Kentucky Crafted 2012: A Sorghum-Centric Photo Essay

Savoring Kentucky and Snug Hollow shared a booth. My first time at a big, serious market, selling Sweet, Sweet Sorghum, came during Kentucky Crafted: The Market, on March 1-4. Guided by the awesome Barbara Napier, owner of Snug Hollow Bed & Breakfast and author of the Snug Hollow Farm Cookbook: Hot Food and Warm Memories, we built a booth that made people smile.

Barbara Napier, left, and Rona Roberts, right, of Snug Hollow (left) and Savoring Kentucky (right)

We hardly had time to talk with each other. Rivers of people filled the aisles, talking with us, tasting sorghum and other foods near us, checking out books, moving on to the astonishing art in the other three long Market aisles. Because the Kentucky Arts Council and all the vendors had done a wonderful job attracting visitors, I was so busy I never went through the Market with a camera. There was no time. So sad. But here are a couple of shots I snapped on the way in one morning: the architectural art that greeted all visitors at the front entry to the main hall...

Architectural art greeted Market visitors

...and a gorgeous chest in Mark Whitley's collection of Limited Edition Furniture that faced the front entrance. I liked this piece enormously in person. In the photo, I notice it looks a bit like a menacing character from a heavily costumed production of Turandot. But I would take it home with me any day, along with any other pieces Mark displayed.

A piece by Mark Whitley Limited Edition Furniture

Sometimes other exhibitors visited us, bringing us samples and Market news. Ed Puterbaugh, owner and prolific master cheese-maker at Boone Creek Creamery in Lexington, carried samples to our booth one morning. Here, Barbara's friend Beth Curlin, left, tastes a new cheese Ed (right) has developed that features a Beaumont (Gruyere) base soaked and infused with Smith-Berry Blackberry Wine. Until now, Boone Creek's Asiago has been my favorite, with Kentucky Derby (a Bourbon-infused cheddar) in second place. This new cheese,  with its pairing of luscious blackberry and an underlying nuttiness, may be my all-time favorite. So far! It's nearly ready to sell, Ed says.

Beth Curlin, left, tastes new Blackberry wine/Gruyere cheese made by Ed Puterbaugh, Boone Creek Creamery

Mostly, though, Barbara and I stayed at our booth and met people, sold books, and, in Barbara's case, talked about Snug Hollow and handed out flyers describing its wonders. Like this:

I did this for four days: introduced people to Sweet, Sweet Sorghum, my new book.

Barbara's Sweet Cream Pound Cake with Bourbon Vanilla Sauce attracted a lot of longing looks. Two lucky people got pieces on March 1, when Barbara make the cut that makes it look luscious. Fortunately, the recipe is in the Snug Hollow Farm Cookbook.

Barbara's Sweet Cream Poundcake with Bourbon Vanilla Sauce

Barbara's grandson came to help her on Sunday, carrying on the family tradition of beautiful hair, engaging personality, and hard work.

Barbara Napier's excellent grandson, who helped on Sunday, and may have inherited her hair...

If you didn't get to Kentucky Crafted this year, or if you came to the Market but could not get to our booth—this happened!—all three things we were selling are readily available. Visit the Snug Hollow website for contact information for Barbara, to buy her cookbook, or to make plans to visit Snug Hollow Farm B&B for a meal, a day, or a longer, restorative retreat.

Sweet, Sweet Sorghum, by Rona RobertsIf you live in Berea, Brandenburg, Greensburg, Lexington, Morehead, Louisville, Prestonsburg, Winchester, or near a state park with a gift ship, look for Sweet, Sweet Sorghum at your local bookstore or gift shop. Buy local, and build your community. If you are from "away," buy Sweet, Sweet Sorghum online at, or from my e-store, where I'm offering a $2.95 March Madness discount. Use Coupon Code KW2BCUT6. (No, I don't know what it means, but I suspect it's the code name of the play Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari intends to call if the Wildcats ever get in trouble during the upcoming NCAA tournament.)

Thanks to Kentucky Crafted: The Market, Sweet, Sweet Sorghum is spreading. You may find it sticking around in your community. These are the "without whoms" of this event, my benefactors:

  • My Best Man for his generous help
  • Barbara Napier for all her mentoring and sistah-ship
  • Chris Cathers and all at the Kentucky Arts Council, whose superb professionalism in producing this event made things as easy as possible for a rookie author/exhibitor.

And oh, yes, I sold some books. I did. And I liked selling them.


Photo Credits: Susan Hill, Steve Kay, Rona Roberts and maybe others I've forgotten: Thank you!