Get Local for the Holidays

When I have guests in town for the holidays, there is nothing I love more than to treat them to seasonal local flavors fresh from the farms of Haywood County.

Winter can be pretty slim pickins’ you say?

When we think of farm fresh products, what often comes to mind are juicy berries, beautiful ripe tomatoes, garden fresh peppers sizzling on the grill, aromatic herbs, crispy green beans or an apple so sweet you can’t help but lick your fingers when your finished.

You can have all those flavors and MORE during the off-season, if you just know where to look!

Craving a juicy local tomato?

Pick up a jar of Oven Roasted Tomato Jam from our partners at Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon.  Chef DeMarco and team oven roasts perfectly ripened tomatoes with olive oil  before adding garlic and fresh herbs to create a flavorful savory spread.  Surprise your guests by serving it on sandwiches, pair with fresh mozzarella cheese and crispy grilled bruschetta for an elegant appetizer or between-meal snack.  Create a new twist on roast pork by serving this as a condiment in the place of holiday chutney.  Or, top your favorite omelet with a generous dollop for a punch of savory flavor and vibrant color.

Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon and other local producers perfectly  preserve the season’s best flavors in a variety of products including jams, jellies, savory spreads and artisan pickled products.  What a great time to explore new flavor combinations and treat your guests to unforgettable meals!  Visit our web directory for a list of agripreneurs, local products and specialty retail partners.

Here is a new personal favorite that I served at a business meeting recently…and my guest (who isn’t local) asked to take the rest of the jar back to South Carolina with her!

Roasted Red Pepper and Peach Jam from Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon served over creamy French brie with spicy Dilly Beans on the side.

Bored with burgers but want to serve a hearty dish that is light enough for lunch & elegant enough to present at dinner?

Stop by Sunburst Market in downtown Waynesville for some fresh fillets to create Chef Heidi Dunkelberg’s “Sunburst Trout Reuben.”  While you are there, grab all the ingredients for your side dishes and even pick up some “welcome” gifts for your out of town guests!  Sunburst Market is a one-stop fabulous shop.

Chef Heidi was generous enough to share her recipe!

Sunburst Trout Reuben

(Makes 4 sandwiches, double recipe for larger group)

6 Sunburst Trout filets (1 1/2 filets per sandwich)
Salt & Pepper
4 slices Swiss Cheese
Russian Sauce (sorry this recipe is a Coffee Cup secret!)
8 slices local Rye Bread
Oil – olive, vegetable or canola

Line a baking sheet with foil.  Arrange filets skin-side down, and lightly salt & pepper.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Allow filets to cool slightly, then they lift right off the skin.

Arrange 4 slices of Rye bread and lightly brush bottom side with desired oil.  Place 1 1/2 baked filets on each slice.  Top filets with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut.  Lay out remaining 4 slices of Rye and spread with Russian sauce.  Top the sandwiches and lightly brush with desired oil.  Grill in a hot pan on the stove top until golden brown and cheese is perfectly  melted.  Serve & Enjoy!

You can enjoy more of Chef Heidi’s “Uniquely Local – Farm to Table” dishes by dining at Coffee Cup Cafe in Clyde, NC.

Play with Sweet & Savory Flavors

Introduce local honey into your menu in an unexpected way.  The sweet floral notes add so much depth to a classic Dijon vinaigrette and serves to create a nice crust on grilled meats when used as glaze.

Bored with the richness of traditional holiday sweets?

Draw inspiration from global flavors to create an unexpected dessert layered with local ingredients!  Here is a recipe for a traditional Italian cake that we have modified with a Southern twist by using local apples, Georgia pecans, garden fresh herbs and floral Haywood County honey then baked in a cast iron skillet for a rustic presentation.

Torta di Mele with Rosemary Pecans and Max Patch Clover Honey

Torta di Mele with Rosemary Pecans & Max Patch Clover Honey

(Recipe courtesy of Tina Masciarelli and her daughters)


1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon dried ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz butter, softened
2 farm fresh eggs
3/4 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt)
1-2 local apples, peeled and thinly sliced
**Adjust the amount of apple depending on size
of the fruit.  If the apples are large, use one.  If
small, use two.  I used NC Golden Delicious for this
1 cup pecan pieces
Sugar in the Raw **To sprinke on top**
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Vanilla Ice Cream
Local Clover Honey **I used Clover Honey from Max
Patch, the floral notes add the exact flavor that I


