The Countdown Has Begun-

The Countdown Has Begun-

You have less than two weeks before the big day- but don't worry we have plenty of options for last minute gifts!Bottles of "Farmhouse" Red and White Wines from Cline Cellars available at The Virginia Farmhouse First for the wine lovers in your life we now carry "Farmhouse" Red and White Wines from Cline Cellars of Sonoma. The red blend is rich and full-bodied with cherry and plum notes and a hint of black pepper. The white blend is light, crisp and citrusy with hints of peach and lemon curd. And for cider lovers we just got in "Farmhand" from Old Hill Cider-"Farmhand" Hard Cider from Old Hill Cider at The Virginia Farmhouse The candy table is well stocked and we have a couple new additions from Nancy's Candy like "Old Fashioned Lemon Drops" and "Chocolate -Covered Brownie Bits".Chocolate covered Brownie Bits and Lemon Drops from Nancy's Candy available at The Virginia Farmhouse For the foodies we have Flavor Pourfection's new infused white balsamic vinegar, "Lemongrass Mint". We also have a variety of their gourmet oils and vinegars in cute little sample bottles- which make great stocking stuffers.Sampler bottles of infused olive oils and gourmet vinegars from Flavor available at The Virginia Farmhouse And we have plenty of other locally made goodies for those on your list (or yourself)Spice Blends from The Shenandoah Spice Company and Firefly Hot Sauces filling the shelves at The Virginia Farmhouse Birdseed Wreathes from J & W  Farm are back- Makes a great treat for your feathered friends or a gift for birders.All Natural Birdseed Wreaths from J & W Farms available at The Virginia FarmhouseAnd for your shopping convenience we will be OPEN on December 24th until at least noon- possibly a little later (you may want to call for hours on Christmas Eve). Happy Holidays!

New Additions- December 2019

New Additions- December 2019

We have something for pretty much everyone on your list-Hazelnut flavored mead from Misty Mountain mEadworks available at The Virginia Farmhouse First- Mead from Misty Mountain Meadworks is back in stock- and we have their new brew, "Hazelnut 'n' Honey". This mead is made from clover honey and aged with crushed hazelnuts- which impart a pleasant amaretto-like note. It goes great with -well- everything at the holiday table. gourmet cheese knife set from Twine available at The Virginia Farmhouse And just in from True- "Twine" Gourmet cheese knife sets, "Cahoots" Owl-shaped waiters corkscrews and "Spot-On" dog shaped wine glass markers. All great gift ideas for the gourmands and wine aficionados in your life- especially if they like dogs. Spot-On dog shaped wine glass markers available at The Virginia Farmhouse Cahoots owl shaped waiters corkscrews available at The Virginia Farmhouse We also have a new addition to the jewelry table: beaded jewelry hand made by Sue Southee of Gemini Dreams. We now have a selection of her earrings, bracelets and a couple necklaces. beaded jewelry from Gemini Dreams now available at the Virginia Farmhouse And for those of you looking for some upcycled home decor I transformed this charming old window into a mirror. Some of the panes of glass in it must be truly ancient- the one in the top left looks like ripples on the surface of a pond. An antique mirror transformed into a mirror by mj seal portion of an antique mirror transformed into a mirror by mj seal Happy Holidays from Us to You!

New Additions- November 2019

New Additions- November 2019

Yes it's that time of the year again-The Holidays are just a few weeks away and we are well stocked with hand made and locally sourced goodies for everyone on your gift list. Just in: Our custom made rustic & elegant farmhouse-style pottery from Barbarah Robertson Pottery. We have an assortment of her lovingly hand crafted (and very functional) serving platters, dishes, sponge holders and mugs- including this year's "Woodstock, VA" mugs. These mugs have a speckled blue & green glaze combo that combined with the forest pattern embossed into the clay along the bottom resembles a starry night above an evergreen forest. We also have a variety of her peace dove and Virginia-shaped holiday ornaments. The Virginia-shaped ornaments come in blue, green, gold or a blue/green combo embossed with a forest pattern. Also new: MJ Seal's latest batch of distinctive hand made stoneware pieces is out on the shelf. This batch was made with a dark red clay and finished with a combination of glazes that give them the appearance of ancient bronze and pewter. He has an assortment of  vases, leaf-shaped dishes, spoon holders, serving bowls and candle holders like the luminaries pictured below- These dark-metallic colored vases make excellent planters for succulents- Back in stock: Wooden kitchen utensils from George Lange. George fashions functional kitchen utensils like spoons, spatulas, toast tongs and salad hands from locally sourced cherry wood. His hand whittled creations make great gifts for those in your life who love to cook. Back on the wine shelf: Fruit Wines from Peaks of Otter Orchard and Winery. "Blackberry Cobbler", "Blueberry Muffin", "Sweet Peach" and "Plumlicious" are back on the shelf. Also we have plenty of "Cinfulicious" in stock. "Cinfulicious" is an apple wine infused with cinnamon and makes a great substitute for mulled wine. Also- it is (finally) the season for Yukon Gold Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips from Rt 11  Potato Chips. These come in 2oz bags- perfect for gift baskets - or a treat for yourself! We also have there Lightly Salted and Salt & Pepper chips in 2 oz bags. Yukon Gold potato chips from Rt 11 Potato Chips availbale at The Virginia Farmhouse in 2 oz bags

