Painting of Shenandoah alley flora growing on a rock outcrop by MJ Seal

Update

As you may have guessed the trip to France this April is off. So….Bottles of "Farmhouse" Red and White Wines from Cline Cellars available at The Virginia FarmhouseIn an attempt to make the best of a very bad situation we will remain OPEN for the month of April – as long as circumstances allow.We are (currently) well stocked on locally sourced necessities- like eggs (limit 2 dozen per customer), bacon, honey and cheese as well as tea and coffee. I am making a point of sanitizing high traffic surfaces (door knobs, handles, etc.) multiple times a day. And while we are never particularly crowded we understand those who don’t want to come into shop- so we are offering curbside pick-up. Our hours have been reduced a bit- now just 10-5 Thursday through Saturday. The rest of the week we are OPEN by appointment- simply call us at (540)459-9006, text us at (540)481-4355 or email us at thewoodstockfarmhouse@gmail.com. We are happy to open the shop for your personal shopping convenience- just Please give us a heads up (i.e- don’t let us know 5 minutes before 🙂  )And we still have plenty of wine, cider and mead.

*Stay Safe*

Oh yes- and the art sale is being extended until the end of April! Happy Shopping

Two wines from Shenandoah Vineyards that are available at The Virginia Farmhouse

New Additions- March 2020

We have a few new additions-3 hand kitted caps made by Jill GochenourIncluding these lovingly hand-knitted tamo-chanters from Jill Gochenourcolorful hand knitted tamochantersWe also now carry an assortment of her other  hand made and very functional outerwear like these “shawl-ettes”-2 miniature shawlsAnd these colorful scarves-

a large purple and pink scarf and a green and black infinity scarf

Also new: Shenandoah Vineyards’ Chardonnay and Riesling.Chardonnay and Riesling from Shenandoah Vineyards are now available at The Virginia FarmhouseThe Chardonnay is lightly-oaked and pleasantly buttery with a refreshing acidity on the finish. The Riesling is dry, crisp and citrusy.

And…..

The Art Sale will continue until the end of this month. We still have a few Helen Jean Smith prints left (framed and unframed) as well as an assortment of artwork from other Shenandoah Valley artists. A painting of a shady forest floor peirced by sunbeams painted by MJ Seal“Woodland Scene IV- Sunbeams on a Mossy Forest Floor”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board in hand made frame, 14″ x 11″. C. 2017

*This is my favorite of all the realistic woodland scene paintings I made- from a slight distance it’s like looking through a window into the cool shady depths of one of our verdant local forests on a mid-summer day.

Originally $115 this piece is now just $57! Including the beautiful, hand made frame it’s housed in.A painting of a forest in a black and gold Dutch-style reverse frame both made by MJ SealAlso….

Don’t forget: we will be CLOSED for most of the month of April for our trip to France (fingers crossed)- so stock up now!

Close up shot of two new wines available at The Virginia Farmhouse

New Additions- February 2020

We have a few new additions to the wine rack and the Art Sale continues-New wines from across the country and the world available at the Virginia Farmhouse

We scored some really great close out deals this month so the racks have been replenished with new offerings like:

  • Boet Le Roux Old Vine Columbard- This white wine from South Africa’s Swartland Region is light, crisp and citrusy with hints of pear and melon.
  • Fantini Montepulciano D’Abruzzo- A medium-bodied red from Italy with floral notes, a hint of spice and a pleasant acidity.
  • Figaro Tinto- a rich and jammy Spanish red with hints of black plum and tobacco.
  • Georges Duboeuf Cabernet Sauvignon- This full-bodied red hails from France- it is fruit forward with a spicy finish and velvety smooth tannins.
  • Siegel Special Reserve Chardonnay- A Chilean Chardonnay is crisp, light-bodied, full of tropical fruits and hints of citrus.
  • Uvaggio Vermentino- This Californian white wine has a very floral nose, bright, citrusy flavor and a refreshing acidity with some mineral notes.

Back in Stock: Guacamole + Blue Corn Tortilla Chips from Nana’s Cocina.A painting of a forest in a Wenge veneered frame both hand made by MJ Seal

And the Art Sale continues this month.

Pictured above: “Woodland Scene II- The Forest Floor in Late May”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board in hand made frame, 10 1/4″ x 8 3/8′.

This very textured and impressionistic view of one of our local forests is housed in a beautiful hand crafted frame. The frame is veneered with Wenge wood- a tropical hardwood from Africa that has an interesting cocoa and ebony striated grain pattern. With frame it is now just $40.00 (!).

