Home-canning party: Preserve summer’s bounty with friends

canningFarmers markets and farm stands are overflowing right now with awesome produce. Take advantage of the abundance by having a home canning party.

These tips from Country Woman magazine shows how to make a day of home canning enjoyable.

Pick out your produce and canning recipes. When you combine prep work and processing time, a canning recipe can take an hour or more to complete. Limit your party to three canning recipes. Plan to make a full batch, but don’t double it. Altering a recipe’s quantities and times may affect the quality and safety of the final product.

Gather your tools. Have these basics on hand (or assign guests to bring them): jars, lids and rings; heavy-bottomed cooking pots; a roomy stockpot to use as a water-bath canner; sharp knives and a grater; stirring spoons and ladles; measuring cups and spoons; jar grabbers; a funnel; clean towels; and hot pads.

Send invitations. E-mail invitations to guests and include how much and what type of produce, other ingredients or canning supplies to bring. Also tuck in the recipes you’ll use as a preview.

Plan some snacks. Give home canning party guests something to nibble and sip. Incorporate fruits you’ll be using into beverages, and pick up breads, meats and cheeses to serve.

Set up stations. Clear off counters and tabletops to make ample room for work stations to sanitize equipment, prep produce, fill jars and seal, boil and cool your finished batch. Assign guests to each station and have only one canning recipe going at a time.

Label your labors. “Mystery jars” collect dust in the pantry, so clearly label your goods with contents and canning date. With printed labels, pens, decorative ribbons and fabric on hand, guests can create personalized wrappings for cooled jars.

Try these 12 must canning and preserving contest-winning recipes to make your summer bounty last. There’s something for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert here.

 

Lexington bartenders compete in Bloody Mary contest

Saul Good’s chef Jeff Mayer, right, had developed a signature Bloody Mary cocktail designed specifically to highlight the yellow heirloom tomato. Mayer has entered his Bloody Mary recipe in the Food Network’s Chopped contest. Contestants from every state will enter their best Bloody Mary recipe in hopes of winning the state competition and ultimately competing in the finals in New York City in October.
Other Kentucky entrants are Robbi McGregor of Natasha’s Bistro,  who has created Mango Mary for the competition, and Travis Hall’s Wild Eggs signature Bloody Mary is also in the running. You can vote at Bit.ly/1sS6YHC.
New menu
■ Coba Cocina,  2041 Richmond Road, is adding some new dishes to its Mexican-Latin menu. Included are: Sopes trio (fried masa cakes topped with pork al pastor, smoked brisket and ancho chicken); chile-rubbed smoked salmon; quinoa and kale salad; veal skirt steak chimichurri and mezcal-caramel flan. Call (859) 523-8484.
 Events
■ Nick Ryan’s Saloon and the Theta chapter of Kappa Alpha Order will team up for Greek Night on Wednesday. A percentage of the proceeds from the night’s sales will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Also, $2 will be donated for every current or former Kappa Alpha member who attends. Specials include roasted leg of lamb and a Mediterranean-style fish entrée. Nick Ryan’s is at 157 Jefferson Street. Call (859) 233-7900.
■ Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street, Midway, is having its final Tapas Tuesday of the year next week. Prices range from $5 to $12 a plate, and are sized for sharing. Bourbon cocktails, bourbon flights, craft beers and wines are available. Call (859) 846-4732.
■ Unlimited Spirit and Falls City Beer will hold a tasting/sampling of three types of Falls City beer from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday.  Unlimited Spirit is at 404 Southland Drive. Call (859) 309-2903.
■ Azur Restaurant kicks off Labor Day weekend with its 7th annual Latin pig roast. Chef Jeremy Ashby partners with Brasabana chef Miguel Rivas, a Dominican Republic native, to roast a suckling pig on Aug. 29. Cost is $40. Call (859) 296-1007 or e-mail Info@azurrestaurant.com.
The buffet menu includes chicken-stuffed empanadas with local sweet corn butter; smoked chicken and ham croquettes with key lime-honey mustard; seared shrimp with tomatoes, serrano peppers and cilantro; fried sweet plantains; Latin-style grilled corn; tres leches cake with pineapple-vanilla salsa; and ginger-caramel cheesecake with strawberry-rum compote. The party begins at 6:30 p.m. Azur is at 3070 Lakecrest Circle.
Farmers market report
■ Bluegrass Farmers Market has 100 percent homegrown corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, peppers, and melons. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, 3450 Richmond Road, and at Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Go to  Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.