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Chop 1-2 Tablespoons of fresh rosemary and toss in a bowl with 1 cup Sugar in the Raw.  The rosemary will infuse the sugar.
  • Toast the pecan pieces for 5-8 minutes until done.  Add hot pecans to rosemary sugar and toss until well coated.  Let stand until ready to garnish dessert.
  • Butter a 9 inch baking dish of your choice.  I used my Grandmother’s cast iron skillet – sprayed lightly with cooking spray – for a rustic presentation.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and salt.  Set aside.
  • In another mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just until incorporated after each egg.  Reduce the mixer speed to low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.  Careful not to overmix after each addition.  Add half the yogurt, mix just until incorporated.  Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, mix just until incorporated. Add the remaining yogurt, mix, and then the last portion of the flour mixture.  Let stand while you prepare the apples.
  • Peel and thinly slice the apple(s).  Add to the batter and mix on low until apples are incorporated, careful not to overmix.
  • Pour into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the top with Sugar in the Raw to lightly cover top and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Careful not to overbake.


  • Remove the Torta from the oven and let rest for 8-10 minutes before cutting.  Meanwhile, assemble the toppings: Vanilla Ice Cream, Rosemary Pecans & Local Honey
  • Place a slice of the Torta in each bowl, top with a scoop of ice cream, toasted pecans (making sure to get bits of rosemary and sugar), drizzle with honey.
Serve & ENJOY!

There are so many ways to incorporate  local ingredients into your menus year-round…from honey to farm-fresh eggs, meats, poultry, trout products & preserved items.

Southern food is less about any particular ingredient and more about a state of mind.  Appalachian cuisine is deeply rooted in our heritage—born through centuries of “making do,” never wasting and seeing delicious opportunities everywhere.

You can create innovative “farm to table” menus year-round by incorporating history, resourcefulness and farm-fresh flavors to create a uniquely local experience your guests won’t soon forget.  For more recipes and local-flavor inspiration, visit the RECIPES page on our website.
May you enjoy many bountiful feasts throughout the season!
 — Tina Masciarelli, Buy Haywood Project Coordinator

When you GET LOCAL, don’t forget to enter our #ShopSmall Contest through December 25, 2014. 
Complete contest rules & details on our website!

Holiday Greetings!

WNC Christmas Tree Farm
Photo courtesy of  WNC Christmas Tree Farm

May your holiday season be filled with an abundance
of joy, laughter and love!

As a community, you have enriched our organization through your continued support of Haywood County agripreneurs,
your enthusiasm about local food and farm products
and your relentless dedication to the preservation of our rich agricultural heritage.

We have enjoyed sharing 2013 with you and look forward to all the possibilities lie ahead in 2015.

On behalf of the entire Buy Haywood team,

– Tina Masciarelli, Buy Haywood Project Coordinator

#ShopSmall Contest

Don’t stop with Small Business Saturday! 

Saturday, November 29

Have you taken our Shop Small Challenge to heart this holiday season? Celebrate your efforts by entering to win our #ShopSmall Contest.

Join our efforts andpurchase with a purpose’ by using your holiday I Shop Local Treeshopping dollars to invest in the agricultural backbone of Haywood County.   Support of local agripreneurs keeps farms viable and preserves access to local products while protecting farmland and the rural character of the region.

What is the #ShopSmall contest all about?

Support Buy Haywood’s Uniquely Local partners at area farms, markets, specialty retailers, farm-to-table restaurants, event venues, local preservation partners and Christmas tree farms.

Boyd Tree Farm (Photo courtesy of Ashley Rice at Visit NC Smokies)
Boyd Tree Farm (Photo courtesy of Ashley Rice at Visit NC Smokies)

Each time you shop small, leave a post on our Facebook page telling us the Uniquely Local partner you supported and automatically get entered to win!  It is that simple…  The more you shop, the more you post, the greater your chances of winning!

And the prize is…

Three hand thrown teal/oatmeal stoneware nesting bowls from our Uniquely Local – Artisan Produced partners at Hemphill Pottery ($85 value).  Pottery is fired to Cone 6

Hemphill Bowls

Want some local ideas to help get you started?

Visit our #ShopSmall ideas page to create some Uniquely Local gifts for everyone on your list.  We will updating this page throughout the holiday season as new suggestions come in…so check back often!UniqLocalArtisanProduced

Visit our webpage for complete contest rules!

For a full listing of Buy Haywood’s Uniquely Local destinations,
visit our web directory.  Or, pick up a paper copy of our Find your Adventure! 2014 Agritourism Guide at one of our local partner locations listed on our website.  The agritourism guide includes a calendar of holiday events at various farm locations.

So, get your jingle on and JOIN US in supporting Haywood County agripreneurs.  It is that simple…  The more you shop or issue local support, the more you post, the greater your chances of winning!

– Tina Masciarelli, Buy Haywood Project Coordinator