Winter Wassail

Wassail is a hot, mulled punch often associated with Yuletide. The drink evolved to become a mulled cider made with sugar, cinnamonginger and nutmeg,

Pharsalia's Wassail is perfect for when the weather turns chilly. Fix and enjoy, plus it makes your kitchen smell wonderful!

Recipe:

You will need 1 gallon of fresh apple cider. Combine two cups of apple cider and 1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice in a large dutch oven; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Add remaining cider and a 16oz. can of frozen lemonade (thawed) and a 16oz. can of frozen orange juice (thawed) and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. Heat until very hot.  Do not boil.   Yield:  4 1/2 quarts.

Fresh pressed cider may be purchased at Silver Creek-Seaman Packing Shed in Tyro, Virginia.  They are open during the weekdays only and their phone number is 434-277-5824.  It is delicious cider that has not been pasteurized but has been run through a UVB light.  

Embracing Summer with Blueberry Pie

Every once in a while we like to share a favorite recipe here on the blog. In the spirit of summer and the upcoming independence day holiday, we are sharing a simple recipe for a from-scratch blueberry pie. 

We love making our own buttery crust. All that is required is 2 cups of flour, 12 tablespoons of salted butter, and 1/2 cup of cold water. Cut the butter into small chunks an add to flour. This is where it becomes a hands-on process. Press the butter into the flour with your fingers until the consistency of the butter and flour looks like a rough ground meal. At this point you can add your cold water and mix (by hand) until the dough comes together in a ball. The dough ball should be split in half and chilled for at least a half hour prior to rolling out. One half can be used for a pie bottom, and one for the top. We chose to split our dough into four, and make little hand pies. Yum!

For the blueberry filling, we used 4 cups of fresh picked blueberries from a local pick-your-own farm. 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of minute tapioca round out and thicken the filling. Cinnamon and lemon juice can be added, but we left them out as these blueberries are just so good on their own! 

The tapioca and sugar can be mixed with the blueberries and left to set for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. Longer is okay. While the blueberry filling is setting, roll out your chilled dough to the desired size. It is best to work this dough while it is still somewhat chilled. 

For the hand-pies, the filling is simply spooned into the middle of a circle of rolled out dough, and the edges of the dough are pinched together. An egg wash on top of the pastry is a nice touch and helps it to brown up beautifully in the oven. 

Parchment paper underneath pastries and pies in the oven helps to make sure that you will not have a mess, and that nothing will stick. 

Delicious! We hope that you enjoy this one as much as we do. 

Lindsay and Brian's Spring Wedding

Brian and Lindsay had a charming early May wedding at Pharsalia this spring. The weather was perfection and all of our vendors came together to make a great evening for this wonderful couple. Congratulations to Brian and Lindsay! and a big thanks to Ashley Eiban for the photos!

Venue: Pharsalia, Rentals: Pharsalia, Harvest Moon, MS Events, Floral Design: The Faded Poppy, Photography: Ashley Eiban Photography, Catering: Harvest Moon

May At Pharsalia

May is an abundant time of year at Pharsalia. We have been working outside, taking in the beauty and trying to keep up with the flowers! Here are some photos to catch you up on what has been happening

We have had several gorgeous weddings that the rain has steered clear for, but we are loving how all the rain has greened things up!

We have had several gorgeous weddings that the rain has steered clear for, but we are loving how all the rain has greened things up!

Young plants are being transplanted from the greenhouse to the ground.

Young plants are being transplanted from the greenhouse to the ground.

Peonies, snaps and Iris are blooming despite the rain.

Peonies, snaps and Iris are blooming despite the rain.

Turning Peony class loose in the field.

Turning Peony class loose in the field.

March Blooms 2016

We took a walk through the gardens to see the first hints of spring and were surprised at the abundance that we found! Blooms are for sale by the stem or by the bucket and we will have more and more every day!

Daffodils are just starting to open, and the saucer magnolia (though a short lived bloom) is fragrant and beautiful. 

Daffodils are just starting to open, and the saucer magnolia (though a short lived bloom) is fragrant and beautiful. 

Witch Hazel is blooming amongst old winter berries. 

Witch Hazel is blooming amongst old winter berries. 

