A Summer Well Spent

Hi! I’m Caroline McCully, and I’m the Summer Marketing Intern for VeryVera. I’m a Communications major at the College of Charleston, where I just finished my freshman year. There’s something about a college student home for the summer that just seems to say to people, “Ask me questions about my future!” Whether it’s my grandma, my neighbor, or an old family friend I haven’t seen in a while, everybody wants to know what my major is, what I want to be when I grow up, and of course the nebulous, “What are you doing this summer?”

I’ve repeated most of my answers so many times that they feel rehearsed. I have a major, and I know what I plan to do with it, but even the best laid plans are years away from happening. What really gives me confidence in my future, however far away, is explaining  what I’m doing this summer. I’m the Summer Marketing Intern for VeryVera! VeryVera is such a household name in Augusta that I rarely have to say any more. Not only is the company well known for its quality of food, and more recently, on-screen food, it’s well known for its quality of business. When I say that I’m working at VeryVera, the response is almost always the same- “You must be learning so much there!”

I really am! An internship for a rising college sophomore usually means fetching lunch or someone’s laundry, but this summer I’ve been in direct contact with advertisers, assisted with cooking camp,  helped out on the set of the television show, learned how to edit the website, and been given considerable responsibility with the social media pages. I’ve learned more about professionalism, organization, and communication in two and a half months here than I learned in my entire freshman year of college! This internship isn’t just a way to pass the summer, or something to pad my resume. Working here has given me confidence that I can achieve my plans for the future, and I’m one step closer to doing it for having this experience.

When I tell people my major and my goals, I’m telling them what I hope to do someday. But when I tell them I’m working for VeryVera, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve spent this summer making those goals more and more of a reality.

 

You are the FAIRY best!

I have longed for the day when I would be able to host the ultimate “Queen Granny V Tea” for my granddaughter, Lucy. How thrilled I was when her Mom asked if I would participate in this grand event for her 4th birthday and my wheels started turning.

This is where the young ideas and the old-fashioned traditions joined together to create a memorable and sentimental occasion that both the children and the adults truly enjoyed. It started with the precious evite that Mallory outfitted with names befitting each little princess and queen.  All were encouraged to dress in their best, and certainly Granny V took advantage of any opportunity to wear an old dress from her closet. Mallory provided the tiara from her childhood.  

The table was so much fun! Paper plates were the new twist, but nothing would do but to bring in several other generations. My grandmother, Vera, provided the champagne glasses that held the strawberry and lemonade cotton candy. As nervous as we may have been about breakage, not a single one was damaged. Most of these little ones had never had cotton candy! My mother’s Spode tea cups hosted the lemonade and the little girls were so grown up with their pinkies in the air.

Lucy was flanked by her two sisters, Jane and Frances, as she enjoyed her princess cake, and all of her friends enjoyed making tiaras and playing in the fairy garden. They left with a bag of treats tied with a special message that read, “You are the Fairy Best.” 

We’ll have to TOP this for next year….  

Journey to VeryVera

It was Labor Day weekend of my sophomore year of high school. All my friends were heading up to the mountains for the weekend and I hopelessly begged my mom to let me join them. With too much homework, a few big tests in the near future, and soccer practice, I was quickly denied. Instead, she offered me an alternative fun weekend activity: baking. Over the course of that long weekend, my mom and I baked too many cupcakes, and she taught me how to pipe frosting using her Wilton Student Decorating Kit. This was when my love for food and baking began. 

 

Fast forward to my last year at the University of Georgia. I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation. A degree in Consumer Foods offers so many opportunities, but I didn’t know where to begin. When I was told about an internship with a cooking show, I thought it was too good to be true. It sounded like the internship of my dreams.

 

I began my graduate internship with The VeryVera Show in August of 2016. As an intern, I wasn’t running meaningless errands and fetching coffee. I was brought into the company and given responsibilities that most interns never experience. I was taught management skills, practiced business etiquette, and learned even more about cooking. I was able to learn so much in a short timespan and build on the degree I earned at UGA. In December of 2016, I was brought on full-time as the Associate Producer of the show, which means I got to continue working a job that allows me to truly live out my love of food. From testing recipes, managing the production of a cooking show, and corresponding with both regional and national food celebrities, I have learned so much while working at VeryVera.

