County Fair, fun for Everyone

A County Fair is a time-honored event that celebrates food, competition, animals and skills!

The county fair’s importance dates back to a history when people loved to get together and celebrate. They celebrated successful learning and showed their best harvest and crafts. They taste tested entries to determine the best pie. The county fair was a celebration everyone looked forward to. It is one of the oldest forms of community celebrations.

Who doesn’t enjoy going to a county fair?  There is something for everyone from show barns, exhibit halls, and amusement rides.  Of course, there is always plenty of food to sample.  Are you a usual dinner and movie couple?  Try something different. Visit a county fair.

Our county fair, Rockbridge Regional Fair and Expo, will take place on September 6-8, 2018 at the Virginia Horse Center, 487 Maury River Road, Lexington, VA 24450.

There are plenty of Fair Schedule activities such as:

Coon Hunting Dog Show & Trials           quilt image at the county fair                             coon hunting dog at the County Fair

Farm Girl Competition

American Devon Milking Open Show

Oxen Workshop

Rare Breeds Horse Show

Quilt Show

Local Artists Show

The musical entertainment at the County Fair will include PRIME in concert on the fairway Friday night (Sept 7) and Saturday night (Sept 8) will be Tim Elliott, Carolina’s Male Country Artist of Year!

The Fairway will have fun activities for the whole family including inflatables, mechanical bull, rock wall, obstacle courses, carnival games and various other attractions.

Entry into the fair will be free and there will be no fee to park.

FAIR Hours are:

9/6 – THURSDAY | 4:00PM-10:00PM

9/7 – FRIDAY | 2:00PM-10:00PM

9/8 – SATURDAY | 2:00PM-10:00PM

Baking Competition Recipe

A county fair would not be complete without a baking competition.  Bakers of all ages and types come together to share their baking talents and hopefully win a blue ribbon.

Here is a recipe for Blue Ribbon Jumbo Blueberry Muffins that you can make at home!

You will need – 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, ½-cup oil, 3 cups flour, 1-cup sugar, 5 tsp. baking powder, 1-cup fresh, and washed/drained blueberries.

Follow these steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. With wire whisk, combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry. Stir until combined.
  4. Fold in blueberries
  5. Divide batter evenly into the greased jumbo muffin tin. Finish them off by sprinkling with lots of sugar on top.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!

Each county fair has its own unique specialty that sets it apart.

No two county fairs are the same even across county lines.  Come and enjoy the delights of Rockbridge County Fair & Expo!   After all the fun, rest up Fox Hill Bed & Breakfast Suites and share with us your favorite part of the Fair!  In case you are wondering, it is a quick 18-minute car ride from the Virginia Horse Center to us.

For additional information visit the Rockbridge County Fair & Expo

See you at the Fair!

Meet some of our local farmers 

 

 

Scratch made Bacon at Fox Hill

Scratch made BACON!  BACON!  BACON!

Scratch made Bacon has been the topic of many reviews on Tripadvisor and Face Book.  Afterall, we are a Bed and Breakfast and you better have a comfy bed and awesome mouth watering delicious breakfast when those words are in the businesses name.  You wouldn’t go to a burger joint and expect to order prime rib steak.  In the two years that we have owned Fox Hill B&B, we have developed quite a reputation with our breakfasts.  We cure our own bacon at Fox Hill! Staying more than one night guarantees that you will get BACON in one of your breakfasts. At Fox Hill, we make our breakfasts from scratch, whether its blueberry pancakes or butterscotch muffins, we get up early and start the fixin’ the treats to start your special.

Decadent Candy for Breakfast?

It’s like eating candy for breakfast. The little kid in all of us wants to break the rules when on holiday. So, we usually add a serving of fresh fruit with the candy. Back to the subject of Fox Hill’s homemade bacon.  Unlike store bought bacon, we start with a locally sourced pork belly. Then we cure the bacon using a combination of brown sugar, pure maple syrup, salt, cracked pepper, coarse pepper, Jim Beam bourbon and time. Time is the key. Rushing the curing or the smoking process will not produce the required and repeatable results.  About two weeks in a curing bag it’s ready to smoke. We fire up the smoker and shoot for the optimal temperature we like.  We smoke the bacon for 5-6 hours with an Applewood, lump charcoal and constant, consistent temperature.  Then it’s back in the chill box for another week. We slice it  on a commercial slicer and freeze it for our guests to enjoy.

To read more about our breakfast offerings and to view additional breakfast images, please visit our breakfast page.

Making Home-made Sausage

Making Home-made Sausage at Fox Hill Bed and Breakfast Suites

So many of our guests rave about our home-made Bacon and home-made Sausage. Today, we will speak about how we make our sausages.

Every home-made sausage starts out the same way. We learned to make sausage in the fresh, basic form first.

Then it was just a matter of learning some simple steps to that technique and you can produce any sausage you want. Every time we make sausages, it is different. One reason is that we make 15 pounds at a time, and the time between each preparation is long enough to forget what was done in the past.

