rebecca’s pantry

As fruits and vegetables come into season Rebecca puts up award-winning products for your table.  Nothing plain-old here, Rebecca explores interesting combinations of herbs and spices to enhance and showcase the local produce.  Get it while you can, Rebecca preserves only in small batches and in season!

See below for her list of preserves, vinegars, finishing salts, spices, and baked goods.

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Sweet Preserves, Syrups, and Pickles

Apple Pie Filling – available in two styles: Classic American with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and French-Style spiced with the traditional Quatre Epices spice blend.

Apple Cider Syrup – A New England tradition moved to the Appalachians. Local cider is slowly evaporated into a concentrated sweet and tangy syrup.  Use as you would maple syrup but also try it to glaze meats and vegetables.  Stir a few tablespoons into a glass of iced seltzer water for a refreshing soda or into hot water for a warming appley tea.

Blueberry Pie Filling – Nothing but blueberries enhanced with cane sugar enveloped in their own thickened juices.

Blueberry Lime Jam – crushed blueberries with lime juice and zest, lightly sweetened.

Blueberry Butter – crushed blueberries slow cooked until their natural sweetness and flavor is concentrated and the puree is thick enough to stand on a spoon, then lightly sweetened with a bare minimum of cane sugar and spiced with ginger.

Dark Cherry Pie Filling – sweet dark cherries are hand pitted, poached and then swathed in their own thickened juices spiked with vanilla bean caviar.

Black Forest Cherry Preserves – whole hand pitted cherries are poached in a chocolate simple syrup enhanced with almond essence.

Red Currant Jelly – sparkling clear ruby red jelly is a sweet-tart treat.

Red Currant Raspberry Jelly – beautifully clear red jelly is tart-sweet with raspberry floral notes.

Seedless Black Currant Jam – Smoky, musky deep purple jam from an updated Victorian era recipe

Whole Strawberries with Vanilla Bean – Vanilla beans are steeped in a simple syrup which is then used to lightly poach whole strawberries, then the berries are brightened with a hint of lemon stirred in.

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Syrup – There’s always lots of flavorful syrup leftover after packing the preserves and it doesn’t go to waste!  Use as you would maple syrup but also in vinaigrettes, fruit salads, to make sodas and shaved ices and more!

Peach Butter – Sweet peaches roasted until tender then pureed and slowly reduced with cinnamon and vanilla bean.  When it’s thick enough to stand up in a spoon it’s tasted and sweetened with a bit of sugar to balance the acidity.

Peach Salsa – Golden ripe peaches, spicy Serrano peppers, sweet red bell peppers, cilantro, vinegar and zesty lime combine in this bright relish that will light up everything from corn chips to grilled chicken to fish tacos!

Bread & Butter Pickles – you’ve never tasted sweet pickles as good as these! Paper thin slices of  crunchy cucumber, onion and green bell pepper are brought to a simmer in a sweet spicy syrup then packed and processed as quickly as possible to retain the crunch.  Also great chopped up for relish or to mix with mayo for tartar sauce.

Garlic Dill Pickles – fresh garlic and lots of dill seed combined with the crunchiest pickling cucumbers make a treat reminiscent of old-timey barrel pickles.

Pickled Asparagus – save them for the holidays if you can! Tender crispy spears of asparagus bound with a lemon zest strip and a garlic scape marinate in the jar with garlic, a hot pepper, and a mix of whole spices. These will bring elegance to your relish plates!

Sweet Basil Beans – A classic sweet pickle with a twist – Basil flavors these sweet/tart green beans.

Szechuan Beans – Pickled green beans with an Asian flavor profile: Szechuan peppercorns, soy sauce, sesame seeds and garlic infuse these beans with bold flavor.  Slip inside summer rolls or dice and add to stuffings for lettuce wraps.  Or just enjoy straight from the jar.