Not all recipes we published were delicious

In the mid-’70s, when I began writing for the food section, home cooks relied on the newspaper for the majority of their new recipes and dinner-time help.
As more women joined the work force outside the home, they had less time and energy to cook from scratch. Food companies jumped at the opportunity to create foods that were easy to prepare, and the microwave oven was the kitchen appliance everyone wanted. In the mid-’80s, Fayette County Adult Education even offered classes in how to use it, and cooks really thought the microwave would change the way meals were prepared.
But, after we overcooked everything and set a few pieces of foil on fire, we realized the microwave’s true value is for making popcorn, melting butter and heating frozen foods.
After that, we turned to fast food restaurants that were popping up along almost every major thoroughfare in Lexington. Dinner was now fast and cheap, but choices were high in fat and calories.
Because of that, we went back to the supermarkets, which by the late ’80s were hiring professional chefs to prepare carry-out meals and rotisserie chickens for us. In the produce aisles we picked up our salads that were pre-washed and cut and ready to eat so we felt like we were still cooking at home.
Concerns for our health took over meal planning in the ’90s, and we saw a surge in food products labeled “no-fat” or “no-sugar added.” We all thought we would lose lots of weight. When we didn’t, we turned to the Atkins low-carb diet  and consumed lots of bacon, beef, chicken, and cheese. As we moved into the 21st century, we began to understand it was all about balancing nutritious foods in our diets.
While we looked for faster ways to prepare weekday meals for our families, our entertaining wasn’t shortchanged. Cooking shows on TV revived our interest in cooking from scratch, and we practiced what we learned from Rachael Ray, Jamie Oliver, Alton Brown, and Martha Stewart by cooking gourmet meals for our friends.
Newspaper food sections also used to be the go-to place for money-saving coupons. Double-coupon days are gone and now we use e-coupons technology to help us save money. We subscribe to food manufacturers’ emails and with a swipe of a finger on our smart phones, we get only those money-saving deals that interest us.
Younger cooks no longer take lists to the supermarket. Instead, they pull out their smart phones to locate items, scan packages for nutrient content, check prices elsewhere, and text Mom for the ingredients she needs to make her old-fashioned recipes that they crave from childhood.
Thousands of recipes have crossed my food desk in the past 40 years. Public relations and marketing firms across the country were constantly bombarding the media with information that they hoped would help sell the product they’re promoting.
Many were published, many were not.
In 1986, we published recipes that we thought deserved our first ever “Herald-Leader Gag Me Award.”
As I get closer to my retirement, I thought I’d share a few of these with you. We had such fun with them back then.
A good cook can often judge a recipe simply by reading it. If it contains all the things that one loves, then surely it must be good. Of the thousands of recipes that came into the newsroom in 1985,  the majority sounded pretty good.
But some did not.
We sorted through all the recipes and saved some of the ones we thought sounded horrible.
Individual tastes are so varied, you may find these recipes very tempting, but we decided they deserved the “Gag Me” honor.
Baked sauerkraut with dried peas
1 quart prepared sauerkraut
1/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 cup whole dried peas
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash peas, soaking overnight in warm water. Cook peas, in same water, for about one hour or until tender. In saucepan, cover sauerkraut and mushrooms with water with a pinch of salt. Cook for one hour. Drain peas. In buttered covered baking dish, add peas and sauerkraut-mushroom mixture. Bake in 325-degree oven for half hour. Serves 6.

