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Quarry Hill Orchards

When I was a kid, way back in the good old days, my grandfather liked nothing better than to pile us into a car (no air conditioning, of course) and head out to the country to buy fruit, or just see the sights. The orchards near Lake Erie were a favorite destination.

After much teasing and telling us we weren’t going to stop this time, we’d always pull into my all-time favorite little ice cream stand on Route 113 for cones, or on rare occasions, a chili dog and a chocolate milk shake.

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Then it was on to countless fruit and vegetable stands. Apples, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, plums, cherries, pumpkins – each season brought its own treasure hunt. One of our stops was usually Quarry Hill Orchards in Berlin Heights.

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To sit in the backseat of Grandpa’s car eating one of their apples, or a peach, as we drove through beautiful farmland, is one of my best childhood memories.

And now, four thousand years later with a grandchild of my own to take for a drive to get ice cream, we are proud to say some of our products are carried at Quarry Hill.

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Drive out to get some of our lavender infused creamed honey. While you’re there, check out their large selection of items from around Ohio – pickles, jellies, maple syrup, noodles, baking mixes, popcorn, and candies to name a few.

And you certainly won’t be able to pass up their fruit.

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So pile your kids into the car, or your grandkids, or your friends – heck, grab a stranger if you have to – and take a drive to “the country” to buy some fruit, pick up some honey, and indulge in an ice cream cone.

The memories you’ll create are priceless.

Rhubarb Chutney with Honey

 

Rhubarb. Delicious, tart, multi-colored rhubarb.

Beautiful rhubarb

It’s here for such a short season that it would be a dirty rotten shame not to make the most of it. Rhubarb belongs in pies and salsa and BBQ sauce and jam. And it most definitely belongs in chutney.

Sweet/sour/addicting chutney with honey.

Gifts to go

Simply defined, chutney is a “thick sauce that is made from fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices”. It goes great with roasted meats like chicken. And pork. And it practically begs to be eaten with turkey. In fact, slathering some of this richly colored chutney on your
Thanksgiving turkey is like having a taste of Spring freshness on a late Fall day.

Chutney is easy to make: 10 minutes of chopping, 30 minutes of simmering, 15 minutes of canning and that’s it — you have captured Spring and put it in a jar.If you’re not a canner, you can simply slip the cooled chutney into a freezer jar and eliminate the last step of the process.

Rhubarb compote

Don’t you love all the colors of rhubarb. Deep red. Light red. Green – all in one stalk. Beautiful.

This Honey Rhubarb Chutney recipe comes from a wonderful website called The Elliott Homestead.   It’s a combination of rhubarb, dried cherries, onions, spices and, of course, honey.

Simmer all the ingredients together for about a half hour and you are ready to can.

Cooking it Down

If you can stand it. I had a hard time not eating it all before I canned it.It tastes like pie in a jar. And who can resist a good pie in a jar!

Rhubarb in a Row

But resist I did. My two pounds of rhubarb yielded five pints of chutney. Five pints will not hold me until next rhubarb season so I will be making this deliciousness again. And again. And again.

Rhubarb season is short. But with about an hour of work, you can preserve it for the year. And on those dark, grey days of Winter, you’ll be happy you did. It is sunshine in a jar.

Honey Rhubarb Chutney

2 lbs. rhubarb, cut into pieces
2 cups raw honey
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Simmer approx. 30 minutes. 
The rhubarb will begin to break down and loose its shape and the liquid will 
thicken slightly. Laddle into sterilized pint jars and process in a hot water
bath for 15 minutes. Cool and listen for the telltale "ping" as the jars are 
cooling. Store in a cool dark cupboard for up to a year. 
NOTE: The cooled chutney can be put into freezer jars and frozen instead of 
canned.

 

 

A Day at “The Flea”

On the second Saturday of the month, from April through October, you can find us at one of my most favorite venues on the planet – The Cleveland Flea.

“Part urban treasure hunt

Part culinary adventure

Part maker center”

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The Flea is a day of people watching, treasure hunting, Food Truck binging and enjoying the unique, slightly quirky flavor of Cleveland.

First of all, if you didn’t know the flea was happening, you would never just stumble upon it. Tucked into a parking lot between several warehouses and factories off of Superior and East 36th Street in Cleveland’s Asia Town, The Flea isn’t visible from the street. But the hundreds of people you see walking towards it from off-site parking is a dead giveaway. To the untrained eye, you’d ask yourself where the heck are all these people going on a Saturday afternoon. If you’d allow yourself to follow your curiosity and see where they were heading, you’d discover a true gem.