Vinegars – Small batch vinegars fermented from local, domestic & imported wines and syrups using the New Orleans method, then steeped with locally grown & exotic fruits, herbs, and spices.  A Slow Food Ark of Taste product.  Choose from:

Red Wine (Mature)   and   Red Wine (Yearling)

Tuscan (Mature) – The above vinegar infused with homegrown basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, chives and garlic

White Wine (Mature)   and   White Wine (Yearling)

Highland Maple – Maple syrup from the Virginia Highlands bolstered with a little rum and fermented into a smoky, tangy-sweet vinegar.  Makes a good substitute for Balsamic vinegar.

Cranberry-Cinnamon – White wine steeped with crushed fresh cranberries and cinnamon sticks.  Extremely strong and tart.  Make it go further by cutting with a little water and a touch of the sweetener of your choice to reach your preferred balance of strength and tart.  Great for the holidays but also adds a wonderful bright note to summer’s fruit salads.

Finishing Salts – Kosher salt flavored with homegrown and locally sourced fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices as well as more exotic imports. Choose from:

Basil – Sprinkle on thick, fresh, warm from the garden tomato slices. Done.

Mediterranean Blend – Oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley and garlic

Joe’s Hot Round – Italian heirloom pepper (Joe’s Hot Round/Amazzo) homegrown and fermented into a roarin’ hot sauce, mixed liberally with kosher salt, dried and ground.

Hickory Smoked – Kosher salt hot smoked with hickory wood

Roasted Garlic Rosemary – Whole heads of garlic and sprigs of rosemary roasted until creamy and caramelized, then stirred into salt and dehydrated.

Asian Blend – Fresh red chilis, garlic, lemongrass, Thai basil, and cilantro pulverized with kosher salt then dehydrated.

Quebec Blend – Based on the traditional Quebec Salted Herbs or Herbs Salee, this is a blend of carrot, green onions, and celery leaves along with fresh chives, savoury, parsley, and chervil.  After a light salt cure the blend is dehydrated.

Lime –  Okay, definitely for rimming a Margarita glass or tossing back shots ofPatrón tequila, but oh what it does for fresh summer veggies.  Think a roasted ear of sweet corn, butter and a sprinkle of lime salt.

Spices – Homegrown, homemade spices

Roasted Ancho Chili Powder – Locally grown poblano chilis allowed to ripen to deep sweet Ancho red.  Picked at the moment of perfect ripeness, smoked, then dehydrated so all that flavor concentrates.

Sweet Paprika – Wow!  It’s not just a tasteless garnish for deviled eggs!  Heirloom Alma paprika peppers come to full ripeness on the plant.  Roasted, dehydrated, then powdered, this rich sweet flavor lets you know why Paprikash is a Hungarian cultural jewel!

Smoked Sweet Paprika – Taken just a step further before dehydration, smoking the peppers gives the paprika an added depth and dimension.

Tomato Powder – Think of all the ingredients you like in your homemade pasta sauce, slow roasted and reduced into paste, dehydrated, and then ground into a seasoning.  Boost the flavor of your soups, gravies and stews, add it to flour to make noodles, toss it with crumbs for breading, shake it into vinaigrettes, heck – sprinkle it on those deviled eggs!

Whole Coriander – After the cilantro flowers it goes to seed – coriander!  Used in pickling, Indian and Asian foods, baked goods, nothing store-bought rivals local coriander seeds gathered when ripened and cured for winter storage.  Store the whole seed and toast and grind just before using to unleash the maximum amount of flavor and fragrance.

Dehydrated Foods – Concentrated flavors in a shelf-stable form

Fruit Leather Rolls – Fruits singly and in complimentary blends, sometimes spiced, sweetened only when necessary to balance acidity and then only with a local sweetener: honey, sorghum, maple or cider syrup.  Available flavors follow the seasons as the local fruits come in.

