This past Saturday we celebrated the official Grand Opening of Kickshaws Kitchen. It was nothing less than an amazing whirlwind of a day packed with so many people, things and animals! While most of the staff spent the majority of the day slinging burgers, baking bread, getting drinks and washing dishes (SO many dishes!), the pictures that we have seen from the day are simply heart warming.
Three years ago we certainly never thought that Kickshaws would evolve into a restaurant. We wanted to open a market that would increase accessibility to local produce, meats, eggs, personal care and home goods as well as items that were hard to find in our area for those with dietary restrictions. Of course through building our market and inventory we found that there was a huge need for food options for those like my own family- a safe place to eat good food.
I always get a little emotional talking about the people in our lives that have supported and helped us and then those who come and tell us how much they appreciate what we do. One Saturday we had a family come in to eat and after ordering they came to us to tell us that their child, now 6 years old, had never eaten in a restaurant before because he had such severe food allergies. She told us with tears in her eyes how special it was for him to eat a meal just like everyone else. THIS is why we opened Kickshaws Kitchen.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped us get the Kitchen open. We had folks who worked their fingers to the bone disinfecting the kitchen with us, those who painted and patched walls, friends and customers who helped us build shelving and seating and of course those who just encouraged us on an almost daily basis. Opening a business is never an easy task, but once again, we are are blessed and truly grateful to have Fredericksburg support us in such a big way.
Here’s to many more days, weeks, months and years serving Fredericksburg Virginia.
When I was fifteen years old my best friend started to invite me to downtown Fredericksburg for the day. Her dad would pick us up and then drop us off on Caroline Street to wander around for several hours and we would bring a little cash to spend on food and shopping. The day would be spent popping in and out of shops like Corkey’s, the record shop (there was a record shop, I swear), R&R Antiques, Goolricks and many other shops- some still around but many gone.
In high school my best friend was a devoted vegetarian so our lunch options were really limited to the only place that served vegetarian cuisine: Sammy T’s. Even at 15 I still had a sore butt sitting in the benches but we didn’t mind because the place was covered in local art and unique decor and we were treated like adults and not like the children we were. We would sit and talk about the things that young teenagers talk about and fantasize about what our lives would be like when we really grew up. On one visit I remember us talking about the lack of food options in our home town for my friend and I decided that I would one day open a restaurant and make vegetarian foods just for her. (Wow, who knew!) Our visits, at least once a year, to Fredericksburg always ended with a meal at Sammy T’s.
Years later, after having two kids, a failed marriage and moving, I once again found myself back in Fredericksburg. This time it wasn’t for a day visit, but to live. I met my dear husband and we were married. He worked in Fredericksburg so it just made sense to move here. I was in the midst of chronic illness and searching feverishly for anything to help reduce my issues. I had decided earlier that year to remove gluten and casein from my son’s diet which greatly improved not only his health but behavior as well. Through that process I met my good friend Shirley who was running the King George/Fredericksburg Gluten Intolerance Support Group. We decided to meet in town to chat and she suggested Sammy T’s. Having been newly gluten-free, I was scared to death to eat in a restaurant but knew Shirley was the expert in this area. We both ordered crab cakes and enjoyed hours of talk about our lives, being gluten free and the kids. From that day on Sammy T’s once again became a safe place for me to go to eat in town and actually remained one of the only places that I never became ill.
I love Fredericksburg and all that this little city offers. Over the years it has changed so much and transformed into something new and exciting. Though these transformations we hang on to some of the things that have made the city what it has been for decades and Sammy T’s has certainly been one of those places. We are sad to see the restaurant close but are excited and hopeful to see what the new owners have in store for a spot that has held the hearts of many diners; vegetarian, gluten free and of course those who just like good food.
Good Morning Fredericksburg! It’s been over a year in the making, but Kickshaws Kitchen is FINALLY open. For those of you who don’t follow too much on social media, here is the official update:
We worked diligently for a year on the permitting for 103.5 and hit EVER wall imaginable. I guess its not that easy turning a dog grooming space into a functioning kitchen.
We finally got all the permits in place to begin building and BOOM 1002 Sophia became available, the space formerly occupied by Charlie and Grace.
