Meet the Artist: Hans Rueffert

Screenshots_2016-01-13-16-44-52Join us Thursday, January 21st, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Woodbridge Inn to celebrate Pickens County chef, author, and TV personality Hans Rueffert.  There will be a Q&A session with Hans to hear and learn about what led him to be the celebrity chef.

Light hors d’oeuvres will be served.  Make plans to stay and treat yourself to dinner with Hans and the Woodbridge Inn rrestaurant afterward.

Read more about Hans at the Woodbridge Inn website or his personal website.

Homemade ethnic cuisine

Kimchee adds tang to cuisine - Smoke Signals

By Jamie Rosenthal

One thing we cannot get in Jasper is really good, authentic ethnic cuisine, so we went about creating some of our own.

Kimchee is a traditional Korean side dish, and every Korean family has its own version of this staple. Similar to pickles or sauerkraut, kimchee is fermented, using Lactobacillus bacteria to create a tangy, pickled flavor.

Traditionally, kimchee is made with Napa cabbage, garlic, ginger, and chili paste; recipes also can include radishes, carrots, scallions, fish paste or fermented shrimp, among other ingredients.

Making kimchee can be broken down into a few different stages and starts with brining the veggies in a salt bath to kill off any harmful bacteria before allowing the veggies to sit at room temperature to ferment. After fermentation, the kimchee is refrigerated to complete the process.

Get the details and recipe from Smoke Signals: Kimchee adds tang to cuisine – Smoke Signals.

Moonshine making a comeback

Moonshine making a comeback

Moonshine – the once taboo spirit  found in cabins deep in the Appalachian mountains far away from the long arm of the law – is now making its way  into mainstream drinking thanks to specialty restaurants and legal distilleries right here in Georgia.

Once kept in Mason jars and transported in souped-up cars  in the dead of night, moonshine makers are now getting on the right side of the law and selling legally throughout the nation. The closest distillery is most notably our neighbors to the east at Dawsonville Moonshine. The other Georgia distillery is Ivy Mountain Distillery in Mt. Airy which has moonshine and sour mash and (once the most common around here) various fruit brandies.

At 61 Main, Jasper’s farm-to-table dining destination, a moonshine-based drink is their most popular.

Read full story by Christie Pool in the Pickens Progress: Moonshine making a comeback.

How a magical evening happened

Photo: Mari Livsey,

A magical evening? Sometimes it happens. The Board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse Pickens (PCAP) accomplished just that in October.

The 19-year-old nonprofit agency, which provides educational and referral services to families in Pickens County, had cut its staff by 80 percent due to shrinking grants. Sixty at-risk families were dropped from its active list. Even with these draconian measures, red ink permeated the ledgers, and funds would run out in six months. An impact event was needed to raise enough money to keep the doors open.

How about an exquisite dinner dance right down the middle of Main Street in Jasper? What an absurd idea! The visionaries on the board were ecstatic, others skeptical. An event of such magnitude just could not afford to fail. If it did the doors would close immediately.

Read the entire story of how this amazing event was pulled off by dedicated volunteers:  A magical evening in Jasper – Smoke Signals – by Dennis Santucci.

Farm aid: Festival benefits local farmers

Wolfscratch Farm fall festival to benefit local farmers - Smoke Signals

There will be a farm benefit party at Wolfscratch Farm in Jasper to raise money to help local farmers who have suffered from the devastation of an unusually rainy year.

The party and benefit will be on Saturday October 26 from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Wolfscratch Farm at 673 Long Swamp Church Road in Jasper.

The family friendly event will include music, farm tours, good food as well as a Halloween costume contest, bounce house, candy and s’mores for the kids.

via Wolfscratch Farm fall festival to benefit local farmers – Smoke Signals.

Early winter veggies


North Georgia farmers never stop working.

Winter still has room for root vegetables, and that freshness is especially nice when it’s local.  Take it from Jamie and Kristen Rosenthal:

At Wolfscratch Farm, we grow at least a little of everything and a lot of root veggies — everything from carrots and radishes to beets and parsnips and greens for salads or braising. This is our favorite time of year, with the richness of cool-weather crops coupled with a reprieve from the hot-weather growing season.”

Read more – including recipes – in Smoke Signals: Early winter veggies in the South.

Village Festival debuts in April

Photo by Valerie Doll / Smoke Signals

A new market opens next month near Big Canoe, featuring fresh local produce, meats and other foods as well as arts and crafts.

The Village Festival will be at Potts Mountain off Steve Tate near the roundabout at Cove Road. This market is an expansion, open to the public, of the market held inside the Big Canoe gates last year. It will be held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, beginning April 7 and continuing through the end of October.

In addition to fresh vegetables, plants and fruits, there will be handmade cheeses, Blue Donkey Coffee, breads, fresh seafood, sausages, lamb and beef.  A new group of people selling their wares this year will be potters and other artisans.

Read more in the story by Laura Link at Smoke Signals: The Village Festival at Big Canoe to debut in April.

Farmers Market starts March 31

The opening date for the 2012 Jasper Farmers’ Market has been set for Saturday, March 31, and the closing date Oct. 27.

There will be a Wednesday Market again this year starting June 20 and continuing through August 29.

The hours for both markets will be from 7:30 to noon.

Special events at the Market will be announced later.

The location will be, as in past years, at the Park ’n Ride Lot at Lee Newton Park for both the Saturday and Wednesday markets with the exception of those times when the 4th of July Celebration and the Marble Festival are scheduled and the market will temporarily move to Sacketts parking lot.

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