Hellebores have naturalized in several areas of our gardens and are a favorite winter bloom. 

Hellebores have naturalized in several areas of our gardens and are a favorite winter bloom. 

A gathered arrangement of Hellebore, Daffodils, Saucer Magnolia, Pussy Willow, Witch Hazel, Calla Lily and other budding twigs from the cutting gardens with Three Ridges Mtn. as the backdrop. 

A gathered arrangement of Hellebore, Daffodils, Saucer Magnolia, Pussy Willow, Witch Hazel, Calla Lily and other budding twigs from the cutting gardens with Three Ridges Mtn. as the backdrop. 

Fall Wedding Inspiration

Today, we wanted to share a styled shoot featuring a number of stellar vendors at Pharsalia. 

The bold fall colors really pop and we love how the seasonal grape, plum, and apple harvest from our farm was included. 

The link is below. Make sure to watch the video at the end to see more of Pharsalia's beautiful scenery!  

Fall Wedding Styled Shoot

North vs. South Dinner - The South

The American South will be represented at Pharsalia's upcoming dinner duel by chef Chris Humphrey. Chris is the Executive Chef of Rapture in Charlottesville and specializes in Southern cuisine. He playfully uses the classics of his Virginia upbringing with his extensive French Culinary and haute cuisine experience to create his own version of familiar southern dishes. The result has soul, hints of creole and low country gourmet style. 

We cannot wait to have Chris in the Pharsalia kitchen taking us on a tour of the American South. The idea is a road trip through five courses from Virginia to Louisiana. 

One, Virginia: 
Chesapeake blue crab, local asparagus, dandelion vinegar and greens and country ham
Two, the Carolinas: 
Pulled pork, shaved cabbage and boiled peanuts
Three, Alabama: 
Escolar, fava beans, Alabama white BBQ, chicken cracklins, pickled grapes and vegetable ash salt
Four, Mississippi: 
Beef tamales, truffled popcorn, farmers cheese, chipotle, radish-parsley salad
Five, Louisiana:
Banana foster, bread pudding, sorghum-orange whipped cream cheese, strawberries, salted caramel and spiced pecans

The menu is likely to change due to seasonal availability. Chef Chris will be competing for your vote against Northern dishes through this five course meal. Wine pairings and conversation about the dishes make for a truly unique night. Buy your tickets today as space is limited!

North vs. South Dinner - The North

The Northern menu of our North vs. South Dinner Duel will be designed and prepared by Karen Fiedler, the Head Chef at the Tin Whistle Irish Pub in Charlottesville.

Through five courses Karen will be taking us on a tour of the North! Keep in mind that the menu is likely to change a bit (surprises are always good!), but these ideas are to mouth-watering not to share.

First New Jersey:
Featuring classic Taylor ham, quail eggs and bagels
Second, New York:
Foie Gras au torchon, and northern fruits and nuts (rhubarb, spiced oranges, toasted pecans)
Third, Maine:
Lobster and seafood of course! and fresh spring vegetables to honor the lively farming communities.
Fourth,  Pennsylvania:
Rabbit Hasenpfeffer (braised), sauteed morels and Pennsylvania dutch traditions. 
Fifth, Vermont: 
Vermont will take us through dessert, and we have one word... Maple! There will likely also be cream, bacon and walnut involved. Yum. 
Stay tuned to the blog this week to see what our Southern Chef has planned for your plate!
Purchase your dinner tickets for Saturday April 23rd here!

Simple Short Ribs

This recipe for Short Ribs is from one of our favorite cookbooks. The best thing about this recipe is that it is super simple, and it gets prepped early in the day. Great for entertaining!

Once cooked (in the oven for three hours), These Ribs will fall off the bone, and they are 'finger licking good'!

The Recipe, which is below, is from the Jackson Hole Cooks Cookbook by Rebecca Woods. 

Variety of Hellebore in the Garden

Various Bulbs and spring flowers are starting to show themselves here at Pharsalia. Before long we will have tulips, apple blossoms and dogwoods and will be starting up our cooler to fill orders. You can make yours today!

Here are some of our favorite Hellebore blooming in the garden. These beauties are evergreen perennials that bloom from December through spring!

