Well, It’s not too very often at all that I take time to write about food on my blog, though it is one thing that I enjoy probably as much as, if not more, than crafting. Good local food is a total weakness for me. From fresh grown vegetables and fruits, to locally owned restaurants, if it’s local, I’m game to try it. Raw food in general is great, but throw in the time it takes to hand-craft a delicious artisan creation, and I’m head over heels in love.
Just recently I took a trip to fabulous Nashville, TN, and I was at the local coffee shop, Bongo Java, in East Nashville (for breakfast mind you) and there on the counter sat the most gorgeously wrapped chocolate bars I may have ever seen. Further inspection proved what I suspected to be true: it was LOCAL chocolate! This chocolate is small batch, stone ground, slow-roasted, and hand-crafted right in Nashville, Tennessee! Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company boasts chocolate bars in 67% and 75% dark chocolate, as well as NIBS in 67%, coffee in 75%, salt and pepper in 67%, and sea salt in 75% dark chocolate. They also have a seasonal Mexican style Cinn-chili bar. I had to settle for only one sea salt dark chocolate bar (it was breakfast after all) and leave the others behind because I knew they wouldn’t be able to beat the Nashville heat while I sat outside for my craft fair. I was sad to leave the rest of this chocolate on the counter, but the one bar I had was oh so delicious.
After I got home (still have the wrapper, of course) I looked up the website hoping to learn how to order some more, and found the Facebook page with an awesome photo shoot showing how the chocolate is made. While I may have to wait for the direct mail services to start, right now I can just look at these pictures every once in a while and dream about the day I get to have another one of these Southern Artisan chocolate bars.
Back much closer to home, the awesomest Erin Edds has been whipping up gallons of something super delish: Hoosier Momma’s Brand Bloody Mary Maker. Just yesterday I was lucky enough to finally get my hands on a jar of this locally sourced, secret recipe awesomeness. Now, I must admit that even a year ago, I wouldn’t have touched a Bloody Mary with a ten foot pole, but my silly grown up taste buds keep changing all the time, and I’m finally able to enjoy this tomato based, wholesome goodness. Hoosier Momma’s mix is made from Indiana tomatoes, and as anyone who has ever lived or eaten a tomato in Indiana will tell you, there’s no other taste like that of an Indiana tomato. This mix is good enough to drink on it’s own. If you like V8, this is a much better, MUCH yummier, slightly spicy substitute.
Last night I whipped up a Bloody Mary with my new jar of Hoosier Momma and my favorite vodka, Indiana Vodka, which is also made right here in good old Indianapolis, Indiana by Heartland Distillers. I mixed up 6 ounces of Hoosier Momma’s to 2 ounces of Indiana vodka, poured it over some ice, and added the juice of half a lime (that’s just how I like mine!). Two drinks later, I also decided it would be a great idea to cook with this deliciousness, so I took the chicken I was making for my husband and marinated it in the Hoosier Momma, and then made a foil pouch with more Hoosier Momma in the pouch with the chicken, and cooked it on the grill. Now, I don’t eat the land animal meat, but my husband, and 2 neighbors who had joined us for dinner loved the flavor. So, not only is Hoosier Momma’s good for drinking with or without the vodka, you can also use it to make show-stopping awesomeness in the kitchen.
So, here’s enough local awesomeness to make me hungry for drinks and dessert (who needs dinner anyway?). I hope you’ll check out these great local companies and tell me what you think. And oh yes, Happy Memorial Day!