Open for Opportunity
The kitchen here at Red Bird opened in 2017. Since then home cooks and educators have been taking advantage of this jewel tucked into the mountains of Clay County, Kentucky. The kitchen is stocked to the brim with equipment for the community to use. We have a blast chiller, a convection oven, a large refrigerator, and freezer, a 6 burner oven and so much more.
In August, people who sign up to use the kitchen will receive a free tee-shirt.
Several times a year the Red Bird Valley Kitchen hosts cooking classes and cooking demonstrations.
The cooking demonstrations are so much fun and everyone has a great time. They provide a wonderful chance to learn new ways to use all the fresh veggies we’ve been harvesting lately. You can only eat so much zucchini bread.
At this demonstration, Rebecca from the Bell County Extension Office made a wonderful fresh basil and corn salad. In her second class, she used fresh sweet potatoes to create a delicious dish. After both classes, the participants left with smiles, new recipes to try, and the cutest aprons, along with other free gifts.
Value Added Products
Local gardeners producing high quality, organic fruits and vegetables frequent the kitchen to create their delicious value-added products.
Here at the Red Bird Valley Kitchen, we have 2 stand-outing Grow Appalachia members who frequently use the kitchen. Charlene Helton, who makes delicious Bread & Butter Pickles and Bernd Gruner who makes salsa. These GA members produce top-notch organic produce to use in their creations.
Cucumbers and Cousins
The cucumbers that Charlene uses in her recipe are lovely! I like to tell her she doesn’t just have a green thumb, she’s green up to her elbow. Everything she grows looks like something out of a gardening magazine. You can find her at the Red Bird Farmers Market every Saturday. So if you would like to make your own Bread & Butter pickles stop by and visit her, she might even give you some helpful hints but unfortunately, I don’t believe she will give you her secret recipe. When at the market you will undoubtedly meet Charlene’s husband Herman. He’s a wonderful man and an expert on mountain geology. Before you leave I bet you will have cousins that you never knew about. 🙂
Sadly, I don’t have a photo of Charlene’s Bread & Butter Pickles. They sold out faster than I could get to the craft store to photograph them but trust me they are as beautiful as they are yummy.
Now for our Salsa King and no I’m not referring to the dance. Bernd Gruner, a gentleman originally from Germany makes the most delicious salsa I’ve ever had. The flavor is amazing and Bernd’s peppers are a true sight to behold with their beautiful vibrant colors and odd shapes. This year he has grown Ghost peppers, Trinidad Scorpion peppers, Tabasco peppers, just to name a few. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have his salsa at the farmers market. Just remember, if you buy a jar, make sure to read the label. The flavors range from mild to extra hot and the extra hot is really EXTRA HOT.
If you’re ever in the Red Bird area I highly suggest you stop by the farmers market or the craft store and check out all the value-added products available.
Thankful and Blessed
The Red Bird valley Kitchen is such a valuable resource for our area. It provides extra income for families, a meeting place to have fun and learn about new recipes and a way for families to can and preserve their food. It also builds cohesion in the community, strangers leave as friends having shared these experiences. This kitchen is truly a blessing.