Sage is Back in Our Gastronomy

I have my own stash of sage from last March when I sampled some of Barbara Napier‘s whipped cream biscuits and sage gravy at a cooking demo at the Arts Council’s Kentucky Crafted: The Market, but what with life and a hard 2012, I didn’t do much with it. I made one or two pans of the sublime vegetarian sage gravy, but mostly had too much cluttering up my memory to incorporate it – or anything new – into my menus.

Sage Ice Cream on Butternut Squash Cobbler

Sage Ice Cream on Butternut Squash Cobbler

Sunday night, in Avondale at the 100 Mile Dinner, however, sage came up again in Layne Lee‘s Butternut Squash Cobbler with Sage Ice Cream. I’d been really curious since reading the menu about how sage ice cream would taste. One word – OMG! It was creamy and mild, a perfect accompaniment to the Butternut Squash Cobbler. Layne Lee’s Sweet N Sinful Bakery staff outdid themselves. FIve Stars.

Monday on the way home from Avondale – we spend the night because each course of the  100 Mile Dinners is paired with spirits – we stopped in at the DeKalb Farmers Market. Bill Ronay found some Derby Sage cheese. Sampling it at supper, I vowed to pay more attention to sage. Awesome herb. Glad it is back in my life!

Ice Cream, Anyone?

For anyone who loves ice cream samples and tours, High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet any Saturday from 10am to 4pm is a treat! The Atlanta-based company produces artisan ice creams, gelato, and sorbets, collaborating with sustainable, responsible partners from chefs at 115 area restaurants to Jittery Joe’s, the Athens-based coffee micro-roasters.

High Road hit the market at full trot and has been running ever since. Their recipes are often developed as pairings to chef’s recipes, or as a “I-wonder-what”  wild combination of flavors one of them dreams up. The pace is brutal. 60 hour weeks are not uncommon. But, it IS ice cream! And who could complain making ICE CREAM????

The High Road is Hard to FindThe grouchy lady (my phone’s Navigation voice) will get you to the set of buildings, but High Road is on the row behind the buildings at the road. It’s fairly easy to find once you know that.

Jennifer greeted us as we walked in last Saturday. Lorenz was finishing up a tour, so I tasted some Amaretto Cherry Chocolate Chunk while we waited. Bill Ronay hadn’t tasted the Brown Butter Praline Ice Cream that won the 2012 Flavor of Georgia Food Products Contest, so he had a taste of the varietal of that they were offering.

A group walked in about two minutes before Lorenz came in, so Jennifer hit the freezer for more flavors. Limoncello Sorbet was tart and sweet, a lot like the Limoncello I’ve been making at home with a King & Prince Beach & Golf Resort recipe.

We all hairnetted-up and stepped back into the production area. There are a lot of rules a food producer must follow. Age-ing tanks and vat pasteurizers have to be separate from the other machines & processes.

High Road makes all its caramels, roasts all its nuts, hand squeezes all its lemons & limes, and grinds all its peanut butter. All of the add-ins are carefully created.

They produce product by the pint, by the gelato pan, and in three gallon buckets for their stores and clients. And, since it is illegal to sell hand-packed pints commercially, they have a packing line that pours 10 pints per minute.

All the ice cream, sorbet and gelato – when it is packaged – goes into a freezer that cools it harder than a rock (-30 degrees) in 30 minutes to an hour. As Lorenz says, “We make ice cream, not soup!”

The final step in the process is delivery. Decked out in a top hat and cool clothes, the delivery man makes a hit with hotel chefs and grocery store inventory personnel.

The people who work at High Road Craft Ice Cream and Sorbet are passionate about what they do and love telling their story.

You can buy pints after the tour at the packing house, online, and at high-end retailers and restaurants throughout the Southeast and Southwest.

Tour any Saturday between 10am & 4pm!