We leased the space with the help of our landlord (who has had amazing faith in our business since day 1) and our awesome commercial real estate agent.
We worked feverishly for 3 weeks to get the space ready!
We opened Kickshaws Kitchen on Monday (9/26/16)!
A number of folks have asked- “well what is happening at 103.5 William Street now?” No worries that little space will definitely still be utilized, just for a different purpose. After the year of planning the 103.5 space, it came to our attention that the demand for clean and safe foods was much larger than we anticipated and the 1002 Sophia street space will really let us better meet that demand. However, there is a large demand for our dedicated gluten-free baked goods as well! So 103.5 William street will become Kickshaws’ Bakery later this year. The space will not be open to the public, but on the average morning you will probably be able to walk by and watch all the delicious bakery goodies being produced in the big window facing William Street. The Bakery will serve Fredericksburg and the surrounding area with dedicated gluten-free baked goods like the breads and desserts that we produce for the Market and Kitchen as well as some of the local restaurants like Orofino and Legume. We are very excited to help our local restaurants offer safe bread and dessert options for Fredericksburg diners.
What is Kickshaws Kitchen?
Exactly what makes Kickshaws Kitchen special?
As in the Market, we are dedicated to sourcing local, non-gmo, organic, untreated and no junk added foods. This means that ALL produce sourced for the Kitchen is NEVER sprayed or treated and is always non-gmo. All our meats are from either certified organic sources or our wonderful local farms like Earths Echo (Fredericksburg), Renewed Pastures (Caroline Co.), Whiffletree Farm (Warrenton), Polyface Farms (Swoope, Va) who practice humane animal husbandry and never ever treat with antibiotics, growth hormones or GMO feeds. Additionally, Kickshaws Kitchen is a dedicated gluten-free kitchen which means that from the source to the plate, we are following our materials to know that they are safe for the gluten-free community. If I can’t eat it- I will not put it on a plate for you. Our Kitchen is also nut-free (tree nuts and peanuts) and overall pretty allergen friendly. (if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!)
We are very excited to have Kickshaws Kitchen open for our community. Thank you for all the continue support- we hope to see you at the community table soon!
Two years ago today we hastily opened the doors of Kickshaws Downtown Market. The store had been almost a year in the making and Fredericksburg was eager to see what we had to offer, unfortunately at the time that wasn’t much. In those first few months we really questioned if we would be able to keep the doors open at all. Stocking the shelves with product was difficult on a meager budget and we really had no loans or investments at all to speak of- our shelves were stocked with the little money we personally had in savings. It was difficult, but we were passionate about what we were trying to do for our community so we kept pushing forward.
Well… that is much better. Fall 2015
We didn’t celebrate our first year being open because we were still in the thick of trying to make it day to day. But today I look back on our last two years and am thankful and so clearly blessed with all that we have worked through and those who have worked through it with us. We have some amazing vendors who have been with us since the beginning working hard to help us keep product on shelves when there wasn’t much else to put on them. We, with absolute graciousness, thank our vendors for allowing us to carry their products. Without these small businesses we would have little to bring to you.
When we opened the doors to Kickshaws we were rushed with many expectant customers- many of which were largely disappointed. We were warned early on that we needed to be completely ready to run because Fredericksburg is NOT a forgiving city. This advice scared the life out of me because I didn’t think we would truly ever be ready to open especially with the budget we were working with.
While we disappointed many people with our scant offerings early on, Fredericksburg was very much inviting and forgiving of our short comings. Many of those folks who first walked into Kickshaws two years ago continue to walk through our doors week to week. We delight in the looks on their faces when they see new products stocked on our shelves and are happy to talk with them about not only nutrition and food, but about how the kids are doing and what Sparky’s last vet appointment was like. Where small businesses and their owners are perhaps the backbone of our country, the customers who support small business are the life blood that keeps us running. We thank each and every one of our customers who have continued to support us and those businesses whom have been supported through them.
As we stand at our two year mark, we are in a position I didn’t think we would be in- expansion. It has been an incredibly slow process to get Kickshaws Kitchen underway but as Mr. Kickshaws say you can’t rush these things! Rather, every other governing party doesn’t allow you to rush these things. None the less, we are diligently working to get the Kitchen open to be able to offer our community more options for gluten-free and vegan baked goods, breads and meals. We are currently building with hopes to have the kitchen open no later than early fall.