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Hundreds of vendors bring handmade wares,

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locally made deliciousness,

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vintage one-of-a-kinds,

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or slightly odd items you’d love to buy for that certain someone in your life.

We’re there with our full selection of honey, soap and yarn.

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But if I’m being honest here, I’m really in it for the food.

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I mean, who wouldn’t love a “mobile mini donut mini kitchen” Or the Pieorgi Lady. Or Cleveland Kraut. Or  a cevapi sandwich from Taste of Europa. Or …. I could go on and on. Let’s just say you won’t go hungry at The Flea.

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These people didn’t!

If you want to experience true Cleveland, put The Flea on your calendar

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You will enjoy each and every moment of it.

And come see us. We’ll be in booth 40, right in the heart of all the action.

Hope to see you May 14th.

 

 

Find us at the Flea

It’s only two weeks ’til Flea Season. No, no, no. Not the tiny creatures that land on the dogs type of Flea Season. Nobody in their right mind looks forward to that season.

This is much better. This is the Cleveland Flea – a once a month outdoor market that starts April 16 and runs through October. And we are proud vendors.

In the Flea’s own words, it is “Part urban treasure hunt. Part culinary adventure.” It is a “small business incubator that draws thousands of Northeast Ohioans to lesser-known neighborhoods in the city to shop curated vintage, culinary all-stars and the most talented makers in the region.”

But in one word, what it really is is Fun! More than 170 really cool vendors. Food trucks. Music. People watching. If you haven’t been to a Flea, you are missing a great part of the eclectic-ness of Cleveland.

Located in a parking lot off of Superior Avenue in AsiaTown, the Flea is typically held the second Saturdays of the Summer months from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The first Flea of the season is  April 16th. (Yes, I know. This one is the third Saturday. There’s always something that throws a wrench in the works isn’t there!)

Other Flea dates are: May 14, June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10 and October 8. Put at least one of these on your calendar. But seriously, try to attend as many as you can.

Spend a morning walking around with a little bag of donuts you watched them make. The taste will make you weep tears of joy. Shop for re-purposed furniture made from found treasures. Get a cocktail made with local spirits and fresh herbs from local organic gardens. Sit at a picnic table and watch the world go by.

Really, if an out-of-towner asked what is a must-do thing in Cleveland, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell them it’s the Flea. Well, that and a Cleveland Indians game on a sunny Summer afternoon, but that’s another story.

Make sure you stop by our booth to say hello. We’d love to meet you.

Rich & Creamy Hand Made Soaps

It is time to spoil yourself rotten. And guess what – you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Our artisan bars of all-natural handmade soap are back in stock.

Oranges and cloves

Beautifully scented Orange Clove Shaving Soap. So rich and lathery (Yes, lathery is a word. I just made it up) your face will thank you. But just because it says shaving soap, don’t think you can’t use it as a regular body soap. This soap is full of olive oil, coconut oil, goats milk and honey so it will leave you baby soft.

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Or how about my personal favorite, Goats Milk and Honey. If I’m ever forced to wash my mouth out with soap (it really could be an every-day occurrence!), I would pick this soap for the job. Delicious.

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And then there’s Cherry Almond. I think I hear angels sing when I use this soap. Remember the original Jergens lotion we all used as kids. This is the same smell. Fresh, Clean. A throwback to your childhood.

All of soaps are made the old-fashioned, cold process way, by hand,  in small batches of 24. What that means for you is that we leave all the rich glycerin in the soap to moisturize your skin. Most commercial soap companies take it out to sell separately which is why many soaps can leave your skin feeling dry.

We can pay close attention to detail using ingredients you’d find in your own kitchen – olive oil, honey, oatmeal and goats milk.

Our soaps are long lasting too. Make sure you use a soap dish to keep them elevated out of sitting water.

Check out all our luscious, silky varieties. They are only $5 each.

 

 

 

Where to Find us this Holiday Season

Brighton Wool & Honey Co. is on the move this holiday season. We will be out and about all over the greater Cleveland/Akron area and we hope to see you.

We are true believers in the Shop Small, Shop Local movement. When you shop with small, local merchants, more of your money stays in your community, supporting the parks, libraries and other things that make your hometown a wonderful place to life. Not to mention the fact that small businesses offer some of the most creative and unique gifts around!

