On October 21st I was privileged to participate in Edible Nashville‘s second Farm Dinner. It was a gorgeous, picture perfect day to appreciate the untainted countryside at Katharos Farm in Columbia Tennesee.
I was invited to help with this fantastic feast because I had emailed the editor, Jill Melton, about possible opportunities with the magazine. She told me about the Farm Dinner coming up and I was ecstatic to be a part. I love events like this, and honestly, I would rather be on the serving side than the guest side. It’s just so rewarding to see all the work that goes on behind the scenes. I always appreciate things so much more when I get to be a part of putting it together.
However, as I drove to the farm, I found myself getting nervous. I didn’t truly know anyone who would be there. But when I neared the event, I became overwhelmed by the beautiful rolling hills and immaculate homes that so perfectly sat on top of them. The pastures were lined with white fences and vintage barns. The sun was close to setting and so was my anxiety.
When I finally pulled into the gravel driveway of the farm, I was instructed where to park and followed the signs to the event.
I was taken aback when I cleared the trees and was greeted by the most fanciful table setting display I think I have ever seen. It was whimsical and romantic. Like walking into a dream. I had to take several pictures of the table before I was capable of moving on to anything else.
Eventually, I got around to meeting the other volunteers and exploring the local wine, coffee, and pottery vendors.
Whole Foods catered the event complete with an elaborate charcuterie display. The menu was four courses of fresh, local, harmony with nature.
I think everyone was a little stiff when they arrived, but as the meal and fellowship progressed, it felt like family. It may have been the long, family-style table, or the wine, but I think there’s just something about food that brings people together.
I’m so grateful to have had the privilege to be a part of this gathering put together by some truly amazing people.
I know the pictures are worth all the words I could ever say, so here is a link to more information about the vendors and some professional photos of the Edible Nashville Farm Dinner.
Till next time,
P.S. I hope you all enjoyed your Halloween as much as I did!
Every once in a while I get out of the kitchen and make way for my Sous-chef dishwashing mom to create something wonderful! That is exactly what happened recently after she was leafing through the fall Southern Living magazine and came upon this recipe.
The minute she saw it she knew it was meant for us! Even though I adore Southern Living magazine, I leave it to mom to let me know what I need to see and read! We have several cast iron skillets — and even though skillet is well-worn and not too pretty — oh my what a nicely browned, flaky crispy crust it makes! This recipe works in a regular pie plate, but dig out the cast iron if you have one.
I was reading through the recipe before typing this blog post and I read “The rich, bourbon-y caramel sauce makes the tender, lightly spiced apple filling, and flaky crust even more irresistible.” Whaaat? Bourbon? Maybe Jack Daniels?
Hmmm …. I am going to have a little chat with my Sous-chef Apple-pie making momma because I am pretty sure she didn’t include a local hometown ingredient. (Have I ever mentioned that we live only a couple of miles from the only place on earth where Jack Daniels Whiskey is made? ) I am sure we are now going to need to make another one and include a little Jack. Maybe their Tennessee Honey. Yum.
The recipe calls for Fuji apples. Mom used Fuji. Although this recipe works made with most apples, you will want to get the Fuji if you can because the tart-sweet flavor works well with the sweet caramel, and the apples hold their shape when baked instead of turning to mush.
Mom made a second pie and I asked her to use up some Macintosh apples we had on hand. BIG MISTAKE! They really did turn to mush and just made one big gob of apple in the center of the pie. (Not pretty, not too tasty either.)
The recipe calls for two store-bought refrigerated piecrusts, but you can use your favorite homemade pie dough recipe if you prefer. If you use store-bought, we suggest Pillsbury. For $1 or more per box, you can get Kroger brand or another brand. Don’t do it, the crust will be a disappointment. If you have time to make your own crust you can check out my favorite recipe and a little tutorial:
Mom was concerned that the pie crust wouldn’t stretch up and over the skillet edge. We discovered it really doesn’t need to. Just place the crust in the skillet up to the edge and gently fill. Then when placing the top crust crimp edges of bottom and top crusts together.
Place the skillet in a preheated oven on the middle oven rack until the crust is golden, the apples are tender, and the filling is bubbly, about 55 minutes to one hour. IMPORTANT: Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil after about 40 minutes to prevent excessive browning — or earlier if the pie begins to over-brown on the top.
Let the pie cool completely before serving to allow the filling to set. This is also important so that each piece will come out picture perfect!
Besides the really flaky crust, the homemade salted caramel sauce is what separates this pie from all the rest! The caramel sauce goes in the pie and on top of the pie! Oh my goodness, can’t you just taste it?
Top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and extra caramel sauce, there is plenty to go around!
Thank you to my Sous-chef Dish-washing Apple pie-Making momma for this wonderful dessert!
