Bear Creek Outdoor Living Newsletter

Bringing the Outdoors to You

Charcuterie Boards and Music Festival

Want to make a Charcuterie Board, but not sure how?  Grab a tray and let’s get started.

Start with some of your favorite meats. I like pre-sliced options, such as pepperoni, capicola ham and salami, you can look for big or small slices for variety. Depending on the group you are hosting, you can go spicy or mild. You can also keep it simple with turkey and ham.

Next get your cheeses, you can start with a block and slice your own or buy pre-sliced. For soft cheeses, just place the whole piece on the board with a cheese knife. For a little fun, use a small cookie cutter to make a few slices into shapes. You can lay them anywhere on the board. Try stars or heart shapes, depending on the occasion. As for variety, you can go fancy or easy with your cheese flavors. You can think about what pairs well or just pick your favorites. With homemade boards, anything goes!

Crackers or pretzels add a fun style with different sizes, shapes, and flavors to go with your meats and cheeses or dips/condiments.  Chopped fresh veggies add eye catching color and great variety to your board. You can add fresh or dried fruits for a little touch of sweetness. Add an array of pickles, olives, and dips or condiments. Use small ramekins or dishes to serve your dips and condiments with little spoons or knives. My family loves homemade Ranch dip. You can add your favorites, like spicy mustard, pepper jelly, or anything that you like. You can spread nuts and seeds around or place them in little bowls as well.

You can add small finger food desserts here and there onto your main board, such as little chocolates, small cookies, or brownies. You can even do a whole dessert board to go with your main board or as the main course for a sweet occasion.

If you have a large gathering or party, go big! Recently, I used an entire table to make a charcuterie board! I covered it with a fresh tablecloth and used the same approach as a smaller board, just with lots of ingredients and variety to feed a larger crowd.

I also like making smaller board to take with us if we go on a picnic or a vineyard trip. These can be enjoyed anywhere! If you are taking a board to go, wrap it tightly in saran wrap and be mindful if anything needs to be chilled or on ice.

It might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Choose ingredients and flavors that make you happy or seem entertaining to your guests. When you arrange your tray, spread out ingredients in a variety of places and contrast colors and flavors. Most importantly, have fun with it.

Did you try your hand at making a board? Tag us in a photo of it on social media!

Until next time,


Thermostat vs Thermometer

As our air conditioning units are trying to keep up with the summer heat, it evokes the image of a leadership principle: are you a Thermostat or a Thermometer? In Dr Tim Elmore’s series of “Habitudes: Images that form leadership habits and attitudes,” he discusses how leaders are either thermostats, they set the climate around them, or thermometers, they merely reflect the temperature of their environment.

Dr Elmore believes in values-based leadership. Great leaders live by values and life principles to guide them and then they set the pace for others. Without intentionally developed core values and guiding principles, leaders will be swayed by the opinions and inclinations of the world. Being a thermostat means being an authentic author; writing your own stories, not copying others.

Going a step further, inside every thermostat is a thermometer. A thermostat must read the temperature of the room before it knows how to adjust the temperature. Similarly, effective leaders must read the people they are leading and the world they are leading in before they can make changes or know what needs to be done.

This is applicable to both self-leadership and with leading others. So where do you tend to find yourself, do you set the temperature around you or do you reflect it? Next time you go to adjust your thermostat, recall this image and how you can live by your values and write your own authentic story.

Wintergreen Music Festival

This July, venture up to the Blue Ridge mountains to experience breathtaking views and music designed to leave you feeling recharged and inspired.

The Wintergreen Music Festival has four exciting weekends of full symphony orchestra, plus chamber concerts and coffee talks held daily. Held from July 6th through 31st, visit the Festival for a weekend, a week, or fill your entire month of July with music in the mountains!

The Wintergreen Music Festival takes place at Wintergreen Resort for the weekend Mountaintop Masterworks concerts. Chamber music concerts are performed throughout the week on the mountain and in the valley at Bold Rock Hard Cider, Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows, Veritas Vineyard & Winery, Valley Road Vineyards, Rockfish Valley Community Center, and more. Morning seminar “Coffee Talks” are held weekday mornings with various Festival artists.

With a variety of musical genres and events, there is something for everyone.

Visit the Wintergreen Music website for all the details.

Expansive PVC Quick Deck

This 24-panel Quick Deck project in Stuarts Draft is made from PVC deck boards in Rosewood by Wolf Decking. The final dimensions of the deck is 15′ x 22.5′, making it an incredible space for grilling, dining and gathering to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends.  The install of the project took just a few days after the sections were fabricated in our shop. Our most popular Fast Track project, quick decks need no permitting, are quick to install and can be arranged in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are also maintenance free and look amazing. They are a great investment for your outdoor living space.

Are quick decks right for you to create a spacious addition to your Outdoor space?

Articles written and complied by Natalie Hall. Natalie is Bear Creek’s Marketing Manager. She is passionate about helping people enjoy the outdoors. She is an avid runner and hiker. She loves simple adventures to explore nature with her husband and three children.

Leslie Carter is Bear Creek’s Outdoor Living Consultant and Furnishing Designer. She enjoys helping people create outdoor spaces that they will enjoy and be a place to make lasting memories. 

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