 

We have now started writing The VeryVera Cookbook. Two dreams fulfilled in one place?! I consider myself pretty lucky. So far throughout this process, I have been able to use everything I learned during my college career. Writing a cookbook means lots of recipe testing and lots of recipe writing. It has given me the opportunity to use my degree for something I am passionate about. Oh, and writing a cookbook also means eating lots of cake.

 

If you have a passion for food, then VeryVera is the place you need to be. And lucky for you, we are looking for fall interns. Apply today (here) and I’ll save you a slice of cake. 😉

 

Rachel Schifter

June Advertiser of the Month

My June Advertiser of the Month is so near and dear to my heart! Epic Restaurant is located in Columbus, GA and is owned and operated by my good friend Jamie Keating. Jamie has appeared on The VeryVera Show twice, has hosted my team at Epic’s fabulous Chef’s Table, and was my very first VeryVera Cooking Camp franchise owner!

I truly cannot say enough good things about Epic Restaurant.  If you want a taste of what Epic has to offer, take a look at their commercial. Epic has been rated a Four Diamond restaurant by AAA, along with only 2 other restaurants in Georgia outside of Atlanta. No plans to visit Columbus soon? Make them. Believe me, this restaurant is worth it.

I’m so proud to have such an exemplary restaurant advertising on my show in Columbus!

Vera’s Summer Reading List

It’s true–the arrival of the VeryVera Cookbook is closer than you think!

While you wait, Vera has hand-picked a few of her all-time favorite cookbooks for you–call it your summer reading list. These five classic southern cookbooks are sure to satisfy your cravings for new recipes and whet your appetite for the arrival of the VeryVera Cookbook next May!

Around the Southern Table by Rebecca Lang

This beautifully written collection of recipes is everything one could hope for in a cookbook- made from scratch, comforting, and satisfying. In addition to Rebecca Lang’s homey prose, essays by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy and novelist Cassandra King add an extra bit of Southern flair. A must-read for anyone looking for recipes for family dinners or entertaining.

Purchase here.

 

 

 

 

Bon Appetit, Y’all by Virginia Willis

Author Virginia Willis is not only a born-and-bred Southern cook, she’s a classically trained French chef who excels in this area of cuisine. The combination of the two results in a cookbook that is both hospitable and effective in teaching readers how to recreate their favorite classics. This well-organized cookbook is sure to become one of your favorites, whether you’re looking for delicious comfort food or a brand new recipe.

Purchase here.

 

 

 

Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions by Carrie Morey

Carrie Morey founded Callie’s Charleston Biscuits in order to be able to share her mother Callie’s delicious biscuits with people everywhere. Years later, her simplistic Southern style is just as appealing as she shares her new takes on traditional dishes. This is a kitchen staple for any Southern cook.

Purchase here.

 

 

 

 

Foster’s Market Favorites by Sara Foster

Sara Foster’s market opened in 1990 in Durham, North Carolina, and has since become well-known for delicious, simple cooking. All of the restaurant favorites are included in this carefully curated Southern classic. Foster’s Market Favorites contains photography that will make you look twice and recipes that you’ll want to cook again and again.

Purchase here.

 

 

 

 

 

Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart

This truly authentic Southern cookbook covers all the bases of cooking, whether it’s basic skills like cleaning vegetables or the mastery of more complicated recipes. Everything is explained with refreshing clarity and entertaining anecdotes, making it easy to see why this cookbook was the recipient of the 2013 James Beard Award for American Cooking.

Purchase here.

May Advertiser of the Month: Daniel Appliance

It brings me great pleasure to announce Daniel Appliance as my May Advertiser of the Month! Daniel Appliance in Columbus, GA is a family-owned appliance store since 1954, spanning 3 generations. Ron Daniel, the company’s current president, was one of my first supporters when I was syndicated to WRBL in Columbus.

Talk to any customer of Daniel Appliance and their praise will tell you everything you need to know! From competitive prices to knowledgeable staff to excellent customer service to in-house servicing, Daniel Appliance can be your one-stop-shop for any home appliance you need.

With almost two years of partnership under our belts, we prepare for our second event at Daniel Appliance on Thursday, May 18th! The store makes for an excellent venue to host a cooking demonstration, especially thanks to the live Wolf Steam Oven on site. Thank you, Daniel Appliance, for the support and for believing in The VeryVera Show!