Soups and Stocks for a Cold Winter Day

Yesterday Victoria Godfrey of An Acre of Parsley joined us in the Pharsalia kitchen for a wonderful class on making soups and stocks from scratch. We stayed cozy in the kitchen with the fire burning, and everyone went home with a door prize! Samples of soup and recipes were abundant. Enjoy some photos of our fun day. 

The Rutabaga for our stocks hung out as we prepared in the kitchen. 

The Rutabaga for our stocks hung out as we prepared in the kitchen. 

Everyone chipped in a hand to prepare for lunch. Breakfast snacks, tea, and coffee were available all morning. 

Everyone chipped in a hand to prepare for lunch. Breakfast snacks, tea, and coffee were available all morning. 

Stay up to date with other exciting classes on our calendar of events!

A Classic Spring Garden Wedding

This wedding is one of our favorite spring weddings to date. The late May day, the abundance of Peonies, and all of the brides special touches really came together to make this day as charming as the bride and groom! Images are courtesy of the talented Dominique Attaway photography. Be prepared, there are quite a few!

Pharsalia's own peonies are featured in this weddings floral design, and they are abundant!

Pharsalia's Peonies in a hand tied swag on the Brides family's mantle for the ceremony.

Pharsalia's Peonies in a hand tied swag on the Brides family's mantle for the ceremony.

Peonies, Snapdragons, Viburnum, and other spring garden blooms grace our brides bouquet.

Peonies, Snapdragons, Viburnum, and other spring garden blooms grace our brides bouquet.

Boutonnieres featured Nigella, fragrant mock orange, and seeded eucalyptus.  

Boutonnieres featured Nigella, fragrant mock orange, and seeded eucalyptus.  

The brides dress is a family heirloom, and all paperwork and lettering was by the bride.

The ceremony was followed by cocktails in the courtyard with the hazy DePreist Mountain as a backdrop. 

Dinner was hosted underneath a Lynchburg True Value tent decked out with Pharsalia's own farm tables. It was catered by Chef Tucker Yoder who worked our Fall 2015 Farm-to-Table Dinner. 

Venue; Pharsalia, Flowers; Pharsalia, Photography; Dominique Attaway Photography, Coordination; A Little Party Events, Catering; Chef Tucker Yoder, Music; Friends did the ceremony, and East Coast Entertainment sourced the band Mr. Potato Head, Hair; Full Circle Salon, Make-up; In your Face Makeup, Tent and Rentals; Lynchburg Just Ask Rental

A Family Wedding on a misty June Day

The wonderfully talented Kathryn Ivy shared the very special photos of Drew and Hannah's misty Summer wedding with us, and we couldn't help but to share them with everyone! Along with being BEAUTIFUL! this was a very special family wedding at Pharsalia complete with many special details. 

Pharsalia is a family home for Hannah and her siblings, and played a special part in her late fathers life. The family grew up playing here, and there was no question about where her wedding would be. 

The invitation suite was put together by Hannah's talented brother and sister

The invitation suite was put together by Hannah's talented brother and sister

Other special details of Hannah's wedding day included a bouquet of Pharsalia flowers made by her Aunt, Foxie Morgan, and a surprise of her fathers ring sewn into her bouquet. 

The Mountain views were misty, and perfectly matches Hannah's colors scheme of blues and sea-foam green. It is hard to believe that this dreamy day was in late June!

Pharsalia's hand made Farm Tables, Paisley and Jade's vintage mismatched chairs, and assorted antique boxes with fresh floral designs finished the look in the reception tent.

... and there was dancing!

A Cozy Indoor Wedding at Pharsalia

Gaby and James' October wedding coincided with the end of a two week rain spell, and the arrival of hurricane Joaquin. Luckily, their intimate family group was able to fit inside the historic Pharsalia home for a cozy celebration. The skies even cleared for some beautiful outdoor shots of the couple captured by the talented April Bennett

The couple and the Pharsalia home were glowing throughout the day. Enjoy these beautiful photos of the happy couple, and stay tuned for more detail shots from the day.