High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet

2241 Perimeter Park Dr, Suite 7

Atlanta Georgia 30341

678.701.ROAD

http://www.HighRoadCraft.com

sales@HighRoadCraft.com

Flavor of Georgia 2012 Winners Announced Today

One of my favorite events of the year, the Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest, just concluded at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta. UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and the Department of Food Science and Technology sponsor the two day event.

115 individuals and companies across the state submitted products ranging from Georgia Peach Chevre to a Hot ‘Lanta Peach Piesicle to a Rum Cake “Musketball”. I don’t know how the sponsors did it, but 26 finalists were chosen to offer samples to the judges Monday afternoon, then to legislators and support teams from the Capitol during a reception Monday evening.

Picking the winners really was a tough job. Every product was a true Georgia treat. If you make it a point to Buy Georgia Made and Serve Georgia Grown, you must seek out these makers’ creations. Your family, friends and guests will be clamoring for more! Guaranteed.

2012 CONTEST WINNERS:

Nicki scoops Brown Butter Praline Ice Cream

Overall: Brown Butter Praline Ice Cream, Nicki Schroeder, High Road Craft Ice Cream, Atlanta

BBQ & Hot Sauces: Sweet Georgia Soul Signature BBQ Sauce, Griffin Bufkin, Southern Soul BBQ (a MUST VISIT eatery), St. Simon’s Island

Confections: Byne Blueberries Dark Chocolate, Richard Byne, Byne Blueberry Farms, Waynesboro

Dairy: Brown Butter Praline Ice Cream, Nicky Schroeder, High Road Craft Ice Cream, Atlanta

Jams, Jellies & Sauces: Lauri Jo’s Muscadine Pepper Jelly, Lauri Jo Bennett, Lauri Jo’s Southern Style Canning, LLC, Norman Park

Meat Products: GeeChee Girl Foods Seafood Gumbo, Debra McFadden-Bryant, The JelSa Group Inc, Albany

Other Products: Mercier Orchards Apple Cider, Rob Kaser, Mercier Orchards, Blue Ridge

Snack Foods: Grits Bits Vidalia Onion Baked Cheese Snacks, Diane Pfeifer, Grits Bits, Atlanta.

Peoples Choice: Three Generations of Chicken Log, Cindy Fulghum, Three Generations of Georgia, Dewy Rose

“The Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest highlights new and innovative Georgia food products and businesses using Georgia agricultural commodities,” Dr. Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development says. “It is our desire that the contest helps entrepreneurs in seeking to enter the food processing industry or expand their current business, to receive publicity, and get exposure for their products. We want the interaction between food processors, brokers, retailers and others involved in the food marketing distribution channels in Georgia to see the great products these businesses and individuals have to offer.”

Breakfast Linguine – DelishGA.com, You Have a WINNER!

Breakfast Linguine looks GREAT!

I found DelishGA.com a few days ago and was amazed at all the Georgia eateries Lori Hennesy writes about. But what caught my eye – because Bill Ronay loves pasta more than any person I ever knew – was her DIY Breakfast Linguine post.

Take a look – linguine, Dixie GA’s Thomson Farms Smokehouse (today’s porkmeister of choice) bacon, eggs, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese! Tell me what could taste better? According to Bill Ronay, it was beyond delish… scrumptious, awesome, good enough to eat at lunch & dinner TODAY!

Breakfast Linguine + Lori's Recipe

Buy Georgia Made, Serve Georgia Grown!

GMGG icons

Georgia Made Georgia Grown Category Icons

Georgia Made Georgia Grown LLC is getting it together and on the verge of rolling out its programming. Within the next couple weeks, our beautiful new website will be functional, and we’ll have the information available for both potential members AND buyers of Georgia Made Georgia Grown products.

In the meantime, get more familiar with our Twitter and Facebook presences. Bookmark them, and check back every time you get on your social media sites.

These buttons are our category icons. You’ve probably already seen them down our Facebook  and Twitter pages down the left column.