This recipe for fiesta chicken casserole has the basics for being a super dish, without the malted milk balls. One reviewer said: You might want to substitute mothballs for the malted milk balls and toss it into the closet.
Fiesta chicken casserole
1 3- to 4-pound chicken, cut in serving pieces
1 package (7 ounces) malted milk candy, crushed
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup peanut or salad oil
1 medium onion, sliced
Sauce:
1 can (10 ounces) tomatoes with green chilies or
1 can (8 ounces) tomatoes and 1/4 cup chopped green chilies
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
Shake chicken in paper bag with flour. Dip in beaten egg and roll in crushed candy. Brown very quickly in hot oil. Remember you are browning, not cooking. Place chicken in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish, or pottery for baking. Saute onion rings until soft in remaining oil, drain and place on top of the chicken. Combine the remaining ingredients, including the leftover candy crumbs and 2 tablespoons of flour in a saucepan. Whisk until smooth and pour over chicken. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees. Serves 6.
Two-way turkey
1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can (101/2 ounces) chicken giblet gravy
1/4 cup chopped apple
1 cup herb-seasoned stuffing
4 slices cooked turkey breast, 1/4-inch thick (about 3/4 pound)
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon jellied cranberry sauce
In 8-inch skillet over medium heat, cook sausage and onion until sausage is browned and onion is tender, stirring to separate meat. Spoon off fat. Add 1/4 cup gravy and apple.
Prepare stuffing as directed on package; toss with gravy mixture. Place about 1⁄3 cup stuffing mixture down center of each turkey slice; roll up. Place roll-ups seam-side down in 12- by 8-inch baking dish. Cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot. Meanwhile, in small saucepan combine remaining gravy, raisins and cranberry sauce; heat through, stirring occasionally. Serve over roll-ups. Makes 4 servings.

Dudley’s is having a bourbon dinner on Aug. 20

 Events
Dudley’s on Short, 259 West Short Street, will have a bourbon dinner on Wednesday in celebration of the 60th  anniversary of Master Distiller Jimmy Russell with Wild Turkey Distillery. The six-course dinner will feature bourbon flavors and the limited Wild Turkey diamond anniversary bourbon.  Cost is $60. Call (859) 252-1010.
Winchell’s, 348 Southland Drive, will hold a lobster boil on Tuesday. The three-course dinner includes New England clam chowder, whole lobster served with corn on the cob and new potatoes, and fruit cobbler. Cost is $35. Call for (859) 278-9424.
Smithtown Seafood chef Jonathan Sanning is firing up the grill for an end-of-summer seafood feast for the monthly Tanks to Table beer dinner at 7 p.m. Thursday. The menu features mixed seafood grill with sauce bar, fresh corn salad, charred potato salad, heirloom tomato salad, fresh-baked bread, and mixed berry cobbler. Smithtown is at 501 West Sixth Street. West Sixth Brewing has created an amber with bourbon and BBQ spices for the dinner. Cost is $25. Call (859) 303-4100.
Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant, 3841 Nicholasville Centre Drive, will hold its annual green chile festival Monday through Sept. 7.
Each spring Chuy’s contracts with farmers in the Hatch Valley in New Mexico to grow more than 1.5 million pounds of green chiles  for its restaurants. Chuy’s will be introducing a menu of eight green chile-inspired dishes during the three-week period, including holy quesadillas, green chile BBQ chicken tacos, and Frito pie enchiladas. Drink specials include prickly pear margarita,  blackberry rocks margarita, and  New Mexican martini, made with green chile infused tequila. Call (859) 245-2489 or go to Chuys.com.
Rooster Brewing, 609 Main Street, in Paris features a food truck each week and on Friday, CrazyBoutCajun will be at the brewery from 5:15 to 9 p.m. Call (859) 707-3436 or go to Roosterbrew.com.
Woodford Reserve Distillery will serve a bourbon Kentuscan dinner on Friday and Saturday. Chef-in-residence Ouita Michel and chef de cuisine Nat Henton are celebrating Italian flavors and local Bluegrass ingredients with a menu featuring  heirloom tomato caprese; vegetable lasagna; bourbon barrel skirt steak; eggplant caponata; gnocchi alla Romana; and almond sponge cake with Woodford Reserve soaked peaches and blackberries.  Cost is $50. The distillery is at 7855 McCracken Pike.  Call (859) 879-1953 or e-mail Catering@b-f.com.
Specials
■ Soup specials at Bakery Blessings & Bookstore @ the Bar in August are chilled peach and pinto bean. Jan Sullivan now is making fresh bread including pretzel roll and Italian. The café is at 1999 Harrodsburg Road. Call 859-554-6044.
Farmers market report
Bluegrass Farmers  Market has 100 percent homegrown corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, peppers, and melons. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, 3450 Richmond Road, and at Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Go to Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.

London has Ky.’s first Bojangles’ Chicken ‘n Biscuits

Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits, a Southeastern regional chain of fast food restaurants, has opened its first Kentucky location in London, at 159 South Laurel Road. The chicken and biscuit chain serves hand-breaded chicken, made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits, and dirty rice. Hours are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Go to Bojangles.com.