Fresh Out Of The Kiln- Our Latest Batch of Stoneware Pottery

Fresh Out Of The Kiln- Our Latest Batch of Stoneware Pottery

They Survived! And even better the (somewhat experimental) combinations of glazes I used came out beautifully-Stoneware pottery with metallic glazes available at The Virginia Farmhouse So for this large batch of pieces I used a dark, red stoneware clay called "Brooklyn Red". This clay is heavy, groggy and due to the iron oxide content will stain anything it touches (before firing of course). It's actually the kind of clay used to make red bricks and in is incredibly durable once fired. It is great for hand building pieces as it has minimal shrinkage during drying and and attached parts really hold together. I also love this clay as it gives you a rich, dark ground to work off of- perfect for the metallic glazes I wanted to use for these pieces-A tuliptree leaf shaped dish and other functional ceramics with metallic glazes hand made by MJ SealI used 2 different combinations of Potter Choice Glazes from Amaco. In group one I applied 2 thick layers of Saturation Gold to the piece. Then I coated that in a blotchy layer of Temmoku (a dark, translucent brown/black glaze) and Saturation Metallic. After those layers dried I applied a little more saturation gold to the edges and rims of each piece for a little pop of gold.A luminary, soap dish and various serving bowls hand made from red stoneware clay by MJ SealDuring firing the glazes melded beautifully. In the areas with a thinner layer of Saturation Gold the glaze developed a dark bronze coloration that flashes iridescent blue when viewed at certain angles. The splotches of Temmoku and Saturation Metallic gave silvery, pewter-like touches and in areas where the Saturation Gold pooled and dripped you can see these patches of rich gold with little coppery flecks. Soap dish and serving bowls with an ancient bronze like finish available at The Virginia FarmhouseIn the second group (which turned out to be my fav) I applied a couple thin layers of Saturation Metallic glaze over the dried clay body then a splotchy layer of Temmoku with thick blotches of Saturation Gold.Metallic finish on a stoneware leaf made by MJ Seal at The Virginia FarmhouseThis combination of glazes developed a rich and complex black metallic finish with patches of pewter and ancient bronze. On these little dishes I made with torn edges (the clay had started to dry out and had become unmanageable) the finish almost makes them look like shards of a meteorite-Stoneware dish with torn edges and metallic glaze hand made by MJ SealClose up of a meteorite like finish on a ceramic piece hand made by MJ SealIt's always nice when an experiment turns out even better results than you were expecting!

Ceramics in Progress – September 2019

Ceramics in Progress – September 2019

Finally had a chance to make a few somethings out of a big block of red stoneware clay that we bought last summer (?) and has been sitting around the store ever since- Some *potential serving bowls and soap dishes Small and Medium sized planters Wax tart burners/ luminaries and chafing dishes These tiny vases would be great for flower buds or air plants. The medium sized vases would be great for succulents or small ferns (and flowers of course). I made a bunch of serving bowls that could also double as pots for plants that don't need a lot of soil- like the mosses I've been experimenting with. You'll notice all of these have little feet which not only make them stand out more but I think will nicely compliment the Raku- like glazes they will be getting once they dry. Keep your fingers crossed they survive the firing process.  

Functional Arts and Crafts- Making a Mirror

Functional Arts and Crafts- Making a Mirror

Easy as 1-2-3-

First I took a plate of clear picture framing glass and rubbed it down with alcohol to thoroughly remove any grime or oils. The glass' surface must be  scrupulously clean- if it is not you'll have issues with  peeling later on.