Pictured below: “Winter Landscape- 2/26/18″ – Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board in hand made frame. 15″ x 10”An abstract winter landscape painted by MJ Seal

This soft, abstract landscape was produced through a painting process called “decalcomania” in which thinned out glazes of paint were spread across the board then wax paper was pressed into the still wet paint and peeled off. The resulting patterns left in the warm gray and white paints create the illusion of a wintery landscape with perhaps a field in the foreground and a forested mountain or hill in the background. Originally $150 this piece is now just $75.00.A painting of a snowy forest in a golden oak frame both hand made by MJ Seal

Pictured above: “Winter Landscape Study- Snowbound Forest”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board in hand made frame, 10″ x 14 3/4″.

This elegant and graphic view of a snowy forest is only $67.00. The golden oak frame provides a pleasantly warm contrast to the 10 cool shades of gray making up the painting (yes there are no true whites or blacks in this piece- only a handful of gray tints).

Pictured below:“Proudly We Hail”- By Elizabeth Strippy.

This print of an original watercolor depicts a snowy day in Downtown Woodstock. It is signed and numbered by the artist. Now only $15 it measures 18″ x 13″.Print of a watercolor depicting a snowy Court Square in Woodstock, VA

A detail of a framed puzzle map of the Town of Woodstock VA

Pictured above: A close up view of a framed puzzle map of Woodstock, VA. Just $30.00 this charming little piece of home decor measures 19 1/2″ x 13″.

In the print racks we have tons of illustrations like of these three chicken varieties pictured below- now only $3.00 each.Prints of illustrations of several chicken varieties

Also…. We will be closed for the month of April for our trip to France- so drop in and stock up now!

Detail of a print of Gregory Clairs painting of Cardinals

Art Sale!

Our Big Art Sale has begun-A painting of a Shenandoah Valley Landscape in a black and gold frame both made by MJ SealFrom Now until the end of March all Wall Art will be 40-50% off!

This is a great opportunity to add works of  Shenandoah Valley Artist’s -like Helen Jean Smith, Eric Schauer, R. Byram and KB Getz- to your collections.

*Framed prints from The Woodstock Gallery are 40% off- like this charming view of the Blue Ridge Mountains by R. Byram:A framed print of an original painting by R Byram depicting Virginia's Blue Ridge MountainsAnd this print of a watercolor by Elizabeth Strippy depicting a bird’s eye view of the Shenandoah River-A print of a bird's eye view of the Shenandoah River painted by Elizabeth Strippy*All original paintings, signs and mirrors by MJ Seal are 50% off- like this very textured, impressionistic view of a local Valley forest-Painting of a sun dappled forest floor in early summer by MJ SealThe black and gold cassetta-style frame it’s housed in was also made by MJ Seal-Painting of a forest in a gold and black cassetta-style frame both made by MJ SealSome of his more recent work is included in this sale such as this illustration of a red maple tree-

Painting of a Red Maple tree by MJ SealIt’s hand made, reverse-style gilt frame is both modern and classic-and really pops of the wall!Corner of a gold frame made by MJ Seal

This sale includes a variety of loose and matted prints like this stylized scene of walnut gathering at the Forestville Mill by Helen Jean Smith-Print of a painting by Helen Jean Smith depicting walnut gathering at the Mill of Forestville, VAAnd this print of a painting by Gregory Clair-A print of Gregory Clair's painting of Cardinals on a maple branch titled A Touch Of GoldAll prints are signed and numbered by the artist and depict local scenery, flora and fauna in styles from photorealistic to primitive to impressionistic- there are 3 large racks filled with them – so you are sure to find something to suit. And at 50% off there are no excuses for not adding to your collections!

All Natural Birdseed Wreaths from J & W Farms available at The Virginia Farmhouse

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!

Functional hand made stoneware pottery with complex metallic glazes available at The Virginia Farmhouse

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

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.

 

Three Easy Stir Fry Recipes with Napa Cabbage

Napa or Chinese cabbage seems to be at it’s best this time of the year so here are three very quick and easy stir fry recipes that make use of it-

Spices for making Chinese five spice powder-

Napa cabbage is very different from the red and green cabbage you normally find at the grocery store. It is much more tender and mellow. It’s flavor is more like a mild celery than cabbage with nutty undertones and it doesn’t develop that sulfurous stench when cooked. It also keeps well once chopped and does not develop those black moldy looking spots as long as it is refrigerated.

*These recipes are loosely based on recipes from Elaine Luo’s cooking blog- www.chinasichuanfood.com – if you would like to find more authentic Chinese recipes check it out.

*The actual cooking process for this recipe is very quick- so it’s much easier to have everything prepped and ready to go.

