Thursday, November 20, 2014
Graeter's is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been making gourmet ice cream using the "French Pot" process since the early 1920's. According to Graeter's website, it is the only ice cream manufacturer in the world using French Pot freezers to produce its ice cream. These batches are each only two gallons, which is also the smallest batch in the industry. If you have not yet tried their ice cream, it is most delicious! It is quite a bit more expensive than other brands of ice cream, but each pint is hand packed with high quality ice cream made in small batches. You will notice the difference in taste and also the heft of the pint container!
Having spent about ten years in Cincinnati beginning in the mid 1970's, I have enjoyed eating Graeter's ice cream made locally. When I relocated to Columbus, it was several years before a Graeter's franchise location appeared on the scene. I was thrilled! Still nothing beats the fond memories of sitting at the little round marble tables at the Graeter's ice cream and candy shop in the Clifton neighborhood of Cincinnati and enjoying a couple of scoops of double-chocolate chip ice cream in a hand-made waffle cone.
I hope you will stop by the Homer Village Market and pick up a pint of Graeter's ice cream! Other flavors we sometimes stock include the Mocha Chocolate Chip, Chocolate-Chocolate Chip (formerly known as double-chocolate chip), and Coconut Chocolate Chip. These "chips" are more like chunks of rich, dark chocolate. If you visit Graeter's website, you can view the video of their French Pot process of making ice cream and you will see how the chocolate chips are introduced to the recipe!
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Area farmers are still in process of harvesting crops, so the deer still have plenty of cover. This can be frustrating for hunters in their tree stands in the fence row along the edge of the fields. Sometimes it may seem as though more deer are crossing the highways than are seen in the fields and woods!
Serious hunters will set up their stands early and begin watching for patterns of the herds of deer. Some will even put a "trail camera" or "deer cam" near their tree stand to see when the deer are most active.
Here is a picture of the buck harvested in November 2013 on our farm by our friend Dave, an experienced, licensed deer hunter we permit to hunt there.
Dave monitored he activity of the herds earlier in the season. To maintain a good population of deer for hunting, Dave will not target any female (doe) deer or young males (bucks).
The trail cameras this year have captured photos of some large bucks as well as young families of deer, some even still nursing. We will post some photos of the herds as well as the harvest later in the season.
Happy Hunting! We welcome hunters to stop by the Homer Village Market when they emerge from the woods!
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Many customers requesting alligator meat already have their favorite recipes, but just as many customers are wanting to try alligator for the first time and request recipes. One can find many recipes for alligator on the many cooking websites such as cooks.com, foodnetwork, and epicurious. Also recipes can be found on the state websites for Louisiana and Florida where alligator hunting and alligator farming are significant industries within their local economies.
Below are some recipes that cover the most common techniques for cooking alligator. If you are already familiar with cooking techniques in your own kitchen or backyard grill, you will be able to adapt your favorite recipes to use alligator meat. You can make:
- a Cajun casserole using tomatoes, garlic, rice, and peppery spices,
- an oriental-style stir-fry such as "General Tso" style dish over rice
- lightly pan-fry and serve as a "po-boy" sandwich with usual sandwich toppings such as lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, cheese, pickles, mayo
- a family-style fondue pot meal
- deep fry or pan fry using either a buttermilk and seasoned flour batter or an egg and seasoned flour batter and serve with a sweet/tangy red sauce or a ranch dipping sauce
- grill marinated gator and veggie kabobs and serve with baked potatoes or rice pilaf
- grill hand-cut gator "steaks" using a dry rub after marinating in citrus or vinegar-based sauce
- make a jambalaya or gumbo using a combination of vegetables, seafood, sausage, poultry, and rice
- cut in half-inch cubes, toss in a seasoned flour and cornmeal mix after basting in milk or buttermilk, deep fry, and serve over baked potatoes with a side of ranch-style sauce
Here are a few recipes collected from the internet over the past several years:
Enough milk to cover alligator meat
1/4 cup paprika
6 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons black pepper
3 tablespoons oregano, crushed
2 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper(more if you like spicier)
Combine paprika, garlic powder, salt, white pepper, oregano, black pepper, thyme and cayenne pepper in jar with tight fitting lid. Shake well to combine. When ready to cook, cut gator tail meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Roll each cube in a tablespoon of the mixture.