Thank you to the City of Fredericksburg, its residents, Fredericksburg Main Street, our vendors, friends and family. Your support, dedication and hard work keep not only Kickshaws Downtown Market running but all our wonderful small businesses in the city.
It was a busy week at the shop this week, it looks like Spring may actually have sprung. *fingers crossed*
We have lots of exciting things coming up and a full schedule of classes that are filling up. Classes have been going great with lots of new folks learning the basics of fermentation, bone broth, nut milks and more. Our schedule will soon be posted for April with some new classes and events coming to you too!
On the subject of learning, we thought it would be fun to share the process of making of a celebration cake, namely the 14th birthday cake of our kiddo, Alex. My kids have very high expectations for their birthday cakes, I suppose an occupational hazard of being a cake designer. I started making sculpted cakes for their birthdays when they were very little, and each year the ideas got a little grander. This year Alex’s ideas were a little more than I had the time and energy for so we had to make a compromise. I WILL make a Terraria cake, I will NOT blow sugar for said cake. At the end of the day, he hugged me and told me he loved his birthday, which if you know him is a big deal.
I wanted to talk about some of the products that I used for the cake because honestly, I was experimenting and it came out wonderfully. A friend sent me a box of Enjoy Life’s newish All Purpose Flour Blend which is a nice combo of ancient grains like amaranth, teff and buckwheat, rice proteins and probiotics. I didn’t have a recipe for a cake, so I threw one together. (which I will share) The resulting cake was moist and flavorful, a perfect combination for the banana cream filling (which I won’t share because it is a Kickshaws recipe, sorry!). The Enjoy Life Blends we will have in stock this week… as well as all the other major ingredients we used.
3 cups of Enjoy Life’s All Purpose Flour Blend
1 Cup Cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups coconut palm sugar
2 cups filtered water
3 large eggs
2/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups of organic powdered sugar (we use organic specifically because the sugar is blended with corn starch and we want to be sure it is a non-gmo cornstarch)
coloring of choice (we usually use India Tree colors)
Add the shortening and sugar to the bowel of a stand mixer (for a SUPER fluffy icing, the stand mixer is great) or large bowl for a hand mixer. Start slowly so you don’t blow the sugar everywhere and end up looking like one of the final scenes of Scarface. Combine the coconut milk and vanilla and as the mixer is running slowly add it to the bowl. Once things are starting to look a little more blended, increase the speed of the blender until you get to the highest speed. Blend the icing until it is fluffy and peaks well on its own.
First and foremost, heat that oven up to 350 degrees. I used a 10X10 square pan for this cake, but you could to 2-8 inch pans for a two layer cake with some good height. Give the pan a nice coating of vegetable shortening to prepare it. I usually throw things together and am not a stickler on order of ingredients on cake batters (not always true with everything). So I used a large bowl and put in all the cake ingredients and just blended well. Pour the batter into the greased pan(s) and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it cool 5-10 minutes then remove it from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Once the cake is cooled you can place one layer of the cake on a serving plate, top it with your desired filling and add the second layer. For the 10X10, I cut it in half and then added the filling. It is best to pipe a dam around the edge of the bottom layer with your icing to keep the filling from oozing out. Of course you can just use your “butter cream” as your filling too. When you stack the layers pop that in the fridge to set up for at least an hour. I guarantee you, taking your time to cool the cake completely will make your icing job a million times easier.
Once the cake is completely chilled pull it out and add your first layer of icing. This is what is called a “dirty iced” layer. You are just getting all the holes filled and level. Then stick that puppy back into the fridge to let that layer chill. (again… chilling it makes it so much easier and uniform)
Finally its time to ice the cake for presentation. You want to spread a thick layer over the cake. If you have a straight edge (plastic ruler if you don’t have a cake spreader) you can level out the icing really nicely. From there you can get crazy with decorating or just serve your cake! Obviously… we get a little crazier.