 

 

Sharon Thompson’s “Favorites” cookbook arrives Thursday

 

14CKB1M01After 40-plus years at the Herald-Leader, I am retiring at the end of August.
For about 35 of those years, I have written about restaurants, home cooks, caterers, up-and- coming chefs, new products and food trends.
I have shared with readers more recipes than I can count.
One of the most popular columns I wrote during those years featured profiles of home cooks as well as professional chefs and caterers. For a while in the 1980s, we ran recipes from our readers weekly. Many of those recipes have become family favorites and treasured by cooks throughout the area.
This cookbook takes a look back at my 40-plus years, and includes our best recipes. Perhaps you’ll recognize a recipe or a picture or two.
Many more recipes are posted on my blog, ­Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.
When I retire, so will the recipe section. Our food coverage will focus more on restaurants and trends and food news. This change is taking place for a variety of reasons. Many of today’s young cooks rely on ready-made dishes picked up at the supermarket or restaurant carry-out. For those who cook at home, the Internet provides easy access to great recipes on places such as Pinterest and Food Network, and there are blogs that cover every food topic.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I’ve enjoyed going back through my stories from these past 40 years and remembering many of the people — and their food — who have made my job so rewarding.

We didn’t have enough space to print all our favorite recipes in this cookbook, so here are a few extras.

xxx

Enza Morris, who owned Enza’s Italian Food, used recipes she learned as a child in Naples, Italy and recipes and from her mother and grandmother.

 Almond cream cake

10 large eggs

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups sugar

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Grated rinds of 1 lemon and 1 orange

2 ¼ cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 4 cake pans (10 inches by 2 1/2 inches deep). Separate eggs (at room temperature) into 2 large bowls. Beat the egg whites and add salt. Continue to beat eggs and add 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stop beating when whites make stiff peaks. Beat egg yolks gradually add the rest of the sugar. Then add lemon extract and lemon and orange peelings. Beat until yolks are thick and creamy. Add 1/3 of the whites into the yolks. Pour egg white and yolk mixture into the rest of the egg whites and fold in carefully.

Sift flour with cream of tartar. Do this 3 times, then fold into eggs. This is a slow process. Stir well. Pour dough in buttered and floured pans. Bake the batter for 25 minutes. Test with a cake tester. When it comes out clean and the tops are toasty, the cakes are done. Let cool before removing from pan. Frost with almond chocolate cream.

   Almond chocolate cream

5 to 6 ounces slivered almonds

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)

2 cups confectioners sugar

3 egg yolks

¾ cup grated semi-sweet chocolate

½ cup cold very strong coffee

Sprinkle each cake layer with 1/4 cup rum. Spread frosting between layers and on top and side of the cake.

xxx

In the early 90’s, we ran a series of profiles on outstanding cooks in the Bluegrass. Great Cooks were nominated by our readers.

Kathleen Fox of Lexington was an expert pie baker who won ribbons at the Fourth of July apple pie contests. A favorite dessert her friends and family requested was chocolate Italian cream cake.

Chocolate Italian cream cake

1 box butter fudge cake mix

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Prepare cake mix according to instructions on box. Add pecans, sour cream and coconut. Divide batter into 3 9-inch cake pans. Bake as directed on box. Cool cake completely and frost with cream cheese icing.

Cream cheese icing

1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature

12 ounces cream cheese

1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add sugar and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Frost cake and pat pecans on the sides of the cake. Place chocolate curls on top, if desired.

 

xxx

David Gaillard was pastry chef at Le Matin Bakery in Chevy Chase in 1985. He worked as pastry chef at Relais et Chateau Hotels and also at restaurants in Italy, West Germany, Belgium and other European countries.

    Lemon tart

2 ounces butter

6 ounces sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

4 eggs

Mix ingredients and pour into saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Take off heat when mixture is thick. Pour into baked tart shell and refrigerate until set. Garnish with fresh lemon slices.

xxx

Pat Pugh grew up in New Orleans and learned the basics of Cajun-Creole cooking from her mother. Mardi gras pudding is a popular dish served in New Orleans and it features the three Mardi Gras colors, purple, green and gold.