Cook over high heat on your barbeque grill for 4-5 minutes, flipping once. Alligator tail should be white and firm to the touch. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing onto the meat.
2 pounds alligator meat, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons vinegar
salt and pepper to taste oil for frying
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons black pepper
OPTIONAL DIPPING SAUCE
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Place alligator meat in a medium bowl, and mix with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate about 10 minutes.
Pour oil into a large skillet to a depth of 1 inch, and heat over a medium-high flame.
Add to a large resealable bag the flour, cornmeal, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Squeeze off excess liquid from meat, and add one handful of meat to the resealable bag. Shake to coat. Remove meat, shake off excess flour, and set on a plate. Repeat with remaining meat.
When oil is hot, place meat pieces into oil, being careful not to overcrowd. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove to paper towels, and serve hot.
To prepare dipping sauce, mix together in a small bowl the mayonnaise, horseradish, brown mustard, and red wine vinegar.
Baked Grilled potatoes:
Sauce for Potatoes:
Alligator Balls Recipe
1 lb Chopped alligator meat
1 tb Finely chopped onions
1 tb Finely chopped celery
1 tb Finely chopped parsley
2 tb Finely chopped shallots
2 ts Lemon pepper
1/2 ts Salt
1/4 c Bread crumbs
1 c Cooking oil
Flour to dredge
Combine all ingredients, form 1 inch diameter balls, allow to set one hour. Dredge in flour and fry till brown. Serve hot.
HERE'S A RECIPE FROM FLORIDA
GRILLED GATOR KABOBS
cup Florida orange juice concentrate
cup Florida orange juice
tablespoons light soy sauce
tablespoons brown sugar
pound Florida alligator meat, cut into cubes
1-inch cubes assorted Florida vegetables or fruit, cubed
Preparation For the marinade, combine orange concentrate, orange juice, soy sauce, sugar and spices in a medium glass bowl. Reserve half for basting. Add alligator cubes; stir to coat well. Marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator for increased flavor. Soak wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes to prevent them from burning. Thread marinated alligator cubes onto skewers, alternating with vegetable or fruit cubes. Heat the grill to high heat and grill kabobs for 6-8 minutes; turning once. Brush with extra marinade for the first 5 minutes. Discard any leftover marinade.
Yield 4 servings
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Large, commercialized breweries with a national distribution network also are brewing some much-loved beer for our consumption. They have taken their "craft" to a whole, new level of mass production with a taste that appeals to the masses of beer consumers. Their advertisements appear on TV and billboards and infomercials on the internet and in the press.
Small, "craft" breweries are creating recipes for some unusual and limited-edition beers. Often you will find them bottled in large, 22-40 ounce bottles with an artistic label. Their Facebook pages and websites will announce the "birth" of their latest creation. Sometimes the bottles are even numbered as an artist would number his prints and paintings.
Due to some recent Ohio legislation reducing the license fees for small brewers and distilleries, more and more "craft" breweries and distilleries are getting into the business of making and distributing their beverages. Most of these small-scale breweries are producing beer for their own tasting rooms as well as for local bars and restaurants to have on tap for their customers. A few of these small operators are investing in the equipment and technology to bottle, can, label, package, and distribute their beer to consumers at retail carryouts in many of Ohio's nearby counties.
This week, Homer Village Market is offering two more locally produced "craft" beers:
- Lot 21 Blonde Ale produced by Millersburg Brewing Company, Millersburg, Ohio
- 6-pack 12 oz. cans $8.99
- Bleeding Buckeye Red Ale produced by Elevator Brewing Company, Columbus, Ohio
- 6-pack 12 oz. bottles $8.99
Recently, Homer Village Market began offering craft beers brewed by Homestead Beer Company in Heath, Ohio, which is in our very own Licking County.
