January and February are the most difficult months to plod through. It’s no wonder we welcome red hearts, chocolate, wine and plans for romance earlier than we would for most other holiday seasons. Last year I had the pleasure of attending a wine and local food pairing at Bastille in Alexandria. Chef Christophe, with his wife and partner Michelle, set the perfect scene for a very romantic meal made with our veal. The wines are always superb and the desserts decadent. It was a rare and extravagant treat in which I happily indulged. This year I want to see if I can recreate that magic in my own kitchen. The lean months of winter on a farm and at farmers markets don’t mean that you have to go without culinary splendor to make your Valentine special.
With the images and history of farming in America, it is often difficult to conceive of the eccentric spirit required to be a farm or food entrepreneur. My small circle of farming friends and locavore foodies, however, is full of romantic individuals with creativity and panache. To hear farmers like Zach of Tree & Leaf or Heintz of Next Step Produce wax poetic on kale to radicchio, you know that they are modern dirt swashbucklers combating the elements to bring you mid-winter food. Happily there is also the softer side of local food in operations like Life Truffles. Sweet treat maven Terri Wuenschel’s credo is to create simple pleasures from a culture of food centered on natural beauty and resources.
Terri’s signature confections are irresistible, hand rolled, dark chocolate truffles. Her theme decorated cupcakes are also impossible to pass up. Based in Bluemont, VA, Life Truffles make any occasion special– not only for the delicious desserts, but also for the kindness and love Terri puts into her work. She brings that same vitality to the products she helps craft at Smith Meadows Kitchen. Whenever we develop a new recipe for farmers market, Terri is more than happy to be involved. Our newest creation, Beef Pot Pies, are made with simple ingredients well combined to make a delicious meal.
These pies are potatoes from Sunnyside Farm in Charlestown, WV, Beef Cubes from our farm here at Smith Meadows, Mushrooms from Ferial Welsh’s Mushroom Stand, MD and Carrots from Twin Springs, PA floating in a beef stock & red wine gravy wrapped in a flaky crust made with our lard and organic winter wheat flour from Frankferd Farms, PA. My Valentine meal this year will include our Beef Pot Pie, Turnips & Greens braised in White Wine, a bottle of Nebbiolo from Breaux Vineyard, and a box of Life Truffles. Although I love the meat, potatoes and vegetable part, I am a dessert girl. The entire holiday is an excellent excuse to indulge in Terri’s treats.
Terri’s boxes of truffles come in packages of 2 for $3 and boxes of 8 for $15. If you would like to order a box of Life Truffles to go along with your other market delights on Valentine’s Day, we can bring them to you at the Dupont Circle market. Please send us an email by February 6th for delivery on Sunday February 13th.