*Chinese black vinegar, or chinkiang vinegar, is a dark, malty vinegar made from rice and wheat. It tastes very similar to a Flemish sour red ale without the bubbles.  If Chinese black vinegar is unavailable a mixture of regular rice vinegar and a balsamic vinegar, or Flemish sour or smoky brown ale is a pretty close substitute.

*Bok Choy can be used in place of Napa Cabbage. Whichever Chinese cabbage you are using the greens will cook much faster than the white rib portions- so to keep them from getting mushy they should be added just before removing from heat.

 

Vegetables:  Szechuan-Style Cabbage Stir fry

*Doubanjiang is a paste made from fermented fava beans (broad beans), hot chilies, salt and spices. There is really nothing quite like a quality Doubanjiang but a mixture of Sichuan Chili Oil and regular Chinese Black Bean Paste will make an effective substitute.

  • 1 tbsp each Chinese Black Vinegar, Chinese Cooking Wine and light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp each sugar (opt) and starch
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced thin on the bias
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 3-5 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp Doubanjiang (fermented broad bean and chili paste)- pref from Pu Xian region
  • ½ tsp Chinese Five Spice powder (or to taste)
  • 1-3 dried Thai red chilies crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • Vegetable oil (pref sesame oil) as needed for coating pan
  • 1 head Napa Cabbage, sliced thin with white portions separated from the greens
  • Additional light soy sauce, ground Szechuan Pepper and thinly slices green onions to garnish

 

  1. In a small bowl mix vinegar, wine, soy sauce, sugar (if using), starch, sesame oil and sea salt. Sauce should be about the color of lightly creamed coffee. Set aside.
  2. In a second bowl crush the white portions of green onions as well as the garlic and ginger slices to a paste and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. In a mortar and pestle mash up the Doubanjiang and stir in the Five Spice powder and Thai chilies. Set aside.
  4. In a wok or deep sauté or frying pan heat oil over medium. When nice and hot add the onion/garlic/ginger paste and sauté 30 sec or so until the raw garlic smell goes away. Add Doubanjiang/chili/ Five Spice mixture and sauté for another minute or until the reddish oil begins to separate from the pastes.
  5. Add the sliced up white portions of the cabbage, turn heat up to medium-high, stir for a minute and then add the sauce.  Continue cooking  for a minute or two until sauce thickens and turns translucent. Stir in green portions of cabbage and remove from heat.
  6. Serve hot with steamed rice and garnish with remaining green onion slices and a drizzle of soy sauce.

 

Pasta:  Chili Sesame Noodles

*If alkaline noodles are unavailable vermicelli or thin spaghetti will work. Tahini paste will work as sesame paste.

 

  1. Cook noodles in salted water until al dente. Drain, toss with a tsp of sesame oil (so they don’t glue themselves together) and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl stir remaining sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauces and water one by one into the sesame paste until it is thick and creamy. Add the salt and five spice powder and set aside.
  3. In a large wok, deep sauté or frying pan heat cooking and chili oils oil over medium. When nice and hot add the garlic paste and sauté 30 sec or so until the raw garlic smell goes away.
  4. Add the sliced up white portions of the cabbage, turn heat up to medium-high, stir for a minute then push the cabbage to the sides of the pan. Add the sesame sauce, cook for a minute then stir in the noodles.
  5. Mix everything together and cook for a minute or so until the noodles are nice and hot. Stir in green portions of cabbage and remove from heat.
  6. Serve hot garnished with fried soybeans or toasted peanuts, a drizzle of soy sauce and green onions.

 

Pasta:  Egg Fried Noodles In Black Bean Sauce

*Douchi are salted, fermented and spiced black soybeans. Douchi smells strangely chocolate-like with a very salty, savory flavor. There is really nothing quite like them but if you mix up some regular canned black beans with ginger, Chinese five spice powder, a lot of salt and cocoa powder it actually smells and tastes roughly similar.

*If alkaline noodles are unavailable plain ramen noodles, vermicelli or thin spaghetti will work. You can also use quinoa pasta- but you will want to rinse the noodles off after cooking as they tend to glue themselves together after draining.