 

April Advertiser of the Month: Livingood’s Appliances and Bedding

I’m excited to highlight another of my wonderful advertisers as our April Advertiser of the Month. This month, I would like to introduce you to Livingood’s Appliances and Bedding in Savannah.

Livingood’s was one of my first advertisers to come on board after being syndicated to WSAV. The first time I met with Phyllis, the company’s President and Co-owner, there was an immediate kinship that tends to exist between fellow entrepreneurs. Phyllis and her husband, Dale, started the company in 1976. Now with two locations in Savannah, GA and Okatie, SC and over 20,000 showroom square footage, Livingood’s is certainly an entrepreneurial success story.

If you’re in the Savannah area (or not, thanks to online ordering!), I highly recommend this family-owned business that has thrived for 40 years due to its quality and impeccable customer service.

–Vera

March Advertiser of the Month: Pecan Ridge Plantation

I’m excited to present a new monthly blog series where I give a special “thank you” to one of my advertisers in one of the markets where The VeryVera Show airs. This month I’m happy to introduce you to Pecan Ridge Plantation, who actually advertises in 5 markets where The VeryVera Show airs!

If you’re watching on WJBF, WRBL, WMAZ, WSAV, or WCBD, you might have seen their commercial, featuring their gorgeous bottles of Georgia Grown Pecan Oil.

 

Southern Living loved Pecan Ridge Plantation’s oil enough to give it the 2016 Food Award for Best Oil. I’ve had the privilege of cooking with their Pecan Oil and Pecan Truffle Oil on multiple occasions and can personally attest to the depth that their products add to any dish. A few lucky VeryVera Show fans have even been able to try their products for free through giveaways on our Facebook page!

Pecan Ridge Plantation products can be found in stores in all 5 markets where their commercial runs, but you can also browse their selection online! While you’re on their website, be sure to read about Tate, the pecan-truffle-hunting family dog.

I encourage you to check out this Southern, family-run company and see all the wonderful things they’re doing!

-Vera

Blue Apron Star Student Contest

I have SUCH exciting news! We are partnering with Blue Apron to bring you our Star Student Contest. As many of you know, engaging children in the kitchen is one of my life’s passions. This contest turns the spotlight on my young viewers and gives them the chance to produce their own cooking show segment, and Blue Apron is going to provide the ingredients!

This contest is open to children 6-18 in the viewing audience of The VeryVera Show, and the Grand Prize winner gets a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer and a Blue Apron gift card! 5 lucky runners-up also receive Blue Apron gift cards as well. I am so excited to celebrate culinary-minded children with this contest, and I can’t wait to see the results! Details and official rules are below. Good luck!

 

