Several weeks ago Maggie and I made our annual appearance on the “World’s only live radio cooking show, that we know of” at Appalshop in Whitesburg, KY. For the past several years, late every summer the hosts (and cooks), Jonathan and Jenny, have invited us to provide Grow Appalachia produce for a “mystery basket” show. In past years we have either given Jonathan and Jenny several days notice as to what produce we would be bringing or at least arrived half an hour prior to the show for them to plan out what they would make. This year though the plan was to make the show a complete mystery and to do an on air reveal of all the produce.


Our wonderful cook and host Jenny Williams


Equally wonderful cook and host Jonathan Piercy













Our cooks brought and assembled all their pantry necessities and then waited until the clock hit 6 and the microphones were recording to set their eyes on what they had to work with. I think if anything we might have given them too many options with all great produce we were able to gather up including:


cowpea and leaves

Cowpea and Cowpea leaves

Cowpea leaves




Herbs: basil, parsley, oregano, chives, sage, rosemary, blackberry wine, honey,

Blackberry wine


food basket

Corn, honey, chives, okra, and beets




Swiss chard



Green beans

Banana peppers


After a few quick minutes of deliberation the menu was set and Jenny and Jonathan each got to work on their dishes for the night. Jenny made a Swiss chard and tomato tart and a soba noodle salad with cowpeas, and cowpea leaves.

chopping cowpeas

Chopping cowpeas for the soba noodle salad

tomato tart

Beautiful tomato and swiss chard tart


Jonathan made corn chowder, tempura fried banana peppers and okra, and pickled beets. Jonathan also made up a cocktail of blackberry wine, gin, sorghum, and basil.

Pickled beets

Pickled Chioggia beets

chopping corn

Chopping corn for the chowder

I always enjoy this show because it takes all the individual foods that I have been eating for weeks and gives me new ideas of how to prepare them, and as creative as I am with food, Jenny and Jonathan always whip up things that I would never have been able to dream up. When the hour was up we had a great meal in front of us and even better company to share it with!

finished plate

A delicious meal

Listen to the streaming episode

And keep an eye on the What’s Cookin’ Now blog for a recap and maybe even some recipes!

All photo credit goes to Les Roll, thank you for the beautiful pictures!