- Tenpenny Amber Ale - six pack of 12-ounce bottles - $8.99
- Barnraiser Pale Ale - 22 oz. bottles - $4.99 each
What a perfect time to enjoy some new flavors in beers and wines! Pass the chips and salsa, and enjoy one of the many craft beers available in Ohio. When you tailgate before or after the Ohio State Game and you have reached your safe destination, try some of these flavorful, fresh beers with some bratwurst or burgers! Enjoy the tastes, sights, and sounds of the season!
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The internet makes research fascinating and exhaustive. Breweries and Wineries generally have websites and Facebook pages. They frequently post links to articles about beer and wine brands, cooking with beer or wine, or results of beer and wine competitions from around the nation and around the globe. What better way to discover a new beer or wine to try than to read about other people's experiences and recommendations!
Here are a few interesting links I came across today regarding beer. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did! Where does your state rank for beer in list of "Best Beers in America?" Ohio ranks #12.
Or how about this article which is a sort of "bucket list" of beers to drink before you die! I was surprised to see Miller High Life on the author's list. I might have to taste that one for myself! I see in the picture that particular bottle has a Harley Davidson emblem. The only person I know who loves to drink Miller High Life also loves his Harley....I presume there must be some connection between the two brands.....that will be my next research project on a rainy day!
It is also fun to read beer reviews on the Beer Advocate website. Sometimes you can find beers similar in style to ones you already know and love. If you are hesitant to buy a whole pack of a beer brand you have never tasted, because you fear you will be stuck with the rest if you don't like it, you could always go to a local bar that has an extensive beer list, and try just one. In our area, Brew's Café has a rather extensive beer menu. I hope you will experiment with a few new styles of beer and wine just to be sure you don't miss anything fabulous!
Did you know that some beer actually tastes good with various kinds of cheese? Usually one thinks of wine paired with cheese and beer paired with chips or peanuts or maybe hot dogs and burgers. Cooking with wine and beer is also an adventure. I love using beer to cook bratwurst. Dry white wine can make great soup with the addition of herbs, seafood, and vegetables. Dry red wine makes a good marinade ingredient and also a good addition to sauces for pasta or meaty gravy. Sweet red wine can be used in desserts such as fudge brownie recipes, red velvet cake recipes, or frozen into a slush to make a pure wine dessert!
If you want to try something new or pick up some of your favorite brands, please stop by the store and check out our selection! Thanks for reading, and thanks for shopping in the store!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Tomatoes are finally beginning to ripen, and the hot peppers in the garden are ready to pick! Many home gardeners have already harvested their sweet corn and have put away plenty for over the Winter!
Speaking of Winter, last Winter was so cold that our grapes, peaches, and strawberry crops were damaged. We are hoping that this Winter will not be as severe! Our local orchard brought in some delicious peaches from North Carolina, so we didn't have to do without peaches this year! The apple orchards look very good.
Now that Fall is approaching and the kids are back in school, it is time to get back to the familiar routines and schedules. Summer was nice and lazy for many of us, hectic for others. The school year brings structure back to our lives, and the children are back at the top of our priorities.
Enjoy the season, and take time to smell roses! Take lots of pictures, and cherish the memories of family times together! Life is moving so quickly!
Saturday, August 9, 2014
This is an annual event, and the riders raise millions of dollars for cancer research. Many sponsors help to promote the event, donate funds, and provide volunteer workers at the rest stops or to assist with transportation. In many of the small towns along the route, you will see bystanders cheering them on, waving flags or ringing bells. Family members follow in vehicles and try to meet them at the stops and provide additional encouragement and refreshments.
I want to thank all of the Pelotonia participants, friends, and family members who stopped by the store today to buy refreshments. Thank you for the important fundraising effort you made today!
Thanks also to the two Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers who stood in the middle of our intersection and directed traffic in the hot sun from 10 o'clock in the morning until 6 o'clock in the evening. You kept everyone safe and the traffic was flowing smoothly. Thanks also for supporting the store with your purchases!
