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Lick the Spoon | Rural American art and cuisine at Cabot Farmers Market

Cabot artist H. Kirk Beckham displays her watercolors of local scenes at Cabot Farmers Market. She is one of several local artisans and craftsmen who share the market with vendors of locally grown fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs. The market, sponsored by Cabot City Beautiful, is open 8 a.m. to noon, each Saturday until Oct. 4, in the ReNew Church parking lot at the intersection of South Second Street and Richie Road. Photo Ed GaluckiBuy Photo
Cabot artist H. Kirk Beckham displays her watercolors of local scenes at Cabot Farmers Market. She is one of several local artisans and craftsmen who share the market with vendors of locally grown fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs. The market, sponsored by Cabot City Beautiful, is open 8 a.m. to noon, each Saturday until Oct. 4, in the ReNew Church parking lot at the intersection of South Second Street and Richie Road. Photo Ed Galucki

Fruits, vegetables, honey … while Cabot Farmers Market features many of these locally produced edibles, not everything offered by vendors is intended for the kitchen and pantry.

Cabot Farmers Market, sponsored by Cabot City Beautiful, is open each Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon, at the ReNew Church parking lot, near the intersection of Richie Road and South Second Street (Arkansas Highway 367 south). The Market will be held until Oct 4.

Local artist H. Kirk Beckham of Cabot, a native Arkansan, recently showed some of her current works at the Cabot Farmer’s Market, which, she said, is “The convergence of rural and urban.” Being among local farmers and craftsman made it, “The best place to share my landscapes and the concept of Rural American Contemporary Art (RACA),” she said. “It was kismet to have sold a painting that I titled Remembering Papa’s Farm.”

Known to her family as Heather, she said she spent her formative years in the Mississippi Delta. Among her earliest recollections are intaglio prints from Germany and Botticelli’s The Allegory of Spring on a book spine. The patterns of fields, orchards, and open space of the region as well as the formal and functional art of the delta “nourished” her then and now, she recalls.

“When peaches came in season, we would go to the farm,” she said. ” Three generations of extended family would pick peaches that my great-grandfather sold in front of his house. I vividly recall sitting in the dusty tractor ruts, creating roadways in imaginary places, knocking them flat again, smooth like paper and drawing with twigs.”

Beckham said she declared herself an artist when she was 12 years old, after taking seventh-grade art under Helen Goodman. Her works have been rooted in reality, no matter how abstract the final piece, with maternity and women role models influencing most of her work.

And some of those role models also greatly influenced her culinary interests, she said.

“I have a rather large family and grew up knowing generations of women who were great cooks,” she said. Among them was Mama Motch, her great uncle’s mother-in-law, who became the motivation for a cookbook she compiled for Christmas 1994.

When Mama Motch, who watched over the children’s table at family gatherings, passed away she had written down only a few recipes, Heather said.

“So I collected recipes, family favorites, from 20 grandmothers,” she said.

Over the last twenty years Beckham has created her own recipes and faithfully written them down. Some recipes show the influence of living in New Mexico where she taught high school art. Other recipes came about through her love of experimenting in the kitchen, but the majority were influenced by the farm-to-table movement.

“My children, who are 18, 19 and 21, love to eat enchiladas,” Beckham said. ” In truth, I don’t often make them the same way twice. But after learning that I have diabetes, I have developed recipes and serving sizes that are healthier for all of us.”

Like her recipes, Beckham’s current body of artwork consists of pieces influenced by the landscape, events, and people in her life. “Landscape has become a symbol of person in that one can be wide open or constricted, views can be obstructed or paths clearly delineated,” she said.

Beckham said she plans to be at the Farmers Market as often as possible while it is open. But, if you miss out on seeing her works at Cabot Farmer’s Market, H. Kirk Beckham can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Word Press, or LinkedIn.

Here is some of Heather’s kitchen art:

Fall Stew

Chicken on the bone with skin removed (3 breasts, 4 backs, 3 legs or a similar variation)

One medium onion, cut into quarters

One celery stalk, cut into four pieces

Three pounds of yellow summer squash, 1/4 inch slices

1 to 2 Tablespoons honey

A bunch of green onions, chopped

3 medium baking potatoes, diced

4 large carrots, 1/4 inch sliced

One can of green beans, drained

Salt and Pepper

In a large stockpot, place the chicken pieces, onion, and celery; cover with about eight cups of water and boil. Remove fully cooked chicken, debone and dice it. Reserve one pound for soup and use the remainder for other recipes. Drain the stock. Discard the onion and celery. Return the stock to the pot and add two pounds of the squash and the green onions. Boil for twenty minutes, until squash is tender. Cool slightly and puree. Add the honey and salt and pepper to the squash sock. Simmer. Add one pound of chicken to this pot.