Then I drew up a little design for some corner ornaments on a post it note. I placed that under each corner and carefully dabbed on a thick coating of contact gilding adhesive. I used Pebeo's Gedeo Mixtion Relief which comes in an easy-to-use tube with a fine-tip applicator. The adhesive is white when wet but dries clear. Remember you are reverse gilding/silvering- so you will be working in reverse on the inside surface of the soon to be mirror.

After the adhesive dried I cut up a sheet of 23 kt transfer gold leaf. I then carefully pressed the leaf (gold side down) into the adhesive. The parchment backing of the leaf was peeled back leaving the gold thoroughly stuck in place on the ornaments.

After the gilding size has cured for a few days I dusted off the excess gold leaf and sealed up the ornaments with a layer of raw sienna acrylic paint- which gives the overlying layer of gold a richer color and renders the ornaments opaque-

Next I turn the glass into a mirror with some handy-dandy Looking Glass Silver spray paint from Krylon-

The Looking Glass paint is easy to use- just make sure to apply it in multiple thin coats or the mirror with develop a blotchy appearance. Do this outside. Yeah note the weird reflections around the mirror-in-progress above- I did this in the parking lot against my car using a sheet of old plexiglass as a shield- hence the hubcap visible in the upper left.

After the spraypaint has dried (which only takes a few minutes) it needs to be top coated with something to protect it- I find Rust-Oleum's Matte Clear Enamel works wonderfully. The enamel coating seals up the looking glass coating and it's matte appearance makes the reflective finish more pronounced and brighter.

After the enamel has cured for a bit the mirror is ready to be framed. I placed this mirror in a cassetta-style frame I made a few years ago. The gilt ornaments beautifully complement this simple but classic molding profile.

A slightly closer view-

The Looking Glass paint gives a softer reflective effect than commercially made mirrors. It also has a slight texture to it (due to the droplets of paint) and with a dark board placed behind it takes on the appearance of an antique mirror.

New Additions- May 2019

New Additions- May 2019

We were quite busy in April stocking the shelves with new offerings-

Orris Root (Pale Iris) flowers in a hand made vase

My favorite Harbinger of May- Pale Iris (Orris Root) in bloom-

In The Pantry we've been adding wholesome dry goods like:

  • Organic Wheat Berries- Great substitute for couscous or for grinding your own flour
  • Organic Hulled Barley- Simply the whole grain version of pearled barley
  • Rye Berries- Can be cooked like rice or used for making rye bread
  • Roasted and Salted Soybeans- Makes a light, crunchy topping on noodles or salads
  • Sliced, Dried Shiitake Mushrooms- Great in soups or in stir fries

*Dried porcini mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, raw whole almonds and raw whole cashews are back in stock.

Hulled whole grain barley, Organic wheat berries and rye berries available at The Virginia Farmhouse

New: Better Stevia Zero-Calorie Liquid Sweeteners. These sugar-free, liquid stevia extracts are an easy and healthy way to add a little sweetness to your favorite drinks or snacks- simply add 1-5 drops to your cup of coffee, oatmeal or yogurt and stir. We have Plain, Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut and French Vanilla. Keep in mind these are quite strong so 1 drop goes quite a ways.

Recipes: Easy Lemon Yogurt

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon- or to taste
  • 3-4 drops Better Stevia Liquid Extract French Vanilla Flavor
  • Pinch of lemon zest
  • generous dash of salt

Simply stir ingredients together and serve topped with crushed or slivered almonds, berries of choice and a dash of powdered Ceylon Cinnamon.

Also New:

  • Liquid Coconut Oil
  • Macadamia Nut Oil
  • Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Haystacks
Organic coconut oil, macadamia nut oil and sesame oils are available at The Virginia Farmhouse

In the personal care section we are restocked on:

  • Arnica Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Natural Deodorant
  • Xyliwhite Toothpaste
  • Balsam Fir Essential Oil
  • Frankincense Essential Oil
  • Orange Essential Oil
  • Cedarwood Essential Oil
  • Pine Needle Essential Oil
  • Fragrant, Hand Made Soaps from The Olive Oil Soap Company

New- soothing Cocoa Butter Lotion from NOW Solutions

On The Wine Rack we have added a few new selections including:

  • Short Street Pinotage from South Africa's Swartland region- Medium bodied and spicy with notes of tobacco, earth and black plum
  • Rubus Wine Selection's Old Vine Zinfandel from California's Lodi Valley- Rich, spicy and fruit forward
  • Alain De La Treille's Vouvray (Chenin Blanc) from France- Lush, floral and semi-dry- like a creamy Petit Manseng or Ligurian Vermentino
  • Thorn-Clarke Riesling from Australia's Eden Valley- Light, crisp and citrusy- similar to a Johannesburg Riesling

