Friday, May 13, 2016

Insight - A day of open houses - By Michelle Libby

Last Saturday there were a lot of events happening in our region. Open houses, National events and volunteer work. I made it my goal to get to as many of them as I could, and bring a friend along, who I’m pretty sure will never, ever go on “a few errands” with me again.

I started the day at Casablanca Comics for National free comic book day, where I picked up a handful of comics that I’d never read before. I’m more of a book girl, but my family loved them. There was some cosplay going on, see picture left, and the line was long, but friendly.

Our next stop was at an open house for Oh Soul Good at the corner of Whites Bridge Road and Route 302. Oh Soul Good is the home for classes for everything from Wildtree food preparation and seasoning to laughter yoga and paint nights. They also specialize in DIY nights featuring products with essential oils. Other businesses set up tables with their wares and offered services. I bought a few items and then ran my son up to Camp William Hinds for a clean up day as a part of his Boy Scout work. That’s the volunteer part of this story. 

Then my friend and I headed to Limington to visit with Naturally Jammin’ owned by Jeddy Nevells and to meet her special guest, Food Network Chef Elliott Farmer from Atlanta, who was in town to promote his new cookbook, Chef Elliott’s Soulstice Recipes: Gourmet Entertaining Solutions. Jeddy and Chef Elliott met at Harvest on the Harbor in 2015 and hit it off. 

“Her story impressed me the most. She did this specifically for her husband. She also has her own beehives for her honey. We know it’s truly organic,” Chef Elliott said. 

Jeddy’s story started when she was searching for ways to make the sweets she and her husband loved healthier after her husband was diagnosed with Diabetes. 

“Diabetics think that’s the end (of sweets). Her products have opened up a whole new world for diabetics,” Chef Elliott said. His favorite product is the raspberry jam.  

In Naturally Jammin’s showroom and commercial kitchen Jeddy shared samples of her jams and jellies as well as some of the butter naturally sweetened. Her husband, Mike, explained bees to anyone who asked. There was a display of live bees and some other bee exhibits for those who were curious. The bees in 15 hives, at 12,000ish per hive, are their pets, according to Mike. 

Jeddy plans to bring Chef Elliott back each year for the open house and plans to dedicate her cookbook to him.  
Chef Elliott is known for his six cheese mac and cheese and his other southern soul food created with a healthy bent. “I like a pressed pulled pork belly with rind sauce over potato mash and it’s healthy.” 

Of course I came home with some yummy bee treats that I shared with the family. If you get a chance to try Jeddy’s raspberry jam or her whoopie pies made with honey, I highly recommend it. Oh, and the bread toasted with honey butter. Yum. 

In the end, I’m pretty sure I scared my friend and she won’t be riding along with me anytime soon, but the memories will last longer than the whoopie pie did.

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