Blog :: 11-2019

Silver Creek Website Recognized by REAL Trends

Silver Creek Real Estate Group is thrilled to share with you the amazing recognition we received today from REAL Trends, the undisputed leader and trustworthy source for national analysis of the residential real estate industry. In their Website Rankings for 2019, we placed in not just one category but four, including fifth place for Best Overall, ninth for Best Design, fifth for Best Mobile, and sixth in Best Video. As you can see, we're in great company among other prestigious real estate firms out of huge markets such as LA and New York. This amazing win is a testament to heavy investment in our marketing efforts online, standing head and shoulders above any other firm on the Plateau.

The Barn's Wild Lemon Balm-Mint Smash Cocktail

Serves 2 (with extra lemon balm simple syrup)

In a pint glass or cocktail shaker, combine 4 ounces vodka with 2 ounces lemon balm simple syrup.
Add the juice of one lemon and a generous bunch of fresh, wild mint.
Shake or stir vigorously and pour over ice into two glasses.
Garnish with a wedge of lemon and enjoy!


To Make Lemon Balm 
Simple Syrup:

Combine one cup sugar and one cup water in a small heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add a nice big bunch of fresh lemon balm to the pot and stir until its covered. Allow the lemon balm to steep in the warm simple syrup for at least an hour or up to eight hours. Strain syrup thru a mesh sieve, squeezing the lemon balm to extract as much flavor as possible.

A Wild Day in the Country

I scan the ground at my feet and spy the green clover-like specimen I am instructed to look for. As I am encouraged to do by our knowledgeable guide, I pluck it from the grassy patch and pop it into my mouth. I taste a mild tangy lemon flavor on my palette. Not bad. “Welcome to backyard foraging,” someone next to me bellows. Despite the fact that I feel like I am eating weeds, well, because I am, I learn that this is yellow wood sorrel, a native weed in North Carolina, and is great in gin cocktails. Hmm… tell me more.
Our foraging guide is Becky Beyer from No Taste Like Home in Asheville, who has a master's in Appalachian studies and speaks across the Southeast on Appalachian folk medicine, wild foods, and ethnobotany (huh? the study of the region’s plants and their practical uses). As we walk along the edge of an overgrown field of wildflowers and weeds, we learn about how to steep white yarrow for a cold remedy tea, how orange daylily blossoms are delicious fried after being stuffed with goat cheese, and how sassafras makes a mean root beer and adds a tasty zest to gumbo. We encounter all sorts of wild edibles from greens to flowers to roots that can be used to infuse drinks, soups, stews, teas, and salads, and many of which can heal a bevy of ailments. Who knew?!
Our organizer and host for this day in the country called Foraging Adventure and Wild Food Lunch is Kristin Jorgensen, a talented cook, caterer, and event planner. Entertaining our group of twelve today at her charming event hideaway called The Barn just outside of Cashiers, Kristin has refurbished the old and once minimalist structure, previously owned by her grandparents for almost thirty years, into an inviting, shabby chic finished space where she hosts dinner parties, events, and cooking classes.
The Barn is where childhood summers spent with her grandmother were majestically filled with foraging adventures picking blueberries and apples, making jams and pies and sipping lemonade under the big oak tree. Her grandmother’s motto, “Found food always tastes best!” is imprinted deep in Kristin’s heart and for today’s event, Kristin shares this passion with us. She has turned an ordinary Sunday into an extraordinary Sunday that is well organized, educational, and delectable. Our diverse group, hailing from Atlanta, Asheville, and the local area, enjoys an enlightening foraging tour and then relaxing under The Barn’s signature oak tree sipping Kristin’s Wild Lemon Balm Mint Smash (see the recipe on the next page).
As the glorious smells of a wild greens pesto, country ham, and burrata pizza make their way from inside The Barn to the outside, our party takes its cue to head inside to eat. We gather around the state-of-the-art kitchen watching Kristin cook up some fabulous eats and gush over The Barn’s interior, lovingly decorated with antiques, linen, silver, wood, stainless steel, and glass. With many original effects of the barn still intact like the wide plank flooring, the original beams across the ceiling, and the powder room humorously made to feel like an outhouse (only with real plumbing), the place feels bucolic but refined. As the warm, gentle breezes of the day billow through the open doors and windows, the views of the pasture, fields, and distant mountains make for a surreal setting.
With the pizza appetizer happily digesting in our bellies, we are invited to sit down at a long, beautifully appointed table for our much-anticipated three-course wild foods lunch meticulously prepared by Kristin. Each course sticks with the theme of the day to include some sort of wild edible. Our starter is a delicious Magenta Lamb’s Quarter (yes, a weed) Gnudi with ramp butter and parmesan, a naked ravioli that melts in your mouth. The chatter dies down at the table as we all dissect and savor the flavors. Our second course of Sunburst trout with a wild sorrel mayonnaise with wild greens and field peas is equally as impressive. The trout is so fresh like all of Kristin’s ingredients, which come from sustainable sources from the surrounding area. Our third course, a dessert of wild lemon balm pannacotta and wild fennel shortbread cookies blows everyone away. It is the perfect ending to a perfect meal. As laughter and joyous conversation fill the room, I look down the table and see nothing but smiles. You almost want to shout, “We did it! We ate prepared weeds!” but really the meal is so much more than that because you can feel the love Kristin infused into each preparation.
Her intention to create a nurturing space for comfort, happiness and good food where people can nourish their bodies and souls has been accomplished. “I hope that [guests] too will be affected by the magic that my grandparents created here,” confides Kristin, “and for the simple rustic beauty…unplugged and off the beaten path…and sharing a meal together.” One guest, Carol Saul, an attorney from Atlanta, put her perspective into words, “The almost magical serenity of the Barn’s setting in remote and lush Western NC enveloped us as we were served an amazing meal incorporating native edibles from the surrounding fields.”
The event calendar is quite packed for The Barn this season with interesting workshops, cooking classes, kids camps, and dinners under the stars. Check out The Barn’s website at www.thebarnnc.com for more dates and information. 