We look forward to next summer when the cyclists will be training for Pelotonia 15. Hopefully, next year's ride will have such good weather, good turnout, and most importantly, many donations to support the cause!
Be sure and check out the website and consider riding next year or donating your money or time to help raise money to end cancer.
Friday, July 25, 2014
All you need is a blender, some sweet red or white wine, a little bit of your favorite fruit, a freezer, and a little bit of time.....about an hour or so, unless you want to blend in some shaved ice. If you really like it sweet, you can add some powdered sugar. You can use fresh or frozen berries, peaches, or even canned peaches or pears.
Crush your sliced fruit or whole berries in a blender with a little bit of sweet wine to help it blend smoothly. Then add the whole bottle of wine and blend until combined. Pour the sweet concoction into a shallow freezer-safe casseroles or pie plates and place on the freezer shelf for about 30 minutes. Take it out of the freezer and scrape the mixture with a fork. Replace in the freezer. Repeat a couple more times and then divide the slushy mixture into glasses to enjoy!
Another method is to blend the sweet wine with ice cubes in the blender to make it into a slushy that is ready to drink right from the blender! Still another method is to blend fruit and wine in a blender as in the previous recipe, but instead of freezing it in a shallow dish, pour into ice cube trays. When you want a slushy, all you need to do is toss a handful or two of the sweet ice cubes into the blender and pour into glasses.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Forty-six facts you should know about Homer Village Market. (Or...maybe you knew but forgot!)
- The store was first ESTABLISHED in 2006 selling cold soft drinks, shelf-stable foods, tobacco products, farm-stand produce, and general store merchandise.
- In 2008, we implemented the requirements to become a LICENSED Retail Food Establishment so we would be permitted by law to sell refrigerated and frozen foods.
- In 2010, we obtained a license for mobile food service and became CERTIFIED in food safety.
- In 2014, after a successful LOCAL OPTION ELECTION, we obtained BEER & WINE retail carryout permits for our location. The rest of the township is still considered "dry" status.
- The store is OPEN all year: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. HOURS are scheduled each season and are posted on our door as well as website, facebook page, and available in the store upon request. Typical hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days per week, sometimes longer in summer and shorter in winter. Sometimes the store is open 7 days per week due to receiving. The store is usually closed on major HOLIDAYS, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and sometimes Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Fourth of July, except by appointment.
- Our PHONE number is 740 EIGHT NINE TWO THREE TWO FOUR TWO.
- Our WEBSITE address is www.homervillagemarket-generalstore.com
- Our FACEBOOK page address is https://www.facebook.com/HomerVillageMarket
- YES, we are licensed to sell BEER ON SUNDAYS (as well as throughout the week).
- We have a good variety of domestic, regional, and imported WINE in addition to domestic, local, regional and imported BEER. We sell both at the lowest prices permitted by State law. Our wine permit also allows us to offer prepackaged COCKTAILS and 40-proof spirits for carryout (except Sundays).
- We also offer an assortment of the most popular brands of CIGARETTES, smokeless tobacco products, and cigars at STATE MINIMUM prices. We have no e-cigs or loose tobacco.
- We accept SNAP benefits (aka Ohio Direction Card, FOOD STAMPS) for eligible items (food including nonalcoholic beverages, snacks, ice).
- We accept debit and CREDIT CARDS and cash but NO CHECKS.
- We have FOOD staples such as milk, bread, lunch meat, pasta, produce, canned foods, bottled beverages, cereal, coffee, tea, ice cream, and condiments.
- You can buy premade SANDWICHES and SNACKS to go. We also have a commercial microwave to heat your sandwich.
- You can get a hot cup of COFFEE for only $1.
- In addition to the Pepsi vending machine outside the store, inside the store you can find bottles and cans of cold PEPSI products, tea, water, Gatorade, juice, coffee drinks, and bottled water in the cooler.
