Sharon Thompson: Mount Olivet farmer turns corn crop in to all natural chips

swthompson@herald-leader.com,Sharon ThompsonApril 22, 2014 

Jennifer Gleason grows corn on her family farm in Mount Olivet and grinds it for cornmeal and grits.

Last summer, she decided that non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) Hickory King corn would made great chips.

"We have grown it for the past 11 years and encouraged other farmers near us to grow more of it last year so we could have our own corn chips made," she said.

"We drove up to a tortilla chip factory in Toledo, Ohio, with a small trailer pulled behind a pickup truck, filled with 2,000 pounds of Hickory King corn, shelled, whole kernel corn," Gleason said.

Gleason watched as the company processed the corn into chips. "We got about 96 cases of chips from the 1,000 pounds of corn, which fit into the trailer with a little room left. We drove the chips home the next day. It was quite a 36-hour experience," she said.

In Lexington, Hickory King Collective corn chips are sold at Good Foods Co-op, Wine + Market, Windy Corner Market and the Blue Moon Garlic Farm booth at Lexington Farmers Market, and they are available in stores in the Maysville area. The cost is $5 a bag.

Michel honored as agriculture leader

Restaurateur Ouita Michel is the recipient of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture's Thomas Poe Cooper Farm Leadership Award.

Cooper, former dean of the college, established a trust fund to provide for the recognition of an outstanding farm leader in Kentucky each year. Recipients are selected based on their contributions to agriculture in Kentucky; their respected leadership in the community, county and state; and in their adoption of new ideas.

Michel was honored for her leadership in promoting local food and diversification of agriculture. Her restaurant group (Holly Hill Inn, Wallace Station and The Midway School Bakery in Midway, and Windy Corner and Smithtown Seafood in Lexington) has bought more than $2 million worth of local farm products as of this year.

New flavors brewingat MonTea

MonTea, 814 Euclid Avenue, has blended new teas for spring and summer. Summer soleil black tea with lemon flavor is ideal iced; Thai chai black is a combination of coconut tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, lemongrass and coconut bits; citrus green is a blend of Chinese green tea and bits of lemon and lime; and berry green rooibos is naturally caffeine-free with flavors of peaches, strawberry and citrus. Call (859) 268-8327.

Taste it for yourself

DB Bourbon Candy, 301 Secretariat Way, Frankfort, will offer candy samples at Liquor Barn, 1837 Plaudit Place in Hamburg, at noon May 10. Owner Robyn Stuart makes bourbon balls and liqueur-filled chocolates. Go to Dbbourboncandy.com.

Menu's set for annual Scott County Derby Gala

The Scott County Woman's Club 22nd annual Derby Gala will be May 1 at the VanArsdall Farm and Vineyard in Georgetown.

Barbara Combs said the agencies that will benefit from this year's party are: A.M.E.N. House, which provides emergency services, such as food, shelter, clothing and financial assistance to citizens of Scott County; Hospitality House/Elizabeth Place, a transitional home for women and their children in need; Quest Farm, a working farm community that provides a home and workplace for adults with developmental disabilities; and Scott County Senior Citizens Center.

Entertainment will be provided by Lisa and the Men in Back. Selma's Catering will prepare the menu, which features mini Kentucky hot Browns; garlic-and-herb roasted beef tenderloin on yeast rolls; goat cheese torte; country ham pâté on sweet potato biscuit; local asparagus; chunky gazpacho with shrimp; and an assortment of desserts including chocolate ganache brownies, apple tarts, French macaroons and baklava.

Tickets are $75. Call Combs at (502) 542-0377 or Christie Robinson at (859) 552-8855.

recipe

Here is caterer Selma Owens' recipe for gazpacho that she will serve at the party in shot glasses, each topped with a whole shrimp.

Derby Gala gazpacho

2 medium ripe tomatoes

½ small red onion, finely diced

2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded

4 green onions, chopped

1 small red pepper, diced

1 small yellow pepper, diced

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½ cup chopped green olives

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Juice of 2 limes

½ cup feta cheese

½ pound cooked medium shrimp (chopped or whole depending on presentation)

In medium bowl, stir together tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, green onions, and peppers. Add salts. Stir in olives, basil and chopped shrimp (if not using as a topping). Add lime juice and stir. Chill 1 hour. Adjust seasonings and add feta just before serving.

Kentucky Proud'sbig presence

Kentucky Proud food producers will have hundreds of products available to visitors from around the world who are in Louisville for the 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival.

Boone Creek Creamery, 2462 Palumbo Drive, will serve its bourbon-infused Kentucky Derby Cheddar. Owner Ed Puterbaugh said he adds "just enough bourbon" to the Cheddar "to give it an oaky finish, so it's not strong."

Other products and producers include blueberries from the Kentucky Blueberry Growers Association of Edmonton; pecans from Kights Pecan Orchard of West Paducah; sorghum from Townsend Sorghum Mill of Montgomery County; and fillets from Laura's Lean Beef of Lexington. Go to Kdf.org.

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.

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