Finding the Luxe

Looking to be inspired in creating an enviable interior, luxe style today calls for a mix of materials reflective of classic designs but with a contemporary fresh look bringing balance and sophistication to form and function.  NC Living found some coveted favorites to delight your design sense and bring envy to all of your well-heeled friends.

There is nothing old-fashioned about this mid-century diamond-cut pattern on these 15-ounce Bourbon Street Double Old Fashioned (DOF) glasses inspired by the French Quarter in New Orleans. Visually making a statement on the bar, the tactile and nicely weighted feel of the glass in hand will elevate the enjoyment of the beverage within. The crisscross design is available in a bevy of sizes and shapes including wine, flute, coupe, rocks, and highball glasses along with a 40-ounce decanter and ice bucket by Rolf Glass. Set of 4 of DOF glass: $72.50 at shoprolfglass.com


Eyelets are back in and they are hot! Pair these Carnival hand-crocheted 100% linen napkins with any of Kim Seybert’s napkin rings or her Gem Blocks to complete the look of your tablescape. Kim’s designs are featured in Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and luxury retailers around the world. Napkin available in two colors: White/Beige and White/Seafoam; size 21” square; set of four: $112 at kimseybert.com
 

Sophisticated and functional, this Chin Hua Lotus Bar Cabinet crafted with maple and walnut solids and satin walnut veneer will add grandeur to any room. Tucked behind the double doors is a mirrored back panel with LED interior lighting, a mirror work surface, wine bottle storage, fixed shelving, and two adjustable shelves. The metal base is black nickel-plated with one fixed wood shelf. Size: 54”w x 17.25” d x 74.25” h. Available colors include Sable (shown), Prairie, Black Pearl, Smoke and Sapphire. $10,650 by Century Living at centuryliving.com

Designed as jewelry for the table by NY-based designer Kim Seybert, this Gem Block brass napkin ring with faux malachite inlay will inspire any hostess or host to throw one fabulous dinner party. Couple with one of Kim Seybert’s napkins for a finished look. Size each: 1.5”w x 1.75” t; set of four: $84 at kimseybert.com

Literally wrapped in luxury and sitting in front of the fire on a chilly evening, you will delight in your purchase of this Emara throw by Sferra. Made of delicately soft cashmere blended with superfine Merino wool, the design is layered with fluid organic pressed pleats inspired by ripples on water. As much an art piece as a home accessory, Sferra’s attention to detail makes this exquisite work of craftsmanship standout. Available in two colors Winter White and Natural. Size: 50” x 70”; $1,110.00 at sferra.com

Designed by Spanish designer Miguel Arregui, the classic Fonda Chair is intricately handwoven by superior artisans in Mexico. With anything woven being en vogue, this chair is bound to be the center of attention in any room. Made from hand-woven palm leaves wrapped on an iron base, it is available only from the innovative and contemporary Tao Studio Gallery located in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Tao Studio can easily ship this one-of-a-kind piece to anywhere in the world. Email Tao for an estimate. Size: 36"h x 18"w x 17”d; $750 (estimated in US Dollars) at taostudio.net

North Carolina native Whitney Caudle’s fresh designs and bold colorations will make any sofa or chair be the signature seat in the room. With a touch of contemporary, yet a youthful, sophisticated style, Whitney’s vast collection is available in every color, shape, texture, and size. Consult piper-collection.com for her catalog. Priced from $175.

This Rattan Daisy Hanging Light by specialty designer Soane in London is made from hand-woven cane by Leicestershire, England weavers. Suspended by a natural rope chain, the 4-bulb chandelier’s sculptural knitted design allows soft light to filter out through the cane as well as casting light below. Antique brass canopy and fittings add to the distinctive detail. Size: 13-1/4” H x 31-1/2” D. Lead time: 8-14 weeks. Headquartered in London, Soane showrooms can also be found in San Francisco and New York. Price upon request at soane.com 

Highly stylized ceramic lighting, including chandeliers, pendants, and table lamps are LA-based designer and artisan Heather Levine’s signature. Sought after by clients from around the world, Heather’s one-of-a-kind designs are artful and functional. This particular pendant’s glossy white glaze is super chic while the decorative circle cutouts give it an edgy feel exposing the light from within. Size: 11.5” tall x 11” in diameter; $1,125 at heatherlevine.com

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    Chef Ken Naron's Spicy Bread and Butter Pickled Tomatillos

    9 each small to medium sized tomatillos, quartered
    2 small yellow onions thinly sliced
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup white vinegar
    ½ cup water
    ¾ tsp. black pepper
    1 tbsp. cayenne 
    ¾ tsp. turmeric
    ¾ tsp. cornstarch
    ½ tsp. celery seeds
    ½ tsp. mustard seeds
    1 tsp. kosher salt 

    Combine all spices and liquids in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add onions and tomatillos and cook 8-10 minutes more. Ladle into sterilized jelly or mason jars, twist on lid to finger tightness, turn upside down on thick kitchen towel and let sit overnight to seal or process in water bath until sealed. Enjoy as an accompaniment with your favorite sandwich or taco.