cider sales are already brisk and of course will sell through the 330 plus gallons pressed earlier this week. In addition to apple products, a number of vendors have been invited to sell everything from fresh vegetables to honey to plants to handwoven baskets. I walk up and back to examine the offerings and to say hello to folks I know.

Gail and Daniel from Caromont Farm have rented a 3 X 6 grill and are already serving lunch of local spare ribs glazed in cider and grilled flatbread with chevre and stewed apples. Later Gail speaks of her surprise at how many people did not know the meaning of chevre; when she divulged that it means fresh goat cheese, and specifically the fresh goat cheese that she produces, many of them asked if they could have the flatbread crepe without the chevre.

My task is sandwich making for the family and volunteers; I have selected sandwich bread from Breadworks with sliced turkey, rosemary ham, aged gouda and local apples and lettuce. I also picked up some chocolate covered espresso beans, or ‘magic beans’, as I have heard them called at other festivals. Compared with sandwich production I have overseen in the past, this one is effortless, and (thanks to assistant Laura Shelton) complete before it gets tedious. She has been assigned as my ‘step and fetchit’ for today, and I keep her busy retrieving cheese knives, cutting boards, and iced tea dispensers.

My next task is picking up the entrée items from Mona Lisa pasta; the selections include spinach and meat lasagnas, eggplant parmesan, and chicken marsala. Jim Winecoff went over last year’s menu with me, and I made a few modifications to reflect the changes that I wanted to impress on the gathering. For instance, last year the wines were Italian, purchased through Mona Lisa; this year I have bought a mixed case from Gabriele Rausse Winery and look forward to pouring it for the family. As it turns out, the old-fashioned apple crusher and press that we used on cider day came from the Rausses, so even Bud Shelton knows them. I have arranged to serve a huge all-local salad (served out of my Wooden Salad Bowl of Plenty) composed primarily of Roundabout greens and some head lettuce from Randy’s; I use macerated slivered red onion and marinate local cherry tomatoes and the last of the summer squash to form a dressing of marinated vegetables. As appetizer, I cobble together some local cheeses, concord grapes and apples along with some prepared spreads from Mona Lisa and bread from ABC.

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~ by a local notion on November 26, 2007.

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