On Wednesday evening Pine Mountain had the wonderful opportunity to be guests on the local community radio station, WMMT (88.7). WMMT is the Mountain Community Radio station based out of Whitesburg Kentucky. WMMT is an eclectic and fun station featuring  many different programs that bring a wide range of music and news to community. The station is founded on the principle that it is important to “provide opportunities for people in our community to speak up about matters that are important to them”. WMMT’s motto is “real people radio” and we definitely observed “real people” on air during  our night at the radio station as the hosts of “What’s Cookin’ Now” bustled around one small kitchen cooking a meal with no preparation time and a stove that decided to blow a fuse just about every 5 minutes.
            This is the second time that Pine Mountain has been featured on the show, June 2011 being the first appearance, in which Maggie Ashmore brought a mystery basket of produce that contained eggs, mint, garlic scapes, shittake mushrooms, rosemary, lettuce, radishes, and green onions.  For Pine Mountain’s second experience on the show, Maggie Ashmore, Claire, one of our environmental education interns , and I,  were invited for the September airing of What’s Cookin’ Now themed “Fall Harvest Mystery Basket”.  Maggie was asked to provide a selection of produce from Pine Mountain and our Grow Appalachia participants with which to surprise the hosts, Jonathan Piercy and Jenny Williams, for an on the spot meal preparation. Despite the almost constant rain this week, and the understandably suffering gardens, we were able to come up with quite a good selection of produce including:
Butternut Squash
Spaghetti Squash
Yellow squash
Sweet Potatoes
Banana Peppers
Green Bell Peppers
Green Tomatoes
Green Beans
Fresh Eggs
Corn Meal
Local Honey
Sweet Tomato Jam
 All our beautiful Produce
The produce was all fresh (much of it harvested just hours before the show), beautiful , and provided a great preview of what our fall cuisine will look like. In an hour’s time a colorful and delicious meal came together in front of our eyes.  Jonathan and Jenny made the preparation of a gourmet meal look quick, easy, and fun, though they may disagree about it being easy due to their technical difficulties.  Their cooking was an inspiration for those evenings when you have a refrigerator full of food yet find yourself complaining “I have nothing good to eat!”, because really, if you take 10 minutes to survey your options, you could probably find a zillion different ways to use all that fresh produce sitting in the kitchen. And as our wonderful hosts demonstrated, delicious healthy food does not have to take hours of preparation or require a culinary degree to make it from stove to tabletop.
            The finished product of our hour on air was a table filled with mashed sweet potatoes with chipotle, quick pickled green tomato caprese, pasta with green beans and walnuts, green tomato gazpacho, corn meal cakes with a honey and sweet tomato jam balsamic sauce, and deviled eggs. Well now that I typed all that out I’m even more amazed at what Jonathan and Jenny were able to whip up in that time! But don’t be intimidated, those of us less experienced in the kitchen can still master their recipes with a few directions, just don’t try to tackle all 7 at the same time!
Here are 2 of the recipes that Jonathan and Jenny came up with for the show:
Sweet potatoes
Chipotles in adobo sauce
Cream (milk, heavy cream, ½ and ½, even plain yogurt would be good)
Trim sweet Potatoes, slice thick, and boil until soft. Drain and mash gently. Stir in some honey and a couple of chipotles, with plenty of the adobo hanging on them. Add a little cream, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust.
Fresh as can be sweet potatoes!
Green tomatoes                 
Rice Wine Vinegar
Black pepper
Fresh Mozzarella
Herbs, assorted (parsley worked well)
Slice green tomatoes as thinly as possible (a mandolin is excellent for this). Make a brine with rice vinegar and salt—you want about a 5% brine for pickles, and a cup of liquid to a tablespoon of salt will get you pretty close. Add a big dollop of honey—more than you think, since you have a lot of sour to counteract. Add a little black pepper. Taste and make sure it’s tasty.
Submerge the tomatoes in the brine. Toss them around occasionally. In 30-45 minutes they be nice and pickly. Arrange them on a plate with chunks of fresh mozzarella and sprinkle some herbs on top.
Quick Pickled Green Tomato Caprese
For additional notes on these recipes and more of Jonathan and Jenny’s kitchen genius visit their blog at: http://wmmtcooks.blogspot.com/
You can listen to What’s Cookin’ Now on the first Wednesday of every month from 6-7pm on WMMT 88.7 FM or stream the show live at:  http://appalshop.org/wmmtfm/
I know that here at Pine Mountain we will be listening to the show every month, however, we suggest tuning in to WMMT anytime of the day or month to enjoy and support this great local radio station!