- We carry a variety of commonly needed BAKING INGREDIENTS, such as
- Cooking Oil
- Butter, Margarine and Crisco shortening
- Cake Mixes
- Chocolate chips
- Prepared Frosting
- Canned vegetables
- Fresh and canned fruit
- Dried fruit and roasted nuts
Sunday, July 13, 2014
There are dozens of recipes online if you google on alligator or frogs legs. One of my trusted sources for recipes is the Food Network. Many enjoy alligator bites, battered and fried, just as they prepare them in the taverns down south. Others like to put them on the grill with some Cajun seasoning.
We enjoy alligator bites stir-fried with onions and hot peppers in a garlic-black bean sauce, served over a bed of steamed rice. If you want to enjoy an "unadulterated version" of alligator, just toss a few medallions in a skillet to brown both sides and cook them through. Be careful not to overcook it or else it will be chewy and tough. Seafood cooks rather quickly. It will have the consistency of a tender pork chop. Try making a sandwich with the alligator topped with lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayonnaise. If you like cheese, provolone is a good choice.
Frogs legs also are good lightly battered and fried. I like mine with cocktail sauce. Another favorite way to prepare frogs legs would be in a creole dish. Cut the pair of frogs legs into two legs and then sauté them in butter and garlic until almost done, just a few minutes per side. Then add a diced tomato and some Cajun seasoning that includes paprika and ground hot pepper. Simmer a few minutes to blend the seasonings. Chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon can be added when you serve this and it goes nicely with steamed rice.
Frogs legs are also very good on the grill. The larger size frogs legs may be better for the grill as they are easier to turn and less likely to get overcooked.
If you have a recipe to share, please stop by the store and let me know!
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The store was closed for the Fourth, so I spent time with family. Later in the weekend, I enjoyed a morning stroll around the newly mown hay field on our farm. An evening bonfire lit up our backyard and kept the mosquitoes away for a few hours.
Be sure to stop by and see all the new items in the store! I love the hectic pace of summer and the chance to bring in more and more stock. Please remember, we do take requests!
Hope to see you soon!
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
For some, it was business as usual. Many retail sales events were going on all over the area. New cars, new clothes for the season, food for the barbeque--many people had to work their regular jobs over the holiday so that everyone else could enjoy the holiday! Local farmers took advantage of the beautiful weather to get their crops planted or fields prepared for planting.
I was one of those working on the holiday to be sure the store was fully stocked with milk, ice cream, meat, cheese, and ice cubes! The delivery drivers were bringing products to the stores, and the stores were busily stocking and selling, and looking forward to picnics later in the afternoon and evening!
- Large, take-n-bake Pepperoni Pizzas
- Fresh Bratwurst
- Quarter-Pound hamburger patties
- Ice Cream including Moose Tracks, Strawberry, Mint Chocolate Chip, Butter Pecan, and Vanilla
- Chicken Salad, Ham Salad, and Potato Salad
- Ice Cold Beer including imports and craft beers
- Easy-to-enjoy wine and mixed beverages
- New flavors of soda pop
- New varieties of snacks
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
I remember one of my most enjoyable summer days as a kid was relaxing in a lawn chair under the big shade tree in the back yard and getting "lost" in a good book. I know that must sound boring to kids these days, but this was before personal computers, smart phones (or cell phones at all), and before I even learned to drive. Since my Mom didn't drive, I had no expectations of being chauffeured anywhere.
Walking to the local mall with my girlfriends and just "hanging out" was another favorite past-time. We loved stopping at the Woolworth's snack bar for some French fries and a Coke or riding the escalator to May's Department Store basement for a soft-serve malt! Riding our bicycles around the neighborhood on a sunny day let us experience the sights, sounds, and smells of summer in the suburbs!
I looked forward to our family's annual summer vacation to the Smokey Mountains, but the two weeks always went by so quickly! I remember an occasional afternoon at the beach or public swimming pool, a weekend picnic at the park after a pleasant drive along country roads, and a few summer concerts outdoors with family.
Whatever you plan to do this Summer, enjoy yourselves and take some time to relax! Please stop by the Homer Village Market and see what you might need for your picnic basket or backyard gatherings during this mild weather leading to a long, hot summer!