   Mardi gras pudding

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 drops yellow food coloring

1 loaf (16 ounces) pound cake

1/3 cup sherry

1/3 cup bourbon

1 1/2 cups cream, whipped

2 1/2-ounce package sliced almonds, toasted

2 tablespoons rum

2 teaspoons sugar

Mix first four ingredients in order listed. Cook in top of double boiler until thick. Cool and add vanilla and food coloring. Slice cake and place layer in bottom of casserole dish. Mix sherry, bourbon and spinkle about 1/2 of it over single layer of cake. Add 1/2 of the custard. Spread with part of whipped cream, which has been flavored with rum and 2 teaspoons sugar. Sprinkle with almonds. Cover casserole and chill for 24 hours. Garnish with any waxy green leaves and crystallized violets. Serves 12.

 

 

During the holidays, Alice Tilghman of Versailles would bake an orange-coconut cake. In 1990, she said she had been making the cake for more than 40 years.

 

  Orange-coconut cake

2/3 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons orange flavoring

2 3/4 cups sifted flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup flaked coconut

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Add orange flavoring.   Add flour with baking powder in 4 additions, alternating with the milk. (Start with the flour mixture and end with the flour mixture.) Beat well. Fold in 1/4 cup coconut.

Put in 2 greased cake pans. Line bottom with waxed paper. Do not grease sides of pan. Cut through batter with a knife and tap on top of counter to remove bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until it tests done.

  Icing

1 stick butter or margarine

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk

1 teaspoon orange flavoring

1 pound powdered sugar

Place butter in saucepan over medium heat and melt. Add sugar, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Mixture will be foamy. Add half-and-half or milk while continuing to stir for 5 minutes. Remove and cool until bottom of pan feels cool. Add 1 teaspoon flavoring and just enough powdered sugar to get the consistency you desire. Cover with coconut.

xxx

In 1995, when Christopher Reinhardt was a senior at Lafayette High School. He was guest chef at   The Rosebud Restaurant, 121 North Mill Street. Christopher said he often decided what he would cook while wandering the aisles at the grocery store.

   Sauteed shrimp over fettuccine

4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Lawry’s garlic pepper

1 teaspoon Lawry’s lemon pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tablespoons chopped scallions

6 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Lemon juice

Fettuccine

Combine olive oil, garlic pepper, lemon pepper and parsley. Pour over shrimp and marinate 20 minutes. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet and add scallions. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into skillet and add shrimp. Cook until shrimp are done, about 3 to 5 minutes.

xxx

In 1984, George Povey was the cook at the former Florence Crittenton Home on West Fourth Street.   Here is one of Povey’s favorite recipes

Barbecue

3 pounds ground beef

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 cans (15 ounces) tomato sauce

1 ounce chili powder

Worcestershire sauce

2 medium onions

Pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Garlic salt

1 tablespoon vinegar

Brown ground beef with celery and onions. Drain. Combine ground beef mixture with remaining ingredients, and simmer for several hours.

 

 

 

Restaurant week continues

You only have a few more days to enjoy $25 dinners and support our best local restaurants. Lexington Restaurant Week ends Saturday, so go to Lexrestaurants.com and pick a place you haven’t tried before.
Just in time for Lexington Restaurant Week, Clawdaddy’s  began serving premium spirits and cocktails, and adding Italian gelato to its line-up. Clawdaddy’s gelato flavors are available by the scoop or as a whoopie pie sandwich and include bourbon-vanilla and blueberry-cheesecake, which are made in Louisville with milk from a Russellville dairy. The store, at 128 North Broadway, also serves freshly baked gluten-free rolls, and you can order live lobsters from Clawdaddy’s dock in Maine to be delivered overnight. Call (859) 258-2529 or go to Clawdaddys.net.
Events
Oliva Bella products will be available for tasting at 10 a.m. Saturday at  Wine + Market, 486 West Second Street, at the corner of Jefferson Street. Call (859) 225-0755. Oliva Bella, 400 Old Vine Street, is an importer of Italian extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegar and seasonal, artisanal food products. Call  (859)  983-3567 or go to Olivabella.com.
The Club at Spindletop Hall and Stuarto’s Olive Oil is having a brunch-themed cooking class from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 13. Cost is $41. Call (859) 263-0088. Menu includes salmon crepes, vanilla French toast with blueberry cane sugar, Tuscan sheered eggs, and blood orange and lemon oil cannoli. Classes are taught by Ed Valente, Timothy Wood, and Stuart Utgaard. Spindletop is at 3414 Ironworks Pike.
■ Cooking instructor Phil Dunn will take his class to Lexington Farmers Market at 8 a.m. Saturday. “We will meet at my kitchen and go to the downtown farmers’ market to pick up ingredients for our lunch. A stop at Sunrise Bakery is added, and then back to the kitchen for a morning full of fabulous cooking. The menu will depend on our fresh finds at the market,” Dunn said. Cost is $50.
Dunn’s other classes are available by calling (859) 533-3553 or e-mailing Phildunn1948@gmail.com. Classes are held at Architectural Kitchens & Baths, 345 Lafayette Avenue.
Farmers market report
Bluegrass Farmers’ Market has corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, peppers, and melons. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, 3450 Richmond Road, and at Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Go to Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.
Montgomery County Farmers Market is open at 7 a.m. Wednesday and Saturday in the Montgomery Square Shopping Center in front of Big Lots, 1342 Indian Mound Drive, Mt. Sterling.
National Farmers’ Market Week is Sunday through Aug. 9. There are more than 155 farmers’ markets in Kentucky that offer a vast array of fruits and vegetables along with cheese, eggs, meats, honey, fresh cut flowers, and crafts.

