Ashley Blackwell and her husband, Jeffery, have lived in Glennville the past six years. Jeffery’s last station in the Army was at Ft. Stewart, and the couple found they liked the community while still being close to the military base. Jeffery also served a deployment to Afghanistan.
They are both from Greensboro, Georgia, and were high school sweethearts. Jeffery’s father, Scott, and his two brothers and two sisters still live in the Greensboro area. Ashley’s mother, Trudi Harwood, is a personal caretaker in Greensboro. Ashley has one brother, Jim, who lives in the Buckhead area of Morgan County.
“We have also enjoyed the community here for the small town atmosphere, and this is home for our two sons,” Ashley said.
James, 12, is in the seventh grade at South Tattnall Middle School (STMS) and plays on the football team and is in the school band. Hunter, 7, is in the second grade at South Tattnall Elementary School (STES) and plays baseball at the Glennville Recreation Park.
Ashley, who has always loved to cook and bake, has recently started her own cottage food operation out of her home, known as The Flour Shop, located at 112 Lincoln Drive in Glennville.
Her selections include cookies, brownies, cake bars, breads, and cakes. Although she cooks with nuts, they can be omitted from all products by request.
“My family’s favorite is my Triple Chocolate Cake, my signature dessert, and it can be provided as either a two-layer, a three-layer, or a four-layer cake. The four-layer is nine inches in height and weighs almost ten pounds. If you are a chocolate lover, then this will be your favorite, too,” Ashley said.
Other cake selections are Lemon Velvet, Strawberry Crunch, Pineapple Upside Down, Butter Pecan, Pina Colada, and Peanut Butter Cup. These cakes can be made as layer cakes, bundt cakes, or three mini bundt cakes.
Ashley’s cookies are divine! These include Peanut Butter Cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Cowboy Cookies. These usually come eight large cookies to a pack for $3. Brownies are also available. Of course, larger quantities can be ordered.
Cake bars are another of Ashley’s specialties, and these include Strawberry White Chocolate Macadamia, Lemon and White Chocolate, Butterscotch Pecan Blondie, Chocolate Chip Blondie, and Pineapple Coconut Almond.
The Flour Shop breads are perfect, and just what you need during the holidays and for family gatherings to give you more time socializing. These include Cornbread, Buttermilk Biscuits, Artisan Bread, Banana Bread, and Pumpkin Bread, and Ashley uses fresh pumpkin when pumpkins are in season.
“I usually will need a 24-hour notice, and pick-up can be arranged of the items ordered,” she said.
Ashley just recently obtained her Cottage Food License, which allows food (non-potentially hazardous foods) to be prepared in the home and is not subject to the State Food Safety Inspections, as restaurants are mandated that serve to the public.
“It is a different type of food licensing, since I really could not afford to rent a building at this early stage of the business, but my dream one day would be to open a bakery,” she said.
Ashley is looking forward to selling her baked items at the Farmers’ Market in Jesup, which is open April-November on Fridays and Saturdays, located in front of the VFW. Also, she is considering selling at the Farmers’ Market in downtown Statesboro, which is open on Saturdays. The Celebration of the Season in Glennville on the first Friday of December is yet another event at which you can purchase her baked goods.
For hobbies, the family enjoy taking walks and going on camping trips, such as in the North Georgia mountains, which the boys really like to do. A favorite excursion has been to Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin (southwest), Georgia.
“We are outside people and enjoy this country living, and we grew up in a rural community, too,” Ashley said.
To place an order for baked items, Ashley Blackwell at The Flour Shop can be contacted at (315) 816-0717, or by email email@example.com
Ashley Blackwell’s Recipes
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. water
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
3/4 cup buttermilk
oil for frying
**to make your own buttermilk: 3/4 cup whole milk + 2-1/4 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice**
Combine all ingredients well. Heat oil or nonstick spray in a skillet over medium heat. Drop mixture by the tablespoonful (2 tablespoon per hoecake) into hot skillet. Brown until crisp, flip, and brown other side (about 2 to 3 minutes per side)
6 cups whole milk (5-1/2 cups + 1/2 cup reserved)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup long grain rice (heaping)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
cinnamon (for topping- optional)
In a large saucepan, combine 5-1/2 cups milk, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in rice, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer. Cook 50 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture reaches the consistency of yogurt. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool, then refrigerate. Sir in reserved 1/2 cup milk just before serving. Top with cinnamon if desired.
PEANUT BUTTER PIE
1 graham cracker crust
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar (or less, if you prefer)
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8-oz.) tub whipped topping
Combine ingredients well and place into pie crust evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until slightly firm.