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Southern cowpea, butterbean & legume greed

field peas

Here’s why you should slow down and take the back roads. You might run into a Georgia roadside stand with zipper peas, crowder peas, lady peas, and pink-eyed peas. Honey sweet peaches, silver queen corn, and greasy beans. As if that’s not enough, along comes the roadside Spring Creek dairy with fresh churned buttermilk, butter, cheese and ice cream. It’s summer in the south.

osage farms

 There’s a whole other world just down the mountain from this summer’s rainy chilly Asheville. It’s 23 minutes longer to take 441 instead of I-85 to Atlanta to visit our daughter, Rita. So says Google maps, but they’re wrong. It’s a good two hours and possibly two days/weeks/months longer because there’s so many fun things to do along the way. Roadside vegetable and dairy stands, scores of antique stores, “Goats on the Roof” (not kidding),  picnicking, and the drop-dead-gorgeous Smoky mountains.

sharing lunch

This is not a goat on the roof, but it is a goat. On the right is my nephew, the coolest little kid ever. Anyway, Rita and I ended our sweet visit on Monday by going to the DeKalb international farmer’s market in Atlanta. Holy moly, if you ever get a chance, go there. Food and people from everywhere on earth it seems. I spotted fresh chickpeas and pretty much grabbed all that were left, being as I’ve never had them before. It was the beginning of legume greed. Now I  have legume tummy, which I will spare you the details of, but it’s worth it. So here’s my official advice, if you see a shelled peas sign like this at a roadside stand …  seize the zipper. I bought 5 pints that were already shelled ($4 is a good deal), but shelling is fun if you get a chance.

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Pie Lady Class at the John C Campbell Folk School

rhubarb pie

Sometimes the stars all line up and the electromagnetic vortex of life just falls into place … for example, last week at the JC Campbell Folk school where I had the great honor to teach A WHOLE ENTIRE WEEK of pie-making to a lovely group of ladies from all over the US. (Cooking classes are usually mixed-gender, this was my first ladies class.)  In case you are not familiar with the JCC Folk school in Brasstown, it was established in 1925 as a place where “folk” could come together as a community in a non-competitive environment to learn a trade/craft/skill in the gorgeous western NC mountains.

super flaky quiche crust

And while it might seem like the task at hand for us last week was to learn the craft of the flaky pie crust (oh do get a load of the flakes these ladies produced!), that’s not the actual point. See, pie’s about bringing folks to the table. It begs to be shared, adored, savored, and enjoyed along with the conversation that takes up where the last flake of buttery crust leaves off. Now, that’s the good stuff .. the blabbing among friends and loved ones. Sort of like what the Folk School is all about.

Ladies in black rollin the dough

Just look at the deft handling of these pie crusts. These were Pillsbury pie crust ladies, for real, before last week.

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A cooking class from the magic storybook-land of Aosta

There’s a fairy tale behind the Rustic Italian Alpine cooking class I’m teaching next week…. Once upon a time (in 2007), our eldest, Annie decided to walk the 900 km Camino de Santiago from the Pyrenees in southern France to the coast of northern Spain. Alone.

They say you meet your soulmate on the Camino … so along comes Gianluca, an Italian engineer  …

and blah blah blah … before you know it, this happens …

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Vintage Portable Ovens and Girls with Axes

Last weekend, girls were weilding axes at our log cabin next door. As in “handling a weapon or tool with skill and ease.” You must do that in order to cook on a wood cookstove, and that we did at our Ladies cookin’ on a wood cookstove class.

Most of these gals had never chopped wood before, but you’d never know it. While one chopped, the rest of us cheered and before you know it, we had a big stack of cookstove-sized wood of various btu’s … red oak, white oak, and locust.

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Holiday Open House and Winter Cooking Classes

Grab an Apron and Let’s get cookin!

To Register for Classes:
Contact Barbara at logcabincooking@gmail.com
Class size limited to 8, so don’t delay!
We are located 5 miles east of Asheville in Haw Creek
Hide N’ Bake: Special  Holiday Refrigerator Cookies and Savory Crackers        Wednesday, December 7th, 6:00-9:00pm $45 
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Upcoming Cooking Classes

German Santa Breads

Stay tuned for January and February Cooking Classes

Meanwhile, head down to the Nov. 7 post for information on this December class and open house:

Wednesday, December 7th, 6:00-9:00pm $45  
Hide N’ Bake: Special  Holiday Refrigerator Cookies and Savory Crackers  

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Fall Cooking Classes

To Register for Classes:
Contact Barbara at logcabincooking@gmail.com
Class size limited to 10, so don’t delay!
We are located 5 miles east of Asheville in Haw Creek
Locally grown heirloom pumpkins
Aunt Barb’s Thanksgiving Pies    
Wednesday, November 16, 6:00-9:00 $10 Continue Reading →
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July Cooking Classes

Hey! The gardens are in full swing with all this wet and warm weather. Perfect for picking, cooking and eating. See you soon I hope!

Garden to Picnic Table                     Wednesday, July 6, 6:00-9:00 $45

Blackberry mint mojitos and crunchy pan-fried squash blossoms stuffed with garlic scape pesto and local chevre will get us up and running. Then we’ll wander into the gardens and pick our dinner fixings. Heirloom fingerling potatoes are so delicious they only need a golden roast along with optional toasty local fennel sausage. Yellow squash strips get a pistachio mint pesto stuffing, skinny green and yellow beans get tossed with sherry vinegar marinated red onions and cucumbers. And for our dessert, a gooey, drop dead gorgeous, easy blackberry chocolate dip-in cake. Continue Reading →

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Stay tuned for new spring classes!

On Monday, I’ll be posting classes for April and May. Stop back by soon and we’ll talk about how to prepare those fabulous creasy greens popping up in your yard about now.

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Log Cabin Cooking Classes

Aunt Barb’s Wednesday Night Supper Club                                  

First-ish Wednesday of the month   6-9pm  $10    

January 12  … Made-From-Scratch Soups & Herbed Flatbreads 

If you’re somewhere between 21 and 40 and didn’t get to learn to cook from family or friends, then join Auntie Barb and others like you for an informal elbow to elbow lesson in cooking basics. We’ll focus on easy to prepare seasonal, healthy dishes that are inexpensive and can serve one as well as a group. Class meets the first Wednesday of each month (or thereabouts.)
Suggestions are welcome.
Two-Layer One-Pot Comfort-food Cottage Pies
Sunday, January 16, 4-7pm   $45
This is some serious man-food that girls like too. These double-decker dishes can be baked in anything from a cast iron dutch oven in the coals of the fireplace to individual ceramic dishes that can be enjoyed now or frozen for quick, wholesome suppers on-the-go. We’ll make a chili and heirloom bean pie topped with a rustic cornbread topping, and a veggie as well as a local roasted pork and root veggie pies crowned with a variety of potato treats including crunchy swiss rosti, scalloped layered potatoes and mashed potatoes. These dishes sound heavy, but don’t worry, they’re not the way we’ll make them. Fireside supper includes hot mulled beverage, cottage pies, winter salad and a refreshing cranberry & lemoncello sorbet for dessert. Continue Reading →
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