Sperryville column for July 12

I am so excited to be co-writing the Sperryville column with Barbara Adolfi. And I am even more excited to finally officially call Sperryville my home. It has been a fun-filled and nonstop adventure since we got here. From the RCCA Evening View, Culpeper Soap Box Derby, sitting out the big storm in the little barn where we are staying, the aftermath of the storm without power and then getting to see a wonderful “Carmen” at the Castleton Festival (after getting lost on the way), there has not been a dull moment. I am enjoying seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Hopefully I will meet many of you and be able to put names to faces. And if you are confused by the spelling of my name – just call me Robin.

Pick a peck of piping hot peppers

Sczuka Saucze is based in both Vienna and Sperryville but is hot everywhere.
Sczuka Saucze is based in both Vienna and Sperryville but is hot everywhere.

Something hot is happening in Sperryville. Nestled in the F.T. Valley on Belle Meade Farm is a new organic farming venture by entrepreneur Mike Sczuka. Splitting their time between suburban Vienna and Sperryville, Mike and his partner Lisa are cooking up their special Sczuka Saucze condiments and spices made from organic peppers. Organic gardener, reggae music enthusiast and hot sauce gourmand Mike (sczukasaucze@gmail.com) grows many of the peppers used in his hand-crafted sauces.

“Our mission at Sczuka Saucze is to provide products that are not only delicious, but grown by us as well,” the Sczukas write on their Facebook page. “Our peppers have been nurtured by us for you. In the event that we cannot provide organic food supplies, we simply purchase them. It is also our mission to jump start the paradigm shift in hot sauces from being novelty items to actual respectable condiments.”

The buzz about beeswax painting

The Corcoran alumni show is wrapping up at Haley Fine Art, and according to owner Andrew Haley, it was a big success. Next up on the easel this summer are paintings by renowned artist Christine Sajecki. Sajecki works in a media known as encaustic (melted and pigmented beeswax). Her works have been exhibited across the U.S. and Europe.

To quote the artist’s statement about her use of encaustic: “The layers of wax and pigment and photocopy make up a scene; they are a palimpsest, a history. The paintings want not just to be seen but to be given a job. My work wants to narrate, to keep creating. I put the world into my work – the colors and forms, the juxtaposition and conflict, strokes of color and bits of text – and my work, if it can, sends it all out again. It all goes to you, for you, at you.”

This fall, Haley will also host a solo show for artist Michael Fitts, with a reception on Sept. 29, so mark your calendar. You can find Haley Fine art at 42 Main St., Sperryville. Call 540-987-1000 or visit haleyfineart.com for more information.

Monkeying around

Last Friday I had the fun of accompanying Eve Willis and Fawn Evenson to an auction in Charlottesville. They waved their paddles knowingly as they purchased items to resell at Monkey Business, their antique shop at the Sperryville Schoolhouse. It was a fast-paced day with the auctioneer calling out numbers and prices as savvy buyers bid on their hearts’ desires. At the end of the hot day we loaded up the van with what we could carry and headed back to Sperryville. The rest of their treasures were to be delivered the next day. If you want to see what they found, just stop in to the store, beside the soon-to-be new Sperryville bridge and look around. For more information, call 540-987-8700.

Happy anniversary, Gadino

Gadino Cellars celebrate their seventh anniversary this Saturday (July 14) with complimentary traditional Italian biscuits to accompany wine tastings. According to co-founder Aleta Saccuta Gadino, “The Gadinos, Grossos, and Pezzis got together for a marathon baking day preparing these traditional Italian pepper biscuits and tarale. One is savory with pepper and fennel flavors to complement the red wines; the other is slightly sweet to accompany the white wines. “

Narrow Path Bluegrass will be playing from 2 to 5, so come out and be a part of La Famiglia as the Gadinos begin their seventh year! There is no admission fee, though tasting fees do apply. Gadino is at 92 Schoolhouse Rd., Washington. For more information: 540-987-9292 or gadinocellars.com.