After a long, but successful campaign, it is so nice to get back into the kitchen.
As most of you know, I won my election for Canton City Council in Ward 2 with nearly 65 percent of the vote. While the drudgery of campaigning is not my favorite thing, I look forward to the challenging and meaningful work ahead, and I have a strong appetite for helping move my small town forward.
The other two seats are in a runoff, so I am thankful to be done – for now. I officially begin serving the citizens of Canton on Jan. 2, so stay tuned. I could not have achieved this milestone without the love and support of my campaign committee, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and a lot of new supporters from across the city. Thank you all for believing in me, and I promise to work hard to exceed your expectations.
Just as one “campaign” is complete, it appears another one is now under way. This time it is a movement to help save one of my favorite local purveyors of farm fresh produce and local suppliers of meat, cheese and a variety of sustainable ingredients.
Cherokee Market Farm Fresh Produce is located on Highway 20 at the corner of Union Hill Road. The owner, Lisa Meyer, has worked diligently over the past few years to bring farm to table produce and fresh foods to our community.
Her market is located in the historic Bell’s Store, one of the Buffington community’s greatest historic assets. Recently, a developer from Macon has expressed interest in buying the property to develop a Flash Foods convenience store and gas station. It would be tragic to replace a local and sustainable produce business with a haven of processed foods, beer, cigarettes, gas and video poker machines.
The community seems to be rallying around Lisa and Cherokee Market, but we need all the help we can get. An online petition was created just a week or so ago, and it already has over 700 signatures.
In addition to the historic building, Cherokee Market is also home to one of the best barbecue food trucks in the South, Scott Boys BBQ, so a lot is at stake in this battle. If you live in the area, please join the movement to preserve our history and save our most accessible sustainable food provider.
Needless to say, I have been very busy trying to catch up at the office and fighting irresponsible growth, so it was nice to slow down this weekend. I spent most of Saturday catching up on my favorite PBS cooking shows. It had been months since I’ve had a chance to watch them, so it was a true gift in the form of downtime.
I am beginning to plan my favorite meal of the year, Thanksgiving, and it was nice to get some new ideas. With the rainy weather today, I decided to cook a steaming pot of old-fashioned beef stew.
Earlier today, we went to Cherokee Market to have lunch at Scott Boys BBQ and to buy all of the produce. I was delighted to find some baby Vidalia onion bulbs and heirloom multicolor carrots for the stew, along with some of their fresh jalapeño cheddar bread to serve on the side.
To go with the hearty stew, I made some delicious cream cheese mashed potatoes on the side, and it was a great combination. For dessert, I made one of the Pioneer Woman’s recipes from her show on Saturday: individual cherry almond crisps. All in all, it was a much welcomed and needed return of Sunday Supper.
The Menu: ● Old Fashioned Hearty Beef Stew
● Cream Cheese and Chive Mashed Potatoes
● Cherry Almond Crisps ala Mode
Adapted from Ree Drummond’s Cherry Almond Crisp
CHERRY ALMOND CRISPS
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash nutmeg (fresh ground is best)
1 1/2 sticks cold butter
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Four 12-ounce bags frozen cherries
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. For crumb mixture, combine flour, brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add the cold butter in small pieces to the bowl and use a fork or pastry blender to cut it into the flour mixture to resemble a coarse meal. Add the slivered almonds and combine. Place the frozen cherries in a bowl, add the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, cornstarch and almond extract and gently stir to combine. Make sure all cherries are well coated. Divide the cherries between 8 ramekins (about 1/2 cup each) and top with the crumb mixture. Bake until the topping is crisp and golden brown, about 45 minutes. If the topping appears underdone, continue baking in 10 minute increments. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.