Farm City Proclamation Breakfast to feature local food products

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By Ann Cipperly

For many years, the Farm City Committee has hosted educational events and celebrated farm families with Farm City Week. The committee kicks off the annual event by preparing dishes for the Farm City Proclamation Breakfast, which will be held Nov. 14 at the Agriculture Building of Lee County. At this time, the proclamation will be signed for Opelika, Auburn and Smiths Station for Farm- City Week, which will be held Thanksgiving week with the banquet on Nov. 20.

Mayors, county commissioners and other local government officials will attend the breakfast along with the Farm City committee, which includes about 30 members.

“The Farm City mission is to foster better understanding among farmers and city residents,” says Robert Harris, chairman of the Lee County Farm City Committee. “The National Farm City Council was formed in 1955 by Kiwanis International, and more than 15,000 counties and communities nationwide are involved with the mission.

“The Opelika Kiwanis helped organize the Lee County Farm City Committee in the middle to late 1960s.
“Lee County is one of the most active in Alabama,” adds Robert, “and has won numerous Alabama awards over the years at the Alabama state convention. If anyone is interested in volunteering they can attend our monthly meetings at the Lee County Extension Office the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 a.m..”

Everyone on the Farm City Committee helps with the breakfast. Some will decorate the tables, while others prepare the breakfast dishes.

Ann Whatley of the committee thought it would be a good idea to have all the foods served at the breakfast from local sources. The menu will include Capps Sausage, Bulger Creek Goat Cheese, local farm eggs, local honey and Oakview Farms’ grits as well as the flour for making muffins and breads. Last summer Ann froze local strawberries, peaches and blueberries to serve in small cups.

Finding Local Food Sources

Ann and Jamie Lazenby, who is also on the committee, have been searching and collecting local food products for the breakfast.

Early one sunny morning recently, Ann and Jamie picked me up for a trip to Oakview Farms Granary in Wetumpka. I am always up for an adventure, especially if it involves finding a great food product.

After about an hour of winding through country roads with some odd sounding names, we arrived at Oakview Farms. At a building next to the barn, two cats were lazily stretched out by an open door to the retail shop.

At first, we were not sure if we were at the right location, but soon Patty and Joe Lambrecht came from the back of the store to greet us. The granary where the grits and corn meal are ground is adjacent to the small retail shop.

Oakview Farms started as a hobby for the Lambrechts. They began buying grist mills, but when it was wet and cold, they could not use them. Before Joe retired from his full time job, he had the building built and purchased the equipment.

When Joe was starting Oakview Farms Granary about 20 years ago, he remembers it helped his business when chefs on the Food Network began talking about stone ground whole grain products.

Joe called a friend in Montgomery who wrote for a magazine and asked him to write about his new business. “When the magazine came out,” says Joe, “the yard was full of people. We were not prepared.”

After an article on the business appeared in ALFA magazine, the business took off.

Since then, Oakview Farms has been featured in Southern Living and other publications. The grits have been named number one in Alabama products.

The business has also been featured on television, including Simply Southern.

For the grits, Joe uses number one food grade corn from a dealer in Trenton, KY. He orders 20 tons at a time that is delivered in 50 lb. bags. The corn is stored in walk-in coolers.

The Lambrechts’ products include white and yellow corn stone ground grits as well as white and yellow corn meal that is whole grain. They also have unbleached flour and whole wheat flour made from grain in Montana. A pancake mix is also available.

“We grind on demand,” say Joe. “We know what our customers are going to order. If we pick up a new account, we can catch up in a day or two.”

In 2004 Oakview Farms diversified with hydroponic lettuces, honey bees, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Oakview Farms grits are served locally at Acre, Cafe 123, Zazu, AU Club and Springhouse. Their products are available at Acre and Blooming Colors.

Following is a sampling of breakfast dishes that will be served or have been served over the years at the Farm City Proclamation Breakfast.

Ann Cipperly can be contacted at recipes@cipperly.com.

Recipes:

Breakfast Casserole
1 large bag hash brown potatoes, seasoned and browned
1 lb. sausage, browned and crumbled
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
8 eggs
1½ cups milk
1½ cups Pioneer baking mix
¼ tsp. salt
Tabasco
Spread potatoes in a greased baking dish. Brown sausage and layer on top of the potatoes. Mix and layer cheeses.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt and baking mix. Add a few drops of Tabasco, if desired. Pour over layers in casserole.
Cover casserole and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve with picante sauce/salsa and fresh fruit.

Pecan Pie Muffins
Cile Parish
1 cup pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cups melted butter
2 eggs beaten
Mix all ingredients together. Pour into greased and floured mini muffin tins. Bake 350 for 15 to 25 minutes.

Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy
Ann Whatley
This is a recipe that Dillie gave me and it is very good and easy to make. It is great for breakfast or a brunch.
½ cup cold butter
2¼ cups self-rising soft wheat flour
1¼ cups buttermilk
Cut butter into flour (pea size). Chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk.
Turn out and knead 3 to 4 times. Make 9 x 5 -inch rectangle of dough. Tri-fold the dough. Repeat 2 times.
Roll to ½-inch thick and cut biscuits.
Bake at 450 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes.
Gravy
1 lb. breakfast sausage
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown sausage. Coat sausage in flour and slowly add milk. Simmer until thick.

Cream Cheese Danish
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 egg yolk (save the white)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cans crescent rolls
Cream above ingredients together.
Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. butter
Cover bottom of casserole dish with 1 can of rolls. Cover with cream cheese mixture. Cover with another can of rolls. Brush top with egg white.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Make glaze and brush on top while hot.

True Grits
4 cups water
1 cup Oakview Farms stone ground grits
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
In heavy saucepan, gently pour grits into cool salted water. Stir well, skim off any chaff floating to the top. Bring water to low boil, reduce heat, cover lightly, and let cook for 20-30 minutes or until thick. The longer they cook, the creamier they are. Just remember to stir frequently and add more liquid as needed.
Options
We prefer our grits with real butter and some cheddar cheese! But others like to substitute half-n-half or milk for some of the liquid. Try adding sharp shredded cheese, smoked (cooked) bacon, smoked gouda, lightly sautéed and finely chopped onions or drained Rotel tomatoes.

Bobbie Hamilton’s Oatmeal Pancakes
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp. salt
Approximately 1½ cups buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup margarine, melted
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, rolled oats, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in buttermilk, eggs, and margarine. Mix well.
Use ¼ cup batter for each pancake and cook on hot griddle. Turn once. If mixture becomes thick, stir in a little more buttermilk. May mix dry ingredients ahead and add buttermilk, eggs, and margarine when ready to cook.

French Toast Casserole
Whatley Cookbook
12 slices raisin/cinnamon bread
8 eggs
3 cups milk
4 tsp. Sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter
Prepare at least 1 day ahead. Layer bread 2 slices deep in a buttered 9 x 13 pan. Beat eggs with milk, sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread. Dot with butter. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 6.

Wesley Foundation Pancakes
The Wesley Foundation pancake recipe is one that Charles Whatley and others at the Wesley Foundation prepared when they were in school at Auburn University.
2 ¼ cups buttermilk
3 Tbsp. melted butter
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. sugar
Beat eggs. Add buttermilk and butter.
Sift dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients.
Mix slightly. Pour desired amount on greased pan. Cook until done on both sides.

Cranberry Sweet Bread
Jamie Lazenby
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose wheat flour
1 cup oat flour
1 tsp. soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 bananas, mashed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries
Mix oil, sugar and eggs. Add flours, soda and salt; mix. Add buttermilk, bananas and vanilla. Toss in nuts and cranberries. Pour into a greased tube or loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Zucchini Bread
Ann Whatley
The flavor improves with age and the bread keeps well frozen. You can also substitute pumpkin for zucchini.
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients except for nuts in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients; fold into dry and add nuts. Bake in two loaf pans for 1 hour or until done.

Banana Nut Bread
Ann Whatley
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
3 bananas, mashed
½ cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and add to creamed mixture. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into a well-greased loaf pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Harvest Bread
Ann Whatley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together dry ingredients:
3 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups guar
Mix together wet ingredients:
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
2/3 cup water
2 cups pumpkin
Combine wet and dry ingredients in a large bowl
Add:
1 cup pecans
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
Combine and pour into one greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or three small loaf pans.
Bake for 1 hour or until bread tests done.

Super Moist Cornbread
1 3/4 cups Oakview Farms stone ground cornmeal, white or yellow
3/4 cup Oakview Farms soft unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. salt (add more if using unsalted butter)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cup whole buttermilk
Preheat greased iron skillet in 400 degree oven.
In large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add eggs and buttermilk, stir in melted butter. Pour into hot skillet and bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden.

Corn “Light” Bread
Slightly sweet, crunch, and flavorful.
2 cups Oakview Farms stone ground white cornmeal
1/2 cup Oakview Farms soft unbleached flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
2 cups whole buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 inch loaf pan with non-stick coating and add vegetable oil. Preheat pan while mixing the light bread batter.
Sift dry ingredients together. Stir in buttermilk, then add hot oil. Stir lightly to combine. Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing.

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