The big red georgia home button is the easiest to recognize. And our eight channels – Communities, Festivals, Food & Wine, Family Farms, Arts, Shops & Galleries, Hospitality and Entertainment – are the creative businesses’ homebases. You can click on any of them on Facebook, and hop to those specific topics. Be sure to “Like” them and copy them to your profile and pages as “Favorites”.

On Twitter, to follow the categories, simply go to each of the URLs, and click to “follow” them:

Home: http://twitter.com/GAMadeGAGrown

Communities: http://twitter.com/thriveGMGG

Festivals: http://twitter.com/festsGMGG

Food & Wine: http://twitter.com/eatGMGG

Family Farms: http://twitter.com/farmsGMGG

Arts: http://twitter.com/artsGMGG

Shops & Galleries: http://twitter.com/buyGMGG

Hospitality: http://twitter.com/stayGMGG

Entertainment: http://twitter.com/performGMGG

Check back to your favorite pages often. We update – and you can add your happenings and successes, too – frequently. You’ll read and see videos about the industry, products and solutions to life’s issues. Be entertained and informed!

Savannah Bee Company Entry Wins Flavor of Georgia Food Products Contest

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and hometown boys Jamie and Bobby Dean present Savannah Bee Company with the Grand Prize at the Flavor of Georgia Food Products Contest at the Atlanta Freight Depot. Savannah Bee’s Grill Honey w/No-Drip Pump was a favorite of the 18 lucky judges who tasted and assessed entries in seven categories Monday afternoon.

Winners were announced at the National Agriculture Week Kick-off program to an audience of hundreds of 4-H’ers and other invited guests Tuesday about 1pm. Fort Valley’s Lane’s Southern Orchards’ Fresh Peach Bread won the Confections category. Villa Rica’s CalyRoad Creamery’s Clouds of CalyRoad Camembert took first in Dairy Products.  Darien’s Olive Affairs Gourmet Olive Tapenade celebrated its win in Jams, Jellies & Sauces. You Struck Gold from Goodness Gracious! Granola in Lawrenceville won Snack Foods. Blue Marlin American Shrimp from Savannah was best in Meat Products; and, Organic Vidalia Onion Tomato Basil Dressing from Lyons’ Vidalia Valley aced the Other Products category.

UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and the Department of Food Science and Technology join Governor Sonny Perdue’s Agricultural Advisory Commission and the Georgia Agribusiness Council sponsored the 2010 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest.

Creative entrepreneurs from across the Georgia entered over 75 products. 25 Finalists were chosen to participate in judging by a panel of food industry experts. The Contest traditionally helps entrepreneurs expand their businesses by exposing their products to processors, brokers, retailers and others who can offer advice, networking, and, occasionally, contracts.

Grits were GREAT this Morning!

I promise you will NOT be overburdened with recipes from me, but I am compelled to share today’s grits. I cook for just two usually, so judge for yourself how much of the ingredients to use for your eaters…

Have on hand sausage, chicken stock, grits, a dab of butter, onion salt, cream cheese and pepper jack cheese.

Brown some sausage.

Cook the grits in chicken stock brought to a boil with a little bit of butter and onion salt. (If you have caraway seeds, go ahead and sprinkle some  in the chicken stock when you start heating it up. I didn’t do that, but I did eat my grits with seeded rye bread, and I’ll bet the seeds would be delish built into the grits.)

Mix in the sausage, some cream cheese (I use the one of the ounce packages you get at Sam’s Club in a big sack) and a sliver or two of pepper jack cheese.

Divide it into individual bowls. Allow a big portion for Elijah (someone who comes unexpectedly, seconds, or leftovers to put into your next roast vegetables).

The finest grits I’ve ever tasted are at breakfast chamber meetings in Monticello. Rachel Torrance, the Volunteer Coordinator in Jasper County, is renown for THE best grits, probably in the universe. But if you can’t have her grits, try some made with this set of ingredients. They aren’t bad!