Dried sliced fruits – Starting with strawberries and ending with apples.  Not just for snacking.  Cook along with steel cut oats or other hot cereal, add to granola. Add to your pork and chicken roasts and braises in the crockpot or oven

‘Mater Chips – Thin slices of tomatoes dehydrated into a chewy snack.  Or snip into small pieces and sprinkle on salads, soups, pizzas, pastas, anywhere a little tomato burst would go.  Choose from:

Spicy – chili flakes, garlic, and a sprinkle of Mediterranean herbs

Maple – marinated in sweet maple syrup and tangy cider vinegar before dehydrating

Mushrooms – As available.  Chanterelles, chicken of the woods and other foraged mushrooms in dried form to savor outside their oh-so-short fresh seasons. Farmed shitake, oyster and cremini mushrooms dried and waiting for when you need them.  Reconstitute in just enough hot water to bring them back to nearly fresh form.  The water’s full of flavor!  Use it in your recipe or freeze and add later to gravy or soup broth.

Vidalia onions – Real Vidalia onions from Georgia are sliced and dried with nothing added.  You think they’re sweet fresh?  These are like candy when dried and will have you wondering why you ever liked Funyuns.  Use in place of the nasty canned fried onions on top of green bean casserole.  Add them to braises, slow wet roasts, and long simmering soups, stews and sauces.  Crumble over salads, pizza, and sandwiches.

Peanut Butter for Grown-ups – and small fry too!  Freshly made each week in unique flavor combinations.

Simply Peanut Butter – Roasted Peanuts.  Salt. Done.

Smoky Maple Chili – Smoky, mapley, sweet on first taste with a warm spicy finish.  Try it on a tart apple.  Thin it out with a little water for a surprising salad dressing, or coconut milk for a quick Asian noodle dressing.  Brush on grilled chicken or pork just before serving.

Sesame Honey – Lots of toasted sesame seeds deliver a caviar-like pop in the texture of this peanut butter.  Inspired by the long gone Walnut Acres Organic Farm product, this blend of peanut butter with a bit of tahini, lightly sweetened with local honey, and enhanced with a touch of homemade vanilla extract will have you reaching for a spoon!

Salted Butterscotch – Caramelly, buttery butterscotch morsels melt into the warm freshly made peanut butter and are accentuated with a hint of sea salt.

White Chocolate Raspberry – white chocolate morsels and pure raspberry extract are melted into warm freshly made peanut butter.

Dark Chocolate – 67% dark chocolate chunks are tossed with coffee powder and then melted into warm freshly made peanut butter.

Sweets and Baked Goods – Small batch sweets and baked goods incorporating local ingredients as much as possible.  Each week brings something different.

Decorated Sugar Cookies – Not just for Christmas!  Beautifully decorated cut-out cookies reflect the seasons, holidays, and events with simple icings to decked out with handmade edible ornament.  Platters are available by order for your special occasions.

Cupcakes – Classic cakes reinterpreted in an individual size and topped with the same attention to detail as the sugar cookies.  Especially popular is the Hummingbird cupcake.  A classic southern spice cake filled with pineapple, coconut, pecans, and Rebecca’s own maraschino cherries spread with a barely sweet vanilla cream cheese icing, and decorated with a handmade marshmallow chrysanthemum.

Granola Bars – Wholesome ingredients, utterly decadent.  Oatmeal, pecans, brown sugar and lots of butter form the cookie bottom and streusel topping.  In between is a layer of homemade preserves made from local fruit.  Definitely not your “twigs and leaves” granola bar!

Irish Brown Bread – As close to the brown breads served in Irish B&Bs as you can get without being in Ireland!  Rebecca freshly grinds wheat at home to produce a wholemeal flour that closely resembles that used by homebakers in Ireland. From there Rebecca produces a loaf taught to her by Maeve Fitzgerald, owner of Churchfield B&B in Doolan, Ireland.

Stuffed Baguettes – Hidden inside a classic baguette is a center bursting with flavor!  Tomato Parmesan Basil, Spinach Feta, Apple Cranberry, and Maple Cinnamon Nut make revolving appearances.

Wheat Rolls – Freshly ground wheat makes an appearance again in these simple crusty dinner-sized rolls.

Fruit and Vegetable Quick Breads – When fruits and veg are preserved in every other way and the bounty keeps on coming tasty sweet or savory quick breads are the answer!

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