Last week, we finished 15 pounds and still have it a good memory of what we did; we can pointedly define some tips based on experience; however, we are by no means an expert.

We source our pork locally when possible; sometimes we need to go to the big city to get the meat. We butcher the shoulder to fit in our grinder, which are strips about one inch by one inch however long it happens to be.

We grind the pork, divide it, and then season with one of five different seasoning mixes we purchase onhome-made sausage -line. I make a standard breakfast sausage, a maple flavored sausage, a southern style seasoning, one with some heat to it, or a charred grilled seasoning.

home-made sausageWe source our natural casings online as well. We have found that Amazon has one of the best natural casings available.

The videos show the grinding process and the stuffing process. Many experts will stuff a casing making a 2-foot long sausage and then twist the casing to the size they want. The expert you watch on videos never breaks a casing. We have changed our technique because we are not experts and cannot imitate the experts. Imitating the experts’ leads to many broken casings and high levels of frustration.

Why we make different kinds of Sausage:

Making and serving all the same sausages seems too much as if we are eating the same thing all the time.
So, visit Fox Hill for more than one night and we guarantee that you will get to taste one of our home-made sausages.

Therefore, what are our tips?

  • Use fresh pork
  • Add the amount of ice water specified
  • Rinse the natural casings for one hour and then let sit in refrigerator overnight
  • Let the mix rest overnight
  • Twist each link as it comes off the stuffing horn
  • Freeze on a cookie tray
  • Cut apart and place in zip lock bags
  • Boil the frozen sausage for 10 minutes
  • Brown in a cast iron skillet
  • Enjoy your creation!

 

Fox Hill B&B does Farm-to-Table

Chef Mike has always enjoyed gardening and since taking the reins of the kitchen, he has expanded his love of gardening to the next level to achieve a Farm-to-Table menu.

At Fox Hill Bed and Breakfast, we grow many of the fruits and vegetables served in our breakfast dishes.  Chef Mikes Vegetable Egg bake consists of multicolored sweet peppers, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, corn, and any other fresh
Peppers - Farm to Table vegetables Romas - Farm to Tablethat are ripe and ready to eat.  Fresh made salsa/stewed tomatoes are the star of Chef Mike’s version of the Middle-Eastern dish Shakshuka.

Innkeeper Cathy uses the abundant zucchini, strawberries, and blackberries grown on site for her scrumptious baked goods.

Hive to Table

 

Having bee hives located on the property also helps provide us with an abundance of produce. Although we do not own them, the local beekeeper manages the hives and provides us with pollinators and fresh honey.  You can see the hives as you turn into the inn’s Beekeeper - Hive to Table driveway.  The honey served in your breakfast is a by-product of the workers living in the hives at the end of our driveway.  Even the bees must pay to stay!

Throughout the growing season, we travel to the local U-Pick farms and gather as much as we can haul. Typically, we pick 50 pounds of various fruits, providing fresh flavors in new and tried-and-true recipes, plus we freeze plenty to enjoy throughout the winter months.

Last season, we picked over 50 pounds of delicious Blueberries from a well-cared for Blueberry Farm in West Virginia.  We traveled over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Crozet and gathered up over 45 pounds of sweet Peaches. We spent a Fall afternoon at a Lovingston apple orchard picking and dreaming of apple pie!  While we did not pick them directly from the trees, we did sample and bring home a few of the many 16 varieties of Asian pears from The Virginia Gold Orchard, right here in Rockbridge County.

The Farm-to-table concept is a social movement to promote serving local food at restaurants, schools & INNS preferably through direct acquisition from the producer. At Fox Hill B&B, since we grow our own, we know exactly where, what and how our “good eats” are grown.

Tomatoes - Farm to Table Cornfield -- Farm to Table

Farm-to-table incorporates food traceability (celebrated as “knowing where your food comes from”) where the origin of the food can be identified to our guests. When visiting during the growing season, guests can actually see the ingredients growing.

Farm-to-Table also applies to our Bacon and Sausages as we procure our pork locally.  Fresh pork shoulder for the sausages and fresh Pork Belly for our well-reviewed and requested Maple-Bourbon-bacon smoking

Cracked Pepper, Applewood smoked bacon.  It’s a three-week “labor of love” process for Chef Mike to make the bacon and he only smokes 10 pounds at a time.  As for the sausages, they are handmade; no two are the same size but every bit delicious.

Even our four-legged guest’s get the Farm-to-Table experience! We provide treats from Whistle Creek Treats, a local premium  Farm-to-Table Pet Food provider.  They produce high quality treats and pet food utilizing locally sourced, 100% human grade ingredients.  Each treat is free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, chemicals, or colors.

Therefore, for the Farm-to-Table experience not found at every bed and breakfast, a visit to Fox Hill Bed and Breakfast Suites will surely satisfy that need.