COUNTRYSIDE FARMERS’ MARKET AT OLD TRAIL SCHOOL

9 a.m. – noon
December 5, 12 & 19

CLEVELAND BAZAAR AT WINTERFEST

Saturday, November 28th
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
5th Street Arcade, Cleveland

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AT THAT’LL DO FARM

Sunday, November 29th
Noon – 5 p.m.
34634 State Route 303, Grafton
Saturday, December 5th
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
At the Grog Shop & Above Mongolian BBQ in Coventry

December 11 – 13

Details coming soon

Cleveland Bazaar at 78th Street Studios

Saturday, December 12th
10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday, December 13th
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
78th Street Studios in Gordon Square, Cleveland

LAST MINUTE MARKET

Saturday, December 19  10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Galleria at Erieview

1301 East 9th Street, Cleveland

Lavender Scented Laundry Soap

You know how they say the right right tool makes the job easier? I always sort of knew it was true. I believed it in theory. And then we discovered how to make our own Lavender laundry soap and I became a true believer!

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If I were a poet, I would write entire poems about this soap. And long ones. Not just haiku.

We make it ourselves out of simple old-fashioned ingredients. Things your grandmother would have used. Like Baking Soda. And Borax. And Fels-Naptha Soap. Things that actually clean and whiten your clothes without a bunch of added stuff that does nothing but add chemicals to your wash water.

But don’t let its pretty, delicate face fool you. This is a workhorse detergent. We use it for all of our really dirty farm grime. It gets out tractor grease and unmentionable things from the pasture. Yet you can use it for your sheets and most delicate of washables. We even use it on baby clothes.

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You may not hear angels singing when you use it, but I do.

One little scoop does your whole load. Really. You don’t need to pour the entire jar in to get clean clothes. One scoop. If you feel better doing it, make it a heaping scoop. But you don’t need to. Sometimes old habits of using tons of soap die hard. We understand that. But seriously, you don’t need more than the scoop.

And yes, you can use it in HE washing machines.

Want to be really popular? Give it as a gift. Your friends will shower you with thanks. It may even inspire you to write a poem or two.

The Farm in Fall

All over Northeastern Ohio, the fall colors are exploding and bursting out … and the farm is no exception.

fall tree

This morning was the perfect time to take a stroll through the pastures to see what everybody was up to and to enjoy the scenery.

Farm in Fall

I’m not sure the alpacas were happy to see me.

Alpacas

Do those look like welcoming faces to you?

Or how about these two?

Young Alpacas in the Fall

I’m sensing attitude here. I’m not feelin’ the love.

So I moved on to the chickens. Chickens never give me attitude. They are, after all, chickens.

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They spent their time ignoring me.

But I persevered. I was determined to find someone who was happy to see me on this fine fall day. It didn’t take long.

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He’s the strong, silent type.

Spinzilla Has Begun

Welcome to Spinzilla week. Never heard of it? It is a monster of a fiber spinning week. Here’s the skinny:

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Spinzilla is a world-wide spinning event where competing teams and individuals challenge each other to see who can spin the most yarn in a week. There are 1,754 registered spinners this year. The goals are:

  • To raise awareness about the joy of spinning yarn by hand
  • To empower spinners to spin more
  • To connect spinners globally and locally
  • To support small business
  • To endow educational programs for the spinners and weavers of tomorrow
  • To spin enough yarn to reach around the globe in five years!

Officially, Spinzilla started at 12:01 this morning. Call me lazy, but I did not get up to ring in the week. I was sound asleep, resting by treadle foot, and mentally preparing for some early morning spinning. So after a shot of caffeine, in the form of ice tea, I am ready to start.

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Bring on the alpaca. Bring on the mohair and CVM. No bamboo or silk or Merino is safe during Spinzilla. I’ll spin yarn full of “bling”. And yarn in natural colors. Thick yarn. Thin yarn. I’ll blanket the world in yarn!

art batts

Or, more realistically, I’ll spin about six or seven nice skeins of yarn. I was caught up in the moment there for a minute!

My goal is to spin at least two hours every day for the duration of Spinzilla, which ends on Oct. 11th.

You can follow along the whole Spinzilla revolution on Ravelry or FacebookAnd I’ll be blogging about it here and on our own Facebook page.

spinning wheel

But now, my wheel is calling.

I’m going in.

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