Lamb’s market offers hot meals, fresh produce

If you drive U.S. 60 between Lexington and Winchester, there’s a great place to stop for breakfast or lunch. Arrettia Lamb took over the old Shopper’s Market across from the Sky Vue Drive-In on April 1. At Lamb’s Shopper’s Market, 5920 Lexington Road in Winchester, you can get deli sandwiches anytime. But from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Lamb serves blue plate specials. Depending on what she wants to cook, you can get meatloaf and mashed potatoes, lasagna, or chicken pot pie. Lamb buys local produce from neighboring farmers to prepare meals, and also to sell. The Wednesday special is “tops and dogs” (two hot dogs with homemade chili and tater tots for $3.50). Breakfast, from 6 to 10 a.m., includes country ham, bacon, eggs, and sausage biscuits. Store hours at Lamb’s Shopper’s Market are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Call (859) 744-9413.

BBQ spot is moving

 Sarah’s Corner Café, at the corner of Winchester and Cleveland roads, will close Friday. But don’t worry. The smoker is just moving from the outskirts of town to 720 Henry Clay Boulevard, and will re-open in a couple of weeks.
Sarah’s is known for its BBQ cooker attached to a pickup that’s parked in front of the store. “We have a smoker ordered that is twice the size of the one we have now,” owner Ralph Egbert said. Sarah’s new home will be in the former spot where The Lunch Box was located.

 Events
■ James “Jazzman” Baker is the new chef at Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods, a Christian Care Community for seniors. Baker, who is known for his great barbecue and is former owner of Jazzman Café in Winchester, will be cooking for the center’s Jazzy Days of Summer event, which is free and open to the community, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.  Baker will prepare ribs with Jazzman’s special sauce; fried chicken; three-bean baked beans; loaded baked potato salad;  Jazzman’s coleslaw; and bread pudding.
Bridgepointe is at 5220 Grey Oak Lane, Nicholasville. Call (859) 885-3000.
■ The first Pazzo’s Belgian Festival will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday on the patio. More than 40 Belgian beers will be available. Tickets, at $25, include 20 samples and a tasting glass, and are available at Pazzo’s, 385 South Limestone, and The Beer Trappe, 811 East Euclid. Call (859) 255-5125 or go to Pazzospizzapub.com.
■ The film Hercules opens Friday in theatres and in celebrati

on Red Robin is offering a new Burgers & A Movie  promotion. Available through Sept. 1, the Colossus burger is a fire-grilled beef patty topped with a combination of smoked brisket, provolone cheese, grilled onions, and Red Robin’s campfire and triple S BBQ sauces. Guests who purchase a $25 limited edition Hercules gift card at participating Red Robin  restaurants and Kroger supermarket locations will receive a free movie ticket. Go to  Redrobin.com/herculesmovie.
Customers who see  Hercules during opening weekend  and bring  their ticket stubs into Red Robin from Monday  through Thursday will receive $3 off their purchases. Red Robin is at 101 East Brannon Road, Nicholasville. Call (859) 971-1991.
 Farmers market report
Bluegrass Farmers’ Market has corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, berries, and melons. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, 3450 Richmond Road, and at Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Go to Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org .