JamesGabySneakPeek-35.jpg

Catering: Hungry Fox Den, Hair and Make-up: First Look Artistry, Floral Design: Pharsalia, Venue: Pharsalia, Photography: April Bennett Photography

A Favorite Pumpkin Cake

This recipe passed through a long list of Friends is one of our very favorite holiday treats. The spices are delectable, and it can be made as a loaf, a cake, or cupcakes. It also works great to make ahead of time and freeze. 

To make the cake (or cupcakes), follow the recipe below. The amounts make 2 bread pan loafs. 

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside; 2 cups flour + 2 tsp. baking powder + 2 tsp. baking soda + 2 tsp. ground cinnamon + 1/2 tsp. salt + 2 cups sugar

Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl; 1 cup oil (vegetable preferred) + 4 eggs + 2 cups pumpkin puree

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Pour into two greased and lightly floured loaf pans. Cook at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes (cupcakes do not take as long!). Let cool 20 minutes, then remove from pans. When cooled, frost tops or cakes thickly. It will freeze and slice well!

Pharsalia's Apple Treat

With the holidays fast approaching we thought it would be a wonderful time to share one of Pharsalia's favorite easy recipes for a party. This Apple treat is so simple to put together, and is a big hit. Serve it as an appetizer or dessert!

2 (8oz.) packages of cream cheese

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1 carton of caramel dip

1 package of toffee bits

1 cup of chopped nuts (peanuts or walnuts)

Start by combining cream cheese and brown sugar. Once combined, smooth in the serving bowl, and chill. On top of the chilled cream cheese mixture, you can layer your toffee bits, caramel dip, and chopped nuts. Pharsalia's apple treat is then served with sliced apples that have been tossed in lemon juice. enjoy!

Natalie and Brandon Married at Pharsalia

Today we are happy to share some glorious photos from a summer wedding on the Pharsalia farm. This couple truly made the space their own, and filled Pharsalia with their love and happiness. The fine photos are courtesy of the talented April Bennett. Enjoy!

A Colorful Fall Wedding in the Mountains

A beautiful and cheerful couple joined us with their families for a colorful late September wedding at Pharsalia. We love how they embraced the full spectrum of fall colors in their floral design, and how they would not let the wet weather dampen any of the wedding festivities. Enjoy some photos courtesy of the talented LuAnn Hunt Photography

Many thanks are in order for all of the terrific vendors that worked together for this wedding. Venue: Pharsalia, Photographer: LuAnn Hunt Photography, Catering: The Hungry Fox Den, Floral Design: Pharsalia, Tent: Skyline Tent Company, Music: Choice Entertainment. Another special thanks to all the family and friends who made the day exactly what it was. 

Fall Farm to Table Dinner

Pharsalia was happy to host our third Farm-to-Table dinner on a beautiful early fall evening this September. The fall focused dinner featured the abundance of summer as the season wound down. Dinner was prepared by Chef Tucker Yoder, and local wineries provided libations.

Cocktail hour featured freshly harvested oysters from the York River.  Veritas Vineyard provided a terrific sparkling Rose' to pair with oysters both served raw, and steamed.  Sauces served with the oysters included Asian Pear and Cucumber relishes prepared by the chef.  Gabrille Rausse Winery also joined us for cocktail hour (in the middle of their busy harvest time!). They provided tastings by the winemaker himself, and had bottles available for sale. 

Foxie and Dick Morgan, owners and caretakers of the historic Pharsalia home welcomed guests to dinner as the sun was setting, and our awesome serving staff served a fresh plated salad followed by Chef Tucker's dinner, family-style. Highlights of the dinner included roasted Autumn Olive Pork  served over a bed of local grits, perfectly crispy green beans with potatoes and Pharsalia's own hard boiled eggs, and Ragged Mountain Trout in Virginia Vinegar Works Malt Vinegar. 

Following dinner was a live auction benefiting the ongoing restoration of the Pharsalia home, and dessert by The Hungry Fox Den was a warm Apple-Cranberry bread pudding with a ginger creme-anglaise.  

All proceeds of Pharsalia's 3rd Farm-to-Table dinner will benefit the restoration of the chimneys on the historic house. 

Stay tuned to our calendar of events for information regarding Pharsalia's upcoming workshops, and next years Farm-to-Table dinners.