1 bag of Dandies Marshmallows
2/3 cup Tiny But Mighty Kernels
1/2 cup water
Gluten-free Pretzel rods
1 cup Soy/Dairy-free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life or Equal Exchange)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
I decided that I needed trees and would make them by way of Tiny But Mighty popcorn balls. Several years ago (very much pre-dietary cleanup) I had a popcorn ball obsession. If I found them anywhere I would horde them 20-30 at a time. My office desk had a file cabinet and a popcorn ball drawer, pens found a home somewhere else. I wanted to make a popcorn ball a little healthier and functional for the cake design.
First- pop 2/3 of a cup of the kernels with 3 tablespoons of Chosen Foods Avocado Oil. In a small sauce pan put the Dandies over low heat and add (this is different then regular marshmallows and was a trial and error. Dandies are water based, so an oil or butter added like you would for rice crispie treats DOES NOT WORK) 2/3 cup of water. Let that simmer stirring regularly until it is completely melted and creamy. Add the popped corn to a large mixing bowl and pour the marshmallow over it and get busy evenly mixing it all together. From here you could press this into a pan and make bars, or like I did, into balls for popcorn balls. I wet my hands just a tad and started pressing them together until they held shape. Of course I was making trees, so I made several different sizes. I let them sit and cool and then took a wide basting brush and started powdering them with the Matcha Powder to make them green.
In a double boiler (or microwave in a pinch) melt the chocolate chips (in microwave SLOWLY… you will never get the smell of burned chocolate out of your microwave). When they are starting to melt, blend in the olive oil to make the chocolate smooth and a little more liquid. Then take your pretzel rods and dip them into the chocolate completely and using a fork pull them out one at a time and place them on a plate or cutting board. Stick those into the freezer for a quick chill. When your tree tops are done, pull the rods out of the freezer. If there is lots of chocolate pooled around the pretzels, you can use a paring knife to trim some of it away.
To topped the pretzel, with you finger make a slight indention into the popcorn ball tree top. Dip the top of the pretzel rod into the melted chocolate and press it into the popcorn ball. Set it down on the counter to dry. Once it dries, it should just hold together. From there you can pop those trees on your cake!
Our handsome birthday boy… err teen.
Your wondering about the eyeball aren’t you? Well… the eye ball is just a big popcorn ball that is twice covered with fondant. The first layer is used to smooth over (I literally roll it on the counter to smooth out all the holes), the second layer to look nice. Then I just hand paint the eyeball, generally if I have to use a “real” food coloring, I make it an element that isn’t going to be eaten. With the eye I used red dye, which I hate, but it gets the design done. So in this case, the eyeball was just set aside as decoration. My kiddo has a horrible reaction to red food dye, so we just don’t take chance.
So that is what I came up with to make this Terraria cake. Did I mention I had no idea what Terraria was before I made it? There are lots of other things I could have done, but I think this was simple enough for our small group and definitely made the kiddo happy. I hope it encourages you to get creative and have some fun on your own cakes! Of course if you ever need to bounce cakey ideas off someone, its kinda what I do 😉
There are several products that I get lots of questions about and collagen peptides are definitely one of them. Whenever the topic comes up I find myself referring to various online discussions about it or write Facebook comments detailing some of the many benefits. I thought it was high time that I actually write a post that explains exactly why I use Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and why we sell them at Kickshaws.
In the last several years bone broth has been a hot topic in the natural food communities. The Weston A. Price Foundation often refers to traditional foods like bone broth for their ability to miraculously heal the body. Truth be told, bone broth has been used for centuries in many cultures for its healing properties and for very good reason. The broth resulting from slow cooking of healthy bones contains various trace minerals, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous in one of the most bioavailable forms. It also contains chondroitin, glucosamine and gelatin- compounds that are very often supplemented for various joint and tissue issues.
So what’s the big deal with Collagen Peptides and are they any better than bone broth? While bone broth contains some of the most important minerals and compounds, collagen peptides contain high amounts of certain amino acids (glycine, lysine and proline) that promote collagen and cellular development in the body. That helps your body more effectively rebuild protein structures like joint and connective tissues. This can help to reduce inflammation, improve joint stability and benefit skin condition. While collagen gelatin hold most of these same benefits, the molecular structure is larger so collagen peptides (hydrolysate) are much more easily absorbable like bone broth.
