Thursday, November 08, 2012

Richmond Folk Festival 2012

Greetings all. You may or may not have missed me. Hubby and I have been gallivanting up and down the east coast on vacation with a few local festivals in between. Since I take a ton of photos, I've been busy editing and uploading all manner of visual stimulation.

My favorite RVA festival, hands-down, is the Richmond Folk Festival. We managed to attend all three days. The weather was wonderful. We like to mix it up a bit by listening to some wonderful performances and then enjoying dinner at one of the restaurants nearby.

Richmond Folk Festival Banner

On Friday before the festival began, we enjoyed a cocktail at Bistro 27 along with Fried Calamari at the bar.



While we there, Phil Wiggins arrived at the bar for a beer and the Beef Carpaccio.

At the festival we began on a Celtic note with the Liz Carroll Trio and some mighty fine Cape Breton and Irish fiddling.

Liz Carroll Trio 2

We ended up at Chez Foushee for dinner. The Steak with Bordelaise Sauce and Truffle Salt Fries and Duck Confit with Candied Orange Peel Gastrique ended up being very satisfying choices. The orange sauce in the duck dish was subtle and gave the rice a slightly sweet and slightly tannic edge. A Milbrandt Vineyards Cab complemented both dishes.

Steak and Fries

Duck Confit


On Saturday, we arrived around noon and enjoyed a wonderful Jambalaya from Gail's Gumbo House. Gail is local and the "better half" of Big Daddy's BBQ. You can also find Gail dishing up BBQ and Gumbo at the South of the James Market most Saturdays.

Gail's Jambalaya

We experienced wonderful musical performances including Forro Pe De Serra All Stars and Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-chas.

Forro Pe de Serra All Stars 4

Forro Pe de Serra All Stars 9

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas 7

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas 22

Everyone rocked the Dominion Dance Pavilion. As usual, what a fun time.

We drifted over to the Community Stage to catch the American Indian Music and Dance Show as well as James "Super Chikan" Johnson and the Fighting Cocks. Super Chikan turned out to be my favorite act. These guys were so good and I appreciated the fact that all of the "Fighting Cocks" were women. If you get a chance make sure you catch a performance somewhere. I loved Lala on the keyboards and Heather on the bass was always cool and in the groove sporting bared feet.






After we revived from our blues-kicking experience we wandered over to Bistro Bobette to see if they had any tables available. We had not dined here in a very long time. Not because we didn't want to; it just did not happen. The sign of an incredible place is when they still recognize you and treat you as an old friend. Olivier, the bartender, greeted us enthusiastically and set us up with a nice table despite our t-shirts and somewhat dusty jeans. One of the owners also welcomed us warmly. We really felt like we had returned home. Hubby ordered the Arctic Char with a white wine pesto. He thoroughly enjoyed it. I could not resist ordering the Veal Tenderloin with a garlic, rosemary, and red pepper sauce. Most excellent. The touch of red pepper was a special treat along with a few sprigs of fresh oregano. We enjoyed a lovely and silky Burgundy with the meal.

Arctic Char



Our aim on Sunday was to attend the Blues House Party with Nathan Williams, James Johnson, Phil Wiggins, and John Dee Holeman among others. What a great jam session. This was the best performance of the festival (at least for us).

John Dee Holeman
Phil Wiggins
One last bit and it was an unexpected delight. The folkways exhibits featured Fried Apple Pies. My Grandma used to make these half-moon shaped desserts for every family gathering and I loved them. She used dried apples and lots of spices and rolled out her own dough. I never got her recipe (she passed away before I became interested in cooking). I have run across fried apple pies in different places, but none of them had dried apples. Well, Frances Davis gave me a sweet taste of nostalgia on the final day of the Folk Festival. The dough was slightly different, but after one taste I knew it would be the closest I would get to my favorite childhood dessert.

Fried Apple Pie 1

Fried Apple Pie 2

The booth handed out recipes and I am including it here.

For the Pie Crust

4 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Take out 2/3's of this mixture and mix with 1/2 cup milk to form a paste. Add the shortening to remaining flour and blend until pieces are the size of small peas. Add flour paste to shortening flour mixture. Mix well until dough comes together and can be shaped into a ball. Roll out crust 1/8 inch thick. Make five pie crusts. Use more liquid if you desire softer dough.

For the Pie Filling

6 cups dried apples
3 teaspoons allspice
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon salt

Mix all ingredients together in a large sauce pan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick. Cool overnight before making pies.

This is the end of the recipe. I assume the next steps are to place the apples onto the pie crust, fold over, crimp, and fry in hot oil. In any case, a delicious taste of the past.

If you have never attended the Richmond Folk Festival, you are missing out on one of the best things that RVA has to offer. First of all, it's FREE!!! and they provide shuttle buses if you are not interested in finding parking downtown (also free). The wide variety of music is phenomenal and all of the performers are incredible. A great way to enjoy a weekend and discover new music and cultures.

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