Nothing says "southern" quite like making an all-American apple pie in a cast iron skillet! Top it with homemade caramel sauce and you will be the talk of the town!
Author: Adapted by Catherine Daugherty
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8 servings
1 (14.1-oz.) pkg. refrigerated piecrusts
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bourbon or whiskey *(optional)
3 pounds Fuji apples (about 4½ medium apples), peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
2½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
Fit 1 piecrust on the bottom and press up sides of a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Transfer skillet to refrigerator, and let chill while assembling caramel sauce and apple filling.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Stir together light brown sugar, butter, half-and-half, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring, until butter melts and mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Cook, stirring, until mixture begins to thicken, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract, and, if desired, bourbon or whiskey*. Let caramel sauce cool to almost room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Toss apples with cornstarch in a large bowl.
Pour ⅓ cup caramel sauce over apples, and toss to coat. Reserve remaining caramel sauce for serving. Pour apple filling into prepared skillet.
Place remaining piecrust over apple filling. Crimp edges of bottom and top crusts together.
Using a sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 (1-inch) slits in top crust for steam to escape. Whisk together egg yolk and water in a small bowl; brush over crust.
Bake pie in preheated oven on middle oven rack until crust is golden, apples are tender, and filling is bubbly, about 55 minutes to 1 hour, shielding loosely with aluminum foil after about 40 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Transfer pie to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 3 hours. Serve with reserved caramel sauce.
*Bourbon or Whiskey optional for a little boozy-flavoring.
The frost is almost upon us! That means it’s time to harvest the herbs!
I work at The Celtic Cup Coffee House in the small town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. I don’t have my own herb garden, but The Celtic Cup does. I love getting to use the fresh herbs when I bake quiches, casseroles, and savory scones.
Today I harvested all the basil for the winter months. If you’ve never processed herbs before, you probably think it’s really complicated. At least, that’s what I used to think. I know there are a couple different ways to do it. Drying herbs actually does take a while, so I prefer freezing them. I think it preserves the flavors better, too. It’s really a lot easier and faster than I imagined. All you have to do is snip the entire plant, wash, pluck the leaves, and freeze on a towel-lined sheet pan. After about half an hour, the leaves should be stiff enough to store in a plastic freezer bag for the winter. It’s that simple!
While we’re on the subject of basil, last week I made some delicious parmesan baked tomatoes. I love how all the local markets are just bursting with fresh fruits and veggies from the garden this time of year. I bought some beautiful plump red tomatoes and thought I would get creative. All they needed was some leftover basil pesto and a hearty sprinkle of cheese. Voila! Parmesan baked tomatoes! So fast and simple, but delicious and comforting. They taste like pizza! You can make them as a side dish or just a healthy snack.
I’m not religiously gluten free or anything, but I think I feel better when I stay away from bread. So, to accompany the tomatoes, I baked some chicken and made fresh broccoli salad. This broccoli salad was at my friend’s wedding last weekend. It was so good I had to make it for myself.
Together it was the perfect guilt free/gluten free dinner! It only takes about 30 minutes to make, so I hope this meal will find it’s way into your week as a tasty and stress free option!
I am so excited to write to you today and share some exciting news that I’ve kept under wraps for a little while now. I want to welcome Abby Hughes and introduce her as my new blogging partner!
Abby is as beautiful inside as she is outside. She is a graduate of Bob Jones University with a degree in Culinary Arts. Besides being totally sweet and adorable she really knows her way around the kitchen! Ooops – Sorry Abby, sounds like I am writing an ad for a husband for you … 🙂
Long before Abby attended her first class at Bob Jones University she was delivering delectable treats to our doorstep. She takes after her mother Gaye Hughes in that department! In the 7 years since we moved to the countryside of Middle Tennessee and became neighbors to the Hughes, we’ve been gifted with dozens of cookies, countless muffins, a variety of homemade soups, birthday cakes, gingerbread treats, and most recently fresh yeast rolls hot out of the Hughes oven!
It is Gaye Hughes baked oatmeal recipe that I shared with you many years ago and I made as recently as yesterday!
Abby spent this past summer as a counselor to teenage girls at The Wilds Christian Camp in North Carolina. When she returned home we had a chance to sit on my front porch and catch up. It is then that Abby shared with me her wish to begin blogging. She is highly creative and wants to hone her writing skills. Abby asked me “how do I get followers on the blog?” That is when it hit me. She could blog for years and years and build her following or she could join me and have an instant following! 👏
We quickly started brainstorming what that would like on www.praycookblog.com. You will see her many talents for yourself as she shares with us her variety of passions from art to crafts and from the kitchen to wherever her heart takes her!
I am thrilled to have her join me at My Daily Bread Body and Soul! I love her and I know you will too! ❤️
She has a lot of ideas and you will be hearing from her soon. Please join me in welcoming Abby Hughes to our little space on the world-wide net!