Back In Stock:

  • Beaujolais Villages from Manoir Du Carra of France
  • Carmenere from The Crucero Collection of Chile
  • Old-Vine Garnacha (Grenache) from Burgo Viejo of Spain
  • Old-Vine Garnacha from Tres Ojos of Spain
  • Gruner Veltliner from Hugl Weine of Austria
New wines available at the Virginia Farmhouse including French Vouvray and Australian Rieslings

New Additions- April 2019

New Additions- April 2019

We've really been cramming the shelves full this month with a plethora of new products- First- the batch of stoneware pottery I started last year (before we moved) has finally been fired! I made an assortment of leaf-shaped dishes (Oak, Tulip Tree, Maple, etc.) with finishes like Autumn Scarlet (glossy), Dark Cocoa Brown (semi-matte), Autumn Gold (matte), Mushroom Soup (satin) and First Snow (matte). The First Snow and Autumn Scarlet finishes look especially nice on the brown of the clay body. I also made an assortment of serving bowls, relish dishes and little trinket boxes (they were supposed to be salt cellars) with an oceanic look to them. New Additions to The Pantry:

  • Organic Buckwheat Flour
  • Organic Coconut Flour from Tropical Green Organics of Sterling, VA- my home town! The coconuts that went into the flour weren't grown in the state though- they sourced those from Sri Lanka.
  • Organic Spelt Flour
  • Organic Chia Seed
  • Organic Farro (a kind of wheat berry)
  • Organic Scottish Oatmeal
Back in stock:
  • Bulgur Wheat
  • Organic Whole Flaxseed
  • Almond Flour
  • Sorghum Flour
  • Millet Flour
Also new:
  • Organic Chia & Quinoa Restaurant-style Tortilla Chips from Late July
  • Organic Ancient Grain (Spelt Flour) Pretzels from Hanover
  • Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat Pretzel Shells from Unique Pretzels
  • Gluten-Free Multigrain Crackers from Crunchmaster
  • Whole Wheat Fig, Raspberry and Strawberry Bars from Nature's Bakery
  • Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Brownies also from Nature's Bakery
  • Dill Pickle Spears, Pickled Baby Beets and Pickled (baby) Green Tomatoes from Jake & Amos
Note: The pretzels are quite a deal at $7.49 for a giant, 28 oz container. New to the Wine Rack:
  • Bluestone Vineyard's 2016 Chardonnay and Petit Manseng, 2017 Moscato- Their Cab Franc is very spicy with lots of cardamom and black pepper. The Petit Manseng is complex, fruit-forward (tropical fruit- think starfruit) and luscious. The 2017 Moscato is slightly drier than previous vintages.
  • Castello Di Gabbiano Chianti Classico- rich, full-bodied and spicy with notes of tobacco, earth and violets.
  • Rabble Pinto Gris- light-bodied, mellow with notes of pear, golden delicious apples and a refreshingly tart finish
  • Slow Press Lodi Zinfandel- Spicy and rich with juicy black cherry on the nose and cedar on the palate.

Mulled Wine Recipes

Mulled Wine Recipes

Here are three easy recipes for mulled wine- and you can find all of the ingredients to make them here at The Virginia Farmhouse- well except for the brandy-

*Honey or a pinch of stevia extract can be used in place of the sugar in these recipes.

For Classic Mulled Wine:

* A smooth, fruity and light-bodied red wine is best for this recipe. A Merlot or Gamay is ideal. You do not want something tannic. Cognac or orange brandy works nicely to in this recipe.

For White Mulled Wine:

* A smooth and/or fruity white wine is best for this recipe- lightly oaked Chardonnays, Traminettes or clean and citrusy Sauvignon Blancs are ideal. You do not want something grassy or with a lot of minerality.

Spicy and Savory Mulled Wine Recipe

* A smooth, spicy and meaty red wine is best for this recipe- Pinot Noirs, Red Zinfandels and Chambourcins are ideal. You do not want something tannic though.

And to make the mulled wine:

1. In a small sauce pot heat water over medium high heat. When it comes to a boil add the sugar and when it is dissolved add the wine.

2. Reduce heat to low, add the spices and cover. Let stew over low heat for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. The longer the wine is mulled the stronger the flavor will be.

3. Strain and serve hot with a splash of brandy.