Should I do bone broth or peptides? My honest opinion is that generally speaking you cannot really over do it with these healing foods. I use both bone broth and collagen peptides on a nearly daily basis. I suffer from a number of issues including rheumatoid arthritis which causes pain and discomfort in many of my joints. Consuming broth and collagen peptides helps support my joints and when I am regularly using them, I rarely feel pain. We always recommend, like any healing food, go slowly and see how things go. Because we are not medical or nutritional professionals we always recommend speaking to an osteopath, natural doctor or nutritionist who can offer you some good guidelines on the best way to introduce collagen peptides for you.
For more information about Collagen Peptides and the benefits check out these sites:
Our friends the Lockharts more or less introduced us the Brian and Kim of Slow Grown in Virginia. They continually told us we should talk with them especially when they decided that they were moving to Scotland this past Fall. Numerous emails back and forth with two small family owned businesses, and we finally connected.
I sympathize a great deal with the story of how Slow Grown in Virginia started, if you aren’t familiar please check it out on their about page. They come from a similar place that we have, illness and conventional medicine to finding better health and quality of life through environmental and nutritional changes.
We visited Slow Grown in Virginia to do our first pick up even though Brian insisted they could deliver. We don’t get out to our vendors farms nearly as much as we would like to, so this was a good opportunity to do it. It was mid summer and we headed over to the farm from The Lockhart Family Farm where we had been visiting our future (now current!) Great Pyrenees pup. We pulled up to the farm store passing a few pig enclosures and chickens. Parking the car a very friendly farm cat decided to jump in the car and sit on our son’s lap in the back seat, the welcoming committee we assumed. We walked into the store and Brian welcomed us to the farm and the shop. In the farm store they have a beautiful variety of produce they have grown, eggs, fresh made breads from grains they themselves grow and mill and various personal care products that Kim produces. There are bunches of lavender hanging and every table covered with the best the season has to offer. The heirloom tomatoes were jaw dropping, if I could eat nightshades we would have cleared them out!
Like all our trips to our vendors, we of course, purchased a load of goodies for our own family including pork roasts, chops, uncured bacon and lots of chicken. It was all we could to do to get home and get some pork cooked up for dinner and without a doubt, we were sold on the quality of the meats that Brian and Kim raise at Slow Grown in Virginia.
All of the Criley’s meats are pasture raised, never with drugs or hormones. They are fed supplemental non-gmo feeds for some of the healthiest and tastiest meats around. We tend to restock meats from Slow Grown in Virginia about once a month but do take custom orders if you are looking for a particular cut on pork (ie shoulder roasts, ham roasts etc.). Just shoot us a message with details including the date you need your cut and we can arrange to have it ready for you with our next delivery.
In September of 2015, I had the opportunity to attend the Natural Products Expo in Baltimore. One of the big draws for me was the chance to hear Joel Salatin speak and meet him in person. I have read a number of his books and many of the farmers and ranchers we work with have based many of their farming principals on the work the Salatin’s have done at Polyface Farm. It was a great experience and I did indeed get to hold up the book signing to ask Joel some questions.
Before hearing Mr. Salatin discuss the distribution of food in our country, we hadn’t really given much thought to sourcing meats from Polyface. Thanksgiving was upon us and we were still looking for a few good sources for high quality meats, pasture raised, without braking our customers bank. Polyface was able to help us do just that. After talking with the farm we reserved about 20 birds for our customers, which all sold instantly. Our price per pound was very good and we were able to provide healthy turkeys to Fredericksburg, something we will do each year.
Of course, if you happen to be in Swoope, Va. there is not one reason you should not stop at Polyface to have a look around (and buy meat!). We scheduled our pickup day with the kiddos to head out to Polyface. The entire day was dismal and raining, but as luck had it everything cleared up for us and we had an amazing view of the farm. Because it was late fall already, the chicken mobiles were pulled in and the chickens in their hoop houses (with the rabbits… if you don’t know about this rabbit/chicken relationship you should read about it in Folks This Aint Normal). But we did walk around, visit with some of the animals and see some of the awesome innovative ways Polyface runs efficiently and sustainable.