The VeryVera Show +  Blue Apron Star Student Contest Official Rules

  1. All entries must be a digital video.
  2. Entrants may only be between the ages of 6 and 18 at the time of video entry. Entrants must live in the viewing area of The VeryVera Show, within the reach of the following television stations: WJBF, WCBD, WRBL, WMAZ, WFXB, WSAV.
  3. Each entry must show entrant executing one (1) Blue Apron recipe from the April 17-22 delivery schedule.
  4. The length of the video should not exceed seven (7) minutes.
  5. Registration opens on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 1:00 PM. To register: email [email protected] to enter and receive further instructions. A maximum of seventy-five (75) registrants will be accepted. The deadline for registration is 11:59 pm (eastern time, US) on Thursday, March 30, 2017.
  6. Entry fee is $10. This will be paid to VVTV, LLC, who will submit all monies to Blue Apron. Entrants will then be provided with a code for a free Blue Apron box. Entrant’s parent or guardian will create a Blue Apron account at blueapron.com and use the provided code to order a one (1) Blue Apron box. Checks and cash are preferred payment, but credit cards are accepted with a processing fee. Entrants are not officially registered until $10 payment is submitted. Registration is first come, first served by order of payment received. Checks can be made to VVTV, LLC. Mailing address: 2708 Wheeler Rd., Augusta, GA 30909
  7. Entry files may be emailed to [email protected] starting on Monday, April 17, 2017. The deadline for submissions is 8:00 am (eastern time, US) on Monday, May 1, 2017.
  8. Judges will review each video per the following qualities:
    • Video quality
    • Creativity
    • Mastery of culinary skills (appropriate to age)
    • Final food presentation
    • Adherence to time limits
    • Onscreen performance
  9. Judges will choose three (3) runners-up and three (3) finalists. Finalists’ videos will be posted to the VeryVera Show Facebook page on Monday, May 8, 2017. Facebook followers will “like” the video of their choosing. Numbers will be tallied at 12:00 pm on Monday, May 15, 2017. The judges’ decision is final.
  10. Winner will be announced on the VeryVera Show from Thursday, May 25, 2017 to Sunday, May 28, 2017.
  11. All registrants must submit a video. Any registrants that haven’t submitted a video Thursday, June 1, 2017 will be asked to refund the additional $50 remaining in the cost of the Blue Apron box.
  12. No copyrighted materials (music, images, etc.) may be used for this contest unless you own the copyright or have a license to use the material for this contest. Written permission must be obtained and provided upon request for all copyrighted materials.
  13. No professional assistance is allowed. Adults may assist with production but are limited to verbal guidance only. Adults are allowed to be actors or cameramen but not content contributors. Adults over 18 may assist only in placing items in oven, chopping ingredients, and handling pots/pans on stove.
  14. Content must comply with all local and national laws of the country of origin and the United States. Content must not 1) promote illegal behavior; 2) support racial, religious, sexual or other invidious prejudice; 3) advocate sexual or violent exploitation; 4) violate rights established by law or agreement; 5) invade the privacy of any person; or 6) be otherwise inappropriate as determined by VVTV, LLC in its sole and conclusive determination.
  15. The only compensation for submitting a video is the opportunity to be awarded a prize if the entry wins. VVTV, LLC will pay filmmakers no additional compensation nor be liable to the filmmaker under any circumstances.
  16. Important deadlines:
    • March 16 | Registration opens
    • March 30 @ 11:59 pm | Registration closes
    • April 10 | Last day to order box (depending on box delivery date in your area—check Blue Apron’s website)
    • May 1 @ 8:00 am | Deadline to submit video
  17. Awards will be presented as follows:
    • One (1) First Place: one (1) KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer; one (1) $30 Blue Apron gift card
    • Five (5) Second Place: one (1) $30 Blue Apron gift card
  • Students should keep at least one copy of their video. VVTV, LLC is not responsible for any films that are lost, damaged, or that do not upload properly.
  • Ownership of the underlying intellectual property of the project remains with the entrant, with the following exceptions:
    • Entrants grant VVTV, LLC/Blue Apron the right to use their names, photographs, statements, quotes, testimonials, and video submissions for advertising, publicity, and promotional purposes without notification or further compensation.
    • Entrants also grant VVTV, LLC/Blue Apron the right to use, reproduce, reprint, distribute, perform, and/or display the entrant’s project video without further compensation or notification to the entrant.
    • VVTV, LLC/Blue Apron maintains the right to reproduce, reprint, distribute, perform, display, or exhibit the project for advertising, publicity, and promotional purposes on their website, at conferences, or at any other venues.
  • By accepting the prizes, winners agree to hold VVTV, LLC and all VVTV, LLC employees harmless against any and all claims and liability arising out of use of such prizes. Winner assumes all liability for any injury or damage caused from participation in the contest or use/redemption of any prize.
  • Entrants agree to be bound by the official contest rules and decisions of the judges.

Life’s Little Instructions

As we all celebrate the beginning of a new year, one of my family traditions is particularly special to me. Life’s Little Instruction Calendar always finds its way under the tree, and my sons seem to continue this family tradition as well.

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I am especially moved throughout the year as the daily “thoughts” seem to hit close to home or even speak directly to a situation that’s relative in my life. I hang on to a few, post one or two on the door at work, keep some in a special box that I flip through from time to time, and use some as scratch paper the day after they post. No matter what the use, it all seems important to me. These thoughts certainly don’t take the place of a daily devotional, but in their own little way, they lend a meaning to each day that has become part of my routine. There is a superstition that no matter what, you do NOT pull the day off until the next morning. There are some that have prompted topics for speeches, those that make you look in the mirror and think “good job,” and others that eerily make you think you have a friend that understands. No matter what the day, I don’t leave until I have read my calendar.

I hope you have traditions that you don’t want to lose. I hope you have set some goals for yourself and hope your core values are too long to list. The word for 2017 for me is “STRETCH.” I have many reasons why that’s important and it seemed appropriate for this year. I would love to know what your word would be if you could only pick one.

Heeeereeeee’s toooooooo GoooooooD Healllllllth and Happpineeeeessssss.

-Vera