Learning a lot at wine, food festival

The Point on the Lake at Friendship Park on Sept. 6 and 7 was converted into a village of white tents bearing all types of food, ruffled scarves, Barnhouse print mugs, honey and wax products, a gelato concession, entertainment stage and an Ohio State University Extension local foods tent.

There were wineries that gave the fourth- annual Friendship Park Wine and Food Festival its name: the Black Sheep Vineyard of Adena, Myrddin Winery of Berlin Center, It’s Your Winery of Akron, the Bluebird Winery of Malvern and Raven’s Glenn Winery of West Lafayette.

I was there for the local foods tent sponsored by the Ohio State University Extension of Jefferson County that had many presentations, demonstrations and food taste testings throughout the two-day event.

Janine Yeske, Extension educator in 4-H youth development, asked me to stop to take in their many demonstrations done by knowledgable people, and I have to say that I learned something about berry vines and am now nagging Lamont to prune back our three red raspberry bushes as shown on the brochure distributed by Mark Landefeld, OSU Extension educator from Monroe County.

Clint Finney was busy at the grill as Landefeld talked, fielded questions and showed pictures on the screen.

He was using his famous Kentucky Barbecue Sauce to glaze the pork chops and pork burgers and his branding rub for the standing rib lamb roast that he cut into chops when it was completely roasted.

Other talks were done by Elaine Wukelic, master gardener volunteer on orchid production; Michelle Meyer, master gardener, bee basics and honey tasting; gardening presentation by Sarah Cross, OSU Extension educator, on no till gardening system; and growing potatoes in pots by Marie Wood, master gardener.

The other cooking segments were done by Verna Smolinsky, master gardener on preparing pesto and herbal vinegars for taste testing; and Marian Grubor, West Virginia Northern Community College chef, cooking some local foods.

Pumpkins used for decoration were donated by the Tom and Mollie McConnell Farm in Richmond, and apples were donated by Bill and Marty Packer from Packers Orchards in Harrisville.

The OSU tent had a wine quiz as you moved along the tables to pick up recipe brochures and gardening information. I had to turn over the cards to see the answers on many of the questions. See how you do with the wine questions.

What National Football League quarterback began making his own wines?

Which wine is easiest to pair with cheese?

What wine has floral, citrus, peach and/or mineral accents?

What is the reason for grafting on already planted grape stock?

Cross told the group assembled that this is the first time in 15 years to have a group of master gardeners. They meet on a monthly basis and have a potluck meal to go along with the business discussed. She is the instructor for the group.

Landefeld said that berries of many types can be enjoyed from June through autumn if the right kind of bushes are planted for this type of gardening.


Bees needed to pollinate the berries are used to make the honey that Joe and Suzann Kovaleski were selling in all size jars. They pointed out the blossoms used to make the different shades of honey throughout the summer.

First comes the honeysuckle, a light honey that is available in late April; then the locust blossom, a medium color sweetener; yellow sweet clover honey comes in June; the wild flower honey that is darker in color is next; and the darkest is bamboo honey that comes from the Japanese knot weed.

They had cream-color candles and sculptured candles that the couple make from wax derived from the honey combs. They had tiny jars of honey wrapped in a decorative way to use as favors for showers, too.

Manny “Butch” and Carol Ann Garcia wore a different kind of necklace. It was a cord with a metal fastener to hold a wine glass so the hands would be free until a sip of wine was needed.

I watched two wild ducks strutting about the wine festival ground picking up crumbs left from those who strolled along and ate buffalo burgers, grilled chicken and sausage sandwiches. Dave Robinson was there and told me it is true that a duck or chicken could get deeply attached to the first person or animal they saw upon hatching.

If they don’t have a partner, a duck will sometimes attach themselves to a horse, goat or other animal, he noted.

Mark Nelson was standing at his tent wearing a T-shirt telling that his wife “wines,” leaving off the “h” in the word. I saw that he was selling Dave Barnhouse print mugs, with six of the 19 paintings available for sale. Since I don’t have room to hang another picture, I thought that I would buy a Barnhouse mug instead. There were magnets, too.

I spotted a bridge mug and thought it was the famous Mike McElwain exploding bridge photo but it was of the Market Street Bridge ablaze with the gold and blue lights.


The next day, Lamont and I attended the 45th anniversary of David and Kathy Minch Simmons, who were married Sept. 7, 1968. Kathy looked like a teen in her wedding picture.

I was looking at Clint Finney and remembering when I knew him at a young age in 4-H at the festival, too.

There was a chocolate fountain at the St. Florian Hall anniversary dinner, and everyone had to stare in fascination at the chocolate flowing smoothly over the tiers. I’m not a chocolate fan, but I had to stick a pretzel in the velvety sauce to see it get covered.


Today, the Smithfield Christian Church will be having a combined service with the St. Paul A.M.E. Church and other invited church members. A dinner, prepared by Clara McClure, a wonderful cook who is a member of our church, will follow.

This will be the time to acknowledge the 20 years that Pastor Wilford Simeral has served at the Christian Church. That is a long time, but we wish for many more years.

I am proud of our pastor for opening our church to the A.M.E. members for services when their building was sinking into the ground on Green Street. Our service is held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., and the St. Paul members have a service in the same church at noon.

An attendee of our church, Glenn Kithcart, 93, passed away Sept. 9. I can remember when a 90-year birthday party was held for Glenn and my mother-in-law, Bessie McCoy.

They were quite robust people, and it is hard to believe that we have no more members in our church near 90 years old.

Rose Verna Baumberger died just a day before Glenn. She was Larry’s sixth-grade teacher at Smithfield Elementary, and I loved the lady like a big sister. She and a sister-in-law, Jane Merkel, made me some beautiful pressed flower pictures and greeting cards. I wanted to do a story on them and was told it was nothing that anyone couldn’t do. Wrong! My flowers lumped up, stuck to the paper, turned an unattractive shade of brown or went to pieces.

Verna had a saying when you asked about her health – “I’m fine as frog fur.” I had to think about that the first time I heard it. Then realized that a frog doesn’t have fur, so it meant she was good.

Mary Bartek, mother of Linda Kovach and Gene Bartek, died in the same time period. I remember her working at the Bradley and Smithfield Co-op Stores in early years. She always had a sweet smile and a good word for everyone. The Smithfield Historical Society will be the recipient of donations not made toward flowers or religious memorabilia at the request of her family.


Now for the answers to the wine questions: Drew Bledsoe; white wine; Reisling; and to switch to a different grape variety.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is a staff columnist and food editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at emccoy@heraldstaronline.com.)