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P. Allen Smith's

NATURALLY Holiday Inspiration and Family Recipes

Holiday 2018


From Our Farm to Yours

Cre ative Ter rari um s




season ’ s greetings As a child, I spent Thanksgivings at my grandparents’ house. My grandfather grew peanuts, and my brothers, sister, cousins and I would play outside and eat the peanuts we roasted over the old wood-burning stove. There was always plenty to keep us going until lunch. Red-cheeked and hungry, we would run into a house full of mouth-watering aromas, wash up, and then gather around for the meal. The kids would sit at the table on the back porch while the adults ate in the dining room. Before the meal began, we would stand in a circle holding hands around the “big” table and my grandfather would say the blessing. All the wonderful dishes made it hard to sit through the prayer, but as I grew older I learned to listen to what he was saying and now, as an adult, I hear his words echoed around my own Thanksgiving table. That’s what this celebration is all about, being thankful for the blessings of the year and rejoicing in the bounty of the harvest. I hope you find the recipes and ideas in this holiday e-magazine inspirational, and I wish you warmth and happiness this holiday season. Happy holidays!


P. Allen Smith's


P. Allen Smith EDITOR

Melissa Tucker ART DIRECTOR

Katherine Laughlin DESIGNER

Sunny Madrenas SOCIAL MEDIA


Beth Hall Mark Fonville Jason Masters Steven Veach Brent Walker STYLIST

Lori Wenger

table of contents

Holiday Inspiration 6

Pomander Projects 30

Creative Terrariums 34

Grow Winter Lettuce 36

Baking Memories 38

Tie the Perfect Bow 54

CONTACT For advertising inquiries, email For editorial and general feedback, email

spend the

ho li days with us

T h e h o l i da y s a re w he n I fe e l t he m o st creative. M aybe it’s the music, the lights , t h e s p i r i t, th e g a t he ri n g t og e t he r w i t h f riends and family — all of it mak es me c o m e al i v e . To m e, e a ch holi da y se a son should be special in its own way. With my f r ie n d J. S c h w a n k e, Moss Moun t a i n Fa rm was decorated with a Scottie theme, in hono r o f my f u r r y c o mpa n i on , Dun ca n , w ho passed away over the summer. I hope you f in d it a s b e a u ti f u l a n d i n spi ri n g a s w e did.



spend the holidays with us at





L i t t le sp ri gs of cotton pai r e d w i th ribbon a n d o t h e r g r e e ne ry ad d r e mi nd e r s of hom e t o t h e sta i r cas e b anni s te r .

Ma ny of m y h ol i day i d eas ar e ins pir e d by my S ou the r n r o o ts . 8


H e re , w e cr e ate d a g ar land over the fireplac e — one of Dunc a n’ s favo rite spo t s to r e s t — w i th d r ie d Magnolia leaves a nd a nc hored it with ta ll va se s o f P r ote a. 9

Wh e n i t come s to the tr e e, m y m otto is: The bigger the better. I love t h e fu llne s s of thi s Fr as er Fir Tree, a nd when I fina lly a dd lights, f un S cottie r i b b on and b erries, it ’ s a fitting tribute for Dunc a n. 10


T h e se s wans u s e d to li v e i n the pond at M os s M ounta in Fa rm , but bec ause o f t he i r ow n d e ad ly fe u d , now they ’ re stuffed in the living room , re m i nd i ng v i s i tor s to choose peac e. The swa ns have a great story to t e ll, bu t you ’ll ne e d to take a tour of the fa rm to hea r it. 11




you ’r e

d e cor ati ng

o n a bu dg e t or want to k e e p your pr e s e ntati on si m ple , i t ’s e asy to ad d f re sh e ver g r e e ns s uch as c l i ppi ngs fr om fi r tr e e s , bu sh e s, he r b s , and othe r g re e n e ry fr om you r yar d o r n e i ghb or hood to a va se o r g ar land .


O f c ou r s e , s ome g u e s ts r equire over-the-top treatm ent. For these o c c a sions , thi s tall, s tr i k i ng pedesta l va se m a kes a bold statem ent with a c rown of r os e s and othe r greenery.



T h e s i mple w r e ath w r ap along the bottom grounds the whole ensem ble.


