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    Luray, VA
  1. Hazard, Culpeper is great but be aware that it's about 1.25 hours off of I-81. You could continue on to Philadelphia via I-95, but would want to time it to avoid the DC area rush hour which can begins as early as 3:30. Ooops - just remebered you said Saturday - DC traffic shouldn't be too bad. Malawry, look here: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11743 Very sad, as this was one of my favorites for over 30 years - until about 5 years ago.
  2. Regardless of what you read, or hear, do not go to Mrs. Rowes - exit 222 in Staunton. Since she passed away, the place has deteriorated to a shadow of its former greatness. I'd go along with the Southern Kitchen in New Market - exit 264. No longer real mashed potatoes, but everything thing else is nice. And, it's a time warp, which I suspect you're looking for. Fried chicken is especially good, but you may have to wait for it if you're there at lunch time.
  3. I 'found' 3 bottles of '90 Chave Hermitage Blanc in my cellar. Actually, I'd forgotten them. I suspect they're close to prime, and would appreciate any pairing suggestions you might offer. Thanks, Doug
  4. Marsha, I'm with you on this. My Q-date is February 26 - I need to first get the WELLBUTRIN (like zyban) build up. My foremost food hope is the 500 botttles of 80's and early 90's Cabs and Bordeauxs will taste better. I don't have problems with the nose, but can't distinguish the nuances on the palate. Recently, I've been leaning towords the fruitbomb Shiraz, because there's more on the mouth. Weight gain will be an issue, but I'm also planning an exercise regimen as part of a larger effort to be healthier. I've just retired, and at age 59 want to be able to do the physical pursuits I enjoy with more enjoyment. Best, Doug Davis
  5. BB, I'm a transplanted city boy - Alexandria. My dad's side of the family is from Culpeper, so I spent a lot of time there in my youth. We've been down here 6 years. Very fortunate that the first two friends we made here were the president of the bank, and the sheriff. It's the sheriff who we butcher with. He's not a farmer, but has a keen interest in keeping the old ways going. The butchering is a great experience, from a social and community aspect as well as the food side. Lot's of folks come to help (and drink), just to keep those old ways alive for one day a year. I'll try to save you a pan of scrapple. Best, Doug Davis
  6. BB, yes we cure our own hams. We start a dawn, so the primal cuts are usually done by 8. The hams are left to cool for several hours. They're next packed (just spread and pressed on) with the salt/brown sugar/ pepper mixture - we use the Morton's premixed, about 1 5 lb. bag per ham and then placed on slatted shelves in the ham house. For the first week or so, they're looked at a couple of times and the cure is repacked if it's fallen off. Then just leave them alone - we don't smoke them. They just sit until April or May when we spread(pat) borax on, put them in bags (old pillow cases work well) and hang them. They stay hung until ready to use - as I mentioned above, I'm now on the two year cycle with mine. We also make what the locals call summer sausage. Some of the regular sausage is stuffed in bladders (about 6 - 8" diam) and tied off. These balls are then placed in a plastic tray of the Mortons cure and rotated every once in a while for a few weeks, Then they're hung until summer. Some folks around here eat them raw - thinly sliced - but most prefer to simmer gently for an hour or so as thay are very salty.
  7. When we butcher, I usually split a hog with someone. But two years ago, I got a whole hog which, of course means two hams. Cooked the second one from two years ago yesterday, in roasting pan with water and 1 liter coke to cover halfway, flipping at halfway point, for 4 hours at 325. Just had my first slices, have to say it's pretty awesome. The additional year really made a difference. Now, I'm on the two year cycle. Gotta' go make some biscuits! Anyone traveling out this way is welcome to stop by, Doug
  8. Glad to hear about Poche's. They are great folks to work with, and wonderfull stuff!!! I'll be placing an order soon.
  9. I would look around - yard sales, auctions, .. - for an old one. The Griswold brand is highly regarded. There's always several on eBay, but you don't have the option of visually inspecting. The Griswold #8 is the best chicken fryer ever made. Old or new, Crisco is best for seasoning.
  10. I'm formerly from NOVA but haven't lived there is several years. Would like your suggestions for dining out on Christmas afternoon. Need a traditional menu for my Mom who is 80. Thanks, Doug
  11. On Wednesday - go to library or bookstore and get something you know you'll like. Then buy your favorite, most sinfull desert, to be eaten tomorrow. On Thursday - sleep late, then do something outdoors. Take a long hike, do the final garden cleanup, ... Mid-afternoon take your book and go to your favorite Chinese restaurant, and order any and everything that strikes your fancy. Ask them to serve your selections banquet style - one at a time. By now you're fully engrossed in your book. Return home, get comfy, and continue reading. Later that evening, pull out the desert and gorge. Then get in bed with your book, reading until it falls on chest at which time you turn the lights out and fall blissfully to sleep. Also, I wouldn't drink too much.
  12. here's a quick primer : http://www.samcooks.com/flavor/CountryHam.htm Yes, the ham must be cooked. Whole hams are normally simmered. Uncooked slices are fried and served as bacon would be, primarily for breakfast. Hope this helps.
  13. I was thinking last night that there are two main considerations when selecting your ham - excuse me if you're already aware of them: 1- cooked or uncooked. While cooking a country ham is not difficult, you will need either a very large stockpot (at least 14" diameter x 20"high) , or a very large and sturdy roasting pan. The stockpot is easier to simmer on the stovetop, the roasting pan with liquid in the oven means you may have to turn the ham while cooking. NOTE: I don't think you need to soak Calhouns hams, but it will have to be scrubbed. 2- size. Unless you plan on entertaining or sharing, a whole ham is a LOT of ham. I usually cook one the second week of December, and it's in the fridge past Christmas. You may wish to consider buying a half (although they're usually sold cooked, and often boneless). I'm not sure what Calhouns does in this respect. If Calhouns doesn't work for you, my choice of the mass produced hams is the Edwards brand (their Wigwam is the best one in their line), these may be available at Balduccis or the Giant Someplace Special store in McLean. However, I think the effort and slightly greater expense to get a real artisianal ham is well worth it. Best, Doug
  14. The finest (except for the ones we put up at home) are here: http://calhounhams.com/ I don't know if the Alexandria farmers market in Old Town is still open this time of year, otherwise get a friend, pay for the gas, and take a nice ride out to Culpeper. They also ship, but you should see store and pick out the one you want.
  15. Not knowing the area, I can't speak to your question. I can say however, that as an afficianado of both components, I will make the 2+ hour drive from Luray to try one - or three! Keep us posted, Doug
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