New Ruby Jean’s Cafe is serving country-style food

If you’re craving ­grandma’s country ­cooking, try the new Ruby Jean’s Café, 450 Southland Drive. Chef Mac McBride always wanted to open a restaurant with “good country-style food.”
“I always said if I did, I would name it after my grandmother,” McBride said. “It’s a ‘meat and two’ and ‘meat and three’ concept with sandwiches, and burgers.” He’s a chef instructor at Sullivan University and has worked at Porcini’s in Louisville, Jonathan at Gratz Park,  The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.

A chalkboard menu features breakfast items, fried chicken, fried catfish, green beans, stewed ­tomatoes, corn pudding and corn bread. A brunch buffet is served from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Call (859) 277-0058.

New on the menu
La Petite Crêperie, 191 Kentucky Avenue, has a new chef and now serves wine and cocktails. Chef Gérard Aiache “brings to the Crêperie an amazing French flair which ­reminds me from back home,” co-owner Linda Chambers said. Aiache recently worked at Le Deauville and Bourbon n’ Toulouse ­restaurants. His specialty crepes include savory fresh salmon and ratatouille, fruits de mer, and poulet Basquaise. Call (859) 684-2737 or go to Petitecreperie.com.
■ The summer tradition — fresh peach pizza — is back at Saul Good Restaurant. Fresh peaches, topped with streusel and Belgian white chocolate chips, are cooked on a homemade pizza dough.  Go to Saulgoodpub.com for locations.
■ Gene Williams claims Natasha’s Bistro, 112 Esplanade, has the best fries and best burgers in town. “We’re saying it, our customers are telling us,” he said.
“There really are ‘fry connoisseurs’ out there, and they are finding us. So what makes our fries outstanding? In the first place they are heart-healthy fries. I know that sounds odd, but we use a rice bran oil that actually lowers the bad and raises the good ­cholesterol. The flavor comes from using fresh everything — fresh minced garlic, fresh flat leaf parsley and freshly ground pepper on the spot.”
The Alley burger is made using six ounces of locally raised Marksbury farm beef, served on a toasted brioche bun. The weekend special is the Alley burger topped with  grilled portobello mushrooms and Swiss cheese.
Call (859) 259-2754 or go to Bistro.beetnik.com.
Hanna’s on Lime, 214 South ­Limestone, is featuring its farmers market special from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. Fresh offerings include corn on the cob, squash, tomatoes, new potatoes, melon, green beans, ­cucumbers and eggplant. Cost is $8.25 and features six items gathered from Tuesday’s farmers market.
Call (859) 252-6264 or go to ­Hannasonlime.com.
Events
Smithtown Seafood sous chef ­Agnes Teresa Marrero Rosa will ­prepare recipes from her native Puerto Rico for this month’s Tanks to Table beer dinner on Thursday. A Kentucky Proud hog from Stone Cross Farm will be marinated 24 hours in ­Caribbean spices, then slow smoked that day until fork tender. It will be served with house-made hot sauces and ­chimichurri sauce. West Sixth ­Brewing will serve a firkin, ­lemongrass wheat with passion fruit and pineapple, with the meal. ­
Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Smithtown is at 501 West Sixth Street. Call (859) 303-4100, or walk up to the pop-up pork station that day and place your order. Cost is $25. Go to ­Smithtownseafood.com.
■ Lexington’s Women Chefs dinner series continues with a Women in World Cuisine dinner at Brasabana,  841 Lane Allen Road, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. A portion of the proceeds
will go to the Children’s ­Advocacy ­Center of the Bluegrass. Cost is $50. Call (859) 797-8461 or go to ­Brasabana.com.
Participating chefs are Jill Schrank, line chef at The Lexington Diner; ­Libby Allen, chef and culinary ­instructor at the National Center for Hospitality Studies for ­Sullivan ­University; Ranada West-Riley, ­executive chef and owner of The Lexington Diner; Vanessa Willhite, line chef at Azur Restaurant; Amy Harris, who was sous chef at Jonathan’s at Gratz Park; and Shannon Collins, day chef at Azur.
Brasabana is at 841 Lane Allen Road.
Lexington Restaurant Week begins Thursday and runs through Aug. 2. More than 60 restaurants will offer $25 dinners. A list can be found at ­Lexrestaurants.com.
Wallace Station, 3854 Old ­Frankfort Pike in Versailles, is having “Burgers and Beats” from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Proceeds go to Faith Feeds/GleanKy, a group that feeds the hungry by ­gleaning and distributing excess fruits and vegetables. Entertainment provided by Silverback. Cost is $25. Go
to Burgersandbeats2014.eventbrite.com.
■ Kentucky Eagle Distributing will be tasting/sampling Table No. 7 wine from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Unlimited Spirit, 404 Southland Drive.
Farmers market report

■ Mary Tyler, the peach lady, now has fresh Georgia peaches at Lexington Farmers Market.