Duncan loved to follow me around the house while we set out garland, stockings and other decorations. It was a bustling time, but afterward, Duncan, Chatty and I would rest by the fire.






Du r i ng C hristm a s, I will seize a lm ost a ny opportunity to hang a wreath, a nd this one on the porc h with fa l l c o l o rs is s i mple a nd eye-c atc hing. It ’ s highlighted with a be au tif u l W e s tern C eda r Ga rla nd.


You can’t g o w r ong w i th red at C hristm a s, a nd these jaw-dropping P rote a ne e d no e xtr a accom pa nim ent. They a re sta nd-a lone stunners i n a s i mple w i ck e r vas e .






T ru dy love s to g r e e t v i s i tor s a nd pull the c a rriage during the holiday seaso n.


The s e li ttle lamb s ar e a n es sentia l piec e of the holiday m agic .



The “ g i ng e r b r e ad house� with lights, greenery, sta rs and cand le s i s a peac eful a ddition to the fa rm .




Wis h i ng you a s il ent ni gh t nea r a crackl ing f ir e . H a ppy h ol i day s !


"B l es s ed i s the s eas on w h i c h e n ga ge s t h e whol e worl d i n a con s pi ra c y o f lo ve ." - Hami l ton Wr i gh t M a b i e




ro ange

Tr y y ou r h a nd at


A pomander is a ball of sweet-smelling herbs or spices which is used to perfume the air. They were once thought to protect a household against infection. Typically made with citrus or apple and studded with other spices, pomanders can certainly freshen up a room and permeate it with a clean and lively scent. I love to hang them around the house with a festive ribbon or give them as gifts.




Handmade pomanders have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but I find they’re a fun project for middle-school children. They keep small hands busy, and the scent can be soothing or calming. If you’d like to try your hand at pomanders, here’s how.


DI R EC T IONS : The first thing to do is select your fruit. Because pushing the cloves through the rind can be a chore, I always select oranges with thin skins.


In a medium to large sized bowl mix equal amounts of nutmeg and cinnamon with 2 tablespoons

Pom a nde r s

M AT E R I A L S : Makes one pomander 1 orange (lemons and limes work as well) 5 – 6 ounces of whole cloves 2 tablespoons of ground orris root (optional – available at health food stores) ground nutmeg ground cinnamon rosemary twig cinnamon stick yarn or ribbon ice pick

of ground orris root. Orris root comes from iris roots and has long been used as a fixative. It will help the fragrance of the spices last longer, but it is not a critical ingredient. If you can’t find it, you can omit it from the mix. Set the bowl aside. Now you are ready to insert the cloves into the orange. Small children or people with sensitive hands may find it helpful if "starter" holes are pierced into the orange with an ice pick first. I also like to wrap the tip of my thumb with a bit of masking tape so that it is easier to push in the cloves. I often cover the orange with cloves, but you can make patterns as well by arranging the cloves in circles, lines or spirals. The fruit will shrink as it dries so space the cloves about 1/8" apart.

tissue paper or cheese cloth

Once you have created your design, roll the orange

wax paper

in your spice mixture until it is fairly well covered. Set the pomanders on wax paper to dry. The drying process can take 3 or 4 days so I like to put them somewhere out of the way, but check on them periodically. Once the pomanders are sufficiently dry, wrap them in cheesecloth or tissue paper and tie the top with a bit of yarn or ribbon with a cinnamon stick and rosemary twig tied into the bow. In addition to the clean scent, rosemary is symbolic of remembrance, so it is a nice touch if you are giving the pomanders as a gift.



We've got something new to crow about!

Be sure to support your local 4-H/FFA chapters and to visit your county, state and regional livestock and poultry shows

to help further the cause.

COMING SOON! Our NEW Poultry Feed Bag & Convenient Sizes! 33

Don’t be intimidated by the process of building a terrarium. With all the supplies in hand, you can put one together in a few hours. Any little container that holds water can be turned into a terrarium. All you need are rocks, dirt, sand, appropriate plants and your imagination. If your terrarium project involves kids or kids-at-heart, add an extra dose of that last ingredient with miniature figurines, paint or other craftsy items to bring your terrarium to life. Terrariums may be very easy, but they do have a few simple rules for success:

C ON TA INER: Tiny terrariums are very cute, but I like my glass container to have a wide mouth for easier access. I like an apothecary jar with a glass lid. If your jar has no lid, you can use plastic wrap or a piece of clear plexiglass.

