Sunday, September 28, 2014

28 September 2014

Service is the theme of tonight's Sunday Supper. First and foremost,
we honored the life of John Clark's grandmother, Brenda Clark, who passed away last week. Her service was last Sunday, but we had the Cherokee County Historical Society Annual Picnic to cook for and attend. For that event, I made a fresh Georgia peach and tomato salad with basil puree and a huge iron skillet of jalapeƱo cheddar cornbread. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and as usual, there was some delicious food at the event.

After an incredibly busy week at work and with City Council business,
it was nice to enjoy a very relaxing and exciting evening in downtown Canton. For starters, we attended a preview and soft opening of The Study, a new destination for craft cocktails, sushi and tapas. Joe Guynup has done an incredible job on the space and concept, and I wish him all the success in the world. We need critical mass and diversity in our Historic Downtown Loop, and new spots like The Study and Stouts Growlers are making it happen. After a drink, great service and visit with wonderful friends, we walked over to Downtown Kitchen to have a nice dinner upstairs with some of our favorite servers. It was a perfect mix of old, new, and the promise of what's yet to be. Again, friendly and personal service reminds me of why I live in a quintessential small Southern town.

From Friday's entertainment, the weekend transitioned into public service beginning with the Sixth Annual Angel Walk at Soleil. Organized by Ron Laird and his wife, the 5K walk was began as a way to honor their friend that died of cancer. She often mentioned "the hill" at Laurel Canyon and the challenge it presented when walking her neighborhood. Now, this awesome charity event benefits the Angel House and the work they do to care for teenage girls without a home. They do amazing work, and I am proud to have been part of this walk for a few years now. This year, I had the pleasure of walking the entire course with Farris Yawn who is running for the open seat in Canton City Council's Ward 3. We shared some great ideas about Canton's future, and it made the walk seem effortless.

After the Angel Walk, I and many of my friends attended the 4th Anniversary Open House at Practically Perfect Spa on East Main Street. Lisa Furilla has created a sanctuary of personal care and wellness at this gem of a spa, and her recent improvements to the space are impressive. In addition, the entire day was also dedicated to raising much needed funds for the Cherokee Arts Center. What a gracious way to celebrate her successful business venture by giving back to the community! Spa service and commitment, massaged to practical perfection.

After catching my breath, I ventured down to join my friend and fellow Council Member, Sandy McGrew, at Action Church on Marietta Road to visit the Badder Than Hell Bike Rally, a fundraiser for the Canton Warming Shelter. Gary Lamb, the church's pastor, is one stand up guy! He and his congregation stepped up last winter during the Polar Vortex to open their sanctuary for those in need. Many others came to assist, such as Joseph Martin of AngelFire7 BBQ. They saved a lot of unfortunate people from freezing to death, and they raised a lot of money on Saturday to operate the shelter again this year. I am in awe of these people and their genuine Christian service. Action is certainly an appropriate name for their church.

After an extremely busy Saturday, we turned in early, but this allowed us to get an early start on Sunday. Our day began with our weekly trip to Cherokee Market for some farm fresh produce, artisanal pumpkins and other supplies for tonight's Sunday Supper. Afterwards, it was time to attend the 30th Riverfest Arts and Crafts Fair in Boling Park. Speaking of service, no one does it better than the Service League of Cherokee County! These ladies make raising money for local children in need look effortless, but we all know how hard they work. Year after year, I am amazed by this well-oiled machine. More importantly, I am always blown away when I hear how much money they raised during this stellar event. Each year, I try to play a small role, if asked. This year, I had the honor of taking the last slot in the Dunking Tank in the Children's area. Mayor Hobgood went just before, so I was in good company. The kids, and a few of my dear "adult" friends, did a great job! By the end of my shift, I had gone down almost 50 times! My ears are still filled with water, but I would do it again for this great cause and these marvelous ladies. Thank you for all you do!

After returning from Riverfest, showering and drying out, I finally got around to preparing Sunday Supper! With a hint of Fall in the air, I decided to try my hand at stuffed cabbage rolls. I bought some beautiful cabbage at Cherokee Market and stuffed it with local grass fed beef and Joyful Acres Farm's delicious sausage! It was spot on, and I enhanced the flavor with the homemade hot sauce I made a few weeks ago. For the sides, I made fresh black eye peas with ham hock and, perhaps, the last caprese salad of the season. In honor of John's grandmother, a huge apple lover, I baked a rustic Ellijay apple and rosemary tart. Of course, it was SERVED ala mode.

Now, I am finishing my blog on the Side Porch at One Britt while enjoying this crisp, early Autumn weather, and I am basking in the glow of the amazing people and friends who live in my hometown. After a weekend like the one I have just experienced, I can think of no other place I would rather call home than Canton, Georgia. For all of the public servants – celebrated and unknown, bikers and beauty queens, senior citizens and young at heart – thank you for your appetite for public service and goodwill.

The Menu:

- Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Local Grass Fed Beef
and Joyful Noise Sausage

- Black Eye Peas and Ham Hock

- Lingering Heirloom Caprese Salad

- Ellijay Golden Delicious Apple and Rosemary Tart

The Recipe – Rustic Apple and Rosemary Tart

  • 1 recipe Flaky Butter Pastry (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons All-purpose flour, for thickening the juices, plus extra for rolling the dough
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds apples, such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch bits
  • 3 tablespoons regular or reduced-fat sour cream

To make the dough:

1. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder, and process to mix. Add the butter, and process until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Put the work bowl in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.

2. Add the sour cream to the flour mixture and process until the dough comes together in the bowl. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it several times on a lightly floured surface. Form it into a 1-inch-thick disc, wrap it in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
Rustic Rosemary-Apple Tart

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rough circle about 14 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

3. In a small bowl, combine the flour with 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar; reserve. Peel and core the apples. Slice them into 1/4 inch-thick slices. (You should have about 3 cups.) Place the apples in a bowl and toss them with the lemon juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and the rosemary.

4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and sprinkle the reserved flour/sugar mixture evenly over it, leaving a 2-inch border uncovered. Arrange the apples evenly over the flour mixture. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples. Moisten your fingers lightly with water and gently press the creases so that they hold together. Shave the butter over the fruit.

5. Bake the tart for about 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, the apples tender, and the juices syrupy, covering the tart halfway through the cooking time if the crust is browning too rapidly. Let cool for 10 minutes, then slide the tart onto a serving platter.

6. Just before serving, sift the confectioners sugar evenly over the crust.

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