In a separate stockpot, boil potatoes, carrots, green beans, and the remaining pound of squash. (If you cook these vegetables in the squash stock, then it will taste too much like potato soup.) Drain these vegetables when they have cooked and add them to the squash and chicken.

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Butternut Ravioli

This recipe serves five people. Each portion has 45 grams of carbohydrates.

Pasta ingredients:

2 cups flour

3 eggs

Filling ingredients:

8 oz. Butternut squash puree

8 oz. ricotta cheese

To make the pasta, either on the counter top or in a very large bowl, make a well (a hole in the center) of the flour. Put the unbeaten eggs into the well. With a fork, whisk very small amounts of the flour into the eggs until it feels nearly too thick to continue.

With one’s hands fold remaining flour into the dough, knead it to an elastic smooth texture. Let it sit for about ten minutes before rolling it out. It can be rolled with a rolling pin, but a pasta machine is much easier.

Boil a chopped butternut squash and puree eight ounces of it. Or roast a butternut squash and mash/puree eight ounces of it.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the squash puree and ricotta.

Onto pasta sheets drop just over a teaspoon sized amounts of the squash mixture. Lightly brush around the mixture with water to seal your ravioli. Top this with another sheet of pasta. Press them together, sealing the mixture between the pasta sheets. Cut them into two inch by two-inch squares.

Boil in about three quarts water until the ravioli float.

Serve with a sauce of your choice.

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Creamy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

This recipe serves 5 people. Each portion has 53 carbohydrates, 26 grams protein.

10 Mission-brand flour tortillas, fajita size

13-oz. can white meat chicken with broth

4-oz. can mild green chiles

7-oz. can Herdez salsa cesara

7-oz. can Herdez salsa verde

8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese 1/3 less fat

27-oz. can Bush Chili beans-mild sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, chicken-with-broth, and green chiles. Fold chili beans into this mixture.

Pour the salsa cesara into an 8 by 11 inch (2 quart) glass-baking dish.

Equally divide the cheesy chicken and bean mixture between the ten tortillas, spooning the mixture onto the tortillas, rolling them up and placing them into the baking dish. Cover the ten enchiladas with salsa verde.

Bake for fifteen to twenty minutes. It should be bubbly.

Garnish with chopped tomatoes and avocado.

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Chipotle Pulled Pork

This is great for tacos or as a soup starter in the winter.

5 to 10 pound Boston Butt Pork Roast

7-oz. can La Costeûa Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce

In a 7- to 8- quart stockpot, place pork roast and the whole can of chipotles and adobo, if you’re adventurous. If you like things less spicy, use one to three peppers. Cover this with water, probably eight to twelve cups of water. [ I don’t measure it]. Bring it to a boil. Cook on medium-high heat for about two hours; turn it down to a low simmer. Cook this four to five hours.

Let the pork cool to shred or chop, depending on your preference.

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Spicy Soul-Warming Soup:

A two-cup serving of this soup is very diabetic friendly.

Using the Chipotle Pulled Pork recipe as a soup starter, strain the broth, removing the chipotle peppers and bones. Add half to a third of the shredded pork back to broth.

Vegetables to add: Chopped head of cabbage, one bag of matchstick carrots, one diced onion, diced butternut squash (one large or two small).

Optional ingredients: One can of diced tomatoes and a drained can of black beans. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked.

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Chipotle Pork Tacos

This serves five people. Two tacos have 41 carbohydrates.

10 Mission Brand flour Tortillas-fajita size

Shredded Chipotle Pulled Pork (recipe above)

Garnishes my family likes:

Finely shredded cabbage

Diced tomatoes

Diced avocado

Radish slices

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This column is for readers to share their recipes. The recipes need not be fancy or original; just good cooking that you and your family enjoy - a few sentences of history behind a recipe would be great.

Civic organizations, non-profit organizations, churches, school classes, EHC, 4-H, etc. can also take part. Collect six or seven recipes from members, include their names; tell about the purpose of the organization, maybe a little history; include when and where the group meets, and how to join. Keep it to 500 - 600 words.

When submitting recipes, include all ingredients and instructions. Give amounts and measures as well as sizes of cans and packages. It is also helpful to know sizes of dishes or pans used. Include a contact name, city of residence and phone number; the phone number will not be published but is needed should questions arise while preparing for print.

Please print if handwritten. Original photos of the recipe results are invited, but subject to space limitations; attach pictures to the email in jpeg format. Photos must not be copyrighted.

1- e-mail - send to news@cabotstarherald.com, with “Lick the Spoon” in the subject line

2 - U.S Postal Service: mail to Cabot Star-Herald, P.O. Box 1058, Cabot, AR 7202

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