Monday, June 6, 2016

05 June 2016 – For Corky

It has been a long, hot week. It was also a sad one as we lost our dear friend, Judson "Corky" Roberts. Judson was a true gentleman, and his contributions to our community were legendary. He was especially generous and influential when it came to the Cherokee Historical Society. Judson had a passion for preservation and led the charge to save the Rock Barn in Canton. After his funeral on Wednesday, a celebration of his life was held at the family home where he lived in Ball Ground. It was nice to see so many people come out to honor Judson's memory, and I send my sincere condolences to his mother, Sylvia, his brother, Rick, and the entire family. The Roberts family is certainly a blessing to our community, and I am fortunate to enjoy their friendship. Corky will be missed, but his influence is everlasting.

We did manage to sneak a little fun into the mix this weekend, and you know it's Summer when the Canton Farmers Market opens for the season! This year's market is going to be great, and it debuted with over 60 vendors last weekend; including produce, farm eggs, bread, pies,seafood and grass fed beef. Micki Farley has outdone herself, and I am so excited to have such a great selection of farmers and makers this year! I encourage all of you to check out the market every Saturday from 9 - 1pm in Cannon Park.

The weekend began with Bike Night at First Friday, and it was a big crowd, as usual. In addition to the Farmers Market on Saturday, the Wing and Rock Fest took place in Etowah Park, so there was a lot going on in Canton this weekend. On Saturday night, we had the pleasure of seeing Dolly Parton's "Pure and Simple" tour at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth. The arena was packed, and Dolly was amazing. She sang for two hours, and she played over a dozen instruments. Of course, her stories were both touching and hilarious. She is such a national treasure, and her message to "love everyone" is well timed and appreciated.

On Sunday, we got to see the progress that Stefanie Joyner has made on the restoration of her historic home in Ball Ground. She bought the house last year and has been doing a lot of work to the property. It is looking awesome, and we can't wait to see what else she does to the home. Again, it was nice seeing other friends and neighbors at Stefanie's open house, and Meghan Quinlan laid out quite a spread of delicious food for the event.

Sunday's weather did not look good with a forecast for rain, storms and cooler temperatures. With that in mind, I decided to make some French Onion Soup for Sunday Supper. It sounded good, considering the forecast, but the rain and cooler temps did not materialize. Regardless, the soup was delicious and filling, and it included a homemade beef stock that simmered most of the day. I made the broth with oxtails and some added stew beef for a bit of heartiness. For the soup itself, I combined several recipes and added my own touches with good results. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down all of the ingredients I used, so I will include my recipe for homemade beef stock. We had some beautiful lettuce from our raised garden bed at home, so I made a simple green salad to serve with the soup. I always make my own dressing instead of buying the processed versions because they are full of fat, sugar and sodium. For dessert, Cory and John brought over a wonderful strawberry and rhubarb pie they bought from the Pie Bar at the Canton Farmers Market. Oh my, it was so good!

I am off to Chicago for work on Friday, so I won't be cooking Sunday Supper next week. Rest assured, however, I will enjoy some nice meals in the Windy City. It's one of my favorite food cities! Until next time, this one's for Corky.

The Menu:

- French Onion Soup

- Simple Green Salad

- Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie

The Recipe – Homemade Beef Broth


2-3 lbs of beef oxtails or other beef bones
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, whole
10 black peppercorns
Sea salt to taste
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
Cold water


Preheat oven to 350, and brown the bones in a shallow roasting pan for 20-30 minutes.

Wash and coarsely chop your veggies and add with browned oxtails and herbs to large stockpot.

Cover with cold water and add vinegar.

Cook on high until stock comes to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 3-4 hours.

Strain stock through a sieve and press on vegetables to release more flavor.

Refrigerate stock and allow excess fat to form on surface. Remove fat and use immediately, store in fridge for a few days or freeze for future dishes.

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