L AYER S: Start with sand, then add a layer of rocks, then soil. The plants and other items go in last. Or you can start with pea gravel, add activated carbon (or horticulture charcoal) and then soil.

BUILD: Be sure to pack down the layers firmly to remove all of the air from your container. If you’re using charcoal, dampen it to keep down the dust.

PL A N TS: Don’t use cacti. Remember you’re creating a little miniature jungle inside your terrarium, and you’ll need plants that like moisture. Try plants like moss or slow-growing plants with small leaves, such as acorus, African violets, creeping fig, needlepoint ivy, oxalis, prayer plant or maidenhair spleenwort.

PL AC EMEN T: Remove the plants from their pots and place them in the terrarium just like you would in the garden. Place the taller plants in the back, mid-sized plants in the middle and low growing things like moss toward the front. If possible, keep the foliage away from the sides of the container.

IM AGINATION: Little figurines around the house can be used to create a scene in your finished terrarium. For the holidays, you could also create a little nativity. Glue your characters to the rocks in the second layer for best results.

CA RE: Terrariums don’t need a lot of maintenance, just mist them with water about once a week. If it has heavy condensation on the glass, remove the lid and let the terrarium air out. If no condensation, give it a mist of water. 34




s y a d d a sal 36


Fresh greens can be grown and enjoyed through the winter with a little know-how Around this time of year, a gardener really starts to miss walking out to the garden with a pair of scissors to harvest something fresh to eat. So, I always turn to quickgerminating plants like lettuce, herbs and microgreens to keep me going. If you have a sunny window and a little bit of patience, you can also grow something fresh and green indoors during the winter months. It’s easy and fun!

here's how:

Simply sow the seeds in sterile potting soil, cover them with a dusting of soil and keep the seeds moist by lightly misting them with water daily. Keep the pots in a warm location until they begin to sprout and then move them to a sunny window. If the plants look spindly or anemic, they need more light. The baby salad greens may require as much as 12 hours of light for healthy growth. If your window can’t provide that, a grow light is an easy remedy for this problem. Hang the lights about 6 to 12 inches above the plants.

tips for ha rvest:

Micro greens are ready to harvest in about 14 days. Clip the seedlings off close to the soil. Baby salad greens will be ready in about 3 to 4 weeks. Trim them off at the base, starting with the outside leaves first.


Baking M E MOR I E S

Memories of holidays with my family revisit me this time of year, and I like to honor my predecessors by giving life to their old recipes. One of my most favorite, and treasured, recipes is cornbread dressing from my grandmother, Josephine Foster. Today, my nieces and nephews can enjoy these recipes as we pass along our traditions to the next generation. I hope you will get as much enjoyment out of them as we do. Each year, I also like to try something new! And this season, I'll be practicing my macaron technique using this delightful eggnog macaron recipe from the LivforCake blog. Click photo for link to recipe.





Egg Nog


Photo credit:


ingredients 2 Tbsp bacon drippings Cornbread 1½ cups yellow cornmeal ½ cup all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 egg, beaten 2 cups buttermilk

dressing 1 (6 to 7 pound) roasting chicken 8 Tbsps butter 3 to 4 celery rind, including leaves, chopped 1 medium onion, chopped 5 green onions, white and green parts, chopped 12 slices day-old white bread, crumbled 1 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk 2 eggs, beaten 1 ½ tsps salt 1 level Tbsp rubbed sage 1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper



josephine foster’s

cornbread dressing

instructions First, prepare the cornbread batter: Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the egg and buttermilk, stirring well to combine. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Add bacon

or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Remove the chicken and set aside while preparing the dressing. Reserve the broth. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, and set it aside.

drippings to a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron

Crumble the cooled cornbread into a large bowl.

skillet and place in the oven for 4 minutes, or until

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high

it is hot.

heat. Add the celery, onions, and green onions,

Remove the hot skillet from the oven, and spoon the batter into the sizzling bacon drippings. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cornbread is lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the oven and turn the cornbread out onto a wire rack to cool.

and cook until they are tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Then add the mixture to the bowl containing the cornbread. Also add the crumbled white bread, 2 ½ to 3 cups of the reserved chicken broth, the halfand-half, beaten eggs, salt, sage, and black pepper. Mix everything well to combine. Taste for seasoning. Spoon the dressing mixture into the baking dish.

Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken

Place the chicken on top of the dressing – either

(reserve them if you’ll be making gravy). Thoroughly

whole or cut in pieces. Return the baking dish to

rinse the chicken inside and out. Place it in a

the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the

stockpot, and cover it with cold water by about 2

chicken is brown on top and the dressing bubbly

inches. Bring the water to a boil. Then reduce the

around the edges. Remove from the oven and

heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours,

serve immediately.


ingredients 1 turkey carcass 8 cups water 4 chicken bouillon cubes 1 cup chopped celery 1 cup chopped carrots 1 cup chopped onion 1 bay leaf 3 Tbsp fresh parsley 4 tsp fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried) 1 cup rice Salt and pepper

instructions In a large pot combine turkey, water, bouillon cubes, celery, carrots, onion and bay leaf. Simmer over a medium-low heat for 2 hours. Remove the turkey and set aside to cool. Add the rice and cook until tender. Once the turkey is cool enough to work with, pull off any remaining meat. Add to the soup along with the parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

turkey soup 42


for leftovers

spicy sichuan

green beans

ingredients 1 pound fresh beans, trimmed and cut into halves and thirds 2 Tbsps soy sauce

instructions Wash green beans, trim the ends, and cut beans into halves or thirds if they are large.

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

Mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sweetener of

2 tsps Stevia

your choice, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 1/4 tsp black pepper

Mince garlic enough to make 2 T minced garlic.

1 Tbsp safflower oil

Peel ginger root and mince enough to make 2 T

2 Tbsps minced garlic

minced ginger.

2 Tbsps peeled, minced ginger root

Use a medium-sized pan with a tight-fitting lid and heat over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the beans and 1/4 cup water; cover and cook on mediumhigh heat for 3-5 minutes or until the beans are bright green and starting to get tender. (If your beans are thin they will cook more quickly, but larger beans will probably need 5 minutes to get done.) Remove the lid and continue to cook until the water is all evaporated. Add the oil and minced garlic and ginger and cook about 2 minutes, stirring several times so the garlic and ginger don't burn. Add the soy sauce mixture, let it come to a boil and cook about 2 minutes more, until the sauce thickens and coats the beans and beans are tender to crisp. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Decking the Halls “Decorating for the holidays is one of my absolute favorite times to design. Perhaps being born on Christmas Eve has something to do with my love of seasonal decor. It’s also why my parents named me Holly. So it looks like we have a date with a horse named Trudy, a chicken temple, a gingerbread house and a fabulous designer, landscape architect, author and TV personality named P. Allen Smith!” – Holly Chapple

w i t h h o l ly c h a p p l e Every year I pick a Christmas decorating theme, drawing inspiration from everyday items or materials from the garden. This year’s theme is completely nature inspired, and I am thrilled that Holly Chapple is bringing the ‘Holly’ to Moss Mountain Farm! If you have never been to Moss Mountain Farm during the holiday season, this is the year to make the trip! I can’t wait to collaborate with Holly and I know the decor will be more spectacular than ever! A longtime resident of Loudoun County Virginia, Holly is a highly recognized and sought after floral designer whose work has been published in countless prestigious publications and top industry blogs. With over 25 years of successful business experience behind her, Holly now serves as a teacher, speaker and mentor for other professionals in the wedding industry. She currently sits on a trend report board with industry leaders, and owns and operates Hope Flower Farm. **Holly will NOT be present at 2018 holiday tours, but her designs will be on display for guests to enjoy.



click here to view tour dates or book tickets 45

Cranberry Pecan Rice Salad view recipe



Any dish is better with rice, especially around the holidays. When I prepare this dish, I love using Ralston Family Farms rice! Being able to follow this grain from their farm to my fork is one of the many reasons I love Ralston rice! Since Ralston Family Farms is located along the Arkansas River, it allows them to work in environmentally friendly ways during the growing season! Whipping up this recipe is so quick and easy! This dish is great for all my holiday guests, and it’s tasty, too!




“Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.” – William Shakespeare


paperwhites plan ahead for

these classically beautiful, fragrant flowers make a natural holiday centerpiece



If you start now, you can have gorgeous paperwhite blooms as a centerpiece for Christmas dinner. If you’ve never tried forcing bulbs before, it’s not as hard as you think. Anyone can grow paperwhites because they are so easy; they’ll thrive in just gravel and water! These flowers are a staple around my home in winter. I buy bags in the fall and pot a few up each week between Thanksgiving and Christmas in order to have continuous blooms from December to February. You can find paperwhite bulbs in almost any garden center. They are pre-cooled so they don’t need the usual chilling time that many outdoor bulbs require. Paperwhite blooms are perfect for the tall, clear vases you might have in storage. Once you have your blooms, surround them with snips of evergreen branches from your yard to create a lovely, natural centerpiece.

HERE’S HOW TO GET STARTED: Store paperwhite bulbs in the refrigerator until you’re ready to plant them, taking care to keep them separate from fruits such as apples, which emit gases that damage the bulbs. You’ll need decorative stones for anchoring the paperwhite bulbs in the bottom of the vase. Add just enough stones to anchor them, but also give room for the roots to grow. I like polished river rock, but glass beads are nice, too. The pointed end of the bulb is the top. The flat end is where the roots develop. Add just enough water so it touches the bottom of the bulb. Do not submerge the bulbs because the moisture tells the bulb it’s time to grow. Check the water level each week and add more, if necessary. The bulbs will begin sprouting faster than you think. Place plants in an area with bright, indirect light when the foliage begins to grow. The flowers will appear within three to six weeks. REMEMBER: When paperwhites bloom, they can become top heavy and need a little support. This can be done with decorative stakes or by planting the bulbs in a tall clear glass container. The flowers are held upright and the fragrance floats out of the top. 51

s ho p n ow

l a r g e s t g r ow e r of day l i l i e s , p

p e on i e s , a n d i r i s i n t h e wor l d



top your perfect gift with the perfect bow Picking out the right gift for the people you love each year might be the easy part for some of us, but when it comes to wrapping, we’re stumped. I used to be like that, but then I began brainstorming about gift-wrapping and started seeing ideas everywhere! I love to make my own wrapping paper out of craft paper or even paper shopping bags that deserve a second chance to be useful. It’s like a blank canvas that can be stamped or even hand-drawn, if you’re the artistic type. Check out this tutorial for creating a stamp out of a potato. Then, once I had the wrapping part figured out, all that was left was learning to tie the perfect bow. I loved this lesson from fellow crafter, Lia Griffith. Her method will create a beautiful bow every time! She also includes a video to make it even easier to learn. Click image to the right for the tutorial. 54


Photo credit:


lunch tour gift certificates Make memories that will last a lifetime with the ones who matter most to you with a MOSS MOUNTAIN FARM LUNCH TOUR GIFT CERTIFICATE! Don't get me wrong, I love 'stuff'. Gadgets and gizmos and new gardening tools will always bring me joy, but the most memorable moments in my life aren't about the stuff but about the time I get to spend with loved ones. GIFTING MEMORIES instead of stuff means that you are creating a memorable experience that the majority of people would much rather have than more stuff to clutter up their homes.

buy now 56


Moss Mountain Farm in roland, arkansas


Click here to listen.


COOL YULE Louis Armstrong, The Commanders


LITTLE JACK FROST GET LOST Seth MacFarlane, Norah Jones















10. CHRISTMAS TREAT Julian Casablancas 11. CHRISTMAS WRAPPING The Waitresses 12. WHITE CHRISTMAS Pink Martini 13. HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY CHRISTMAS Katie Melua 14. RIVER Joni Mitchell 15. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS Coldplay 16. AULD LANG SYNE Mairi Campbell, David Francis








This past summer, our Scottish terrier,




Charthill Scottish Terriers, lost his battle with cancer. He brought smiles, warmth and affection to our friends and guests, as well as our production and design teams at Moss Mountain Farm. He will be missed but never forgotten. This year, we will pause to celebrate Duncan’s life and all the lives of our furry family members who offer us unconditional love and acceptance. Rest in Peace, Duncan.

P. Allen Smith Naturally