Bluegrass Farmers’ Market is in full summer mode with locally grown  corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, and melons. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, 3450 Richmond Road, and at Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Go to Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.

Weekend events at restaurants, vineyard, farm markets

First Vineyard Winery, 5800 Sugar Creek Pike, Nicholasville, is having a craft fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.  Food vendors include Kourtesy’s Kupcakes, Sondra’s Wine Jelly,   and Jessamine Cattlemen’s Association. Kentucky Proud beer cheese, and Cakepops. Featured craftsmen are glass blowers, woodworkers, metal art, fiber artists, oil painters, and spinner/weavers. Call (859) 885-9359 or go to Firstvineyard.net.

 Willie’s Locally Known, 805 North Broadway, is hosting a “Musical Feast of Love for Sav” on Saturday.
Mamadou “Sav” Savané, owner of Sav’s Grill & West African Cuisine, at 304 South Limestone, was injured earlier this month when boiling liquid spilled over his body, causing second-degree burns. He is out of the hospital, but can’t return to work for a while, and friends are helping by having fund-raising parties.
Willie’s event begins at 5 p.m. and features local and regional bands, as well as traditional African music from C the Beat; musicians from the African Fellowship at Asbury University in Wilmore; and percussionist Tripp Bratton.
Chef Ben Berry will smoke whole goats in the smoke yard at Willie’s and also create some Guinean and other West African specialties to go with them.
Call (606) 233-6612 or go to Willieslex.com.
Ilumine Restaurant, 270 Montgomery Avenue in Versailles, will host the Bluegrass Mystery Theatre on Friday. The four-course dinner features medallions of beef tenderloin on baby kale salad with Vidalia onion dressing; grilled African whitefish on Persian rice with string beans; and Tuscan chicken with tomato and basil over garlic Parmesan potatoes and string beans. Call (859) 251-4103 or (859) 753-4967. Go to IlumineMe.com.
■ On the Fourth of July, Saul Good Restaurant is helping raise money for Military Missions Inc. The restaurant will offer half-price meals as an incentive to generate donations for the non-profit organization dedicated to providing care packages and support for Kentucky soldiers deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Locations are 3801 Mall Road (859) 273-4663; 1808 Alysheba Way, (859) 317-9200; and 123 North Broadway, (859) 252-4663. Go to Saulgoodpub.com or Military-missions.org.
City Barbecue, 3292 Richmond Road, will have a class on how to smoke meats 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. One of the company founders, Frank Pizzo, will present the class. Go to Citybbq.com. Call (859) 317-4430.
Reed Valley Orchard in Paris is holding its annual Blueberry Jubilee and Pancake Day from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Fresh blueberry pancakes will be served until 1:30 p.m., and activities include blueberry picking, dancers and live music. Call (859) 987-6480or go to Reedvalleyorchard.com.

Weekend specials

Staxx BBQ, 11 Carson Place in Frankfort, is offering a Fourth of July three-day special July 3 to 5. Purchase 5 pounds of meat (pork, chicken, turkey, brisket or sausage) and receive four free quarts of sides (potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, green beans or macaroni and cheese). Call (502) 352-2515.
Kathy’s Country Kitchen, 20 Black Creek Road in Clay City, is reaping rewards from local farmers. The restaurant is serving fresh local tomatoes, corn, squash, strawberries, and watermelon. Call (606) 663-4179.
■ The specials this weekend at The Grey Goose, 170 Jefferson Street, include finnocchio pizza with roasted fennel bulb, caramelized onions, and Italian sausage, and  pan-seared Arctic char with saffron rice. Call  (859) 233-1500.

Farmers market report

Lexington Farmers Market has added another location to its line-up. Farmers will be at the First African Baptist Church from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays. The church is at Price Road and Georgetown Street. Go to Lexingtonfarmersmarket.com.

Bluegrass Farmers’ Market is Lexington’s largest 100 percent homegrown/produced market. Locations are in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, 3450 Richmond Road, and at Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Go to Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.

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