Mountain reprieve leads to momentum

by Brittany Grace

It’s November?! Already? When did this happen? Amidst the roasting of red peppers, the jarring of pimento cheese and spiced pecans, party planning, working, yoga-ing, menu writing, researching, and meeting attending, somehow a month got away from me. Now it’s time for holiday madness to ensue, and I mean madness in the best sense of the word.

The month of October was a busy one  – busy with festivals, parties, fund raisers, farmers markets, and one weekend reprieve out of the city, into the north Georgia mountains. Daniel and I went to Tallulah Falls to celebrate  a whole (very rad) year of dating.

Despite hearing an unknown creature circle our tent around midnight during a full moon, the weekend was lovely. The trip served as an impetus  to grow the GG business: I brought Mason jars of apple-fennel-pecan salad and pomegranate granola as extra nourishment, and they ended up being the only nourishment we got on our trip (I don’t count the morning expedition to Waffle House).

We rented a canoe from a semi-retired carpenter, and toted it by foot down the (less than bustling) Tallulah Falls Main Street, to spend the afternoon on a lake.

I got to ride a stationary bicycle that moved a little can of food up towards goats that were prancing around the roof of this rather charming tourist trap. Not until after I hopped off did I notice the “kids only” sign – I (luckily) darted getting admonished by onlookers. Instead, Daniel made friends with a very large local in overalls, who wanted to talk livestock.

It was a great trip – it seems like getting out of your usual routine has a way of reviving what drives you and your perspectives. I came back to the city with new ideas and more energy to devote to Grace’s. (I hope my very talented and creative friend Angelyn had a similar feeling upon returning from her recent weekend in the mountains. I missed being a part of it. You can find some of her awesome work here).

In Atlanta, Grace’s Goodness has recently been setting up shop at the beloved East Atlanta Farmer’s Market, as well as at the Hub in Midtown – a panel discussion will occur there this Wednesday evening, and we hope to see you there. The Oakhurst Elementary  Junktique fundraiser was also a great success yesterday, with kids eating pimento cheese straight out of the Mason jar alongside their King of Pops treats.

Kids enjoying a jar of Grace's Goodness as well as King of Pops.

The long-overdue Grace’s Goodness website, complete with ordering information for the (formerly secret recipe) pimento cheese and other goodies, will be debuting in a very short time.

Look for us at a neighborhood near you soon. On the menu at our next appearance: Mason jars of butternut squash-white bean soup, pimento cheese, spiced nuts and pomegranate cider.

Spiced Nuts – tweaked from The Art of Simple Food

Preheat your oven to 325.

1 lb. bag of pecans

1 local farm-raised egg white (can be omitted for vegan purposes)

1/2 c. organic brown sugar

1 tbs. freshly grated cinnamon (more or less to your liking)

1/2 tbs. ground ginger

1/2 tbs. freshly ground nutmeg (more or less to your liking)

A dash of ground cloves

A dash or two of cayenne pepper

A dash of salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk that egg white in a medium bowl till it’s frothy – you’ll know to stop when you see little bubbles forming all over. Mix sugar and all spices into a separate bowl; add to egg white; blend. Add nuts to egg/spice mixture; place evenly on a baking sheet coated lightly with butter or olive oil (use parchment for easy clean up – you can recycle it, you know)! Roast in oven about 30 minutes, turning evenly a few times. Remove from oven and allow to cool – if you’re impatient and you have to taste one straight out of the oven, like me, it will taste chewy and hot, and you will think you’ve done something wrong. You will also probably burn your fingers, tongue, and/or lips.  The nuts have to cool in order to crisp up! If you want, stick them in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to crush them up – this is a perfect way to top sweet potatoes, apples, yogurt, ice cream…