Moving forward, a few times a year (not the winter!) we will be submitting orders to Polyface for pickup. If you are interested in placing an order with us, just shoot us a message and we can give you details on the next pickup/delivery dates. Each fall we will begin to take turkey orders in late September through October, place your order early to ensure you get your Polyface bird.
The holiday season is upon us! That means there is LOTS going on everywhere, but especially in Downtown Fredericksburg and at Kickshaws!
First and foremost, we wanted to thank everyone that came out and supported us and all our awesome fellow businesses this past weekend for Small Business Saturday. I don’t think any of us can quite fully express exactly how much our community support means to us and the future of our businesses and families. From startups to businesses who have been here for generations, we all thank you so much for your support and encouragement. As always, I remind folks that shopping small isn’t a one day event, continue to support your local businesses and help our community grow and thrive together.
This weekend is First Friday AND the Fredericksburg Christmas Parade! This weekend we are going to be mixing it up a bit and doing a First Friday Breakfast for Dinner! Instead of the Gluten-free Pancake Breakfast happening on Saturday morning, we are going to do gluten-free pancakes and French toast on Friday night. So if you have wanted to get to the pancake breakfast but Saturday mornings are a little challenging, come by for First Friday.
Saturday we will be offering drink specials on coffee, eggnog and mulled cider by the cup as well as warm cookies and muffins (all gluten-free and vegan) to help you get prepped for the parade. If you’re not feeling chilly, we will have a fresh keg of kombucha tapped and ready for your tummy health. Of course if you are feeling the nip of the chill and need some warm gear for the parade, hit up our friends at River Rock Outfitter for coats, hats, gloves and those amazing handwarmer thingies.
We are always trying to get the best new items in for you and are continuing to expand our stock. Most recent additions include:
SimpleHerbals: Medicinal herbs created by Sharon from Terembry Farm.
Vital Proteins: We are now resellers for Vital Proteins and currently have Collagen Peptides in stock.
The Primal Kitchen: While we patiently wait for Chosen Foods to release their avocado oil mayo, we are starting to get The Primal Kitchen’s awesome mayo, also made with avocado oil.
There will be more and more new items hitting the shelves, so stop by soon!
Fresh Produce Club
The Fresh Produce Club has been humming along and while we are still working out some small hiccups (thanks SO much for all the patience from the current members!) things are going well. We are excited to be able to continue to offer some of the best fall and winter local produce as well as certified organic produce at a great price.
We are now taking new Fresh Produce Club members again starting in December for January start. If you interested in our Fresh Produce Club please shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, I was reminded of the words of the 26th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps on our 240th birthday:
“In the last analysis, what the Marine Corps becomes is what we make of it during our respective watches. And the watch of each Marine is not confined to the time he spends on active duty. It lasts as long as he is proud to bear the title of United States Marine.”
Gen. Louis H. Wilson
Sixteen years ago, during my third year in art school I decided to join the Unites States Marine Corps. If ever there was someone who was less likely to join the Corps, it had to have been me. None the less, I woke up one morning determined to become a Marine and only hours later was in my recruiter’s office signing away the next years of my life. Everyone thought I was nuts. I was told that I would never make, I was simply not strong enough- words that rang in my ears during my month’s at Parris Island, South Carolina.
When I crossed the parade deck as a United States Marine, I was no longer the person that I had once been. Many people look back on their lives and think about what the most important moment was, what their greatest catalyst for change was. For me, for the last 16 years I have known that answer. The day I became a Marine was the day I changed my life. It was the day that I became confident in myself, the day I learned how strong I really was. That day I learned to love myself and be proud of who I am. I learned who I really was and am. Although my time serving in the Corps was brief, the United States Marine Corps taught me so much that I carry with me each and every day of my life. I am where I am today because I served my country proudly. Today and till my last day on this earth I will proudly and confidently call myself a United States Marine.
Today is the 240th birthday of the Corps and we are also quickly approaching Veterans Day. If you are a service member or veteran, thank you for serving our country. If you are not- for Pete’s sake, go hug a Marine (or other service member!) We don’t bite and although we may not say it, we do appreciate the recognition- remember serving our country in the Armed Services is not just a job, it is a duty we carry forever.