  • ½ lb alkaline noodles
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil – or as needed
  • 1 tbsp Douchi (fermented and spiced black soybeans)
  • 1 tbsp each Chinese black vinegar, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce.
  • ½ tsp Chinese five spice powder (or to taste)
  • 1-2 Thai chilies, broken coarsely (opt)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
  • 1-2 slices ginger root, mashed to a paste
  • 1 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3-5 leaves Napa Cabbage, sliced thin with white portions separated from the greens
  • ÂĽ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • Additional light soy sauce and thinly sliced green onions to garnish

 

  1. Cook noodles in salted water until al dente. Drain, toss with a tsp of sesame oil (so they don’t glue themselves together) and set aside.
  2. In a mortar and pestle mash up the douchi. Add a tsp of sesame oil, the vinegar, soy sauces and spices and mix everything together into a thin paste. Set aside.
  3. In a large wok, deep sauté or frying pan heat a tbsp of sesame oil over medium. When nice and hot pour the beaten eggs into the pan. Let them sit for a minute until they begin to set up then break them up with a spoon and fry until just cooked.
  4. Push eggs pieces to the sides of the pan and pour another tbsp or so of oil into the center of the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté 30 sec or so until the raw garlic smell goes away.
  5. Add the mushrooms and white portions of the cabbage, turn heat up to medium-high, stir for a minute or so then push the cabbage to the sides of the pan.
  6. Add the black bean sauce, cook for a minute then stir in the noodles.
  7. Mix everything together and cook for a minute or so until the noodles are nice and hot. Stir in green portions of cabbage and remove from heat.
  8. Serve hot garnished with a drizzle of soy sauce and green onions.

Recipes- Updated Hamburger Stroganoff

Since summer is now technically over and it’s quite cool and clammy (in these parts anyway) here is a fresh take on a savory comfort food from childhood-

Hamburger Recipes:  Updated Hamburger Stroganoff

*This is a tangier and more complex take on the classic Americana recipe. The wine and vinegar reduction brings some natural sweetness and acidity to this traditionally very heavy (and fatty) dish that complements the sour cream. The generous amount of herbs gives it some added depth.

*A Chablis, Bourgogne Blanc or Viognier work best in this recipe. TVP or Faux ground beef work well if you want a veggie version of this- and they don’t need to be browned beforehand- simply add them to the pan after the mushrooms are nice and tender.  We have Pot Pie Squares from The Little Barn of PA here in the store which work well to in place of regular egg noodles.

 

  1. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the raw hamburger and sauté until nicely browned and no pink shows. Remove from pan and keep warm.

2. Add the remaining butter to the pan and melt over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until onion is soft and begins to caramelize. Crush garlic into pan and sauté until fragrant and beginning to turn golden- do not brown/burn the garlic- about 30 seconds.

3. Add the porcini mushrooms, herbs, spices, wine and vinegar and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer, uncovered, until the liquid begins to condense a little- probably 10 minutes or so.

4. Add mushrooms and sauté until they start to give off their juices. Then stir in the water or broth, the flour mixture, a little salt and the ground beef and let simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes.

5. When the gravy begins to thicken remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and parsley.

6. Serve hot over egg noodles dusted with pepper and paprika and garnish with green onion or chives.

New Additions- September 2018

So we’ve added quite a bit to our selection during the month of August-

For the wine wall we stocked up on some sweet closeout deals including the following:

  • Belmondo Pinot Noir from Italy
  • Louis Bernard, Cotes du Provence Rose from France
  • Cosentino’s “The Rose” from California
  • La Puerta Torrontes from Argentina
  • Vandenberg Chardonnay from California

All $7.99 a bottle! We also have Hunt & Harvest Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc for $8.99; Georges Duboeuf Jolie Saison Gamay for $8.99 a pop and Pouilly-Fuisse at $13.49 a bottle.

Also we now have Nero D’Avola and Pinot Noir from Stemmari of Italy and Copper Ridge White Zinfandel from California.

And for the beer cart we have Royal Jamaican Ginger Beer. This Is an actual beer with alcohol- it is not a soda.

In the spice library we now have:

  • Organic whole juniper berries- great for making bathtub gin- recipes coming soon
  • Organic rosemary leaves
  • Jamaican allspice berries
  • Organic dried minced onion
  • Organic garlic powder
  • Organic whole celery seed
  • Organic whole dill seed
  • Organic Spearmint leaves
  • Organic vanilla extract
  • Linden flowers
  • Ajwain (Bishop’s weed seed)
  • Amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • Anardana (pomegranate seed powder)
  • Asafetida powder
  • Black mustard seed
  • Sumac -ground
  • Saffron

*We also have Fair Trade/Organic full leaf Darjeeling Tea and Organic Matcha Tea Powder.

Also new:

  • Preservative-free papaya spears from NOW Foods
  • Raw almond flour also from NOW Foods
  • Better Stevia Organic stevia extract powder
  • Appalachian Salt & Cracked Pepper Chips from Rt 11 Potato Chips